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View Diary: Economics Works Backwards Now (192 comments)

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  •  I already have two degrees. (2+ / 0-)
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    Calamity Jean, Maggie Pax

    Many other Kossacks have three and more. What would you suggest we get a degree in now?

    Our jobs are not obsolete. They are being done by younger workers for less money in another country.

    It's not an education problem -- it's an age and salary problem.

    There are plenty of highly educated people in this country. Many of us went back to school in a previous recession, and now we are over-qualified for the jobs that remain.

    The biggest problem is that employers do not want to keep anyone over 50 on the payroll because it affects the bottom line in both accumulated higher salary and higher costs to the company health benefits plan.

    Until you solve the ageism issue, the lack of universal health care (and I don't mean insurance), and the problem of greedy employers who won't pay employees what they are worth, nothing is going to get fixed.

    "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

    by Brooke In Seattle on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 08:38:16 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  In whatever you wish (0+ / 0-)

      There is no such thing as being overqualified for a job, there's just being too expensive or too risky to hire for a job.  Both those things are relative to the costs of competing employees.  You wouldn't be overqualified if every other applicant also had two or more degrees.

      And the fundamental problem isn't just with wages and ageism.  That's a symptom, the same as racial scapegoating is a symptom, and not the cause of economic and social problems.  The problem is with productivity.  Modern industry is simply capable of creating too much stuff with too few workers.  There aren't enough jobs to go around.  But unless you have a job or you have capital, you can't get any income.  And because there are so many people without either jobs or capital, those with jobs are getting squeezed out of what little income they still retain.

      So think of this as an Employer of Last Resort type of program, but rather than doing work which might compete with private labor, we pay people to go to school.  Unlike a more traditional ELR program, paying the unemployed to go to school improves the employee's competitiveness rather than at best maintaining it, and like the ELR program, it provides an income to those who otherwise would lack one, boosting aggregate demand, and it sets an effective floor on wages.  Employers won't be able to offer wages lower than what one would be paid to go to school, which makes younger employees more expensive, reducing the inclination of employers to dump their older expensive employees for cheaper, younger versions.  

      The traditional economic view is that it is a combination of labor and capital that creates new value, and so they capture that new value (income) in proportion to their contribution.  My contention is that there is a third element, the environment, that is also essential to the process of value creation, and that deserves to be paid for its contribution to the creation of value.  Two large aspects of the environment are the overall condition of aggregate demand and the education of the producers, traders and consumers of the new value.  These two aspects deserve an income in proportion to their contribution in the creation of value.  

      From such crooked wood as that which man is made of, nothing straight can be fashioned. -Immanuel Kant

      by Nellebracht on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 09:32:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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