Monday, January 04, 2010
Clean Ups 01-03-10
(fm the BC thread "Drone on")
(who is admirably unafraid of the success of others)
Methinks /// you misread wretchard. It is bad news for you if you are Mr Average Dimbulb adolescent and find yourself dropped into a class where everyone else is named Kumar or Wong because they raise the standard. Unless you have excellent social skills you will get left in the dust. You are correct that the actual percentage of the population getting whatever education is available has not changed much in 100 years. Before WW-I about half the urban population in the US received a HS diploma and a tiny fraction of those went on to college. Today the percentage of 14 year olds in our urban centers who 5 years later will have a high school diploma is still about 50%. The difference is that the quality of that diploma and the education it represents is much less now. Most of those who get a HS diploma are now admitted to some supposedly college level program. Often that is an attempt to raise them to the level of employability that their Great-grandparents had after High School.
(who said her comment was swallowed)
Errrp, mighty tasty.
(who asked why rebuild after we destroy a threat?)
Why? Not for feel good purposes but because if they reinfect it means we have to go back in. Rebuilding in my sense could mean making it safe for missionaries or inviting 5 million Indians to move in. The purpose of foreign reconstruction is not the same as domestic welfare. Everyone gets that wrong, unfortunately including the people in DoD and State.
A sidebar link to an archived copy of the Three Conjectures might make a good feature for the blog layout.
There are four separate categories that can be examined here for the "Blue Collar" population we are considering. These are whether they have completed High School or not and whether they are in the present, that is post 1980, or past, that is pre 1920. In each case we can examine their skills, both technical and academic as well as social or cultural and consider their employability. My argument is that both social/ cultural skills and technical/ academic skills have declined with the greatest decline being in the academic skill level of HS graduates. High Schools teach less and teach it worse to students who enter less prepared and leave less employable then their counterparts did 100 years ago. It is not that all adolescents 100 years ago were growing up in temperate stable homes imbued with the Protestant Ethic. In their day the Dead Rabbits were viewed with as much dread as the gangs of today.
Technological changes have reduced the complexity of low level operations. Agreed that global trading patterns have increased pressure on unskilled labor. That explains why immigration has more often been used as a social club against the Right than as a rallying standard on the Left.