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At Economix in The New York Times, Nancy Folbre presents some sobering news Monday that is reflected in those two charts above:
Here’s the good news: Young adults who have finished college continue to earn significantly more than mere high school graduates.

The gap between the median earnings of high school graduates and those with a bachelor’s degree or higher – the red versus the purple lines in the graphs above – remains wide. The difference, over a lifetime, is more than enough to justify the expense of attaining a bachelor’s degree.

Here’s the bad news: Adjusted for inflation, median earnings for young men with a bachelor’s degree or higher in 2011 were significantly lower than they were in 1971. Young women have slightly improved their position (by $630) since 1971. But as a comparison between the two graphs shows, their median is still lower than that of male high school graduates in 1971.

And then there's the fact that earnings for college graduates aged 25-34 have fallen some 15 percent since 2000.

As Folbre notes: "Does anyone seriously believe that college graduates today are less skilled or less productive than they were in 1971?"

Behind this are many factors, but a key one is globalization, that race to the bottom that pits Americans with a college education against those in China or India who will work for wages that are only a fraction of those in the industrially developed nations. There are apologists who claim that this situation inevitable, that it is the natural order and that the solution is for college freshmen to give themselves a better chance at higher earnings by choosing the right major, preferably science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Industry claims that it can't find enough graduates with the right degrees, which is the excuse corporations deploy to justify lobbying for more guestworkers.

As a consequence, American students who choose "the right major" find that is no guarantee they will earn more because nearly half the jobs in those fields are being filled by guestworkers. A study by the Economic Policy Institute found:

• IT workers earn the same today as they did, generally, 14 years ago

• Currently, only one of every two STEM college graduates is hired into a STEM job each year

• Policies that expand the supply of guestworkers will discourage U.S. students from going into STEM, and into IT in particular [...]

Despite a steady supply of U.S. STEM graduates, guestworkers make up a large and growing portion of the workforce, specifically in information technology occupations and industries. IT employers look to guestworker programs as a source of labor that is plentiful even at wages that appear to be too low to attract large numbers of the best and brightest domestic students.

We have jobs flowing overseas, we have guestworkers filling up to half the good jobs and, nearly four-and-a-half years after the Great Recession, we have a wretched recovery in which the median wage is still $1,000 below what it was in 2007, when that recession began. Meanwhile, a third of college graduates are working in fields that don't require a college education of any kind, much less one in STEM.

There are solutions to this mess. But current policy as well as policies in the making—such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership—make matters worse. Hardly a surprise then that so many young adults don't trust the political system to improve their lot. Why should they when so many politicians are unwilling to push for needed changes?

This situation is not the natural order. It is an artificial creation that can and must be altered to benefit the overall populace and not just those in the economic stratosphere. Getting there means rooting out the politicians in the pockets of the plutocrats—whether they are Republicans or Democrats. There is no reason whatsoever to delay this process for yet another election cycle.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Economics on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 12:17 AM PST.

Also republished by This Week in the War on Women and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (150+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    worldlotus, Youffraita, wxorknot, moviemeister76, Pam from Calif, bobswern, Eileen B, Just Bob, hannah, trkingmomoe, Egalitare, Kit RMP, lotlizard, riverlover, Joy of Fishes, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, SME in Seattle, JaxDem, LaFeminista, Jim R, caul, The Lone Apple, Chi, undercovercalico, Burned, 84thProblem, theKgirls, blue jersey mom, Kristina40, maryabein, marykk, jbsoul, ruleoflaw, Matt Z, DRo, BYw, Shockwave, vidanto, dkmich, mudslide, geekydee, jobobo, Naniboujou, political junquie, Habitat Vic, socialismorbarbarism, gulfgal98, glitterscale, kharma, ban nock, RandomNonviolence, Aunt Pat, kurt, jamess, allenjo, Dartagnan, IndieGuy, willyr, divineorder, concernedamerican, Ishmaelbychoice, peregrine kate, CitizenJoe, kerflooey, NoMoreLies, basquebob, satrap, Liberty Equality Fraternity and Trees, mahakali overdrive, HappyinNM, lineatus, ctsteve, Tool, DawnN, greenbastard, dannyboy1, Glen The Plumber, anastasia p, J M F, ClapClapSnap, NYFM, a2nite, Jlukes, MPociask, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, jck, mconvente, radarlady, YucatanMan, Leftcandid, rivercard, Bob Duck, quagmiremonkey, Josiah Bartlett, bronte17, Steven D, Steveningen, Cassandra Waites, jessical, No Exit, semiot, kevinpdx, papercut, rapala, Nulwee, MKinTN, mrsgoo, cpresley, Joieau, cardboardurinal, Assaf, doingbusinessas, The Jester, Polly Syllabic, jadt65, BlueMississippi, midnight lurker, Bluefin, Eric Nelson, left of center, Elizaveta, MKHector, Jakkalbessie, Avilyn, letsgetreal, fumie, Mad Season, librarisingnsf, rbaillie, Dr Arcadia, Dodgerdog1, JML9999, elfling, Gowrie Gal, johnosahon, chuck utzman, FutureNow, wader, salmo, ladybug53, Gooserock, SteveLCo, sc kitty, enemy of the people, flavor411, nathanfl, anodnhajo, jps, amyzex, splashy

