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Nicholas Stix

Globalization: The 14 Percent Solution
By Nicholas Stix
Feb 23, 2006 - 12:43:00 PM

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Many Americans are unhappy about globalization, but globalization gurus are unequally unhappy with those Americans, whom the globalizers see as Luddites who are fighting the inevitable. Apparently, there are iron historical laws which decree that Americans (except for globalizers, natch) must first spend say, $200,000 on undergraduate and graduate education, as the prerequisites to waiting tables. I never knew that waiting tables was such a complex job. Live and learn.

I feel both sides’ pain. Really, I do. I feel the pain of a global outsourcing entrepreneur who can’t get a window table at The Four Seasons, just as I feel the pain of a guy with a master’s degree in engineering who can’t get a job installing garage door openers. Economic dislocations are hell on everyone.

As even public school teachers have for years told us, “We live in a global economy.” That means that folks here in the First World must compete for the same jobs with people in places like India and China. As Peter Bendor-Samuel, the CEO of Everest Group, which specializes in outsourcing has written, he can hire an Indian in India for one-seventh the wages that an American worker gets in the U.S. (Just imagine when he starts to tap into the Red Chinese workforce!)

And so, if the multicultural educators and tenured free market economists both promoting the global economy mean what they say, they’ll be willing to accept an 85.7 percent pay cut, as will all unions, TV news anchors, Congress and the President, heck, all the way up to George Clooney and Howard Stern. If Clooney balks, we can replace him with actor-screenwriter-director-agitators from Bollywood; we can replace Stern with a Red Chinese (English fluency not required), and we can outsource George W. Bush’s job to someone -- anyone -- in the United Arab Emirates.

I can just see some benighted reader saying, “But I can’t survive on 1/7th of my income!”

Fear not. You need merely tell your landlord or mortgage bank, utility company, grocer, doctor, lawyer, union, etc., that from now on, you’ll be paying one-seventh of what you used to pay. After all, globalization cuts both ways, no?

Bill Gates, who keeps telling young people to study engineering, surely has our best interests at heart. Gates wants America to have the world’s best-educated waitresses and installers of garage-door openers. And to show his good faith, I’m sure Gates won’t mind cutting the price of his software to consumers in the First World to one-seventh of its previous price, as Michael Dell will surely also wish to do with his computers. And of course, America’s Overpriced, Private Universities will want to jump on the bandwagon, by cutting their tuition and fees by six-sevenths, and pledging to cut their charges each year from now on.

Let us all now praise the globally competitive, brave new economy.

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