In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "It’s a 401(k) World" (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/01/opinion/friedman-its-a-401k-world.html), Thomas Friedman predictably (yawn . . .) describes a "hyperconnected world," linked by "Facebook, Twitter, 4G, iPhones, iPads, high-speech broadband, ubiquitous wireless and Web-enabled cellphones, the cloud, Big Data, cellphone apps and Skype." Friedman writes:
"[T]he combination of these tools of connectivity and creativity has created a global education, commercial, communication and innovation platform on which more people can start stuff, collaborate on stuff, learn stuff, make stuff (and destroy stuff) with more other people than ever before.
What’s exciting is that this platform empowers individuals to access learning, retrain, engage in commerce, seek or advertise a job, invent, invest and crowd source — all online. But this huge expansion in an individual’s ability to do all these things comes with one big difference: more now rests on you."
Great news for the one percent of the population that can effectively wield these tools.
And the other ninety-nine percent? It now rests on them?
In the way of an answer, Friedman tells us:
"I find a lot of this scary. We’re entering a world that increasingly rewards individual aspiration and persistence and can measure precisely who is contributing and who is not. This is not going away, so we better think how we help every citizen benefit from it."
Yeah, right. Let's set up Facebook accounts for everyone, give them a tax credit for their iPads, and see if it makes a dent in unemployment or takes some 50 million Americans off of food stamps.
As always, thanks for the advice, Tom. What will you ever think up next?