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schencka
reaction to krugman article

Paul Krugman writes about one of his favorite themes, the shrinking middle class. I thought he writes in a rather alarmist way; however, I liked his concluding thought that the lower-wage workers need to band together to be able to get paid enough to live with dignity. But as an analytical person, I don’t see his point as a solution necessarily. He’s right—computers and outsourcing mean that a college degrees isn’t what it used to be, but I think the “die is cast,” so to speak. If a peasant in Southeast Asia is willing to do the same job for one-tenth the money, then it’s kind of okay to let him or her do that, even if it hurts a US citizen at home, in my opinion. We all have to remain mobile and prepared to do what we need to do, even if that means moving to a different region or working as a seasonal or contract worker. Oddly, the way to be able to adapt contradicts Krugman’s point, that a college degree doesn’t mean a higher-paying job. Personally, I would hate to try to get a management job—for example, lead janitor supervisor—without a college degree. It’s okay that education may make a person more unhappy at not getting rich, because education shouldn’t be about “making bank.” It’s about living life as an informed, capable, intelligent person. Getting a college degree is about respect—respecting oneself and earning respect from others. There’s still no other path to earn that, past, present, or future.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/07/opinion/07krugman.html?_r=1&ref=paulkrugman
 
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