Tuesday July 17, 2007 | Thanks to the Union-Tribune for a crash course on the education of American workers.
Just two months ago, the Union-Tribune editorialized a report that young men in their 30s in the United States are not doing as well financially as their fathers’ generation. The U-T thinks this is because of the “consequences of bad choices throughout their lives, such as whether to pursue more education.” As I pointed out in my letter to voiceofsandiego.org, this was a false statement. Every indicator of education shows that the current generation is more educated than before.
In fact, a college degree does not ensure a bigger share of the economic pie for many graduates. In a recent study, two economists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology established that only college-educated women have seen their compensation grow in line with economy-wide gains in productivity. The earnings of male college graduates have failed to keep pace with productivity gains. Simply put, growth in business does not translate into growth in wages for workers.
Now the U-T apparently backs up into its argument by complaining that “…teens are spending more time going to summer school or studying” instead of learning job skills. It goes on to list things that “you cannot find in a book” such as flipping burgers.
So whether you are working or studying this summer, Americans deserve to be poorly paid, and our high wage jobs shipped overseas. Of course you can always find a minimum wage job without health care in a burger stand.