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 12:17:47 AM PST

  •  You're damn right, MB n/t (17+ / 0-)

    Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

    by Youffraita on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 12:29:31 AM PST

    •  Let's hit the nail, eh. (12+ / 0-)

      China has 350,000,000 "Long Distance Commuters." These are adults who have been forced by national pricing policies for staples to leave their families and go off away from their families to earn a living.

      They get between $1.50 and $3.50 an hour. More toward the bottom of the range.

      I'd call that slavery. What else?

      These busy hands are most efficiently applied at the coastal export platforms. Families be damned. Communities be damned. Quality of life... from Hell.

      They are working mainly at export industries. Not at local projects, infrastructure, education.

      So of course China has a remarkable competitive advantage in world manufacturing markets. Their people live in the landscapes of prison-like dormatories -- as bad as "1984" by any measure you'd like.

      Similar to the bottom third of England during the first Industrial Revolution.

      The cure ??? Stop buying things from China. No teevees. Nothing. And that's not going to happen because it's high quality slave-produced goods coming from China.

      We're like the Roman citizens who saw slave manufacturing come in after the slave farming operations eliminated free farming. Slaves took over the Roman economy.

      The graphs in this diary show what happens. Maybe we can all go into the military? Start conquering stuff.

      •  The cure is to organize international unions (8+ / 0-)

        and support them whenever they go on strike. That includes sympathy strikes here in the US. Unions are what built prosperity here in the US and they are the only thing that can build prosperity elsewhere.

        If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

        by AoT on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 09:34:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Organize a union in China. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dinotrac

          Did I read that correctly?

          •  Organize an international union (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            waterstreet2013

            that includes workers across nations. So yes, it would include China. And no, not the state controlled unions that they currently have. I never said it would be easy, but it's more doable than getting people to not buy cheap things.

            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

            by AoT on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 04:40:44 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Why would Chinese workers agree to this (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              waterstreet2013

              $3.50/hr is far more than they could previously ever imagine making. It would be like a McDonalds worker being immediately offered $75k/year.

              What are you going to tell them? "Join this union so you get so expensive that your job will be sent to America." Sign me up!

              (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
              Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

              by Sparhawk on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 06:59:22 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Why would the job get sent to another country (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                waterstreet2013

                where the same union would be doing it? Then the company would be paying more for the labor than $3.50/hour. You don't understand how an international union would work.

                And if you seriously think they would turn down a job for $3.50 because somewhere along the line it might mean that the company would move back to the US then I don't even know what to say. What kind of unemployment do you think they have in China that people are going to turn down a job based on some prediction by an armchair economic theorist about losing their job later? You think that a McDonald's worker would turn down 75k a year? That's absurd.

                If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                by AoT on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 10:40:52 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Currency exchange rates -- the key to the (0+ / 0-)

                  economics of these comparisons.

                  Staying at quickie-reply length, you might find something in the older diaries here.

                  Super Short: China manipulates currency so foreign goods remain extremely expensive for their people. It's a one-way street with goods going out, but money coming in.

                  Bad for quality of life, great for power.

                  •  Thus an international union (0+ / 0-)

                    He was talking about the jobs leaving China, not going to China. I know about exchange rates, etc. I don't see how that addresses the issue we were discussing.

                    If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                    by AoT on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 10:14:37 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  "Fair Trade" is an effort to set a base (0+ / 0-)

                  on what labor rates get paid.

                  And living conditions.

                  But that's a minor player for now. We would have to see Fair Trade expanded to 100 times its impact for changes to roll in.

    •  I have a degree in Computer Science (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dinotrac, nchristine, AoT, IQof20

      The company I work for "in sourced" my job. That is they hired IBM India and Wipro to do the work on site. I've been VERY lucky and am still employed but I've given up on IT, at 52 I'm more concerned about just having a job.

      •  IT / Computer Science - Young game (0+ / 0-)

        Dead...on

        As technologies shift companies know they must train staff on whatever it is that they are pushing toward tomorrow.  They want staff cert'd on this with X years of experience.  The broader your resume gets from just architecting/developing/installing/supporting solutions the worse it gets.  Over time you wind up looking like a "generalist" which is now apparently on the "out" list.

        While I still believe paths exist in tech and you can always dig yourself a comfy hole to hide in, but as you get older, the reality of tech is that you have to move sometimes to follow the skill set or you have to dump skill sets and learn new ones to stay.  But as you get older, this is just not seen as a benefit anymore.  Your salary that is tied to your experience is suddenly an issue when you have 0 years experience at "fill in the acronym here" and a young adult is less than half your salary.

