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May 08, 2021

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Johannes Wallenborn

Well, that is a very precise description of one of the most urgent problems societies must solve soon. However, although the U.S.A. are a very large country, this problem cannot be solved without a concerted effort of all (mostly western oriented) democracies in the northern hemisphere. Not in the short term, but ultimately such an effort will benefit the whole world. But we need to consider the short- and mid-term disadvantages for the societies in the developed countries.
Because upskilling means that more people in developing countries (presumably more in the southern hemisphere) are seeking and finding better jobs, i.e., higher responsibility as well as higher wages. And that approach will result in multiple conflicts in the developed countries, where both, low wage jobs and middle-class jobs will probably be affected by this new and growing competition. Growing unemployment and frustration is a good ignition source for populists offering “simple” solutions. Well, the U.S. has just survived such an example of simplicity and foolishness.
There are always two sides of a coin: Upskilling and better living chances for a large part of the human world population, but simultaneously there is the need to consider the drawbacks for a presumably lower part of the human population, which may nevertheless be a huge reservoir for political rat catchers in democracies. We need to do both, upskilling everywhere and by that protecting the negative impact for parts of the societies in the developed countries. This is a very long run. Nationalism and short-term “wins” are not what the world needs here, because we all must face the negative impacts of autocracies and dictatorships, whether they come with the flavors of communism, nationalism, or both.

Zarina Stanford

Critical indeed, particularly on upskilling as a transformational force for society! Thank you Irving.

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