Strangely, though saying basically the same things as the realist community has been saying for years, by phrasing it carefully enough she manages to not be politically incorrect throughout the post. Get rid of all the guarded speech and what you see is the unvarnished, brutal reality of modern America:
"titanic and impersonal forces like globalization and technological progress are harder to vanquish."
"Besides, the problem in America is not that we suddenly lost our manufacturing mojo. In fact, we’re still very good at it; according to the Boston Consulting Group, the inflation-adjusted value of our manufacturing output has more than doubled since 1972. But our manufacturing employment is down by one-third, because production is highly automated in most industries."
"The same problem besets other areas the president leaned hard on ... evergreen promises like better education and infrastructure. These are splendid ideas -- America’s port and rail infrastructure badly needs updating, and a better-educated workforce is a worthy goal. But these things will not magically produce loads more manufacturing jobs, much less boost the income share of the middle class to 1970s levels. They will make the economy somewhat more efficient, we hope. But that efficiency, if it comes at all, will be decades away. And especially in the case of education, it may not come.
We have a very good idea of how to construct port architecture capable of receiving a supertanker. On the other hand, we are not very good at keeping inner city and rural kids from dropping out of high school. And the main policy lever that Obama has at his disposal -- pouring more money into the school system -- is not very well correlated with improved outcomes. In fact, we’ve been trying it for decades in our nation’s worst schools, with not much to show for it.
"But what about early childhood education?", you ask. It’s a better option than funneling more money into high schools, but I’m still not convinced it will scale. And although high-quality preschool can help improve outcomes for poor kids, it doesn’t make them into world-class STEM workers; it somewhat reduces the likelihood that they will drop out of school or go to prison. Excellent goals, but not quite the same as restoring the lost middle class.
The president also wants to lower the cost of a college education by reforming the student loan system. Yet playing with the interest rate on student loans is not going to give much of a boost to the middle class when already 60 percent of college graduates are taking jobs that haven’t traditionally required a college degree. Better educated waitresses may be a fine thing for America, but is it really bolstering our bourgeoisie?"
These issues simply haven't been discussed in 'polite' society in eons. The fact that technological advances are destroying jobs is a forbidden topic, everyone knows that according to libertarianism, there are 'infinite jobs' and technology always opens up more jobs than it destroys. Why? Because our theorists say so, never mind the facts that are nakedly apparent that lie right before our eyes that say entirely otherwise.
Furthermore, liberals always say that all we need is better education. But this article completely demolishes this illusion. Not only has it been shown that education cannot be improved by any conceivable program, but even 60% of the people who do receive a top class college education just end up paying enormous student loans while working the same jobs as high school dropouts. There is no level of education, from preschool to college, that benefits the pupil, and none of it helps raise employment in this country whatsoever. The liberal answer is thus entirely defunct. You cannot improve the schools, nor are schools useful to begin with, since they don't lead to a high paying job, so there's no point improving the schools in the first place.
It's great that mainstream media is reporting these bubble-bursting facts that have preserved a gigantic lie for the last forty years or so. Technology is forcing perfectly good people into unemployment, who previously would have made good money in manufacturing jobs. Nor is there any other job people can train for by getting a higher skilled education, that is simply a myth. Every single job in America is already filled by a perfectly qualified person. That is why we haven't created, net, any new jobs since 2000. The jobs we have created are 100% lower paying jobs than the jobs we've lost. We are at record low workforce participation rates. There are no jobs and there is no way to get them.
This article stays politically correct by avoiding a few additional pieces to the puzzle that, if added in, would make the picture even more starkly clear to those who dare to understand. The reason why additional education doesn't help any is because IQ is genetic, and IQ, not education, is what allows people to be effective, productive workers who can quickly learn and adapt to the workplace. After teaching basic things like reading, writing, and arithmetic, education is completely unnecessary. Intelligent people have a thirst to learn on their own whatever they're curious about. Dumb people can't learn anything more anyway. What we need to know in any given workplace is completely different from anything we're taught in school, which seems to delight in teaching utterly, perversely useless topics like chemistry, Latin, calculus and physics. Grammar is pointless because people learn languages organically as children, not via learned principles like learning the word for 'adverb' and 'adjective' and careful reasoning. English is useless because the books assigned are horrid PC crap. History is useless because it's infected with liberalism and a pack of lies. The same for Geography. Foreign languages are useless because you simply cannot learn a language without full immersion, and it's forgotten again the moment you stop using it. There simply isn't anything anyone could actually learn from school. Nor are people who attend public schools better socially adjusted than people who were home schooled. Home schooled students tend to perform better in college and the workplace than public school goers, so there's no intangible benefits to public schooling either.
The unsayable thing that must be said at some point is that school was a mistake. Aside from a few professional tracks like doctor, lawyer, or mathematician, formal schooling should end by age 12. Teenagers are perfectly capable of living as adults, working and marrying like they did in the past -- (Juliet was only 13 years old) -- except that there are no jobs. School, like college, is just one more way to shuffle this fact around and pretend people are being productive when in fact everything is a waste of time. In the past teenagers were productive economic units, as farmers, warriors, apprentices in shops or housewives with children, they were already living life to the fullest. Life doesn't require the kind of educations we are giving people, it is a waste of their time and our biologically healthiest years when we are meant to be mating and reproducing. In one sense, school is preferable to the dangerous and backbreaking labor children used to do in the 1800's and 1900's. I agree we shouldn't put kids into chimney sweeping jobs or to operate heavy machinery that can tear your arm off with one misstep. Nor is it useful to put kids behind a plow and tell them to push anymore. All of this was made redundant by better technology. So all the jobs kids, and adults, naturally did in the past are gone. We shunt children aside into education to pretend our job numbers are better than they really are (in fact, only 38% of Americans are employed, and as I've shown over and over again, most of our employment is phony and unnecessary makework jobs in the first place.)
