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Saturday, December 7, 2013

Thomas Friedman, "Can’t We Do Better?": No

Once again, it's time to be politically incorrect.

In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Can’t We Do Better?" (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/08/opinion/sunday/friedman-cant-we-do-better.html), Thomas Friedman tells us:

"We’re going through a huge technological transformation in the middle of a recession. It requires a systemic response. Democrats who protect teachers’ unions that block reforms to give teachers more ownership and accountability, and who refuse to address long-term entitlement spending that threatens to deprive us of funds to invest in the young, are harming our future. Republicans who block investments in things like early education and immigration reform — today we educate the world’s top talent in our colleges and then send them back to their home countries — are harming our future."

"More funds to invest in the young"? Certainly a compelling thought, but then I look back at myself and my own limitations: No matter how much money the government might have spent on me as a youngster to turn me into a concert pianist, nothing would have helped. I was not destined to play the piano, not then, not now. Notwithstanding my mother's once formidable talents on that instrument, I am tone deaf, or stated otherwise, "genetically indisposed."

Preschool is going to turn American youngsters into rocket scientists? I have my doubts. It is little wonder that the Head Start program has been determined to be useless (see: http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/337924/head-start-still-useless-michael-g-franc).

Friedman continues:

"[L]iberals need to think more seriously about how we incentivize and unleash risk-takers to start new companies that create growth, wealth and good jobs. To have more employees, we need more employers. Just redividing a slow-growing pie will not sustain the American dream."

Query: Is it remotely possible that we need to think less "about how we incentivize and unleash risk-takers" and more about how we first discover where children's talents lie?

Proclivity to risk for the vast majority of persons is not an advantage. Bet the farm, and you could be staring disaster in the face.

Just a thought . . .

1 comment:

  1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2PQCNQH2lY

    I just came across this excellent TED Talk regarding the NY Times role in downplaying the Holocaust during the period of 1939-1945.
    Anna Blech's description of the Sulzberger and his editorial staff being "Blindly loyal to the government..." hit a raw nerve and reminded me that the more things change, the more they remain the same.

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