        I went 1.5 years out of work back in 2002 then went back to a six figure job.  I've now been out of work for about 3 months and am seeing the same things as before.  Low wages.  Only want skills that are exactly what we have requested (which are weird combos).  No ancillary technologies except in areas not listed by the job description (luck of the draw).  

        As an early-adopter and PC guy from when I was young where mainframes/terminals were still how I did programming in high school & college (but I did test it back in my room on my PC), I'm at the head of the generation of technical people who really are completely of "this generation" of technology.  PCs, Servers, networks might have gotten faster and a few key areas has adapted this or that, but there has been no major "sea-change" as what happened from the days of punch cards and mainframes vs. today.

        Sure mobility and cellular development is a nice new niche for folks to jump into, but PC/server/network architecture still moves around the same basic concepts.

        There are currently multiple postings in my city for developers with 5 years experience paying $50,000 or less.  I'm not sure how you are a successful software developer with lots of training and the ability to burn businesses to the ground if you suddenly went rogue takes that as pay.  I don't understand how that becomes the base line for a field that it so widely utilized and now integral to organizations but now pays less than I got with 1 year experience.  

        I wonder what the landscape will look like for me in 10 years and I fear that you are seeing it Steve.  There may come a time when my plan to "learn something new" will have to stop.  Not because I can't, but because it will punish me pay-wise.  

        This does not bode well for technology as a career.  I'm so glad I told our son to focus only on one specific tech skill and then don't go into tech but use that skill to wow people.  He is now the executive director of a non-profit managing people, budget and fundraising (at 24) and really knows how to do SQL queries and format them all pretty in Excel.

        •  Missed your comment, (0+ / 0-)

          I created web pages for the company I worked for. Part of that what I did was also develop the stored procedures which the web pages interfaced with-they were SQL queries. I also got a couple of certificates that supposedly kept my skills updated-didn't matter.

          Given what companies are doing with outsourcing and in-sourcing I wouldn't recommend IT to any young person.

  •  Truth (46+ / 0-)

    Getting ahead is pretty much just a crap shoot now. You either get lucky and choose the right major and graduate at just the right time, which is always a crap shoot, or you're pretty much screwed. And that's even if you have the ability to go to college and the ability to handle any major, which is certainly not the case for many. My college classmates are mostly scared shitless.

    Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

    by moviemeister76 on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 12:44:44 AM PST

  •  Some awesome commentary ya' got there, MB! n/t (20+ / 0-)

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 12:55:00 AM PST

  •  This is the consequence of Congress having (8+ / 0-)

    made the currency artificially scarce. Although the dollar was liberated from gold in 1971, the same year 18 year old got the vote, there has been a consistent effort since to restrict the flow of currency, first by filtering the dollars through the Federal Reserve and then by encouraging investment in Treasury bonds by the unearned income crowd. The result is that the movement of the dollar through the economy has slowed from a steady stream to a trickle, which the shut-down aimed to slow to a drip.
    Liberating the dollar gave rise to the fear that ordinary folk would have access to too many. So, the one percenters were encouraged to accumulate and use them to invest overseas. It's important not to blame the effect (globalization) for the cause. When domestic investment had to generate a profit in excess of 8%, because that was what the 30 year Treasury paid out in 1991, there was no way state and local development could compete. Urban renewal funds (free money) were just enough to tear things down. Suburbanization was encouraged because it served to "thin the herd" and because people had historically shown that they'd do almost anything to hold on to their shelter.
    The crash of 2008 was not inevitable. It was engineered to put a good scare in the populace and remind them that their existence is tenuous. But, what the shutdown showed is that the populace, as always happens when there is rationing, has increasingly resorted to the underground or shadow economy, aka black market. Although Italy and Greece's shadow economy is estimated at 25% or even 30% of GDP, the U.S. is less, but amounts to about $2 trillion a year. That's, I believe, double the federal budget and means that about $500 billion is not flowing into the Treasury as tax. And that's over and above the income that is legally exempt. That's $500 billion over which Congress has no say. Then, when we consider the various trust funds (pension, highway construction, medical care, unemployment insurance), it becomes obvious that Congress has fewer and fewer dollars to dispose of to buy their continuance in office. They have just about privatized themselves out of significance and the election of 212 freshmen to the House in the last three cycles proves it. They can continue to promise jobs, but the argument is not persuasive when everyone knows that jobs and income has been lost and our built environment is crumbling into dust.
    The argument for the Federal Reserve was that Congress could not be trusted to manage the currency. Now they've proved that in spades. It's ironic because they used the federal purse as their private piggy bank to insure their longevity and the power it brings and the result is that they are going to be systematically dismissed for their malfeasance.
    Harry Truman made a big mistake when he said "the buck stops here." Putting everything on the President's desk let Congress off the hook, so that after everyone got hooked on using money to mediate their transactions, Congress could rule with threats and bribes, doling out or withholding dollars on a whim. And it was all the President's fault, whose removal was assured by limiting his term.

