Paul Krugman deigns to share his Nobel laureate economic wisdom with us intellectual peons in today’s New York Times. And thank goodness Mr. Krugman shared his truthiness with ‘Puter, because ‘Puter never would’ve been able to figure out the correct answer on his own.
What economic Gordian knot did Mr.Krugman untangle today? Why, youth under- and unemployment, of course. And what timeliness, with America’s newly minted college genii ready to graduate to their working lives.
|Dr. Krugman prepares to vaporize ‘Puter
with his Goodriddance-inator vision
Mr. Krugman correctly identifies a problem: for American youth (workers under 25), unemployment is currently 16.5%. From this point on, however, it gets ugly for Mr. Krugman’s mortal enemies: facts and truth.
You see, Mr. Krugman ascribes young workers’ high unemployment rate to the poor job market. Mr. Krugman then trots out the only liberal solution to any problem, including job creation: MOR GUBMINT!1!!!one!!
Mr. Krugman recommends that student loan programs be expanded, rather than limited. Further, Mr. Krugman recommends curing the economy by investing more government dollars at the state and local level. Essentially, suck more money out of an ailing economy by taxing it today or taxing it tomorrow (by borrowing), and give the money to government, for government is all good and deserving of all our love.
Expectedly, Mr. Krugman goes on to blame the poor economy on austerity policies and tax cuts, which Mr. Krugman (again, expectedly) pins on conservatives. Mr. Krugman shockingly finds that spending less than one takes in caused the bad economy, global warming, genital warts, Goldie Hawn and college football’s BCS ranking system.
But ‘Puter comes here not to praise Mr. Krugman, but to bury him. For, Gentle Reader, it is as foretold: a little child shall lead them. And no one is smaller (in all senses) and more childish than your ‘Puter, so hold on to something heavy, like Mr. Krugman’s boundless self-regard, because it’s going to be a heck of a ride.
There’s an old joke where an economist, a lawyer and a priest come to a river, with no way across. Long(er) joke short, the economist’s solution is, “First, assume a bridge.” And that’s what Mr. Krugman does. He assumes a set of facts not in existence.
Mr. Krugman confuses a demand issue for a supply issue. He looks at the wreckage that is our youth unemployment rate and concludes not that there are too many young people graduating college with useless degrees, but rather that if only colleges churned out more unemployable, illiterate, innumerate Fill-In-The-Blank Studies majors, well, jeepers, surely Big Business would realize the error of its ways and start snatching up our doe-eyed innocents. Better, not only should colleges be churning out more uneducated (ineducable?) “graduates,” but taxpayers should subsidize this worse than useless endeavor.
Listen up, Mr. Krugman, and all your fellow travelers. The very last thing America needs right now is more college graduates. Well, maybe we need another Kardashian sister less, but you get ‘Puter’s point.
To be specific, ‘Puter means liberal arts college graduates and lawyers, and ‘Puter’s got an A.B. Philosophy and a J.D. Yet, Dr. Krugman’s solution is to turn the amplifier up to 11, or use more cowbell, whichever inapposite metaphor works best for you. That is, Mr. Krugman looks at what actually exists, doesn’t like what he sees, and plants his head firmly in the sand. ‘Puter was going to say “up his arse,” but @ProfMondo always grades ‘Puter down when ‘Puter uses profanity, especially British spellings, in his essays.
‘Puter has experience in interviewing and dealing with today’s liberal arts college graduates. For the most part, they are lazy, pampered, ill-mannered, poorly read and unprepared for the work force. Public education and our colleges and universities have failed them, and America. These young men and women would have been better served by a stint in the military or in the private sector work force before attending college, or in lieu thereof altogether.
