The computer wizards of Bangalore (in Karnataka state) and Kerala are the products of fully funded state education systems where, unlike the USA, no child is left behind. A huge apparatus of state-owned or state-controlled industries, redistributionist tax systems, subsidies of necessities from electricity to food, tight government regulation and affirmative action programs for the lower castes are what has created these comfortable refuges for Oracle and Microsoft.æ
Friedman ends with the typical globalizer's warning that, 'it's a bad time for France and friends to lose their appetite for hard work' or, he growls, they will lose their jobs to Indians and Chinese willing to work for noodles. What Friedman means is that the French should give up their taste for old age pensions, universal health care, top-quality public education, time off for holidays with the kids, protection of their skies and waters and all those things we used to call advances but now, according to the Friedman world order, stand in the way of progress.
It is too bad that the Times' opinion columns have not been outsourced to India. Were it so, a Keralite might explain to Friedman that human advances are measured not by our willingness to crawl lower and lower to buy ourselves a job from Bill Gates, or by counting the number of Gap outlets in Delhi, but by our success in protecting and nurturing libertÚ, ÚgalitÚ and fraternitÚ among all humanity.