April 10, 2005

The Flattening World

Thomas Friedman has a good article on how technology has made the world, or at least the competitive playing field, flat. There's an awful lot of truth to what he's saying, including the problem of our educational system shortchanging the next generation of US workers. The problem is that he misses a significant upside. As the PRC, India, Russia, and all of the rest of the 3 billion people added to the playing field of global competition start creating their own design houses et al, they're going to need more labor than they can manage to scare up at home for manufacture, support, et al. At some point the direction flows of outsourcing will stop going one way and become multi-directional with some work being outsourced to North Dakota because Shanghai's wages are just too high to do it locally.

Friedman is right when he says ''Girls, finish your homework -- people in China and India are starving for your jobs.'' It's only that he's missing the flip side of it. We won't be left with no jobs. We'll just get the ones that they're doing right now, the low paid, hard, dirty jobs to fit our standing in the new global meritocracy. It sucks to be poorly educated.

Posted by TMLutas at April 10, 2005 12:27 PM