And then there is the fundamental idea of retraining. No more jobs making steel?—why we will just turn all you guys into computer repairmen. (Or whatever) My brother reports that in the wake of the real-estate / construction collapse in central Florida, there are now over 2000 people in the area who have been certified to do wind and energy audits. And while such audits are a good thing, it is highly unlikely the area will need 20,000 such audits in a year—roughly 10 for each new auditor. Each audit pays a maximum of $300 so it doesn't pay to buy the $8-10,000 worth of equipment it requires to do a good audit. All this becomes a crushing disappointment for the folks who spent the time and money becoming certified energy auditors.
But nothing comes close to the scam that is "higher" education. The idea that kids should take on $40,000 a year in debt so they can "learn" the nuances of Chaucer (my "favorite" university time-waster—there WERE others) because the society will be more prosperous with an "educated" workforce is so fraudulent, anyone who advances such a notion should be facing serious jail time.
For The First Time, The Majority Of US Unemployed Have Some College EducationMike "Mish" Shedlock, Global Economic Trend Analysis | 5/22/12
Those who think the answer to the unemployment problem is more education might be surprised to learn the Majority of Unemployed Attended College.
For the first time in history, the number of jobless workers age 25 and up who have attended some college now exceeds the ranks of those who settled for a high school diploma or less.
Out of 9 million unemployed in April, 4.7 million had gone to college or graduated and 4.3 million had not, seasonally adjusted Labor Department data show.
In 2011, 57% of those 25 and up had attended some college vs. 43% in 1992. Those without a high school diploma fell from 21% to 12% over that span.
But along with the increasing prevalence of college attendance has come a growing number of dropouts, who have left school burdened by student loan debt but without much to kick-start their careers.
Among everyone up to age 24 who has left college or earned a two-year degree — including those not actively searching — the full-time employment-to-population ratio has plummeted from 69% in 2000 to 62% in 2003 to 54%.
This has occurred even as student lending and enrollment at community colleges has soared, elevating the student loan crisis to the center of political debate and a rallying cry for the Occupy Wall Street movement. Those who graduated with a four-year degree fared better employment-wise but many of those still struggle with student loans. Many other end up underemployed in retail sector jobs as opposed to the curriculum they studied.
Student loans are a trillion dollar problem, and growing every quarter. President Obama wants more student loans, but all that does is make many graduates debt slaves for the rest of their lives. more