Monday, February 7, 2011

Friedman's BS

Mangan's blog does a great job in bringing IQ-reality to Friedman's Friedman's column.

When China can make Egyptian Ramadan toys more cheaply and appealingly than low-wage Egyptians, you know there is problem of competitiveness.

Well, yes, but why? Friedman won't go near that one, as it would upset everything he thinks he knows about global competitiveness.

Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, Tunisia today are overflowing with the most frustrated cohort in the world — “the educated unemployables.” They have college degrees on paper but really don’t have the skills to make them globally competitive. I was just in Singapore. Its government is obsessed with things as small as how to better teach fractions to third graders. That has not been Hosni Mubarak’s obsession.

Another great Friedmanian theme with little or no basis in reality: education will solve all our problems. Let's see: Singapore has an estimated IQ of 103, of which the Chinese portion of the population must be closer to Hong Kong's 107 (link), and ranked at number 5 in the world, while Egypt's estimated IQ is 83, ranked number 60. Somehow I doubt that even if it were Mubarak's obsession to teach third graders fractions, Egypt will be a long time catching up to Singapore.

another Friedman column with no comments allowed. Lovely.

1 comment:

Felix said...

"things as small as how to better teach fractions to third graders"

arithmetical competency is one of the basic foundations for modern society. Kudos to the Singaporeans for their concern about things like this

and note that "educated" Egyptians etc probably have degrees that are probably in they humanities and are certainly devoid of critical analysis

but don't get too complacent - this is increasingly true of new graduates in Western societies also