Monday, May 10, 2021

CURMUDGUCATION: The Anti-Education Economy

CURMUDGUCATION: The Anti-Education Economy
The Anti-Education Economy

A recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education asks "Our blind faith in the transformative power of higher ed is slipping. What now?" 

The article looks at the long-time US love affair with higher education, an affair that is one part long-standing respect (of some folks) for more and more education and one part the relentless drumbeat of articles pointing out that college graduates make more money. The favored government fantasy is that more education will result in a better economy, the dream of Smarten Up economics that seems as potent for some folks as the dream of a Trickle Down economy is for others. 

Get an education, get a better career, make more money, lift the economy of the whole nation. Education opens doors, lift boats, leaps tall buildings in a single well-funded bound. 

But for decades, that push has existed in tension with another push--the push to hire people with no more education than is necessary for the least amount of money we can get away with. "It's great that people are getting all this education and training," says business. "But we are working hard to avoid paying for it."

We've seen a steady push to break jobs into small. cheap pieces. Hiring a chef is expensive; let's break food production into simple bits so that we can just hire minimum-wage workers to drop the fry basket and wrap the burger. Craftsmen get a great deal of training and develop a lot of skill and are therefor expensive; let's break the production of this product into assembly-line bits, so that we CONTINUE READING: CURMUDGUCATION: The Anti-Education Economy