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P.Q., C.Q., and I.Q., Essay Example

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Essay

P.Q., C.Q., and I.Q.

Thomas Friedman argues that old economics concepts are outdated and do not apply to our times anymore. One of the main reasons is that the technological edge West has historically enjoyed has been disappearing because technology today disseminates at pace never seen before in history. Similarly other sources of competitive advantage such as access to information have also been disappearing and one’s competitiveness is not determined by access to information anymore but how one uses the information to create more value than others. Friedman also reminds us that academic degree is no sufficient anymore but instead everyone has to engage in lifetime continuous learning to remain competitive.

Citing Erik Brynjolfsson’s and Andrew McAfee’s study, Friedman also warns that economic growth doesn’t guarantee benefits to everyone anymore as we are witnessing both record productivity as well as high unemployment rate at the same time. This new reality makes education even more important and not just education but the right education which includes learning skills complementary to technology. Friedman also claims that high I.Q. is not the only thing which will determine the probability of success but also P.Q. (passion quotient) and C.Q. (curiosity quotient) will also be instrumental in creating winners. P.Q. and C.Q. will ensure that individuals continue to learn new things and reinvent themselves during their entire lifetimes.

While the article has been written well, it does leave questions unanswered and even falls short of proper explanation of the ideas mentioned in the article. First of all, while some readers may get a vague idea of what the author means by P.Q. and C.Q., others will be left confused. The title of the article is also misleading because I expected to be introduced to the new concepts developed by the author which are P.Q. and C.Q. and after reading the whole article, I still could not understand the relevance of the article’s title.

The author argues that skills and knowledge that complement the use of technology will drive the future and help improve employment level in the U.S. But unemployment in the U.S. has also been due to outsourcing to developing countries, mainly on the basis of low labor costs rather than the fact that labor force in these countries is more technology-proficient than the U.S. One cannot argue against the importance of technology in improving productivity but it seems the author is overstating the potential of technology in improving employment rate in the U.S.  Some of the insights in the article do not seem to be anything new but are already common knowledge such as those with education earning more, use of technology to improve productivity, and greater profit opportunities for those who are willing to explore international markets.

Overall, Friedman’s argument is persuasive because it confirms the trends that have been shaping economies today. First of all, Friedman emphasizes the importance of entrepreneurship and creativity which makes sense because while manufacturing operations can be outsourced, the creative processes cannot be. Thus, creativity helps maintain sustainable competitive advantage because it is difficult to imitate. Friedman is also right about the importance of continuous education because technology keeps evolving at a rapid pace and old knowledge and skills become obsolete quickly. Thus, it is important to engage in continuous learning to maintain competitiveness. While Friedman is right about P.Q. and C.Q., he ignores the individual differences because not everyone has the courage to take the risks to pursue his/her passion and for many, the circumstances may prevent them from doing so. Similarly, curiosity is a personality trait that comes to most people either naturally or as a result of their life experiences and not something that can be taught to anyone.

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