This opinion piece by Jeffrey Sachs comes closest to lining up with my long posited theory that the introduction of asia’s (mostly China) workforce into the world economy was going to be like a python swallow a buffalo.
Jobs for low-skilled workers in manufacturing, and new investments in large swaths of industry, have been lost to international competition. Employment in the US and Europe during the 2000s was held up only by housing construction stoked by low interest rates and reckless deregulation – until the construction bubble collapsed. The path to recovery now lies not in a new housing bubble, but in upgraded skills, increased exports and public investments in infrastructure and low-carbon energy. Instead, the US and Europe have veered between dead-end, consumption-oriented stimulus packages and austerity without a vision for investment.
Not only has anglo-saxonia failed to create jobs, it has set up a divisive situation where only the rich can benefit from globalisation. The problem is that this is only the start of things. Now that the asian economies have a foot on the skill ladder, there is no need for them to be satisfied with the low skilled jobs. And, in stark contrast to your average low-skilled european worker, these people are highly motivated to succeed, if not for themselves then certainly for their children.
The Wests standard of living, and indeed global supremacy, is under attack as never before.