Tom Friedman on Outsourcing…Part II

Friedman impresses and is impressed by Bangaloreans.

Last week he argued that outsourcing benefits the US economy too, this week he suggests that the globalisation creates hope and confidence that is ultimately good geopolitics too.

There is nothing more positive than the self-confidence, dignity and optimism that comes from a society knowing it is producing wealth by tapping its own brains — men’s and women’s — as opposed to one just tapping its own oil, let alone one that is so lost it can find dignity only through suicide and “martyrdom.”

Indeed, listening to these Indian young people, I had a déjà vu. Five months ago, I was in Ramallah, on the West Bank, talking to three young Palestinian men, also in their 20’s, one of whom was studying engineering. Their hero was Yasir Arafat. They talked about having no hope, no jobs and no dignity, and they each nodded when one of them said they were all “suicide bombers in waiting.”

What am I saying here? That it’s more important for young Indians to have jobs than Americans? Never. But I am saying that there is more to outsourcing than just economics. There’s also geopolitics. It is inevitable in a networked world that our economy is going to shed certain low-wage, low-prestige jobs. To the extent that they go to places like India or Pakistan — where they are viewed as high-wage, high-prestige jobs — we make not only a more prosperous world, but a safer world for our own 20-year-olds. [NYT]