The Declarer (Floyd McWilliams' Blog)

Friday, November 07, 2003


John Edwards is guest-blogging over at Lawrence Lessig's site. Lessig has previously hosted Howard Dean and Dennis Kucinich. Edwards has a good writing voice, and an easy casual style that works well in the context of a blog.

I was reading this post and noticed a catch-phrase which is a staple of Democrats:


Everyone knows how the tech boom of the late nineties created wealth for Americans. But today, we’re seeing a very different trend: high-tech jobs moving overseas to countries like India. In every state where I campaign, I meet people who feel like they did everything they were supposed to do--like staying in school and getting high-level skills--and yet they are still losing work as their jobs leave America.


(Boldface mine.)

"Did everything they were supposed to do." That really bugs me. Life is not a closed environment like a classroom or a sporting match. Sometimes doing "what you are supposed to do" doesn't work. You have to deal with that. I live in Silicon Valley, and there are lots of people who didn't do what they were supposed to do. They did something better.

"Doing what you are supposed to do" doesn't just stifle innovation. It's dangerous. Imagine a French army officer in 1940: "The Germans have taken Paris? How is that possible? We did everything we were supposed to do!"


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