“I’d like to talk about an idea that is often abused. The idea is the following: If we want to have workers [be] better off, well then we should do more in the way of educating them. This is a kind of idea that somehow conveys the dangerous notion that the unemployment suffered by many, the inadequate wages/salaries suffered by many, can be/ought to be/should be blamed on their not having enough education; as if the fault of a low wage lies with the wage earner and not either with the wage payer (the employer) or an economic system that seems to be incapable of providing meaningful, appropriately reimbursed work for adult citizens who want an opportunity to work…the overwhelming majority of workers in the United States don’t have a college degree. Many of them don’t even have a high school degree…there is a kind of cruelty in proposing something [education] which isn’t relevant for a huge number of people; the facilities aren’t there and the cost…is prohibitive. So it’s not an appropriate response to give some bland advice about getting more education…if we don’t do something for people other than giving them lame advice about education, then we’re condemning the majority of our working force, and therefore the majority of our population, to a continued situation of unemployment and unsatisfactory wages and working conditions.”
The above paragraph is a transcribed quote from Richard Wolff which comes from his Economic Update episode dated April 3rd. In the episode he is discussing some recent research done by Robert Scott and David Cooper at the Economic Policy Institute which find that almost two-thirds of people in the U.S. labor force do not have a college degree.
Print above by Derek Faust