Capitalism Can Be Short-Sighted

Yesterday I lunched with a friend who immigrated from Pakistan. Intelligent and driven, he is interested and knowledgeable in sociology and psychology, with a keen theory of mind. He also speaks Farsi and makes sharp observations about both western and middle eastern cultures, but is very grateful for his citizenship here and grateful his son will be an American.

Of course, there are several government agencies that drool over this combination. Unfortunately, he wouldn’t be able to support his family on the pittance they offer to pay.

His son of 18 months can already recite and read the alphabet in three languages, count as high as 25 in them, and identify words spelled out verbally. Clearly, my friend could also be a teacher, but of course preparing the next generations for the global market doesn’t afford one enough to ensure one’s own children a secure future.

So, he writes enterprise Java code deep within the bowels of one of St. Louis’s remaining multinational firms, helping them organize data and maximize this quarter’s profits.

I posted this in October 2005 during week 1649.

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