Education is Bad for the Economy!
By Al Berrios (contact Al Berrios)

(Editorial Note: This Report was modified in Feb. 19, 2004 into this easier print format.)

By now I'm sure you've heard about this so-called "jobless recovery", where the economy is doing swell, it's just that no one's getting hired. The main reason attributed to this is that basically, if it's not bolted to the ground, it's getting outsourced.

Here's my explanation for why this is occurring:

If knowledge could be measured in units, for every additional unit of knowledge gained, the difficulty level of a task diminishes comparatively.

Let's say the individual gaining knowledge is a grunt (a term introduced two weeks ago here, ("Us Vs. Them: An Abstract Discussion on Programming Consumers").

What occurs here is that for every additional unit of knowledge gained, choice - and the ability to exploit choices - increase. And as choices increase, grunts prefer not to do grunt work and phase out of the pool of grunt workers.

Inevitably, with a decrease in grunts and a simultaneous increase in grunt work, demand for grunts increases.

Are you still with me? Good.

We're having a jobless recovery because we're living in an information age where grunts are learning much faster than expected, creating a historically significant shift in our source of grunts.

But as long as there are third world countries and other emerging markets, there will always be a readily available pool of grunts, right? Wrong! Sure, in the short-term, there's a virtually unlimited supply of grunts, however, in the long-term, they can theoretically run out, as the velocity of knowledge increases.

So, as we're faced with a grunt crunch, one thing becomes glaringly apparent - keeping grunts ignorant makes them more available and absolutely cheaper (remember your basic economics: an increase in demand of a scarce item increases it's cost).

If by now you're thinking that this argument means that there're tons of jobs out there, you're a grunt and should go get that job. But if you're not, then you've realized one of our civilizations great truths:

Ignorance is profitable, hence, education is bad for the economy.

Sure this may all seem like, "Duh!", but if you agree with the logic that education is bad, why are letting your tax dollars educate grunts? And if you don't agree, why are you unemployed?


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