Sunday, April 05, 2015

in the "duh" department, "Why More Bachelor's Degrees Won't Solve Inequality"

Twenty years ago it was axiomatic that a college education was a requirement for getting a decent job that paid well.  Now it seems about as axiomatic except for the problem that which school you go to and what that may or may not indicate about your status matters, too. 

If we're going to aspire to a healthier job market amping up the availability of the kind of education that fits into "skilled labor" doesn't seem like a solution.  Expand the unskilled labor market, restore some kind of manufacturing base, and see if we can create jobs for the people who will increasingly not be able to afford going to school and that seems like a better path.  It's not that college education isn't potentially important, it's that between the tuition increases and the decline in tenured faculty spots and a few other things, it no longer seems prudent to go to college to get a degree unless there's no chance of you getting work in the field any other way.

Wenatchee got advice from a college professor about music as a career, never expect to make a living doing the art you want to do.  Try to find a way to make enough of a living that you can keep a roof over your head, pay the bills, and have food, as well as having time left over to spend with family and friends and then, after all that, from your left-over time, carve out time to do that artistic thing you do.

If we keep promoting more and more college as a way to lift everybody's economic opportunities up what that might just be in the end is continually raising the minimum bar of what is culturally considered "getting by" to a point where inequality will continue to be exacerbated.

And if inequality is your goal, well, then maybe that's fine.

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