Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Global Economics

While working this week in Texas and New Mexico I am attending the 5th annual legislative briefing event hosted by the Texas Public Policy Foundation ( in Austin. Tonight's dinner speaker, John Stossel of ABC, ( gave an excellent speech focused on how poorly run government monopolies are especially in our public school system comparing it to many of the Soviet Union's relics that are now in the dust bin of history (my wording here not his).

The overall message of the speech that the "elites and central planners" can not understand nor serve consumers well, consumer choice and competition are the things that provide us with a high quality of life. Stossel's focus on education reminded me of the guest lecturing I did for an MBA class at St. Mary's University in Minneapolis a year ago. The topic of the lecture was the political economy issues involved in international business. As I talked with the students I offered my own observation that "there is just too much focus on China which makes me believe the US business community is overlooking a much better market -- India................"

I made this comment based on the following elements:

  • India's population is set to surpass China's in the near future
  • India is the world's largest democratic nation thus it share a political heritage/culture closer in nature to the USA's versus China's politburo/Soviet political economy.
  • India and the USA both speak version of the English language :-)
  • India is a key regional/nuclear power which borders Russia and China thus a strategic ally for the USA
  • Indian food is tastier than Chinese food (laugh a little!!)

Thus I was happy to read last week's news in Minnesota that our Governor Tim Pawlenty will lead a trade mission to India in October 2007 so let me congratulate his office on recognizing the importance of this market for Minnesota businesses. It is an exciting market the justifies the creation of a program to rival our current "Minnesota-China Partnership".

As Mr. Stossel noted in his special on education in the USA, "Stupid in America", American high schoolers "did their butts kicked by Belgian students.........." so clearly we need competition in our public schools if we fully intend to compete in the global economy.

The world may be flat but public school budgets are not,


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