One of Bernanke's favorite "reasons" for the ills of this economy is: education. I watched him on a TV interview last week where he cited educational differences as one of the core determining factors between the have and have-not groups. I personally beg to differ Mr. Bernanke, and a morning story on CCTV (China Central Television) backed my position completely...
When it comes to Education vs. Income, it is just what I keep saying: a standard supply/demand curve sets salaries and earnings; that is all, nothing more. Education used to place you in a supply-constrained-group; not anymore.
China proves Bernanke wrong...China just proved it. The college-educated Chinese citizens were, just a couple years ago, on average making 4 times what the blue-collar factory workers were making in China. But, China is now experiencing an abundance of persons with degrees in accounting, engineering, technology, etc... and, those same college-educated persons are now making on average only 2 times the blue collar wages. The CCTV news show discussed how it is purely a matter of supply/demand for both sectors (white/blue-collar) that is forcing this narrowing in wages.
OK, Bernanke... how is the USA any different?There is a global glut of educated workers. As such, global wage-equalization is underway.
Makes you want to run out and get an MBA, doesn't it? NOT.
This premise that Chairman Bernanke makes, that lack of education is limiting incomes, is simply absurd in today's global economy. Sure, education *helps*, but it will not help beyond the point where supply exceeds demand for any one group of skilled labor - including college-educated labor.
Oh, wait... I just described the current economy in America!
What is REALLY wrong with the economy?
Bernanke: how can we expect you to HELP this economy when you clearly do not understand the macroeconomic forces at play? Or, are you fully aware and just want simple excuses for the underlying mess that will never be addressed?
That underlying mess I refer to is an economy where:
- large numbers of college-educated persons can not find employment commensurate with their training or skills;
- a *few* at the top of the economic food-chain, or the "top" as they have defined it to be, sit back funneling all the productivity out of this country via their instantaneous intraday flash-trading on Wall Street, whether for the banks they work at or the hedge funds and private equity firms and so forth;
- there is "no inflation", but yet the volatile food-and-energy group, and any other thing that one truly *needs*, only goes up in price, and goes up faster than "inflation"; commodity prices are surging worldwide, yet there is "no inflation"... sure!;
- there is no way for people to get any return on savings, though we always here how the USA got into this if from "lack of savings". Great, so now anyone who saves can look forward to .1% (yes, a tenth of a percent) or thereabouts on a "savings account" while large banks hit the same people up for 15+% on their credit-card interest rates. That is a 15,000% difference between what "savings" earn and what revolving-debt costs; need I say more?
- it is nearly impossible to find ANY USA-MADE ITEMS AT STORES anymore. Period. I search to no avail. How am I to "stimulate the economy" (in the USA) if I can not find a way to spend my money on an item that would employ US workers? It gets worse every day.
- Corporate America is moving jobs out of here as fast as they can... whether to dodge environmental code in the USA or to avoid the cost of benefits here or any other potential liability of having workers in the USA, they are rushing to China and other low-cost suppliers because our laws make it easy for them to do so.
- IP (Intellectual Property) rights are only enforced when violations affect the largest of the large companies; aside from that, anyone starting a business these days will likely see their work stolen, cloned, or otherwise reproduced within a few months of product-launch, and there will be no repercussions. You will create a new product only to see a cheap Chinese knock-off on the market in no time. So, starting a product/business in the USA becomes even more foolish, and thus jobs do not stay here.
- Tax-code that favors the highest-wealth people and our government that is "owned" by those people: I am sick of hearing things like "the uncertainty over taxes is preventing corporations from hiring"... GIVE ME A BREAK. There is no uncertainty! It is certain that, at worst case, taxes will revert to pre-Bush-tax-cut-levels... and, anything else is just a better case. How is a 2yr extension of a tax-cut going to lead to anything beyond another supposed "uncertainty" at the end of THAT 2yr period? Ludicrous argument!
- And, we borrow money by the Trillions to pay for the implementation and materialization of the list I just enumerated!
If we do not start creating jobs to provide educated workers with opportunity in-line with their skills, things are only going to get worse. And, when China is already showing signs of a glut of educated workers, get ready for further wage-pressures here in the USA and even more unemployment among those educated persons that Bernanke seems to think do not exist in large enough quantities already.