    Obamacare at your fingertips: 1-800-318-2596; TTY: 1-855-889-4325

    by hannah on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 12:59:34 AM PST

  •  A Must-Read: McGarity's NYT Opinionator piece... (28+ / 0-)

    ...from last night: "What Obama Left Out of His Inequality Speech: Regulation."

    There are many ways to skin the status quo's cat: And, the President's support for Fast-Tracking the TPP undermines all of the White House's recent commentary on income inequality, as I noted in another Kossack's post praising the President's speech on same in this community, just the other day.

    Another example: Looks like the Volcker Rule's going to be passed, BUT...enforcement of it will be "discretionary." LOL! See: "Volcker rule to give regulators flexibility." What could possibly go wrong? (Queue: Highly-rec'd posts regarding passage of the Volcker Rule, come Tuesday.)

    The propaganda and deception...it burns!!!

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 01:04:17 AM PST

  •  STEM guarantees nothing (43+ / 0-)

    ... because there is not enough funding for basic research. In my field (evolutionary biology and ecology) the granting rate for NSF grants is between 6 and 8 percent. So only the very top labs are getting funded, which pays for grad students, techs, and postdocs. The rest- even in coveted tenure-track jobs, or with tenure- are getting by on small in-house grants or doing unfunded work.

    It's a brutal pyramid, and if the top level is not funded, there isn't much left to trickle down to fund jobs for bachelor's, master's, or untenured PhD's. In my 'imaginary scenario' where I get to sit and talk man-to-man with President Obama, I ask him how he can, in good conscience push STEM education when basic research is being cut, killing research programs left and right via sequestration and general flat budgets for science. Don't get me wrong, I know that 'Congress controls the purse strings,' but POTUS frequently speaks as if many problems will be solved if we just graduate lots of physics, chemistry, and biology majors. It seems to me that present problems would get worse, since they'd be overtrained and move into other fields where they'd either be unqualified or require additional retraining.

    My budget-cutting plan: anyone showing up to a government worksite with Confederate images on their truck, gets paid in Confederate dollars.

    by El Sobrante on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 01:37:40 AM PST

  •  But, but unfettered capitalism is making it better (12+ / 0-)

    hmmmmmm

    "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

    by LaFeminista on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 02:40:30 AM PST

  •  By Whatever Means Possible (8+ / 0-)

    This is an issue that impacts generations of Americans as well as the economy of the country. Defeating and replacing the politicians who have supported and fostered the current situation is a must. At one time, I would have said, "...by any means necessary." However, I see that might be interpreted as supporting physical violence which I do not. I do support anything short of that even if it means the nasty, the lowdown and the dirty-tricky.

    This is a fight for survival. This is a fight for the future. Tying one hand behind your back when fighting people who have their pick of weapons is not my idea of fair. They people we fight also have resources that we do not have. I think when fighting a foe that is disproportionately stronger, the weaker side must use tactics that balance the playing field.

    Forcing out the candidates who are a danger to our society is a must if we are going to attempt fixing the problems they have caused. There are ways of forcing these politicians out -- skeletons that live within their closets or the closets of their family members that can be exploited. I abhor physical violence but I support anything short of it.

    The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.

    by The Lone Apple on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 03:05:01 AM PST

    •  Willing to risk arrest? Go hungry? There's lots we (11+ / 0-)

      can do short of violence.

      Occupy's Pledge to
      FIGHT BACK
      We Didn’t Start the Class War

      The 1% wreck our economy, kill our jobs, seize our homes, assault our rights, destroy the environment, and sentence us to lives of debt and war. For years, we have petitioned our governments for change without redress and have fought tirelessly to elect politicians who only betray us. In a world where the 1% have usurped democracy and politicians refuse to serve the people, the people have but one choice—to fight back!

      The relentless class war against the 99% must end. We’ve been deceived our whole lives into believing the only way to create change is by voting, but now we’re learning there’s another way. A revolution for real democracy is underway, and it falls on each and every one of us to fight together for our common future. We will cast the vote of resistance. We will take direct action to shut this broken system down and build a better world that works in the interest of all people, everywhere.
      Will you help us wage resistance? (Check off all that apply)

      I pledge to come out in the streets when Occupy calls for a day of action.

      I pledge to attend at least one meeting with my local Occupy group.
      Click Here to find one in your area

      I pledge to help promote #occupy news and actions via social media.

      I pledge to donate what I make in one hour to an Occupy-related project.
      Click Here for our curated list of places to donate

      I pledge to never go to work during a general strike.

