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The Hidden Divide In American Institutions: Old And Slow Vs. New And Fast
It's often noted that American companies and institutions tend to be divided into dynamic new ones (Twitter, Facebook, The Hunger Games) and sclerotic old ones (General Motors, government agencies). It's less often mentioned that there are policy reasons why this is so.
The longer an American institution is around, the more costs get piled on to it. For example, under the nearly unique American system of employer-provided health insurance, how much do you think Facebook pays per employee (average age: 28)? How much does General Motors pay (average age: gettin' up there)? It's not too surprising that Facebook's market capitalization is twice GM's.
(Fortunately, Congress is planning to help poor Mark Zuckerberg out next year with some immigration reform so he won't have to pay so much to greedy American programmers. Without more H-1B visas, Zuckerberg would have to hire some senile old bastards in their 40s, maybe even some of them ... women.)
Similarly, America's War on Racism targets slow-moving institutions. Jesse Jackson has repeatedly been frustrated at getting his hooks into Silicon Valley, with its constant churn. (Now that Silicon Valleyites prefer to live in San Francisco and reverse commute, you can hear old time pols like Willie Brown licking their chops, but in general Silicon Valley remains an elusive target.)
Hollywood movies are too short-lasting for the kind of endless EEOC investigations that bedraggle older companies, so they are almost immune too, which is why so few Latinos work in movie crafts jobs.
In contrast, municipal fire departments are old, established, and will be around forever, so they are subject to extraordinary amounts of attention over the racial/ethnic stats of their hires and promotions.
Other countries tend to see their giant institutions such as Daimler-Benz as long term investments in the future of their people. Rather than pillage their well-functioning institutions, most intelligent countries try hard to set up sustainable systems.
In America, however, our current ideology is focused on promoting churn. Lots of individual profit from this, but is it good for Americans as a whole?