With Good Reason

Tomorrow City
July 27th, 2013

TomorrowCityIn his new novel Tomorrow City, Kirk Kjeldsen (Virginia Commonwealth University) tells the story of an ex-con who is trying to reinvent himself in a new place. The backdrop for the story is Shanghai, a city that has perhaps reinvented itself more than any other city in history. Kjeldsen recently moved to Shanghai, a city he describes as “more American than America.” And: Everyone in America—from consumers to businesspeople—should understand what’s happening in China. That’s the message from economist and former Reagan advisor Deborah Hewitt (College of William and Mary). Hewitt says the changes taking place in China will affect the choices Americans make in managing their businesses and households. Later in the show: Filmmaker Sonali Gulati (Virginia Commonwealth University) used to spot telemarketers by the way they mispronounced her Indian name. But when they started to get the name right, she knew something was up. American companies have long outsourced telemarketing and customer service jobs to India where workers compete for jobs at giant call centers. Gulati visited a call center in India and discovered how Indian telemarketers acquire American names and accents, and learn about American movies, music, and TV. Her film Nalini by Day, Nancy by Night is a journey into that world.

1 Response to “Tomorrow City”

  • Ms. Hewitt spouts – without much in the way of solid evidence – a series of corporatist talking points in lieu of solid economic data. Please be sure, when China’s overheated bubble economy – one which does not reflect solid growth or wise investment, but merely the exploitation of cheap labor – bursts wide open to have her back on to discuss the superiority of the Chinese system in the same way the Japanese system was supposedly going to conquer us and the world – mainly because of the sloth of our labor union and regulatory mentality.

    WGR does a great job of getting some interesting serious academic viewpoints; I’d submit that Prof. Hewitt is nothing of the sort – but instead a politician. Have Ms. Hewitt stick to technical topics like corporate finance bonds and wage arbitrage and get an actual PhD in Economics to speak about Sino-American macro-economics.

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China is everywhere in American news, but we seem to hear the same stories over and over.  A new book set in Shanghai seeks to tell a less familiar story of the rapidly changing city.