      I pledge to help organize my co-workers to make demands. It doesn’t matter if I’m behind a desk, a cash register, or a machine—we deserve better treatment.
      Click Here to learn how

      I pledge to attend a direct action / civil disobedience training session.
      Click Here for NYC Summer Disobedience School
      Click Here for online video training

      I pledge to dump my bank and join a credit union.
      Click Here to find one in your area

      I pledge to start an affinity group to occupy something.
      This can be just about anything. Like a park, a farm, defending a foreclosed home, or holding a sit-in at your town hall or school. You might only need a half dozen or so dedicated people. Issue demands if you like, but don't go home until they're met. You can even use blockading to make it extra hard for them to remove you. Remember: Occupying is a militant nonviolent tactic meant to assert control over physical space by reclaiming it for a new purpose while disrupting the ability of your adversary to use that space, thus forcing recognition of your cause. You don't need a permit any more than Martin Luther King Jr. needed permission to hold sit-ins at lunch counters. This is the very meaning of civil disobedience, but it also means you'll be risking arrest so you should consider seeking legal counsel beforehand. How much does change mean to you?

       photo WYZqDTrl-1.png

      Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

      by divineorder on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 06:49:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  All true, but one more factor is that a lot more.. (12+ / 0-)

    ...people are going to college than before, and when you increase the supply of something it's to be expected that the price it commands in the marketplace will go down.  If you make the college degree yesterday's high school degree, then it's going to offer high school returns.  Of course, part of the context here is that there are no longer any jobs, at any wage, for high school graduates.

    It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

    by Rich in PA on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 03:46:48 AM PST

  •  The situation for women is probably worse (18+ / 0-)

    that it looks. I graduated from college in 1972. At that time, most women with college degrees were working in professions like teaching and nursing that are relatively poorly paid. My generation was the first to go to grad school, law school, and med school in large numbers. For example, I was my PhD adviser's first woman PhD. Given that, it is stunning that our pay has only increased $630 in 40 years.

  •  40 years of wishful thinking (20+ / 0-)

    Then again if you don't get a degree you are screwed even more.

    It is clear that the "system" has sucked all of us out of any participation in any gains in knowledge that bring gains in productivity.  This chart says it all;

    Productivity and compensation photo compensation_productivity_zps3610680e.jpg

    Something did start going wrong 40 years ago and we better reverse this trend starting now.

    (chart courtesy of skybluewater)

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 04:37:02 AM PST

  •  poor & middle class poorer than 40 years ago (14+ / 0-)

    and the rich have taken every penny of it

    that about sums it up, i'd say

    it has to stop and it has to stop right now

  •  good to hear (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    satrap

    the more people on the shit end of the stick the more something is apt to get done about it.

    If earnings for those with post grad degrees would get cut in half American might start to improve the way we do things. Over the last 30 years it's been all about shipping jobs out and shipping low wage workers in, and those with degrees tell us how good it is for the economy. Need to replicate what happened to "journalists" across the broad spectrum of the economy.

    “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

    by ban nock on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 05:29:52 AM PST

  •  this is a predictable outcome of supply and demand (5+ / 0-)

    40 years ago, a college degree was pretty much a ticket to a good career because there were relatively few of them.  Now, they are more common and command much less of a premium.  Jobs that did not use to require a degree are now filled with people with degrees - but with not much difference in job content or pay.

    For the first time, a third of the nation's 25- to 29-year-olds have completed at least a bachelor's degree, according to an analysis by the Pew Research Center. In comparison, just 12 percent of people in that age group earned a bachelor's degree 40 years ago.
    Picture an economy with 100 jobs and some normal wage distribution.  If the top 12 jobs are held by the 12 people with degrees, their average pay will look pretty good.  Now extend that to the top 33 jobs having degrees.  Even if all jobs pay the same as before, the average pay of people with degrees will be lower.  
    As Folbre notes: "Does anyone seriously believe that college graduates today are less skilled or less productive than they were in 1971?"
    To answer this question - no, I don't believe that for a straight up comparison person to person.  I do believe that in total, college graduates today are "less productive" than college graduates 40 years ago, because they now represent the top 1/3 of the bell curve of whatever drives productivity, instead of the top 12% - and they are working in jobs that may not require or utilize the education they have.

    And it will get worse.  40 years ago we were beginning to outsource / offshore blue collar work.  Now we are doing the same to white collar work.  My employer, for example, recently announced a 3-5 year plan to offshore up to 25% of the US support staff (corporate finance professionals, in my case) to offshore affiliates in lower cost countries.  

    •  College enrollment is up 3 fold since 1970 (0+ / 0-)

      Population went from 205 to 316 million

      AS you note a clear trend.
      http://www.multpl.com/...

      .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 11:06:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Productivity has increased every year (0+ / 0-)

      for the last fifty or so years. So if we were to measure the actual productivity of college graduates I'd bet we'd see that it has increased.

      If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

      by AoT on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 11:36:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  You know something (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MGross, smokey545, elfling

    These figures are really useless with some greater visibility into what a graduate actually studied.  Even say "IT workers earn the same as they did 14 years ago" ignores the explosive segmentation of IT responsibilities (including [likely temporary] growth in certified work on peripheral tasks).

