It’s the economy, stupid

It’s the economy, stupid
: Tom Friedman gives us a bonus sixth part to his five-part series (confirming my suspicion that last week’s was an Iowa special edition) with a simple message: The cure to the problem of the Middle East is jobs.

I was at Google’s headquarters in Silicon Valley a few days ago, and they have this really amazing electronic global map that shows, with lights, how many people are using Google to search for knowledge. The region stretching from Morocco to the border of India had almost no lights. I attended a breakfast at Davos on the outsourcing of high-tech jobs from the U.S. and Europe to the developing world. There were Indian and Mexican businessmen there, and much talk about China. But not a word was spoken about outsourcing jobs to the Arab world. The context

  • When the violence stops, the elections and the investment begin.
    Why does this remind me of, “The beatings will continue until morale improves”?
    That aside, when will you recognize that the U.S. isn’t in much a position to dictate to anyone in Iraq anymore? Ever since we announced that we were handing over sovereignty at the end of June — no matter what — we’ve been lame ducks. Even the Governing Council we appointed is toying with us.

  • Ebb Tide

    Is this exactly what George Mitchell proposed when he brokered the Northern Ireland thing, that it was the economy for 18 to 34 yr olds that needed to improve? I don’t really recall enough of it, I just remember that vaguely… but if true, it seems to have worked. (Along with giving legitimate voices a chance to speak for their constituency, etc.)
    My idea for Iraq was to re-combine the outsourcing meme, with the re-construction meme and the Nasa Mars initiative meme and create a new Nasa in Iraq where we could get more bang for the buck and solve all those problems all at once! At first I was kidding, but now I am serious! If you look at the JPL Mission Control room there are folks working there from all over the world, who either came to school in the USA and stayed or came over as scientists from elsewhere, it is the United Nations of Science happening there.

  • There is already a lot of investment and entrepreneurial activity in Iraq – it started even before the war ended. Iraqis are very entrepreneurial themselves, and many adventurers want to be the first in a postwar zone to make something new happen. All Iraq has to do is set up some basic rules, enforcement mechanisms, use them, and otherwise get out of the way.