We got a chuckle out of Thomas Friedman. Maybe he would be good as a brick mason. Or maybe a baker. Shame he got caught up in journalism. He has no talent for it.
In a recent column he tells us that “Average is over.” Typically, it makes no sense. What Friedman seems to mean is that an average person can’t expect to do very well in today’s America. He says average guys are being replaced by robots and Chinese people.
There’s even a new device that will make waiters obsolete. You go into a restaurant. You find a computer at your table. You use it to order your food.
Okay, so what?
Friedman strings together words into things that look like sentences that sound as though they have meaning. But if you stop to think about them, even for a second, you realize that there is no meaning there.
Perhaps he might be replaced by a computer. It could be programmed to create things that resembled real thoughts.
“Everyone needs to find their [sic] extra — their unique value contribution that makes them stand out in whatever is their field of employment.
“Average is over.”
So, let’s imagine that people take this advice, whatever it is. They find their extra. They all stand out. Then, what have you got? You have a different average, don’t you? The average fellow has an extra. So, if the average guy has an extra…he has no extra at all, does he? He can’t stand out in a field of outstanding guys.
Average isn’t over. Extra is over.
But Freidman persists. He notices statistics that purport to show that the average college graduate suffers less unemployment than the average high school graduate. This leads him to propose that the feds spend billions more to send more people to college.
But wait a minute. Does the job pool expand just because you’ve fluffed up the average resume? Or do you merely have more people with college degrees competing with computer programs to wait on tables?
We don’t know. But we’re damned sure Friedman has no clue either.
Bill Bonnerfor The Daily Reckoning
Since founding Agora Inc. in 1979, Bill Bonner has found success and garnered camaraderie in numerous communities and industries. A man of many talents, his entrepreneurial savvy, unique writings, philanthropic undertakings, and preservationist activities have all been recognized and awarded by some of America's most respected authorities. Along with Addison Wiggin, his friend and colleague, Bill has written two New York Times best-selling books, Financial Reckoning Day and Empire of Debt. Both works have been critically acclaimed internationally. With political journalist Lila Rajiva, he wrote his third New York Times best-selling book, Mobs, Messiahs and Markets, which offers concrete advice on how to avoid the public spectacle of modern finance. Since 1999, Bill has been a daily contributor and the driving force behind The Daily Reckoning. Dice Have No Memory: Big Bets & Bad Economics from Paris to the Pampas, the newest book from Bill Bonner, is the definitive compendium of Bill's daily reckonings from more than a decade: 1999-2010.
Stop making fun of me. I write for the NYT and you don’t – so nya nya nyaaaaa
Never understood how anyone could listen to that buffoon, but they listen to Krugman so anything is possible I guess.
Friedman is heeding his own advice. He has always been an average fool. He is now giving it a little bit extra.
Hey,BB. U would’t bleive how many Bartenders,and people waitin on tables have MBA’s @ the Steak Haus that i go 2 on a regular basis. It would blow ur mind! As James Cagney once said! “Hey Ma! look @ me! Top of the World!!!” Happy Trails 2 all! *S*
I thought the NYT considered comics too low brow for its readership until I discovered Friedman and Krugman, the NYT’s Mutt and Jeff.
What’s Logic Got To Do With It?
Emotional arguments rule, especially non-sensical ones. The average electorate has about a grade six comprehension level. The concept of average is over their heads (at least on average).
I FOUND YOUR EXTRA
Dear average Joe: Bill and his friends have your missing “extra”. And we (I mean they) are not giving it back. Occupy that.
I think what Friedman is really trying to say, is that unless a potential job applicant is like himself, and can demonstrate that they suffer from histrionic personality disorder, they don’t stand a chance of ever finding a job.
“For me as a Christian, it also coincides with Jesus’s teaching that for unto whom much is given, much shall be required,” Obama said, quoting the Gospel of Luke.
Bill how about a comment on the government taking over the role of the church. Obviously it must be for our protection from ourselves.
This is another reason I love Bill. He reads Friedman and Krugman so we don’t have to.
Thank you for skewering Friedman, and please keep it up. His combination of ignorance and arrogance is unmatched.
What are you selling now Bill?
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Job markets and skill sets will change with the times and technologies. “Average” is not the right term to articulate these shifts. Statistically, there will always be an average for any data measured. Friedman attempts to rationalize income inequality as an inevitable and acceptable human future.
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