Thomas Friedman is arguing for Arab reform so that the elite in that region will see that the bad guys making their lives difficult are not Americans; they’re Filipinos, Indians, and Mainland Chinese.
… the Arab world will have to look clearly at the fact that China, India, Sri Lanka and the Philippines — all the countries that provide maid service for the Saudi and other Arab ruling elites and manual labor for their construction — have leapt so far ahead with their own development that they are now taking good jobs away from America.
The whole premise of promoting reform by taking on a lower profile and allowing Arab countries to see how far they’ve fallen behind other developing nations is a good one, but I suppose no commentator could forgive themselves if they missed out on blaming these countries for ‘taking good jobs away from America’.
I enjoyed The Lexus and The Olive Tree, but give it a rest. China, India, and the Philippines have something the US hasn’t – lower costs of production (sweatshop conditions or not). Unless the US suddenly lowers its costs and standards of living dramatically, its corporations enforce labour standards in all their wholly-owned and subcontracted factories, or US citizens boycott all products and services that are not ‘made in the USA’, I think ‘good jobs’ are going to continue to be ‘taken away’ and sent where the price is right.