    A statement like "only one out of two STEM graduates works in STEM" is even worse than useless.  Apparently HVAC technician certification counts as STEM in DHS's mind.

    •  Cmon. The graphs (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      YucatanMan

      in the main article and comments section, make the sweeping, birds-eye view very instructive, not 'useless'.  

      From Neocon to sane- thanks to Obama- and Kos.

      by satrap on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 06:20:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes. But a good HVAC technician certification (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elfling, IQof20

      can lead to a job paying higher than many PhD. positions. Same for highly skilled CNC machinists.

      Fighting Liberal at
      “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” --Gandhi:

      by smokey545 on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 11:39:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Many Ph.D positions are not in STEM (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ladybug53

        And you can also include post-graduate fellowships, NGOs and other nonprofits, etc.  On the other hand, an HVAC technician salary starts around the US median income, and represents a field that is highly specialized and dependent on the grid infrastructure and products out today.  Same thing with CNC machinists, or drafters for that matter.  At some point, these are jobs that are likely candidates for serious automation.  And where automation penetrates, either skilled labor demand drops, unskilled labor demand rises, or both.

  •  success of the criminal class - corps & banksters (9+ / 0-)

    in a way this is off topic

    but the world wide corporate coup d'etat is connected

    Chris Hedges's article was linked by Meteor Blades in his pundit round up

    The material below is from the second to last paragraph. I took out a few lines and added the bold.

    If the corporate state were legitimate it would be worthy of more judicious and careful consideration. If the corporate state truly cared about the common good it would have to be treated with more deference....

    But our corporate overlords are gangsters in pinstriped suits.

    They care nothing for the rule of law. They have put into place the most sophisticated system of internal security in human history. They have shredded our most basic constitutional rights and civil liberties. They have turned the three branches of government into wholly owned subsidiaries of the corporate state. They have seized control of the systems of information to saturate the airwaves with lies. They distort the law and government regulations to advance their own pillage and exploitation of us, as well as the ecosystem, which now totters toward global collapse. ....

    There is no internal mechanism left, whether the courts, electoral politics, the executive branch of government or the traditional press, by which these corporate elites can be reigned in or held accountable.

    The corporate state, in theological terms, is about unchecked exploitation and death.

    And if the corporate state is not vanquished, and vanquished soon, the human species will not survive.

    http://www.truthdig.com/...
  •  New leaks about TPP - worse than you thought (11+ / 0-)

    Leaked Trade Docs Reveal US Subservience to Corporate Profit
    Wikileaks puts out two new documents showing "great pressure" to bend other countries to corporate-friendly trade pact

    by now it is obvious, and beyond any doubt that wikileaks is a terrorist organization!!!

    sowing fear in the hearts of the overlords if the worst kind of terror!!!!

    the overlords have rigged the system so that "democracy" is actually a corporate coup d'etat, and with a media that spreads the propaganda

    HOW DARE THEY!

    HOW DARE THEY EXPOSE WHAT IS BEING DONE!

  •  What really hurts me- and I'm (7+ / 0-)

    a member of the 1% or so- is that the current (and eventual) suffering of the avg. college grad. is wholly invisible.   If you go to the movies, to a baseball game, to a store, it appears, from regular human observation, as if nothing is different than it was in 1993 or 1983 (from my memory).  But it is.  It is!

    And it's this 'invisible epidemic' that allows the narrative to be a hysterical chord about ongoing debt rather than human wreckage.   The things we can't see are the worst......

    From Neocon to sane- thanks to Obama- and Kos.

    by satrap on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 06:26:01 AM PST

  •  Trade schools. (8+ / 0-)

    We need more affordable trade schools. College isn't for everyone and there is nothing wrong with that.

    Also, I can kill you with my brain.

    by Puffin on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 06:39:28 AM PST

    •  It seems like the so-called "trade schools" (11+ / 0-)

      are the ones that REALLY prey on students. I mean, I heard an ad yesterday for a for-profit school that offers to "train" you to be a dog groomer!  So ... you take on thousands of dollars of debt to learn something you could basically learn in one day on the job — pretty much a minimum wage job at that.

      Great plan.

      Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

      by anastasia p on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 07:16:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Culinary school is one of the worst (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, AlexDrew

        You generally graduate with close to a hundred thousand dollars in student debt and go into a career will pay you in the mid 20's.

        To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

        by sneakers563 on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 09:45:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's kind of like thinking that (0+ / 0-)

          you'd be good at building cars because you're a race car driver, when that skill set is completely detached from standing in one place and attaching a door to an automobile chassis.

          I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

          by CFAmick on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 10:55:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  to be more specific... (4+ / 0-)

      I would say community colleges instead of trade schools. As anastasia p commented, trade schools can be a cesspool of for-profit operators who exist solely to funnel federal student loan dollars into their pockets.

