A Degree = a Career? Not For 0.5 Million US Grads
|April 26, 2014||Posted by Staff under Inequality / Concentration|
This 2014 excerpt of ThinkProgress, Mar 31, is by Alan Pyke.
Almost half a million college graduates are working minimum-wage jobs.
There were 260,000 Americans with bachelor’s degrees earning the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour or less in 2013. Another 200,000 associate’s degree holders also worked for that wage.
These figures are sure to understate the total number of people with higher education degrees who are working minimum wage jobs because data does not factor in state minimum wage laws that are higher than the federal floor. That means that likely thousands of workers in the 21 states with higher minimum pay rates are likely also degree-holders.
Ed. Notes: You hear that education will solve poverty. While it is true that the right education, as in engineering, will qualify you for a decently paying job, watch out; once a horde of people qualify for that job, how long do you think it’d still pay a decent wage? Besides, you must have noticed that people are better educated now than in the past — the literacy rate is quite high — yet has poverty disappeared? Nope. You need a more basic solution than just higher skills if you want to rid society of humbling poverty.
What solution is more basic? Concretely, it’s efficient land use. Why? Well, look in your city — where you have the most poverty there you will see the most vacant lots. Look at where commerce thrives; there you will see the most intense use of land.
So, how do you get landowners to use their locations efficiently? You don’t let them keep the rent, you make them pay it by charging them the annual rental value of their site while de-taxing their buildings. To pay these land dues, owners put and keep their parcels at highest and best use. Developing land and staffing new stores and offices all require not just capital (investment) but also, obviously, labor (employees).
Not only do workers get a slice of the pie, but the demand for labor also raises wages, so that slice grows.
Of course, the better educated will earn more than others when the employment rate hovers near 100%, but education itself can not create full employment; it takes public recovery of rents, driving efficient land use, to do that.