Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Irony of Jobs

Before this crisis, I heard many speculators claim that the United States had a shortage of skilled labor and a surplus of unskilled labor.

Unskilled labor were jobs that anyone could fill. Clerk at McDonalds. Bathroom janitor. Little training is required. Many of these jobs don't even need you to have graduated from secondary education yet. However, since everyone can do them, competition for them is fierce. Having the job can mean the difference between affording an apartment verses living under a bridge. Only so many of these jobs are available, since companies and people are only willing to pay a certain amount to get the bathroom clean.

Skilled labor requires university degrees, and prefers working experience. Doctors. Lawyers. Engineers. System Administrators. Scientists. Obtaining the human capital needed to work the position was a long and expensive prospect, which is why few people qualify. These people make vast amounts of money for the company they work for, and there is an nearly endless hunger for them. At least, for the ones who are provably good. Nobody's that interested in a shoddy engineer.

Scholarships would be a promising way of solving this disparity, but who would fund them?

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