      Maybe this is another topic altogether, but instead of talking about community colleges how about making a high school diploma into something more meaningful than it currently is? A lot of young people in CCs or college start off taking remedial writing and math classes because they are not ready for college-level work. They are paying tuition to learn what they should have gotten through free public education.

      Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

      by Joe Bob on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 10:29:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There are many opportunities (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ladybug53, Joe Bob

        for more and better CTE (Career Technical Education) classes, which IMHO benefit high school students of all academic prowess. (Certainly it helped me succeed at my first engineering job that I had learned to do basic machining in high school.) It also makes the academic work more relevant.

        Our high school has joint credit classes with the community college in welding, for example. The more options like that can be developed, the better.

        One thing about the remedial math/english classes. I have to lay some of that on the student. I think there's more that schools and teachers can do, but I also think that most American schools provide a perfectly adequate education to kids who take the time and put in the effort to own their education. There is a second issue, which is that sometimes kids are put in remedial classes because they didn't test well, not necessarily because they couldn't do the work.

        But the kids and families need to realize that if high school is their terminal education, that it's even MORE essential that they get the strong writing and math skills taught there than if they're going to college after. And that it only gets more expensive to acquire said skills later.

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 12:36:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Community colleges (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ladybug53, AoT

      were cut heavily during the recession. They provide a lot of this training and at a very appropriate cost.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 12:22:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  My income is less than it as in 1987 (8+ / 0-)

    Not inflation-adjusted. Just less. My peak earning year was 1987.

    Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

    by anastasia p on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 07:10:27 AM PST

    •  seriously, how (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      YucatanMan

      are you holding up?  My income is much less than it was in 2007 and it's been awful in terms of stress.  And it's still high in absolute terms.  How do you deal with it?

      From Neocon to sane- thanks to Obama- and Kos.

      by satrap on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 07:19:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think your scenario is pretty common. (5+ / 0-)

      One aspect of our culture that has proven an absolute windfall and failsafe for the 0.1% is the general reluctance to talk about money and income.    Since we don't really ever talk to each other about absolute amounts, nobody ever knows how anybody else- even their closest friends- are doing.   So much of the national suffering is done alone, but by 10s of millions of people simultaneously.   It's a remarkable phenomenon and it needs to be addressed.

      From Neocon to sane- thanks to Obama- and Kos.

      by satrap on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 07:24:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Supply-demand basics (8+ / 0-)

    The huge fallacy in Bill Clinton's push for everyone to go to college, so that everyone could earn the wages college graduates were then earning, was the failure to take into account supply-demand theory.

    As more and more people have college degrees -- even if those degrees still represent the same level of education (which they don't) -- the degree is worth less and less in the job market. It was only worth a lot when it wasn't as common.

    In addition, many people are graduating college with fewer basic skills in math and writing than high school graduates had in 1935 (when high school diplomas were rarer than college diplomas are now).

    About the only argument I can see for pushing college for everyone is that it keeps a substantial percentage of 18-24 year olds out of the job market and thus masks the true unemployment rate.

    •  See a comment above: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson, elfling

      the number of college degreed-people has risen, true, but nowadays more jobs "require" a degree than there used to be. I think it's a pretty stable comparison, actually.

      "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

      by bryduck on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 09:42:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  then vs. now (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elfling

      I'm not sure comparing high schools degrees in 1935 to college degrees now is apt. For example, neither of my grandmothers had formal education beyond the 8th grade. I don’t think the 8th grade education of 1935 is equal to the high school diploma of today. People back then were just less educated, period.

      Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

      by Joe Bob on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 10:38:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  So tell me, (7+ / 0-)

    what's the point of finishing my degree? Because I can't see one. Yeah, I'll have a degree and maybe I'll be able to get a better job, but will I be able to afford to repay loans with that possibly better job?
    My generation is fucked.

    the people look like flowers at last.

    by ClapClapSnap on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 07:31:20 AM PST

    •  At least according to the charts, your income (3+ / 0-)

      is more likely to be higher than without a degree.  Maybe it won't be as high as it was in 1980, but it will be higher than a college degree alone.

      The key is to keep loans to a minimum. Work through school, even menial jobs, to keep borrowing to the absolutely lowest possible. Work summers, put that money aside by living with parents.  I mean, those things are not possible for everyone, but the huge loan burdens of today are just far more than can be justified by later earnings. Some ways have to be found to keep the loan totals down.

      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

      by YucatanMan on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 08:59:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The problem with those charts is that they hold (0+ / 0-)

        "everything equal", when in fact nothing is equal. It is entirely impossible to tease out all of the other factors that affect the contents of the two sets, "Those who have a college degree" and "Those who do not have a college degree." The selection bias involved is enormous.

        To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

        by UntimelyRippd on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 03:06:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  It may be a wash. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ClapClapSnap

      The difference between that "diploma job" w/o loans v. the "bachelor's job" w/ loans may be pretty similar (and probably only at the entry level anyway.) But if those loans ever get paid off, you will then be way ahead if you have the degree.

