For several years I’ve had a theory on globalization. Namely, while it brings unprecedented prosperity to those who are prepared for it, it simultaneously wreaks havoc in the lives of those whose lives are geared for the industrial economy, and that we need a better governmental response to integrate those who are being left behind. To me, that response should be a transition from the state led, macroeconomic model known as the welfare state and towards a model that fosters education, training and preparedness among the masses. I call it the Opportunity State. That is, a state led economic paradigm that will replace the Welfare State.
The hallmarks of this state will be continued education, training and workforce development. With an Opportunity State, governments will transition their efforts away from ensuring a de minimis standard of living and will instead focus on developing the creative and entrepreneurial capacities of its citizens. Focus will shift from redistribution of wealth to greater distribution of the means to create wealth. When nations adopt an Opportunity State they will understand that globalization is irresistible; instead of trying to create barriers to it, they will attempt to create new means for their citizens to tap its incredible potential.
Although I have the basic workings of the Opportunity State in my head, the goal of this site is to help me sharpen my ideas, hopefully with the help of commenters. Eventually, this will allow me to better express my views, hopefully in some sort of publication form. In some ways, this project is a continuation of a theme I spent quite a bit of time on in my first blogging foray: cyberhillbilly.blogspot.com. That site was where I first articulated the term “the opportunity state.”
Although the term Opportunity State has been used in some publications since, such as here and here, so far as I can tell, I am one of the first to have used this terminology. Further, whereas others on the right and left have used this term to describe their vision of a society that promotes opportunity via the state, neither has attempted to make an all-encompassing argument about the outright replacement of the welfare state as I will here.
This is just an early snap shot of where I see this project going as of Dec. 30, 2011. I appreciate readers’ feedback and comments.