Monday, February 16, 2004

they'd be just fine if they had that polytheistic work ethic
Via Brad deLong, some spiritual advice for those made unemployed by outsourcing.

Aparna Jairam isn't trying to steal your job. That's what she tells me, and I believe her. But if Jairam does end up taking it - and, let's face facts, she could do your $70,000-a-year job for the wages of a Taco Bell counter jockey - she won't lose any sleep over your plight. When I ask what her advice is for a beleaguered American programmer afraid of being pulled under by the global tide that she represents, Jairam takes the high road, neither dismissing the concern nor offering soothing happy talk. Instead, she recites a portion of the 2,000-year-old epic poem and Hindu holy book the Bhagavad Gita: "Do what you're supposed to do. And don't worry about the fruits. They'll come on their own."

I wonder if Ms Jairam was ever exposed to the doctrine that Western wealth simply flowed from the protestant work ethic? If so, an elegant revenge. And of course, her Chinese counterpart could turn to Lao Tze.

Therefore the wise say,
"Do not interfere, and people transform themselves...