MilkManThe idea that there are more good and qualified people who want to find jobs than there are appropriate jobs for them is a myth (perpetuated by academia). The opposite is true. There are plenty of good jobs, but most people who apply for them are unqualified to fill them.

These are people at the bottom of the employment chain, people whose “skills” have been rendered largely useless by the advance of technology. In the age of the Internet, we no longer need people to open and sort mail. Nor do we need people to enter data when it is done automatically.

What we need are people who have learned to think rationally and communicate effectively — things our educational system is not set up to teach people to do. So they are put out into the marketplace, a marketplace that has no room for them.

Unless education radically changes, the poor will always be with us.

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Measure for Measure

One of the many examples of government-inspired mumbo-jumbo is the idea of measuring unemployment. I’m talking about the oft-quoted unemployment rate.

Why measure unemployment? There’s really no way to do it accurately… and so many ways to fiddle with the numbers. For example, the government normally counts as unemployed only people who have looked for work within the past five weeks. It does not count the underemployed – people who have given up looking for a decent job to work bagging groceries in supermarkets.

Here’s a better idea: Measure employment — the number of people in a given economy who are actually working. Wouldn’t that make more sense? It would not only be easier to understand but also more difficult to monkey with.

Taking this a bit further, we could also measure the amount of money that employed people make, comparing sectors and time frames and so on. Wouldn’t that be more useful?

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