Thursday, August 18, 2005


Any time you wonder why our economy sometimes seems to be falling behind those of the Asian Tigers, think about this little story.

Last Friday, the Missus and I met a few friends for an early supper at one of the local Bread and Soup Dispensaries. One of the corner tables was occupied by a small mob of Asian teenagers. It was a mixed group, mostly girls.

And they all had their school books with them. They were grabbing dinner and having a study session...on a Friday evening.

I’ll be willing to bet that a goodly number of their non-Asian schoolmates were out partying and getting drunk. The Mistress of Sarcasm went to high school here - for a couple of years, at least - and she would tell you that that is the extent of the social life for a lot of these kids. Well, that and High School Football, which is practically the same Object of Quasi-Religious Devotion that it is in Texas.

Maybe this is overly anecdotal, but it seemed to us, as we looked at that studious group of kids that night, that there is a lesson there, staring us in the face. The young men and women whose cultures value academic achievement will eventually be running things. The young men and women whose cultures do not will be flipping burgers, waiting tables, and shining shoes.

Where do your kids go on a Friday night?

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