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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Thomas Friedman Doesn't Read His Columns, Why Should You?

Thomas Friedman Doesn't Read His Columns, Why Should You?

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Wednesday, 06 February 2013 05:08

On Sunday Thomas Friedman told us that one in three people in China is a blogger, today he tells us that the country has a:

"gigantic youth bulges under the age of 30, increasingly connected by technology but very unevenly educated."

This would be news to China. The country adopted its one child policy back in the 1970s leading to  sharp drop in birth rates. Since that was more than 30 years ago, it means that China actually has a relatively small share of its population under the age of 30. Friedman seems to show some recognition of this fact later in this column when he notes:

"'India today has 560 million young people under the age of 25 and 225 million between the ages of 10 and 19,' explained Shashi Tharoor, India’s minister of state for human resource development.  'So for the next 40 years we should have a youthful working-age population' at a time when China and the broad industrialized world is aging. According to Tharoor, the average age in China today is around 38, whereas in India it’s around 28. In 20 years, that gap will be much larger."

Of course if Friedman had thought about the implication of Tharoor's comment he would realize that it means that China doesn't have a youth bulge. But that would mean reading through his column and thinking about it for a few minutes. (Friedman's claim that India somehow benefits from its huge population growth is whacky -- at least if you care about the living standards of people in India.)

 

Comments (6)Add Comment
...
written by JDM, February 06, 2013 7:21
Give the poor guy a break, would you read his columns if you didn't have to... wait, that's not fair of me, let me start over. Give the poor guy a break, it probably took Friedman a half hour to write that column; do you expect him to remember a claim of his that long?
...
written by liberal, February 06, 2013 8:21
The most laughable thing about Friedman is the idea that using a cell phone or blogging is somehow indicative of great skills and productive something or other. He's clearly a technofetishist who doesn't know a damn thing about technology. I seriously doubt he's ever written a single line of code.
critique of writing style as well
written by frankenduf, February 06, 2013 9:12
gigantic youth bulges?- this is a description mixing sensationalism and freud that goes terribly wrong
...
written by Felix, February 06, 2013 3:07
You can make your own Friedman articles here:

http://thomasfriedmanopedgenerator.com/
"...at least if you care about the living standards of people in India."
written by Unsalted Sinner, February 06, 2013 5:47
Well, there's your problem.
...
written by Procopius, February 07, 2013 2:05
"Friedman's claim that India somehow benefits from its huge population growth is whacky -- at least if you care about the living standards of people in India." You know, I seem to remember Chairman Mao preaching the doctrine that China's huge population (at the time) was their great advantage. Or maybe that was just a lie spread by the Gang of Four.

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.

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