Thursday, June 02, 2005

Tom Friedman seconds David Brooks

Earlier today I wrote about David Brooks column in a posting entitled, "Liberalism breeds conservatism? How can we get cling-free liberalism?." Now in "A Race to the Top" Tom Friedman is says the same thing.
French voters are trying to preserve a 35-hour work week in a world where Indian engineers are ready to work a 35-hour day. Good luck. …

"This is not about wages at all - the whole wage differential thing is going to reduce very quickly," said Rajesh Rao, who heads the innovative Indian game company, Dhruva. It is about people who have been starving "finally seeing the ability to realize their dreams." Both Infosys and Wipro, India's leading technology firms, received more than one million applications last year for a little more than 10,000 job openings. …

[T]his is a bad time for France and friends to lose their appetite for hard work - just when India, China and Poland are rediscovering theirs.
It's clear to me that Friedman is right. There are smart people all over the world. We have to figure out what we have to offer that's special.

In my opinion it's our relative open-mindedness, our relative intellectual flexibility, our relative lack of corruption [I heard an NPR report on Iraqi justice. An Iraqi said that it was the same as ours, money counts. "You pay your lawyers; we pay our judges, but it amounts to the same thing."], our relative rule of law, and our relative freedom. If the Bush administration doesn't destroy our primary advantages, I think we'll do ok.

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