If we take all the physical assets of the 500 largest companies on the New York Stock Exchange, and sell them, we will get no more than 20 percent of their real value of $28 trillion ($28,000 billion). The reason being their real value lies in things that cannot be seen or calculated, such as algorithms, brands and lists, and this is a new global phenomenon in the world of finance and business.
If we go back to 1985 before the Silicon Valley dominated the ranking of the largest American companies, the companies’ tangible assets tended to be closer to half the market value.
The transformation began after the financial crisis in 2008, and subsequently through the shutdowns of the Covid-19 epidemic and the rise in the value of heavy and intangible companies such as Google, Facebook and Amazon, this caused concern for those who care about the fate of employment rates and wage inequality.
The increase in the importance of the intangible assets of these companies coincided with the exposure of many of the American workforce to unemployment, stagnant wages of workers, and the lack of benefits for those who remained in their work.
Baruch Lev, a professor at New York University, whose writings sparked a debate on this topic, and resulted in reactions against the tech giants that later found their way to Congress, notes that companies do not need hordes of workers as is the case with other traditional companies, especially with inflation of the assets of the giant companies, the value of one of them, which is Apple, has exceeded the trillion dollars, which is almost twice the value of Saudi Aramco, which was once the largest company in the world.
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What these companies achieved was not a result of historical coincidence or geological discoveries, but rather a natural result of advanced education systems.
In Kuwait, for example, we find a big difference in the level of government school outputs compared to private schools, in the interest of the latter strongly even if the social, material and cultural backgrounds are very close, this means that small differences in the method of education enable the student to achieve better results, and a greater chance to enter universities with a high international ranking, let alone if the educational system in Kuwait changed to be much better than it is now?
Private schools have also succeeded in almost surpassing the state of confusion that dominated the Ministry of Education for months, and may still suffer from confusion, and this may have pushed them to exert various pressures on private schools, freezing their fees for four consecutive years, or deducting 25 percent of the expenses until the student is back to school regularly.
For example, the government does not allow the teaching of scientific theories that changed the face of history, such as Darwin’s theories, and it did not even allow private schools to teach them, so how do countries progress?
We hope that the current Minister of Education Ali Al-Mudhaf will be given room to maneuver and amend the status of a long-neglected ministry despite it being the most important in all countries of the world. Will he realize it for himself and for us? Will we come out of our educational setback?
By Ahmad alsarraf