Sunday, October 09, 2005

David Brooks: The "Hardest Working People on Earth"

Interesting column by David Brooks in the New York Times on Sunday. Money quote:
I believe that social mobility is the core of the American experience. I believe that society should be structured so that as many boys and girls as possible can work, and rise the way young Hamilton and Lincoln did.

If something is going to make American society more fluid and dynamic, then I am for that thing. That's why I love globalization, even while I am aware of its costs. I love the fact that American businesses are going to be improved via competition with Chinese and Indian rivals. I love the fact that to compete we are going to have to reform our lobbyist-written tax code into something flatter and fairer. I love the fact we'll have to make health insurance competitive and portable, so workers can move and companies can thrive.

I can't believe people want to shield America behind the walls of "fair trade agreements." I can't believe some people think we're going to be overrun by those hustling Asians. Americans are the hardest-working people on earth and the most mobile....

When I cut myself loose from the push and shove of today's weary political titans, and go back to basics, I find myself strangely invigorated.

International trade and competition are nothing to fear if you are an American. I would bet others will disagree that Americans are the hardest-working, mobile people on earth. But we are happy to compete on that score.

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