AFAIK, I’ve been getting ready for this period of change for most of my life. (maybe we all have)… I once wrote and won a prize for a play titled “What’s Next?”…the poster for which was a big question mark… circa 1980)
Be that as it may, the national agenda as described by Tom Friedman, and David Brooks both writers for NYTimes, but opposite jersey colors…have been echoing in recent days the idea that change is coming and needed in dramatic fashion in US….”startups everywhere”.
David Brooks has much worthwhile to listen to (his ideas about Learning for example really connected with me); but the quote below is from Friedman today:
“””””””All that said, my prediction is that the biggest domestic issue in the next four years will be how we respond to changes in technology, globalization and markets that have, in a very short space of time, made the decent-wage, middle-skilled job – the backbone of the middle class – increasingly obsolete. The only decent-wage jobs will be high-skilled ones.
The answer to that challenge will require a new level of political imagination – a combination of educational reforms and unprecedented collaboration between business, schools, universities and government to change how workers are trained and empowered to keep learning. It will require tax reforms and immigration reforms. America today desperately needs a center-right G.O.P. that is offering merit-based, market-based approaches to all these issues -“”””””
Or in other words….some combination of both private and public sectors working together using new forms, new technologies, new methodologies, etc etc….including “lean startup” principals, support for entrepreneurship in fields where previously the public sector has held sway…but using the power of public sector to move forward across the board, and to address all markets, not just the lowest hanging fruit.
And with enough regulation to maintain necessary quality standards, and weed out ripoff scammers, and serve all segments of the population.
I certainly HOPE this is an AHA moment for America. If so it will be like that old saw “An instant success – 50 years in the making”. The death of the non-professional middle class has been building for at least 45 years (remember when there were steel mills in Pittsburgh and Youngstown?) and the failings of our educational system have expressed at least as far back as the Conant Report (The American High School Today) in 1959. America is a very large svessel that is difficult to turn, I hope today is different.
Reminds me of what used to be a talking point for FTTH. If affordable and accessible, then a myriad of services would “startup” online to take advantage of the new field to “play” on. If you build it, they will come, so to speak. Clearly already underway…myriad apps for mobile for example have arisen in a sort of deluge of innovation.