Friday, October 5, 2012

Education No Silver Bullet for Fixing the Economy!

re: Is Education a Silver Bullet for Fixing the Economy?

By Richard Kirsch
Next New Deal
August 3, 2012

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Everyone, from the people who run jobs training through the upper ranks of education administrators, touts education as the solution for individuals and for the economy.  The owners and administrators of the private and charter schools, the boards and administration and senior faculty at the colleges and universities, even the NEA, all urge more education as the solution to joblessness, as the beacon of hope for our children and ourselves. The politicians, who have little else to offer, go on and on about it.   Millions of laid off workers have gone back to school on borrowed money to escape the trap of job insecurity and inadequate wages.

And much of what little money the government spends on jobs goes into eduction and worker retraining. 

This drive for more education isn't completely useless; for individuals it's necessary for just staying on the treadmill. For countries, it's necessary to remain competitive.  Plus, it provides jobs for a lot of teachers, who are not surprisingly easily persuaded that what they have to offer will save the world.   I should know, I was one of them.  

But education and training are apparently no solution to the problems that are pushing us all into poverty, wage and debt slavery, and are pushing our economy ever deeper into depression.  

One conclusion we can draw is the need to reject any jobs program that is mostly training and education.  Only actual government spending to create good jobs, actions to increase minimum pay and protect worker rights on the job, or government intervention to strengthen the bargaining power of workers will do.  Not that we should be against education and training, but we must not allow them to call it job creation.  It isn't. 

The Humphrey Hawkins Full Employment and Training Act is big and bold enough to mount a challenge and rally the public, which is no doubt why the corporate media have maintained a curtain of silence around it!  

That's a pretty tall order.  But life is putting the necessity for this in all of our faces.  The time for this is so long overdue that events could transform the situation very quickly.
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