Key Developments. Vol. 1
"To have another language is to possess a second soul." -- Charlemagne 742-814, King of the Franks, Emperor of the West
This is the first in a series of articles where will look at several events that are happening taking place on the national and international front. The purpose of these articles is to try to keep readers abreast of key issues and how these developments could have an impact one's life.
Labour shortages and more.
India graduates 5 times and China 8 times as many Engineers as the United States. They also lead in many other areas one of which is medicine. Not only are we facing a critical long-term labour shortage but we are also going to have huge problems paying for the benefits of the now retiring baby boomers.
Baby boomers are turning 50 at the rate of 10,000 plus a day; there are simply not enough workers to pay for their retirement. There are several options and most of them are painful.
- Severely cut benefits
- Increase the retirement age to 70 (this is rather harsh and only a short term solution)
- Farm out all health related costs as in send the boomers overseas for any major health related problem and allow the importation of cheap drugs from overseas
- Increase taxes significantly
- Import a boatload of young educated people (probably the best option)
200 million Chinese children are learning English and almost everyone that goes to school in India speaks English. This broad based acceptance of English is spreading across the globe; increasingly more and more countries are Instilling English programs in their schools. This means that English speakers in the US and Britain etc will no longer have any advantage over their foreign counterparts. In fact they are going to be at a strong disadvantage soon as these new breed of English speakers are fluent speakers of two if not more languages. In this world of global trade being bi lingual or trilingual gives on a huge advantage over ones peers. What makes this more ominous is that now Western companies find it easier to outsource their work overseas as language barriers drop at an unprecedented rate.
A massive increase in the number of Individuals that speak English is underway; in a few years over 2 billion individuals will speak English. If one adds just the total number of English speakers in India and China it exceeds the total number of Native English speakers in the world. Roughly 30% of Great Britain's population speaks another language besides English. In the US the percentage is 22%; most of these individuals first language is Spanish.
The long-term outcome is all but obvious those that speak only one language are going to be at huge disadvantage when it comes to entering the work force. Bi lingual and tri lingual speakers will be given first preference. This also means that eventually every single job that can be performed overseas will be exported there. Having knowledge of more then one language also puts one in a position of understanding other customs and rituals other than one's own; one day this could make the difference between landing a job or not.
The situation in Iraq is going from bad to worse to unbelievable. Once again our religious provocation index appears to be right on the mark in predicting a huge rise in global violence (over 130 deaths in Nigeria, about a dozen in Libya, several more in Pakistan and almost another 120 in Iraq etc). With the blowing up of the 1 000-year-old Imam Ali al-Hadi mausoleum, a revered Shiite shrine, in the northern town of Samarra things have gone completely out of control. The Shiites retaliated by attacking over 30 Sunni Mosques. 80 dead bodies were found last week; in addition 45 brick workers were all murdered. It appears that finding several dozen dead bodies a week is not an unusual occurrence anymore. If this is not an indication that Iraq is close to dissolving into a civil war nothing will ever be. If the Sunni's and Shiites don't come up with some sort of peaceful agreement soon; it's going to be just a matter of when and not if before we have a huge civil war on our hands.
Individuals across the globe overwhelmingly believe that the war in Iraq has increased the likelihood of terrorist attacks worldwide. Roughly 60% of the individuals surveyed in 35 countries believe this is the case and 12% think terrorist's attacks have become less likely events because of the war.
About 41,856 people were questioned in this poll. The removal of Sadham Hussein is seen as a mistake in 21 countries; only individuals in 11 countries supported the removal or thought it was the right decision
"It's official. Citizens worldwide think Western leaders have made a fundamental mistake in their war on terror by invading Iraq," says Doug Miller, president of the international polling firm GlobeScan, which carried out the survey. Full Story
This is the 1st in many of such reports that will be broadcasted under the headlines key developments. The world is changing very rapidly and the Geo political landscape is not going to be the same in the next 9-18 years. The current trend of uncertainty creates a feeling of fear in the masses and as these levels of fear ascend individuals increasingly turn towards tangible assets. It is for this reason the price of almost all commodities across the board have been rising. In addition if one takes a close one will notice the price of antiques are on the rise; rare painting, books, stamps, coins etc are all rising incredibly fast.
One has to make sure one is positioned appropriately for these uncertain times ahead. This means having a broad exposure to all the various commodities markets out there. Most might not know this but there was one metal that outshined both Gold and Silver last year in terms of percentage gains. The commodities market is composed of various sectors and just like any market out there some of the sectors will top and correct while the others are bottoming and getting ready to take off. Right now there are 2-3 sectors that most have not noticed out there that appear ready to suddenly explode.
"Knowledge is that which, next to virtue, truly raises one person above another." -- Joseph Addison 1672-1719, British Essayist, Poet, Statesman