One of the reasons I got sorely disillusioned with capitalism is the fact that many capitalists I do know will argue about things like maquiladoras or outsourced factories, saying that they’re great for impoverished people because now they have jobs.
So people n the third world are supposed to be happy putting together your flat screen T.V.s, working menial, repetitive, and sometimes dangerous jobs because it’s better than starving?
Last time I checked, true freedom wasn’t working a laborious job for 30 bucks a week thanks to the generosity of some American capitalist. It was the power and means to seek a full and happy life at any means necessary, and the economic flexibility to find a niche for yourself.
Plus the argument reeks of Western superiority.
Outsourcing factories increases the productivity of labour in the country because it has more capital to work with, increasing the marginal revenue product of labour, and therefore increase the wage rate. Nobody has ever suggested that making TVs in factories constitutes “true freedom” (whatever that’s supposed to mean) except inasmuch as it allows people in those countries to achieve their short and long term goals. Foreign investment is an important stepping stone on the road to prosperity.
If there’s anything that reeks of “Western superiority” it’s people who live comfortable lives condemning the very mechanisms that the world’s poor have of increasing their wellbeing, because those mechanisms don’t adhere to some moronic hippie standard of freedom that only wealthy Westerners can indulge in.
The reason “poor” countries are poor is because they lack the resources, skills, labor force and knowledge (or a combination of those items) that it takes to produce “wealth”. Wealth is the best available goods and services in any particular industry.
Poor countries are poor because they lack two things: #1 they can’t build or produce the top notch goods and services that first world countries can. And #2, they lack the ability to exchange for those goods and services.
What does this mean? It means that if you’re country A and you don’t have any oil, let’s say, but you have computer chip manufacturing, you can exchange and have the best of both worlds. Or if you’re country B and you have oil and computer chips, you’re self-sufficient and can remain a first world country.
3rd world countries need help to either #1 produce these goods and services or #2 find ways to leverage what they can produce to exchange for those goods and services.
Stepping out of an agrarian society (farming) and into an industrial society and eventually into a first world society doesn’t happen overnight. It happens through evolution and education of both a society’s/country’s people and their resources/production methods.
People aren’t going to be born with the ability to code computers or build complex production machines or to be top notch doctors. All of these things take education and effort and input and all of those things take time, money or both (usually both). So that process is slow. It’s hard to leapfrog from one position to the other. It is possible and growth can occur fast, but it can not be instantaneous.
For example, I’m working with a company in the Philippines. the Philippines isn’t the poorest but they aren’t rich, either. They don’t produce their own medical equipment (top notch machines like MRI’s PET/CTs and Gamma Knives) in the Philippines. They don’t know how to, they lack the education and industries to do so. So they have to purchase from other countries like the US or Germany or France. They sometimes buy brand new equipment but usually they buy used, older equipment. Relative to the entire planet, they have decent medical equipment but they don’t have a lot of first world level equipment. However, what they have today is worlds better than what they had a decade or two ago. Today, they are about 5 years behind in cancer medicine, 5 years ago they were a decade behind and 10 years ago they were, more or less, ignorant of cancer technology. They are currently limited by one thing, currency exchange rates. The goods and services that they can produce are still limited in quality and quantity so it’s harder for them to buy better equipment than it is for a place like, say, Chicago, USA.
But they slowly invest the income that they do make from their goods/services and they invest that in resources, infrastructure and in education and they now have Filipinos who are capable of installing, repairing and running the equipment, where as before, they had to bring in foreigners to do all of that work and pay a premium for that labor.
in another decade or so, they’ll perhaps have the ability to manufacture that equipment within their own country and they will no longer need to trade for it. When they achieve this, they will be closer to being on par with the rest of the planet.
This is just one sector of one industry, but this is how all emergent markets grow and come to par with the leaders of the world. They need the education, the application of such knowledge and the resources in order to do so and all of those things come with growth, which takes time.
If you don’t believe me, look at China. What was just a few short decades ago an agrarian land of poor farmers is steadily putting more people into the “middle class” than any other country, and that transformation happens through the industrialization and education of the country. No way around that.
People like to make teachers sound super selfless because they get paid shit
But I don’t think that’s the case.
Where else can people who like to hear themselves talk like that get a guaranteed captive audience of young people that have to at least pretend to find them interesting.
They’re definitely getting off on that position of very localized power
Its like Stand-up comedy without any of the risk/cool parts.
