Monday, July 14, 2008

Staying Competitive

As the moderator of this Economist debate on the competitiveness of workers from rich countries in a globalized world points out, the topic touched an assortment of nerves. Both the pro and the con positions have been heard many times before so there are not any new ideas to ponder upon. But the comments are a whole different animal - lively, vigorous and refreshing. Here is a small sampling of the comments I found most thought-provoking :

As long as Western leaders of so-called "rich" countries keep producing wartime products that absolutely are destructive to human productivity, I'm afraid that the Western countries will waste their competitive talents,e.g highly skilled and highly (and diversely) educated people - nance45

Like it or not, globalization facilitates regression to the mean. Emerging economies like Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) can, on a percentage-wise basis, ratchet up productivity gains far faster than highly productive workers in wealthier countries. They will continue to focus on productivity gains in order to catch up to wealthier countries. At some point, workers in all countries tend to reach a point at which their propensity for leisure overtakes their propensity for work - vegasbob

It is a bit awkward that it is entirely possible for both protagonists to be largely correct. The unit of competition may indeed by the multinational team but within such teams the traditional West's contribution may decline. Indeed it may be that the rich world's relative success comes largely from local knowledge of markets rather than generic skills like engineering/design - an inherently unstable position - willstewart

The realities of economics tend to say that whatever the talent the issue is not anymore the location but the scarcity and price and that therefore the price overall will be more and more fixed at global level and will be determined by skill level rather than by location of the skill. - dorcq

1 comment:

AMIT said...

Yeah we have to stay competitive in todays time.

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