Thomas Friedman on Taiwan—Pass the Books. Hold the Oil.

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Every so often someone asks me: “What’s your favorite country, other than your own?”

I’ve always had the same answer: Taiwan. “Taiwan? Why Taiwan?” people ask.

Very simple: Because Taiwan is a barren rock in a typhoon-laden sea with no natural resources to live off of — it even has to import sand and gravel from China for construction — yet it has the fourth-largest financial reserves in the world. Because rather than digging in the ground and mining whatever comes up, Taiwan has mined its 23 million people, their talent, energy and intelligence — men and women. I always tell my friends in Taiwan: “You’re the luckiest people in the world. How did you get so lucky? You have no oil, no iron ore, no forests, no diamonds, no gold, just a few small deposits of coal and natural gas — and because of that you developed the habits and culture of honing your people’s skills, which turns out to be the most valuable and only truly renewable resource in the world today. How did you get so lucky?”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationHistory* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaTaiwan

1 Comments
Posted March 11, 2012 at 6:24 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Capt. Father Warren wrote:

Thomas Friedman very deservedly works for the NYT.  The “miracle” of Taiwan is a little less mysterious when you look at the billions of USD in aid that Taiwan has been the recipient of, a little less mysterious when you look at the Defensive and Political capital this country has expended on their behalf.  Not to take a single thing away from Taiwan; I have had some friends there.  But if the United States of America had not taken the stands it has taken for the last 70 years, Taiwan would be a port destination for the communist regime of China.

Maybe that’s what Thomas meant to say but his editor excised that part of the piece.  Think so?

Do you notice how pathologically impossible it is for the Friedmans and their ilk in this country to say one, just one, positive thing about this country.  Thomas should maybe go live in one of these other great places he always glorifies.  Oh well, he certainly is one very predictable dude…....

Can anyone here remember all the gushing 20 years ago about Japan and how that was nirvana and the US was so far behind?  All of our kids needed to go to school 16 hours a day like they did in Japan.  Now our downfall will be Santorum who is glorifying “not being intellectual”.  No Thomas, what Rick Santorum glorifies is the free market economy we used to have that actually produced things for the world.  And we produced those things using the rich resources of this country [before we forgot how to manufacture competitively].

March 11, 7:58 pm | [comment link]
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