Saturday, February 26, 2011

The New Regime

Recently I drove through a small town in the midwestern U.S. The entire main street was boarded over buildings: it looked like Baghdad. This was once a prosperous community.

I followed up through social media links to the town, and found that a lot of anger exists. Some people choose religious or racial bigotry, some find other sources to blame. The story is a very common one, unfortunately.

But overall, I think it is a happy story.

The suffering that accompanies decline started a generation ago. Several decades of slow decline, like a man watching his powerful chest muscles fall into his stomach as he ages, is difficult. But that degree of suffering might be what it takes to break the back of the old idea that we deserve prosperity simply because of where we are born. Your factory job will be outsourced, regardless of legislation. Why should you be paid triple, because of your birthright?

The idea that we deserve something based on birth is a bankrupt philosophy. Now we finally believe that. A new system is arising, one that requires us to work hard and think hard and create something really special. Don't try to compete with factory workers in Guangzhou.

The new system will reward differentiation. Embrace it. 

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