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This is how I thought news magazine pieces used to be written. If you can spare 20 minutes, please do read Adam Davidson’s outstanding Atlantic piece on modern manufacturing in America. It’s not just about manufacturing (or really much about it). It demonstrates a solid and nuanced understanding of economics, and should be the starting point for discussions by folks both inside and outside the bubble (my score was 11 – the test is hokey in my view).

And to finish it off, here is really what the piece is about (Davidson is too gracious to say it) from David Brooks (of whom I’m not typically a fan):

The idiocy of our current political debate is that neither side seems capable of talking about the interplay of economic and social forces. Most of the Republican candidates talk as if all that is needed is more capitalism. But lighter regulation and lower taxes won’t, on their own, help the Maddie Parliers of the world get the skills they need to compete.

Democrats, meanwhile, have shifted their emphasis from lifting up the poor to pounding down the rich. Democratic candidates no longer emphasize early childhood education and community-building. Instead they embrace the pseudo-populist Occupy Wall Street hokum — the opiate of the educated classes.

Whatever you think, these sure seem like more productive reads than yet more daft scribblings on Chinese Navel Gazing.

2 Responses to “Best Piece of Journalism I’ve Read in Years”

  1. RIT_Rich says:

    Brooks’ article was great right up till the end, where he thinks that somehow “Obama” can affect college-employee coordination, or child care options, in the same breath as streamlining regulations and reducing spending. Those are contradictions, but more importantly “Obama” (ie the federal gov.) can’t do any of those things. Nor do colleges and employees need the government to encourage their cooperation.
    Both articles were good and hit on an important point; people have to compromise something in order to get the knowledge and skills necessary for their future success. Seems a lot of people have forgotten that these days. Unfortunately, there is a huge disservice being done in America by some “social conservative” circles (Sarahs and Ricks) that tell kids not to focus on spending a decade of their life after high school in getting education, but tell them instead to plop out as many babies as possible, as soon as possible (because if you’re 20 and don’t have 2 kids in South Carolina, you’re the exception). Sure the girl in the article was unfortunate to be a single parent, but had she gotten married and had a baby at 18 or 19, would she still have been able to get that education? Still as unlikely. Maybe its not simply “social support” as Brooks puts it, but rather knowing what to sacrifice and prioritize at that age.

  2. chuck martel says:

    It seems obvious that an increasing proportion of the populace will be incapable of acquiring both the education and the skills required to effectively function in a manufacturing environment. They’re just not smart enough. In fact, the future looks bleak for those with a sub-100 IQ and, by extension, their betters, who will have to find something to keep them occupied.

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