De het u-land. De sydde joggeskoene våre billig og tok fra oss alle arbeidsplasser i tekstil. Vår styrke var teknologi og innovasjon.
Until now it had been widely assumed that globalisation was driven by the West and imposed on the rest. Bosses in New York, London and Paris would control the process from their glass towers, and Western consumers would reap most of the benefits. This is changing fast.
Inderne og kineserne laget tilbakestående og dårlig biler. Slik er det ikke lenger. At SAAB og Volvo er blitt kinesiske, er bare ett tegn.
Old assumptions about innovation are being challenged. People in the West like to believe that their companies cook up new ideas in their laboratories at home and then export them to the developing world, which makes it easier to accept job losses in manufacturing. But this is proving less true by the day.
En meget interessant rapport i The Economist argumenterer overbevisende for at verden er i ferd med å bli snudd på hodet. Det som nå kalles «The emerging world», utfordrer den rike verden ved å skape ny teknologi og langt billigere produksjonsmåter:
They are coming up with new products and services that are dramatically cheaper than their Western equivalents: $3,000 cars, $300 computers and $30 mobile phones that provide nationwide service for just 2 cents a minute. They are reinventing systems of production and distribution, and they are experimenting with entirely new business models. All the elements of modern business, from supply-chain management to recruitment and retention, are being rejigged or reinvented in one emerging market or another.
Her er det en del utfordringer. Vi kan ikke alle jobbe i offentlig sektor.