Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Future Belongs to Those Still Willing to Get Their Hands Dirty.

Once upon a time there was a country so ingenious and tied into the work ethic that when aggressors were inundating the world with warfare, this country within just a few years manufactured enough advanced equipment to turn the tide and restore peace. This happened right after that same country's economy went through a depression during which all that latent capability had nothing to do, and many people were out of work and struggling to survive. After that big war the people of this country said they wanted to never be poor again, so they surrounded themselves with fancy material things they had learned how to manufacture. Later they said that they could be even richer and could better forget that past depression if they just did clean service work and let other countries do the dirty work for them. So the ingenious country taught lots of other countries how to make things for them and told their industrial people to do clean service jobs. Time passed, and the people of the ingenious country were content with using their service profits to buy many neat things from countries they had taught to supply them. This worked well until they learned that in a world unified by computers and communications, other countries could do the service jobs too. And when the people of the ingenious country tried to go back to making their own products, they learned that they no longer had up-to-date capabilities, and that they had convinced themselves that products made by others were better. So the ingenious country headed once more for a depression because it had very little to sell that others wanted, and it sent most of its money to others for the things it thought it needed. The moral of the story: 1. Capabilities and their continuous further development are far more important than short term rewards. 2. Assets that are squandered are no longer assets. 3. What you know trumps what you have in the long run.

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