I haven’t read Tom Friedman’s new book, Thank You for Being Late, but I have heard him talk about it extensively on TV, especially with Charlie Rose. I have like Friedman’s elitist ideas for years, but the Trump revolution has cast a shadow over them. Friedman loves immigration and technology, but he doesn’t put the two together except in advocating for the immigration of highly skilled techies. He does not see any technological solution to Mexican day laborers.
His lack of vision is partly due to the fact that Jews in general do work with their hands. Jews are bankers, writers (like Friedman), professors, politicians, or entrepreneurs; they are not farmers, despite the fictional romance of “Fiddler on the Roof.” Israeli agriculture owes much of its success to stealing from the Palestinians in the same way that Americans exploit Mexicans. Jews tend to look down on people who work with their hands, whether they are black, white, or Hispanic. To Friedman, nobody in the tech industry should waste their time working on problems of manual labor. Besides, as long as Mexican manual labor costs $5 an hour, it is probably financially impossible to replace it with technology. Mexican humans are worth less than Friedman’s techie machines. If Mexican labor were more expensive then it might be possible for the tedhic community that Friedman worships to replace it. If farm labor were more expensive, there might be a tech startup that would pick fruit or vegetables mechanically.
I was pleased that Friedman's column in today’s NYT was not so negative on Trump, at least hopeful that Trump can be influenced in the directions that Friedman favors.