Saturday, February 28, 2004

Unions Discourage Higher Education?

While reading an article on the ending of the grocery worker's strike over at Master of None, this quote by the union hit me in the head:
the markets were threatening to destroy one of the last U.S. jobs available that could provide middle-class comfort without requiring years of higher education.
I was raised by parents who both grew up in very poor families, but managed to go to college, becoming the first generation in both families to do so. And through this education, they escaped the poverty they grew up in.

What these two hammered into my brain is that if I didn't get good grades, get into, and finish college, I would be no better than a street beggar. Maybe with hard work and no education I could aspire to a trailer home in the bad part of town, so hard work by itself wasn't going to work. By the time I was ten, it was ingrained in me that education meant a better life.

So to see our unions bemoaning lack "middle class comfort" for the uneducated is just...ridiculous. OFCOURSE people without advanced education have a harder time working their way up the economic ladder. The job the unions should be doing is to get their members better education and training to work their way up the ladder, not trying to strong-arm companies into artificially paying their workers more than their worth to society.

As Michael says in his commentary, Welcome to the Real World. We are now living in a global economy, meaning Americans are now competing with a few billion more people. Americans can no longer enjoy being 5% of the planet's population while enjoying nearly half of it's economic wealth without being better educated, better trained and working harder to keep the lion's share of the planet's wealth.

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