"The high-wage, medium-skilled job is over"
In an opinion piece, Thomas Friedman quotes Stefanie Sanford of the Gates Foundation and credits her with one of the most accurate statements of our time. Oddly, though, he does it in praise of the Obama administration, which has done great disservice to the nation by treating those mythical medium-skilled jobs as something the wealthy stole from beneath the feet of the middle class. By painting everything in the colors of class warfare and suggesting that business profits and middle-class jobs are outcomes in opposition to one another, the President's re-election campaign has misled people into thinking that if it weren't for a few greedy business owners, all of America's unemployed would be working happily on assembly lines doing medium-skilled work for high pay. America has lots of opportunities for good jobs in the manufacturing sector -- but they aren't jobs for dummies. Factory workers have to be smart and innovative and adaptable in order to bring home good incomes. And in order to make those factories exist, the government can't be in the business of prosecuting capital...which means taxation rates on things like interest, dividends, and capital gains have to be sensible. If they rise too high, those tax rates will discourage people from making the investments in things like equipment and tools that are necessary in order for those "good manufacturing jobs" to exist. But class-warfare, envy-driven language about how the rich should "pay their fair share" in taxes ignores the role that capital plays in a capitalist system. And the simple fact is that American tax rates on capital compete with those all over the rest of the world, and capital can leave just as easily as it can come in. Schools have to be effective, workers have to be motivated, and capital must be available for manufacturing jobs to be available now and in the future.
What is the most important skill for students to learn?
An argument for learning how to use evidence to reach a reasonable conclusion as skill number one
Every boom is followed by a bust
The questions are: (1) Is the renewable-fuels industry a boom industry, and (2) if so, how long before the bust?
Unexpected changes to Iowa's child-welfare demographics
"[S]ome refugee children are misdiagnosed and medicated for attention-deficit disorder when they should be treated for post-traumatic stress"
A UAV that wasn't built -- it was printed