Happy New Year from America: Mike Pence’s gateway

As hung on the Aspen gatepost of Vice-President Mike Pence’s home. The word on the yellow strip, which is not easy to read, is ‘America’.

The local sheriff has not, as I understand it, seen any reason to remove the banner.

A happy new year to everyone, including Mike.

MakeAmericaGayAgain 1217

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2 Responses to “Happy New Year from America: Mike Pence’s gateway”

  1. Soonson Says:

    Hi Joe: unsure if it is appropriate to leave this comment in this article but I just wanted to wish you a happy new year as well and also wanted to share my thoughts on some of the points from your book How Asia Works.

    I am Korean and have been interested in the economic development even though I don’t have enough background on economics.

    I very much enjoyed reading your book. Your points on land reform, manufacturing industry and financial structure were well received with many supporting data. I once read Chang Ha Joon’s book on economic development so some of the points were bit familiar too.

    Now, about 5 years have passed since you published the book and I wonder if there are any points you would like to raise at this time.

    From my side, combined with the fact that world’s most valued companies are all tech companies like Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, I am curious what opinion you have on the so called 4th industrial revolution at this point. How would you like to advise countries that want to build another Silicon Valley? Your points on building infant industries via tools like land reforn, protected trade and financial incentive can also be applied to the IT industry or thise are more for manufacturing industries?

    I particularly enjoyed reading parts related with Korea as I am Korean obviously. As you precisely described, we were lucky to have some of the big companies like Samsung or Hyundai. They are contributing to the economy tremendously by hiring many people together with its own ecosystem with smaller companies. It worked really well up to early 2000 I think. But these days, they are offshoring factories and they are not hiring many people as they did before. (Of course they have good reason for those and I understand that too.) With this changing situation, I am curious to hear your opinion on best ways to handle these kind of big companies as well. If you are policymaker in Korea today, what would you do for these big companies?

    Thank you for writing great book again. It was a great read for new year and I am also curious if you are working on updating the book as well. I think China particularly changed a lot since then and adding perspectives on tech industries would be really great!

    • joestudwell Says:

      I don’t think ROK is doing such a bad job of moving onwards. It is all about institutions now, and Korea’s are getting better.
      On the chaebol/tech front, it becomes necessary to combine scale at the firm level — which Korea has — with a good ecosystem for start-ups. Korea now competes very close to the tech frontier, so it needs to be more like California — venture capital, great universities, regulatory openness, all the other grown-up stuff. But I think the future is fairly bright. My anecdotal concern from teaching/ interviewing a few is that young Koreans (in their 20s) seem to be becoming rather lazy. Extraordinary for the country that had the longest working week in the world. But culture is dynamic. I suspect the problem is that kids are being overworked in school and beginning to rebel against an educational environment that is no longer quite fit for purpose. Perhaps Korea needs a bit of Paris / San Francisco ’68?

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