Mike Moritz and the declining America worker

Storied Sequoia investor Mike Moritz threw fire into the tech Twitter gumbo with his observations of hard-working Chinese workers and slothful Silicon Valley engineers. Moritz, a billionaire, clearly needs page views to fund his retirement.

The major money quote about Silicon Valley is this: “In recent months, there have been complaints about the political sensibilities of speakers invited to address a corporate audience; debates over the appropriate length of paternity leave or work-life balances; and grumbling about the need for a space for musical jam sessions. These seem like the concerns of a society that is becoming unhinged.”

He compares those petit concerns with the work ethic of Chinese workers who “appear about 10am and leave at midnight.” He focuses in on women, “Many of these high-flyers only see their children — who are often raised by a grandmother or nanny — for a few minutes a day.” And he emphasizes the Chinese and their spendthrift ways: “It is also striking to the western eye how frequently a tea bag is reused.”

Reaction to the piece was strong, as one can imagine. TechCrunch’s Connie Loizos posted her rebuttal yesterday, saying “Moritz has hit a few balls out of the park, yes. But that doesn’t mean we should take his opinion as gospel. In fact, I would argue that mega-billionaires like Moritz have absolutely no place telling anyone how hard they should be working, in the U.S. or anywhere else.”

David Heinemeier Hansson, a partner at Basecamp and inventor of the Ruby on Rails programming framework, put it even more bluntly in a tweet:

That seems par for the course among hundreds of other commenters online and across Twitter.

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