Readers write: Technology change, Taiwan treatment, Moroccan experiment
Letters to the editor for the Jan. 30, 2017 weekly magazine.
Regarding the Nov. 28 online editorial, “Why quality jobs are ahead, not behind” (CSMonitor.com): Technological advances will produce continuously accelerating change in the US economy, but will also provide opportunities. Instead of focusing on robots replacing humans, we should recognize the likely use of sophisticated digital tools combined with vast databases by an increasingly creative, productive human community.
This may enable smaller, customized, rapidly reconfiguring, advanced manufacturing operations that may have as much net impact on economic growth as massive operations. The United States will have to increase access to advanced education and continual job retraining. We can learn a lot from countries like Germany, where retraining is an inherent part of the infrastructure. Can our political and societal machinery adjust to the challenges?
Regarding the Dec. 12 online article “Donald Trump’s questioning of ‘one China’ policy rankles Beijing” and the Dec. 13 online article “Is Taiwan a ‘model’ for Trump’s foreign policy?” (CSMonitor.com): Donald Trump’s questioning of “One China” Taiwan policy sends a stern message to nations that kowtow to Beijing’s bullying in regard to interacting with Taiwan and stops China’s efforts to diminish Taiwan. The United States has paid too much attention to abiding by diplomatic niceties. The intimidation and forced isolation of Taiwan by Beijing must stop. The international community might start to see the importance of dealing with Taiwan on its own terms and, more important, deferring issues about sovereignty to the more than 23 million people who call Taiwan home. It’s about time Washington does more to support Taiwan, a successful democracy and an important strategic partner in East Asia.
Research fellow at the Institute for Taiwan-America Studies
Regarding the Dec. 7 online article “Arab democracy? How Morocco’s grand experiment went wrong” (CSMonitor.com): How can the Moroccan experiment have gone wrong when it is still under way?
Morocco has been implementing slow but steady reform since long before the Arab Spring, first in the late years of King Hassan II and then under King Mohammed VI. It is one of those reforms – the mandate in the 2011 Constitution that the leader of Parliament’s majority party be named prime minister – that has seen the moderate Islamic Justice and Development Party in power for the past six years. Meanwhile, Morocco has bravely tackled critical issues that are hardly on the radar in other parts of the region, from women’s rights to immigration to judicial reform and even abortion. Under King Mohammed VI, the country has raised literacy rates, lowered poverty, and become a center for the teaching of tolerant, moderate Islam at home and abroad through its innovative imam training programs. Much work remains to be done in Morocco, but the country deserves support as it continues on the path to democratization it has been on for decades.
Edward M. Gabriel
Former US ambassador to Morocco and current adviser to the
Kingdom of Morocco