Friday, February 10, 2006

Level Playing Field

Thomas L. Friedman wrote an outstanding book titled "The World is Flat". The book is a bestseller and I recommend you read it to really understand the future. If you don't already feel the change sweeping job markets, Mr. Friedman will convince you that people in other countries can do what many workers do here and never leave their country. They can perform these jobs with equal quality and less cost. While we sleep at night here, folks in Bangalore read X-rays for our doctors, process tax returns for U. S. citizens, and serve as administrative assistants to some business executives. Desktop computers, Internet, and free trade have enabled other countries to compete for professional jobs here. He explains the determination of young people in China to learn technology and gain admission to Ivy League schools here. Young people in China scalp tickets and "hang from the rafters" of coliseums to hear speakers like Bill Gates of Microsoft and Jerry Yang, founder of Yahoo. He compares them to the young people of the U. S. who flock to coliseums to see entertainers like Britney Spears. Mr. Friedman describes what he calls "the ten forces that flattened the world". He starts with the fall of the Berlin Wall and continues to the current forces "digital, Mobile, Personal, and Virtual".

These competitive forces will be good for us in the long run, but all of us need to hunker down and get better at whatever we do. This is especially true for young students in school at all grade levels. We parents and grandparents must set the example. Don't let up!

Have a good day! I've got to get ready for school.

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