Saturday, December 09, 2006

Looking Ahead

I hear talk all the time of how we should be teaching kids a foreign language at a young age. Usually the language mentioned is Spanish. I agree that it is good to teach them young, and I agree that Spanish would be useful. But I think more useful will be Mandarin. Not the orange. The language spoken by China.

Why Chinese? Because there is currently 1 billion people over there. Because there is currently a middle class that numbers 300 million and is expected to grow to 500 million in the next 10-15 years. Because consumerism is growing rampantly over there. Because there are markets untapped, niches galore. It is so crazy over there that name brands sponsor school age sports teams (think nike, adidas etc.) Because having the latest and greatest is a huge social bonus to the younger generation (basically anyone under35) The Chinese can choose from over 800 different cell phones, compared to Americas maybe 50?, and the Chinese replace their cell phones every 3-6 months because of the social status of having a new phone, not because they are broken.

In 30 years China will be the dominant economic power in the world. There isnt anything, short of nuking them into the stone age, that America can do about it. It is all about the numbers. We can't compete* and soon will be servicing China's need for consumer goods where they now serve us. Knowing this, it would be wise to learn the language as sooner rather than later it will become a hot commodity.

* We actually can compete but only if we are rich beyond anything the world knows today. This would require sound economic principles being practiced by our Gov. Things such as gold backed currency and complete elimination of the national debt are where we need to start. Also necessary is (greatly) easing regulations on new business and lowering/eliminating the taxation on the individual citizens. Without all of these things happening there is no chance to compete and since we all know Gov isnt going to do it.... xue Zhong–wen