Most teachers are underpaid because, generally speaking, most teachers are terrible at their jobs and that’s just what they are worth. There’s a reason our education system sucks and that reason is loaded with terrible teachers.
i think its because by the time you get to college, you’re expected to know how to learn and the burden of absorbing info is put on you, not on the lecturer. also, requiring PhDs to then go get education degrees would mean very few college professors
Sorry but that’s silly logic.
Sometimes I wonder…
Isn’t it odd that we make teachers in K-12 schools get gobs of education that focuses on mainly the ability to teach. Almost forcing them to spend money to achieve a master’s degree in a subject that’s useless in any other field other than teaching, almost to prove that they have the skills to teach. Yet at the highest levels of education, universities, especially at Ivy league schools, we don’t care if these individuals have an education in education. We look more at their career focus, accomplishments and their ability to teach. Why is that? What’s the point?
Is the retention of in-depth knowledge still necessary in today’s world? Do we need to rethink the definition and the importance of “intelligence”?
One can argue that given the endless amounts of information that can instantly be accessed via the internet, one no longer needs to retain any real knowledge outside of how to access that information with efficiency and applicable specificity.
We are lending money that we don’t have to kids that will never be able to pay it back, to educate them for jobs that no longer exist. —
Mike Rowe on Real Time with Bill Mahr
Officially a philosophy major.
Hopefully just for fun?
I’m planning on going to law school.
Sometimes I envy all of you in your endless winding path of degrees.
I have a degree in Philosophy. I focused on Logic/Critical Thinking as well as a lot of the political and economic philosophers.
The Logic classes have paid off in spades. There isn’t a single day that I’m not thankful that I’m a logical humanoid. The rest comes in handy when discussing investments or bullshitting on Facebook/Tumblr.
I’d say a philosophy degree probably isn’t going to land you a job unless you’re looking to become a philosopher or a professor of philosophy, then again, I might be an idiot and people might be dying to hire philosophy majors.
As for law school, philosophy might or might not help but from talking to various law school professors and admittance board members I’ve been told that they prefer English majors the most because they have a valuable skill of reading and writing that is critical to being an attorney.
One of my other degrees is in Business Law, it’s also pretty much useless in getting you a job but is critical to success in a job. I learned contract law, IP law, employment law, investment law, real estate law, bankruptcy law, etc. My wife and other relatives are all law school graduates and their law school curriculum is nearly identical to my B.Law education. The only difference is that they paid a lot more for it and that they can take the bar after they graduated and I can’t (unless I gain 5 years experience).
Then again, very few degrees actually land you a job, really. Many people don’t even go into the field which they studied.
My advice to anyone is if you want to go to college, do it. Either get into the best schools (Ivy League) or go to a local cheap school. No one cares if you went to a middle ground school. They usually cost more and are a waste of your time. Get in, get the skills that you need and get out. Get a job and learn the rest on the fly (most do anyway).
Colleges, Degrees and Education
I hope my kid never goes to college. I hope he doesn’t have to. I hope that in the next 18 years, we figure out a better to learn and teach kids. I hope that one day anyone can learn anything that is being taught anywhere in the universe simply by logging in.
A lot of top colleges already offer free education online. Not receiving a diploma in exchange for what you learned isn’t the problem, society expecting one is. Perhaps we need to rethink how we perceive who is “qualified” and who is not.
How many people do we alienate because we base what they can learn and where they can learn it form on what kind of kids they were before they fully matured.
I’m not just talking about high school grades and SATs. The dichotomy of the education system starts at a young age. We place certain kids in “gifted” programs or in “honors” programs and we place others on an education path with less expectations of those students and equally less contributions to those students. All of this happens well before high school, it happens in elementary school, before some children even develop a sense or drive for learning or a focus on a particular skill or knowledge set.
Some people are late bloomers. They don’t figure things out and get their life in order until 20, 21, 25 years old. But for them, it’s already too late. They have 50 or 60 years of life left, but we’ve already sealed their fate. These people can’t get into better schools and they aren’t typically considered for better jobs. Not at 25, 35 or 55 years of age. We don’t view them as qualified. And we don’t give them a chance to prove it.
I’m not saying let anyone into any school. Not right away, at least. But we need to gradually relax the acceptance program while also improving how colleges teach.
There are people willing to pay to be taught and people willing to get paid to teach yet colleges put canyons between them. Application processes are ass-backwards. If people want to pay to learn, let them. If they flunk out, that’s their problem.
There just seems to be this artificial divide between consumers and producers in this market and I think we can find better ways to bridge both sides without sacrificing the quality of education.
at what point will college wither away?
As soon as businesses start to accept internet/youtube based training as the norm.
"And where did you study economics?"
"Check my youtube history. I have 11,000 hours of viewed videos."