It is a lie, and a supremely damaging lie, that all American children should go to college. This lie damages our youth as well as our national economy. First, no matter what parents would have you believe, not every kid is mentally equipped to go to college. We all have friends who thinks their Precious Q. Snowflake is the next Dr. Salk, when it’s obvious to all that little Precious is as dumb as a sack of door knobs. Second, even assuming special, lovely Precious is of average intelligence, most jobs today (yes, even most of the good ones) don’t require a college degree in reality.
‘Puter means it. Give ‘Puter an 18 year old high school graduate who can read for comprehension well, perform basic math quickly and accurately, speak well and write in complete sentences, and over time, ‘Puter can teach that person to do approximately 90% of the financial sector work his company does. That is, provided the candidate is otherwise employable, with a decent work ethic and good hygiene. The jobs ‘Puter’s company offers are precisely the sort of entry level, new economy jobs Mr. Krugman seeks to create: jobs with benefits, sick leave, vacation, health insurance, 401ks, etc. So why does ‘Puter’s company require a college degree for certain jobs?
‘Puter’s company uses college degrees as a proxy for employability. Employers can’t use IQ tests to sort candidates because the Supreme Court in Griggs v. Duke Power decided employers’ use of such tests had a disparate impact on minorities, specifically Blacks. This case, in addition to making it vastly more difficult for employers to effectively screen employees also bequeathed to the United States the legal disparate impact doctrine. We can thank the disparate impact doctrine not only for making trial attorneys rich, but also for creating an environment in which racial hucksters like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson thrived. “The Supreme Court’s Made-Up Disparate Impact Analysis: Screwing America Since 1971.”
Also, employers aren’t allowed to ask job candidates a litany of questions that could be useful as a result of EEOC rulings, poor Congressional legislation (ADA, anyone?) and litigation fears generally. For example, you can be sued for asking an applicant about his family, or when he graduated college or any number of innocuous queries. Certainly, anyone can sue anyone for anything at any time, regardless of how foolish. The difference is that this particular foolishness states a legally cognizable cause of action, for which an employer may be liable for damages, as well as increased regulatory scrutiny.
If Mr. Krugman insists on subsidizing college degrees with other people’s money, let’s at least subsidize the proper degrees: science, technology, engineering and math degrees, narrowly defined. America has an under supply of graduates in these fields, and employers have an ever increasing demand for such graduates. This, in ‘Puter’s mind, is money well spent. Make it easier for students to receive an education for which there is demand, both at the moment and projected into the future. ‘Puter can’t envision a future where America will not need engineers to build our bridges and equipment, or programmers to write code, can you?
But ‘Puter finds it quite easy to imagine a future without jobs for Fill In The Blank Studies majors. Heck, we’re already living in ‘Puter’s posited future. Just look at all the unemployed/unemployable liberal arts majors associated with Occupy Wall Street, Hell-bent on lashing out at the productive citizens who thanklessly subsidized their piss-poor education in a made-up and worthless field of inquiry.
The problem, Mr. Krugman is not that there is an under supply of college graduates generally. It is rather that there is an under supply of a certain kind of college graduate; namely, college graduates with economically useful knowledge, such as graduates with degrees in physics or chemistry. Further, the solution Mr. Krugman expounds leads inexorably to an increase in the oversupply of the former and an under supply of the latter.
If government subsidized and guaranteed student loans were only available to students studying science, technology, engineering and math, ‘Puter’s betting it would take about 2.47 nanoseconds for colleges and universities to revisit their business model, slowly starving non-subsidized programs such as the ever-popular kinesiology in favor of hard sciences. That, in turn, would lead to more graduates with skills in needed areas, and fewer kids graduating with useless degrees. Better yet, it would lead to fewer students attending college in the first place.
When the world needs more folks who leave gainful employment to pursue master’s degrees in puppetry to survive, let ‘Puter know. He’ll be happy to subsidize their education then. But until that day comes, Mr. Krugman, and every person receiving student loans while working towards a bullshit degree they’ll either never finish or never use, can shut their damned pie-holes and get their grubby, patchouli smelling fingers out of ‘Puter’s wallet.