The Language Barrier
By Arnold Kling
The Internet has created new opportunities for international trade in information services. In this essay, I argue that this is creating a trade barrier for non-English speakers.
For now, the Internet revolution is boosting the economic prospects of the English speakers of the world. This includes the countries where English is the native language, as well as the people in other countries who happen to be educated in English. People who never learn English may be destined to spend their lives on the wrong side of the language barrier.
For Discussion: In the essay, I suggest that a poor person in India who is learning English might in twenty years be better off than a rich person in France who is learning French. Do you think that this is plausible?