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You should try it with military training – all those adverts on TV are instant rage for anyone of prior service, especially those of us kicked on medical. My particular favorite is the one of the black woman saying she was a dental hygenist in the Army…

Which apparantly worked out so well for her since she’s wearing a hardhat on a construction site.

Education has become little more than a self propagating scam, and is another of the things we need to tear down and start over. Higher education for everyone starts everyone out in debt they can barely pay off before middle age, which is great when 99% of the people I know with college degrees are sitting there working McJobs or worse.

Simple fact is this whole “everyone can go to college and get a white collar job” lie we’ve been feeding kids for the past two decades is a healthy part of what’s WRONG with society; you can’t build a working economy with a bunch of Chiefs who don’t actually produce anything of value. I’d ballpark that 90%+ of the work that actually needs to be done is unskilled labor, somebody’s got to do it, so guess what Mr. BA in Marketing, you’re shoveling manure at that farm in Vermont. Guess what Ms. Education major, you’re folding washcloths at the linen company that handles all the ski lodges probably for the rest of your life.

Sorry, pet peeve. As Syndrome said, “when everyone is Super, nobody is”

I agree with most of what you say, with a few digressions. I am not sure it is “the system” that is at fault, as much as it is that “the system” is an extension of those who became involved with it. For example, if someone is sold a bill of goods that “an MS degree is worth $30K more a year than a BS,” they WANT to believe it. They do not want to critically examine the claims, or to do any real research into the topic before dumping $50-100K and 3-4 years of their lives into doing something based on someone telling them something they wanted to hear. It is those people–the bitter, disillusioned, OMG-I’ve-been-cheated people who become the instructors, teachers, and professors that sell the same scam to the next batch of newbies.

I’m not certain that most of what needs to be done is unskilled labor. I DO think that the overwhelming majority of college majors are essentially worthless in the real world, and the best instruction (and the best instructors, oddly) is/are at the community college level. Lest the impression is created that I majored in underwater basketweaving or liberal arts, my major in graduate school was management, specifically in technical fields. I am still looking for someone willing to pay me for what I learned there.

The solution is perhaps a bit more difficult, and simple at the same time. Design a better way. That’s it.

People are forced to accept the useless, mediocre-at-best, hopelessly outmoded, archaic, inefficient, poorly designed “instructional material” offered in colleges and universities because nothing better is available. Everyone is peddling the same old, same old with slightly different features. That is possible because no better alternative exists. Design that better alternative, and change the world. Pretty simple stuff.

As long as the instruction follows the same generic format of everything that has gone before, the results will be the same. There is a saying in neurolinguistic programming (NLP) that, “If you always do what you have always done, all you will ever get is what you have always gotten.” Which is actually a spin on the definition of psychosis, “Repeating the same behavior and expecting different outcomes.” It is not just the content that needs to be changed–it is the process.

I’m not certain that most of what needs to be done is unskilled labor.

I’d say, skilled and unskilled labour.

The distribution of actual labour has been moving out of the post-industrial nations and over to the developing world. While it’s good to have them participating in the world economy, we’ve essentially shifted our useful work, as well as all our garbage (yes, we ship our garbage which we may not burn or bury because of environmental laws to countries who will burn or bury it who don’t have such strict environmental laws… defeating the purpose, huh?) to anywhere Not In Our Backyards. Well, an Information Economy is little more than a skilled Service Economy, which I don’t believe is sustainable. Everyone can’t work at McDonald’s or buy imported products… someone has to be able to earn money MAKING something too.

I feel lucky that my country still makes stuff. I’ve seen Michigan and have family over there… it’s like there’s nothing left but Service.

Michigan’s economy is intimately related to the auto industry, and may not be representative. Manufacturing is contingent on shipping costs–if something can be produced offshore and imported for less than it costs to manufacture in a given country, imports dominate the market.

The problem is not outsourcing, offshoring, or changes in economic priorities–it is that the manufacturing and production methods used are no longer competitive in a free enterprise economy. For example, Japanese steel industry, US steel industry, US railroads, US merchant ship fleet, many others. Without substantial governmental subsidies, they would collapse.

Because it is easier to keep doing things the old way, rather than innovate and adapt, many previously profitable industries are decaying, dying, or being stripped of market share by outsourcing and offshoring. It is the underlying inefficiency of the business model used that is the root of the problem. That is why “throwing more money at the problem” only postpones the inevitable, rather than “solving” it in any way. It perpetuates what is obviously an unworkable model.

It’s true Michigan is/was mostly a monoculture, but all of its manufacuring is gone: the kitchen appliances (St Joseph), the furniture (Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo), shipbuilding (Bay City)… and Michigan’s not special.

What do they make in Michigan? Anything? I’m kinda glad my country still makes stuff.

For example, Japanese steel industry, US steel industry, US railroads, US merchant ship fleet, many others. Without substantial governmental subsidies, they would collapse.

Very true. Coal and oil subsidies… why do people complain about those industries, then keep voting in representatives who keep voting YES for those subsidies and people still using products that need that? We use oil, we use aluminum, we use steel. We pay for the product and then we pay more to subsidise. Heh, but everyone whinges when someone suggests subsidising renewable energy. Lawlz.

Manufacturing is contingent on shipping costs

Labour costs gotta have more to do with it: you know what the Netherlands does?
We used to spend bazillions sending EMPTY boats all the way to China, so they could come back and bring us cheap goods. Shipping from China is expensive, but the labour was so cheap and the materials so cheap, it didn’t matter.

(Today, the Netherlands sends old paper in those boats, as the Chinese use that resource)

Though I know Wolverine World Wide, a shoe manufacturer in Michigan, ended up putting their own factories (some of them) in the Dominican Republic: they could pay what over there is a decent wage but is cheap compared to here, has a US okay re factory labour and environmental laws… but that’s all just nice stuff. They didn’t want to pay shipping from China. DR is just so much closer.

I believe the same manufacturing is going on overseas as what used to go on in developed lands… the only difference is the laxer environmental standards means they can get resources out of the ground cheaper than it would be to do so here, and the labour is much cheaper as well. This means long shipping distances don’t matter so much.

I figure eventually countries like China will become prosperous enough that their labour won’t be cheap enough. Eventually, we may run out of cheap labour. At least I hope we do. It’ll cost me, but it should. I’m using way more resources per amount of actual useful work I’m doing compared to someone working a job in a developed nation.

I used to do useful work. Now I sit around and build web pages :confused: