America's best retailer showed the rest of the world how to undercut American workers! Sam Walton's strategy from day numero uno was to undercut his competition on virtually item. He knew he would realize less profit per item. But he sold lots more volume, especially when word got around. Lower GP% meant he had to create a anti-debt strategy of expanding into lucrative markets outside Arkansas, eventually creating the Wal-Mart empire. Wal-Mart would have not been anywhere as successful had Walton not utilized cheap foreign labor to minimize and reduce production costs. Sam Walton died in 1992. If Walton were still alive, would he see America's awful foreign debt and terrible economic situation as being partly his fault? Who knows. I'll bet he'd tell all the welfare and disability slackers to get off their arses, finish their educations, get jobs, and get to work.Our parents never dreamed that we would end up competing with countries that could offer large numbers of highly educated workers willing to work long hours for low wages. But China and India are doing exactly that. Indeed, it turns out that China and India are only the tip of the iceberg. Whereas for most of the 20th century the United States could take pride in having the best-educated workforce in the world, that is no longer true. Over the past 30 years, one country after another has surpassed us in the proportion of their entering workforce with the equivalent of a high school diploma, and many more are on the verge of doing so. Thirty five years ago, the United States could lay claim to having 30 percent of the world’s population of college students. Today that proportion has fallen to 14 percent and is continuing to fall.
While our international counterparts are increasingly getting more education, their young people are getting a better education as well. American students and young adults place anywhere from the middle to the bottom of the pack in all three continuing comparative studies of achievement in mathematics, science, and general literacy in the advanced industrial nations.
While our relative position in the world’s education tables has
continued its long slow decline, the structure of the global economy has continued to evolve. Every day, more and more of the work that people do ends up in a digitized form. From X-rays used for medical diagnostic purposes, to songs, movies, architectural drawings, technical papers,
and novels, that work is saved on a hard disk
and transmitted instantly over the Internet to someone near or far who makes use of it in an endless variety of ways. Because of this is, a swiftly rising number of American workers at every skill level are in direct
competition with workers in every corner of the globe.
If someone can figure out the algorithm for a routine job, chances are that it is economic to automate it. Many good well-paying, middle-class jobs involve routine work of this kind and are rapidly being automated.
Because employers everywhere have access to a worldwide workforce composed of people who do not have to move to participate in work
teams that are truly global. Because this is so, a swiftly rising number of American workers at every skill level are in direct competition with workers in every corner of the globe. So it matters very much that, increasingly, it is
easier and easier for employers everywhere to get workers who are better skilled at lower cost than American workers.
Are we preparing our children for this world?
If our kids are going to compete with the rest of the world, the best place to start is by the establishment of after-school internships and apprecticeships starting in the 10th grade so our kids can have real-world perspectives of what any given field may be like after they graduate.