Saturday, August 10, 2002

I just finished reading "The Future of Success" by Robert B. Reich. This book builds on further to his ideas expounded in "The Work of Nations". The idea of segregated society disturbs me. I see that my life, in youth seemed ideal enough; I thought it offered many benefits and privleges that would furnish me with enough opportunities to succeed in life. But now I find that the world has changed so much in just a short time and that I am actually part of the majority that is finding itself increasingly distanced from those who have greater advantages to excel in the new economy. The most difficult concept to grasp is that the new division between rich and poor is no longer between "North" and "South" countries. The division is within countries. The disparity between rich and poor inside nations has put the mega-rich just a short distance to desperately poor people. So now we can see the rich and notice that they look no different to us, speak the same language, the same homestate but are a world away from us.

One thing I disagree on in the book, Mr. Reich argues that people have not lost their sense of community and points out that people, just as much, if not more are still volunteering. However, I disagree with this. Although it may be that people are volunteering more I think the motivation is from a sense of altruism. It is recognition of the new economy and that fact that volunteer work looks good on a resume, provides people with connections and valuable personal references which are becoming increasingly important in the job market.

I did however agree strongly with his obeservations on education segregation and the need to promote greater equality in education. Early childhood rearing and education opportunities are central to the future success of an individual. Inequality and segregation will increase and exacerbate social cohesion and stability unless more even chances to quality education can be provided to all kids in society regardless of social stratification based on money, race or whatever.

Currently reading:

"Hell" by Yasutaka Tsutsui