< meta name="DC.Date.Valid.End" content="20050825"> Amendment Nine: Failure to Believe

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Failure to Believe

The Roach was on Lou Dobbs tonight. The interview was pretty much, well, a Lou Dobbs interview. Essentially a chance for Lou to talk about how good a guy he is and how we should respect him. Sorry Lou, but I don't. Steve on the other hand, sizzled from the get-go (and I think, actually worried ol' Lou for a spell). Lou was joking at the outset about the President's remark on the trade deficit, where W mentioned, we ought to just buy more American made goods in order to balance things out. "What do you think about that Mr. Roach?" said the grinning Dobbs.

Roach shot back: "Well it shows he doesn't have a clue about trade deficits." Nice! The rest of the interview was pretty much a waste of time. Roach wanted to focus on a failure of Americans to continue leading the way in business innovation. Dobbs wanted to focus on outsourcing. Apparently Lou doesn't quite see how the one leads to the other, but I was struck by Roach's focus.

Roach doesn't seem to think the problem is about cheap labor, for him it looks like the problem is a failure to believe in the creativity of American business. I wasn't really around in Bush I's term (protected by ivory tower and an utter ambivalence towards all things financial), but I have heard the tales. America was second, sometimes third, in the race of post-Soviet economic powers. Usually we'd be behind Japan, and sometimes Germany as well. In the mid and late 90s though, our swagger returned and we began to think big again. Yeah, a lot of that turned into a bubble, and yeah a lot of that was fake, but a lot of it wasn't and a lot of money, value, and productive enhancement resulted simply because people started believing in American business again. Roach seems to think history is repeating itself... first time a tragedy, well, you know the rest.