Saturday, March 05, 2011


Depressing Aspect of Globalisation

The worry I've always had about globalisation was mkade evben more so by Peter Wilby recently. It's this. Th9ommas Friedman in his book, The Flat Earth, outlined the advantages of this development for us. True, economic functions would be out sourced: manufacturing, call centres, even accounting services, but many more would be left to us and we would benefit from the humungously cheaper goods and services which outsourcing would deliver. We would be able to exploit the high tech activities dependent on t4her high levels of education we were able to provide. So that's alright then, I thought. But I had a worry.

And it's this. Given that countries like China and India and South Korea have been so successful in hoovering up all these functions, and given the fact that British universities can scarcely move for Asian students, isn't it reasonable to suppose Asian countries will soon be outperforming us in terms of the highest levels of education? Wilby's, heart sinkingly depressing article confirms that this is indeed so:

But why shouldn't developing countries leapfrog the west? Asia now produces more scientists and engineers than the EU and the US put together. By 2012, on current trends, the Chinese will patent more inventions than any other nation. As a new book – The Global Auction (by sociologists Phillip Brown, Hugh Lauder and David Ashton) – argues, the next generation of innovative companies may not be American or British and, even if they are, they may not employ American or British workers.

As well as fewer jobs for our grandchildren, they will also be less intedresting to perform:

Aspirant graduates face the prospect not only of lower wages, smaller pensions and less job security than their parents enjoyed but also of less satisfying careers. True, every profession and company will retain a cadre of thinkers and decision-makers at the top – perhaps 10% or 15% of the total – but the mass of employees, whether or not they hold high qualifications, will perform routine functions for modest wages. Only for those with elite qualifications from elite universities (not all in Europe or America) will education deliver the promised rewards.

The final depressing glimpse into pour future is provided by this paragraph:

The effects of the financial squeeze and deficit reduction programme will threaten much more than this government's survival. We shall see, in all probability, a permanent reduction in British living standards that can't be arrested by educational reform. Neoliberalism, already badly dented by the financial meltdown, will be almost entirely discredited. Governments will then need to rethink their attitudes to education, inequality and the state's economic role.

So Marxism is the answer ?

Didn't think so.........

Kind regards
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