Are technology and global competition whittling away the ‘middle-class’?:
“Blinder understands the benefits of free trade but worries that the new wave of offshoring is so big and fast that Western societies will have difficulty adjusting. The crucial distinction for the future, he argues, might be not between highly educated and less educated workers but between those jobs that can be done abroad and those — such as nurse or pilot — that cannot.”
Here are a few of Zakaria’s suggestions (click through for more):
1. Shifting from consumption to investment (this would be part of his making things again argument, but not things that can be made elsewhere with cheaper overhead and labor…global competition)
2. Training and Education-On this, it seems to me we have a highly politicized, underperforming educational system. Look for more politicization and inertia. The internet will be as important as ever. The spirit of egalitarianism at its best and worst?
3. Fiscal Sanity (He suggests getting health-care costs in order, but doesn’t necessarily advocate Obamacare)-For my part, this will be difficult because it requires greater political cohesion, as I don’t think we’ve reached the end of extending freedom for every group (growing an idealism much more comfortable with a big State in its pursuit of justice, equality and fairness and potentially dividing the electorate). I’m not sure how this will play out, but the impetus for fiscal sanity must come from people and how they balance their own checkbooks. We need to survive without byzantine rules, a bloated state and protectionism. Keep it out of the political arena as much as possible to stay nimble. See education.
Addition: Or has the middle class been co-opted by the American Left, who have all sorts of plans for it?
Also On This Site: Part of Zakaria’s larger project and vision: Repost-Fareed Zakaria BBC Interview: America In Decline? …A Shortage Of Skilled American Workers At Microsoft?…Martha Nussbaum and Amartya Sen have plans for America and India, and it involves much more state involvement here in America: Amartya Sen In The New York Review Of Books: Capitalism Beyond The Crisis