“In sum, the economic fate of entire regions has been determined by their adaptation or failure to thrive in a post manufacturing world.” You are right. That was lost when everyone told past generations it was was time to embrace technology and office type work. Instead the 1% club in silicon valley decided to ship a lot of those jobs overseas too. Yet, retain a small sum of brainiacs. Who stay locked up in their cubicles until they leave and create their own business. Then they rinse and repeat the process, produce in china, outsource programming and support to India. Bring in a lot of people on H-1B visas, so no one can understand them on the phone if you have a problem with their product or service. Just keep it limited to text chat – in hopes the consumer or person that needs support doesn’t think are talking to a robot. “The new economy doesn’t work for millions of people, especially those in rural America and for those who aren’t college educated.” You are right. It works for cheap labor (especially overseas), they can train and pay nothing. It all comes down to how cheap a product can be created and a service can be sold. Quality only matters when there is a problem or requires legislation.