Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Apparently the NYT thinks we're a bunch of whiners
Harvard Economics Professor Ed Glaeser said in the New York Times that government unemployment resources should be focused, as ever, on those citizens without a college education or who work in sectors like agriculture that have been hardest hit by the recession.
I disagree that the government should focus on aiding these groups of people. For one, people without a college education will always have employment problems - this recession IS remarkable precisely BECAUSE it has hit educated, white collar professionals. For another thing, college grads have student loan debt (the average amount being $20,000), and need to get jobs if only to avoid defaulting on their obligations. And I would venture to guess that unemployment assistance to MBAs would have to be provided for a shorter amount of time than for farm workers, given the larger skill set of your average MBA (actually, maybe it's presumptuous to think your average MBA has more skills than a farm worker...but whatev).
And I also don't want to hear from a tenured Harvard economics professor that "...reversals of fortune among educated elites have a nice counterintuitive ring to them...and well-educated readers find stories about people like themselves far more interesting than more tales of suffering migrant farm workers." Yes, I suppose up in Cambridge it must be quite droll to read about Johnny Finance putting on a suit and taking the train into Wall Street everyday because he can't bear to tell his wife he lost his job. This pompous blowhard needs to realize that no one is advocating that the poor are not adversely affected by the recession, but throwing money at high school dropouts is not going to encourage innovation, investment, or growth.