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  • Nothing Is Inevitable

    Posted by onparkstreet on February 27th, 2011 (All posts by )

    Neither rise nor decline. Pay attention, American-declinist intelligentsia of various stripes:

    Is 2011 the year that the India story—carefully buffed for the better part of a decade by boosters and dispassionate observers alike—begins to lose its sheen? If foreign investors are a bellwether, then the answer may well be yes.
     
    In January, foreign institutional investors, driven in part by high inflation and the sluggish pace of economic reforms, pulled $900 million out of India’s stock markets. According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, foreign direct investment in India plunged 32% last year to $24 billion, making it Asia’s only large economy to suffer a decline in that period. (China attracted more than four times as much FDI as India in 2010.) A recent survey of 89 fund managers by Morgan Stanley showed that only a quarter of buy-side investors believe that India will beat other emerging markets this year, the glummest outlook in two years.

    Sadanand Dhume, WSJ-Asia (via the AEI Enterprise blog.)

    America wastes no talent
     
    Conventional wisdom holds that America’s global competitiveness is driven by geniuses flocking to its shores and producing breathtaking inventions. But America’s real genius lies not in tapping just genius — but every scrap of talent up and down the scale.

    Shikha Dalmia, the Daily (via HotAir.)

     
    My father likes to make the same point (“America finds a way to use everybody.”) Some immigrants pay attention, you know. Sometimes better than certain intelligentsia.

    Some time back Lexington Green asked, musingly, what exactly drew us all to this corner of the blogosphere known as ChicagoBoyz?

    One underlying theme, in my opinion, is how hard it is to create and sustain a prosperous, safe society. Rule of law, a sound moral grounding, a good quality educational system, scientific study, a well-trained and funded military, proper planning and understanding of various logistics, a keen sense of what is possible and what is not, and so on. Wealth, beauty, comfort, kindness, and, well, “goodnesses” of all sorts don’t just happen. It takes effort. It takes thought. It takes understanding.

    It takes a lot of hard work. Nothing is inevitable. Neither rise nor decline. We Americans have many advantages. We should cultivate them.

     

    5 Responses to “Nothing Is Inevitable”

    1. Jim Bennett Says:

      “America wastes no talent”. “America finds a way to use everybody.”

      This has been true of much of American history. Maybe one of the problems we are having today is that credentialism, overcertification, the decline of the second start through tightening bankruptcy laws, etc. are conspiring to find fewer uses for people who aren’t the “right kind of people”, specifically well-trained, well-credientialled members of the cognitive elite who perform well on standardized tests, have helicopter parents who enroll them in the approved set of extracurricular activities and chauffeur them around, threaten to sue their schools if they don’t get the right GPA, and underwrite their unpaid internships before they land the fast-track jobs.

      Hopefully, countervailing forces are at work and we cna get back to the sort of open, freewheeling society that does find a place for the crazier and more creative sorts of people.

    2. onparkstreet Says:

      Hopefully, countervailing forces are at work and we cna get back to the sort of open, freewheeling society that does find a place for the crazier and more creative sorts of people.

      Yes times infinity to this.

      – Madhu

    3. cjm Says:

      that was before entitlements and welfare. socialism wastes all talent.

    4. David Foster Says:

      Sadanand Dhume: “America wastes no talent…Conventional wisdom holds that America’s global competitiveness is driven by geniuses flocking to its shores and producing breathtaking inventions. But America’s real genius lies not in tapping just genius — but every scrap of talent up and down the scale.”

      This is an important point. Too often, people talk as if “innovation” were synonymous with “R&D” and with megaprojects. But the aggregate effects of literally millions of smaller innovations..in technology, in process, in business concepts..is of equal importance.

      (Neither of the links worked for this, but the article in which the quote appears can be found here)

      “America wastes no talent” is too strong a statement, though. Plenty of talent is wasted via dysfunctional public schools and their positive feedback loop with dysfunctional families.

    5. onparkstreet Says:

      cjm – indeed, socialism wastes all talent.

      David Foster – the links worked for me? Also, I think I need to change the layout to my posts. It’s potentially confusing, it seems. The article you quoted from is Shikha Dalmia’s but I put the names under the blockquotes and I see how that is confusing. Will work on it in the future.

      – Madhu