This is ridiculous. Just as people should not be forced to dig ditches and then fill them back in again all day, education is not a good 'makework' project. Drilling random arcane knowledge into people that has no possible value in their lives is no better than digging ditches. In fact, digging ditches at least provides valuable exercise so they might end up with toned, attractive bodies at the end. In which case, ditch digging is a far more useful pursuit for teenagers than school.
I am fine with kids attending school until age 12 as a form of daycare. Parents want to work full time and not constantly deal with the hassle of unruly children. Putting them in a disciplined environment that occupies their time so they don't get restless and cause trouble, while also making sure they aren't hurt by themselves or others by having constant adult supervision, is a reasonable idea. There are ways we could make grades 1-6 more fun, but teaching them the basics while keeping them out of society's hair during work hours makes a lot of sense under any system. Teenagers, however, can and must be able to take care of themselves. If you're 13 years old and require constant adult supervision to behave, you need to be in jail, not school. You're clearly simply out of control and will never get any better no longer how long we wait for your behavior to improve.
What will teenagers do in an environment where getting a job is a remote possibility? The answer is, anything they want. The first thing we need to do is decriminalize love. If our ancestors could all marry and have families as teenagers, so can we. In fact, children today mature faster than our ancestors so it's absolutely absurd to ban sex and marriage for anyone under the age of 18. Biologically, our teenage years are the times we are best able to fall in love, our period of greatest fertility, and our period with the healthiest eggs and sperm for the ideal next generation. Every delay just makes reproduction harder. In terms of falling in love, in terms of reproducing, and in terms of having quality offspring, every day after our teenage years is a step downhill. Needless to say, if you get so used to falling in and out of love, having sex with endless partners, and refusing to marry for decades like our current system promotes, there's no way you'll be an effective spouse at the end of that road. This is why people should marry as virgins, and virgins not just in body but in mind, they should marry the first person they fall in love with and the first person who courts them, and they should never have experienced a breakup even once. One breakup implies the next, and there's no strict difference between a breakup and a divorce, it's just a legal term for the same thing in spirit. If you dump someone you said you loved, you've already made the highest betrayal possible.
We put impossible roadblocks in the way of teenagers falling in love, marrying, and living happily ever after, when this is in fact their one and only chance to succeed. Any time after these years and we're talking about jaded liars, sluts, and traitors who have done nothing but backstab their 'loved ones' for decades who only now, at the very end of their reproductive cycle, try to form a permanent relationship in their late 30's. Give me a break. Who wants these people? They're worse than rotten eggs.
One of these roadblocks is making sex and marriage illegal for teenagers. But another is making it economically unfeasible for teenagers to live on their own. This financial slavery to their parents, where they do whatever they are told, even forgo the love of their life, in order to have a roof to sleep under and bread to eat, is the other half of the problem. Teenagers need to be adults and they need to have the freedom of adults. This includes the financial freedom. This would be fine if we were in the 1800's and they could make a living farming or operating heavy machinery like everyone else, but all those jobs are gone. So kids need money even if they don't have a job. The key to economic autonomy is the citizen's dividend. Classify children as full-fledged adults by giving them a citizen's dividend. $12,000 a year is enough for any child to strike off on their own, marry, and form their own household, even without having any viable job prospects. In a country where only 38% of Americans are employed, expecting every household to have a breadwinner is just pie in the sky daydreaming. Every year the job numbers just get worse and worse. If anyone has been keeping track, the minimum wage is disgustingly lower than it was fifty years ago, and far more people are working at it than before. Over 100 million Americans are already on welfare assistance of some kind, which means already 1/3 of us clearly can't support ourselves. So why demand higher standards of teenagers than we do 1/3 of Americans?
We need to accelerate people's lives. Not have them waste away in dead-end relationships and learning worthless trivia at endless desks as endless lecturers point at endless chalkboards. People should marry the love of their life as teenagers, they should have a place of their own as teenagers, they should be having kids of their own as teenagers. They should be, as teenagers, on the career path of their choice. If it's some spiffy job they should be attending high level college courses. If it's a job that doesn't require endless obtuse knowledge like how to add polynomials they should be apprentices getting hands-on experience at minimum wage in the field of their choice. The government should take the money they're currently spending on education and reroute it to these two fields. Full scholarships for bright children to learn whatever crazy graduate school material they need to run the modern techno-economy, plus paying employers to take on apprentices and train them in every field left in America. Plumbers, electricians, programmers, oil workers, whatever we need the government should be 'sponsoring' children to learn their trade of choice. The children will be paid minimum wage from the government's pocket, and the employers will be recompensed for the cost of teaching their apprentices, and everyone will be happy. Plus this will all be cheaper than the $10,000 a year we spend on fruitlessly educating kids that we already spend today.
Liberate children's potential and you'll find a lot of creative work being done that nobody even thinks of today. Life will improve for children and adults because everyone will feel valued and independent once again, family life will be more stable and comforting for everyone involved because it will be their 1st or 2nd relationship instead of their 20th or 30th, and the next generation will be healthier and smarter than the previous one because children will be born when Nature intended, in a girl's teens or 20's instead of 40's or 50's. The government balance sheet will also look much rosier as all this new blood enters the workforce and immediately gains valuable job skills.
Technology will continue to destroy jobs, which means as time passes these apprenticeship and college scholarship programs will no longer be necessary, everyone will simply be living off of the citizen's dividend. But while we transition from one phase of life to the other, having these programs and the citizen's dividend in place simultaneously is for the best for everyone. It gives people options and it keeps the jobs that need to be done filled until their robot replacement is invented. The one program we don't need to continue is education.