so your statement is pretty much spot on
Well, it was a bit
over-the-top, but not terribly so
When I wrote it, I had just watched a C-SPAN interview with some foreign trade policy wonk who was touting our trade surplus in "services" as an encouraging sign in the face of our continuing record merchandise trade deficits, and suggesting that all we really needed was to increase our services exports to overcome the fact that we're no longer capable of competitively manufacturing and exporting anything simpler than a 747.
When pressed for an example, he cited a company that is managing a group of Indian Ph.D.s and post-grads, renting them out as "tele-teachers" and paying them $10 a day. Unfortunately, the host was too gracious to beat him over the head with her clipboard and scream "You microcephalic moron! THAT's why Americans are increasingly reluctant to risk going a quarter-million dollars into debt to get Ph.D.s!". Not to mention that no sane person could believe that the Indians are too stupid to figure out that they can cut out the American middleman and sell their own services as soon as they're established.
I saw Petraeus being interviewed on PBS this afternoon, expounding at length on the difficulties of dealing with the complexities of conflicting factions and historical attitudes in the Middle East and Afghanistan, and the need for pragmatic strategies and long-term commitments to achieve enduring results. I'm beginning to wonder if our only hope is military rule: they seem to be the only large group left who can remember events older than yesterday's newscasts, grasp concepts too complicated to fit on a bumper sticker, and plan further ahead than the current quarter's financial report filing...