Protectionism vs Globalism

Do you agree that in the short term, protectionism can be benefecial as it holds jobs and wages steady but in the long run can be ineffecient and wasteful if others are willing to do the same job for less but in another country? A government has to be very wealthy to afford protectionism for very long. Otherwise prices and wages remain high as a country stagnates.

With globalism, people are forced to be competitive in pricing and may lose their job or high wages but will eventually find something where they can compete with the rest of world on an equal basis. If governments and unions push for high wages and excellent benefits, those industries will not be competitive on a global basis and will only be able to compete within that country if tariffs are also placed on imported products. GM and Ford are only surviving because of American consumer loyalty which continues to erode as their products just don’t match up to foreign competitors. GM and Ford will need to build cars outside of the US if they truly want to compete and regain market share.

The computer industry may go the way of India as prices are much cheaper there as well. China has the edge on low tech products.

Where will the US compete globally in the 21st century? Likely in real estate and banking and in medical research and even agriculture but we may struggle in other areas.

Addictions

Why do humans have so many addictions? We have addictions to Hollywood gossip, drugs, alcohol, prescription drugs, sugar, fatty foods, laziness, sleep, caffeine, nicotine, sports, movies, pets, relationships, sex, etc. It seems we want to have those feel-good feelings but many of our addictions also have side effects or a downside as well.

Brilliance Overrated

My personal project last week was to think of why brilliant people are not always successful. Over the years, I have had ample opportunities to meet people of all walks of life. I have seen some very smart people from high school go on and succeed in college and in their current careers, but I also know people who I have considered to be truly brilliant, fail miserably to get promoted or even have a good relationship. When it is all said and done, are you remembered for your brilliance or are you remembered more for your attitude than anything else? It seems we defer to so called experts in the media all the time, yet I find myself paying very little attention to anyone if they lack charm or are too abrasive from the get go. While book smarts are important, one can’t discount personality from the equation.

All of this adds up to two words I’m sure English teachers say all the time: effective communication. If you sound like you do not know what you are talking about, people will think you are an idiot, and if you sound too smart and talk over people’s heads, then you still are not communicating well. You need to know your audience and you need to charm them. It seems that people are not interested in rewarding hard work and dedication, they are more interested in complimentary personalities. It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.