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No mystery

Jerome Engel, senior fellow and founding executive director, Lester Center for Entrepreneurship, and adjunct professor, emeritus, Haas School of Business | November 11, 2010

Worried about where we go from here? Well, you are not ALONE! I am just back from quick trips to Europe and Asia — and the question is the same everywhere. Sluggish economies, unemployment, weak banks, weaker currencies…. everyone is uncertain about where we go from here. The exception, and the answer, is right here in our back yard. While it may be trite, it is still true; the innovation and entrepreneurship evident at Berkeley and throughout the Silicon Valley ecosystem is a refreshing and fundamentally sound.  So while the bipartisan commission appointed by President Obama tells us that the future will be challenging, with government spending less and taxing more, we can be confident that our economy will not succumb to “the British Disease”. We won’t be able to rely on our export of natural resources [like our friends in Australia and Norway], nor low cost manufacturing [achieved though under compensation of labor and disregard for the environment]. Rather we will rely on the ability of our innovators and entrepreneurs to create new items and experiences of value and convert them into economic and social goods. It is refreshing to be home!

Comments to “No mystery

  1. Hey,

    Very interesting blog post and I believe that the real people who can make a difference are the entrepreneurs who are creating jobs and taking responsibility to better the society instead of waiting for the government to TRY and fix the economy etc.

    Billee Brady

  2. Further to my previous comment on this post, I own one of the many corporate training companies doing business in China.
    I have lived and worked in China for over nine years. All of the clients that we provide consulting and training services for are multi-nationals, and many of them are U.S. companies.

    They are all manufacturing their products here because of the “under compensation of labor” that they are able to get away with here.

    It’s true that for most of these companies the innovation takes place in the U.S., but the manufacturing does not.

    A few well-known examples will suffice:
    Where are Apple’s products manufactured? How about HP, Dell, Nike, Adidas, New Balance, Mattel?

    I could go on and on, but I think you get my point.

    Interestingly, right in the U.S. there are individuals that are working for what most Americans would regard as “under compensation.”

    The Mexicans, Jamaicans, and other Caribbean peoples that go to the U.S. on contract to pick fruit, vegetables, etc, how are they compensated? They’re doing jobs that an Amercian wouldn’t do, because for one reason, the pay is too low.

  3. “We won’t be able to rely on… low cost manufacturing [achieved through under compensation of labor and disregard for the environment].”

    I find this comment somewhat amusing, since if you look at what the labor conditions in the U.S. during the Industrial Revolution were like, that is how much of the U.S. industrialization was achieved.

    Anyone who has read Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle”, which is a fictional story based on “fact” can’t help but be shocked at how immigrants to the US were treated in many of the large monopolistic organizations that they worked.

    It’s also a well-known fact that people who worked on Ford’s assembly lines back in the early 1900’s were treated brutally by foreman, even being beaten by their superiors.

    I feel you should be careful when making such comments regarding under compensation of labor in light of the US’s own history in this regard.

  4. Jerome, don’t you think till date everything seemed to be better with Asia except starting November which is looking jittery. The way the market is behaving I too fear now it’s turn of Asia.

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