      "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

      by bryduck on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 09:44:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oops; replace "similar" with "negligible (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ClapClapSnap

        for maximum sense-making.

        "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

        by bryduck on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 09:45:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  This is exactly what I mean. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ladybug53

        Honestly though, I don't think I'll be able to afford to pay back loans if I don't get a higher paying job once I get the degree. And even just $15-20k in loans would be too much to pay back if I'm still working at the same job I have now. I can't decide if that's worth the gamble.

        I really feel stuck between a rock and a hard place.

        the people look like flowers at last.

        by ClapClapSnap on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 11:31:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Student loan banks (0+ / 0-)

          are pretty forgiving of people asking for forbearance, in my experience. They won't forgive a dime, but they will work with you on delays and such on repayment.

          "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

          by bryduck on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 12:59:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Not just your generation (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ClapClapSnap, nchristine

      But your point stands.

      Get your degree, in the long run you'll be better off.

      .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 11:10:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Unemployment rates for people with degrees (5+ / 0-)

      are much lower than those without. So even though you aren't making a ton of money, you still have a better chance of getting a job at all.

      If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

      by AoT on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 11:23:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  And we need more H1B visa workers? Why? (13+ / 0-)

    We keep hearing about the lack of STEM workers in the US, but real statistics reveal that fallacy.

    Yet leaders of both parties keep pushing for an expansion, for more cheap overseas STEM workers.

    My heart aches for all the young people who've invested so much in their educations for so little in return.  We must change this and give them a brighter future.

    If cutting Social Security & Medicare benefits for low income seniors is what Democrats do after they win a budget standoff, I'd hate to see what they do after they lose one.

    by Betty Pinson on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 07:39:59 AM PST

    •  Because it would hurt corporate profits if (6+ / 0-)

      the American workers displaced by H1B workers were paid a good solid income. In fact, without the H1B program, salaries would go up as competition for fewer qualified workers took place.

      Two things need to happen:  eliminate all tax benefits, write-offs and advantages for off-shoring work and eliminate the H1B programs. There is no reason that "free trade" should continue. We should start taking it apart at the seams, rather than allowing a Democratic president to push through yet another corporate-benefit-only "trade package" like TPP.

      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

      by YucatanMan on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 09:03:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  H-1Bs (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        YucatanMan, elfling, Betty Pinson

        While you are correct that they are designed to displace older, higher paid, workers, I can't agree with getting rid of it all together.  It should be cut dramatically (not increase the numbers as immigration reform would), but not gotten rid of all together.  

        "[I]n the absence of genuine leadership, they'll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone...They're so thirsty for it they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand."

        by cardboardurinal on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 10:05:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The only reason to continue that program would be (8+ / 0-)

          if it can be adequately and carefully monitored.

          Today, corporations "self-report" that they "cannot find American workers" for those positions. The Department of Labor and State Department do virtually no policing or investigations of corporate usage of H1Bs.

          I work in a building of 1200 people.  During the Bush administration, over 400 US citizen workers were let go over a period of a couple months. But the number of people in the building didn't decrease -- it increased!  Hotel vans would pull up every morning, disgorging foreign workers on H1B visas to take those jobs.

          Fast forward to now and the building has over 800 H1B workers. They weren't brought in because "no Americans applied for those jobs." Americans HAD those jobs.

          Americans were laid off and H1B workers took their place.  How is this possible?  There is just about zero oversight by the US Government.

          If the program continues, it should be in the very small numbers for only very specialized workers for which there is a genuine shortage.  

          I know it cannot be cancelled altogether without also going something about corporate motivations to off-shore jobs.

          My point is that "the system" has been severely rigged against educated professional American workers for nearly 10 years.

          "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

          by YucatanMan on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 10:21:04 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Give it ten years and it'll be a moot point (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            YucatanMan

            because they'll just hire the people overseas instead of bringing them into the country. Plenty of places already do this and as communications and collaboration tech gets better. The tools available now far surpass anything around even five years ago. I'd expect that to continue.

            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

            by AoT on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 11:26:37 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, they already are well into outsourcing and (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Betty Pinson, AoT

              offshoring labor.

              "Free trade" means that goods/services and capital may flow freely. However, Labor may not flow freely.  As wages are driven down, corporate profits increase. It is colonization on a technological scale rather than resource exploitation, but it is still colonization.

              And the workers, as always, are left out of all "trade" agreements. They're locked into national boundaries by strict laws (and in our case, 20' walls) while Capital and Goods flow without restraint or, increasingly, any regulation at all.

              "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

              by YucatanMan on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 12:23:16 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  You also... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            YucatanMan, elfling, nchristine

            have to realize that the biggest abusers of the H-1B programmers are not necessarily the large tech companies (they do abuse it too)...it is the staffing companies and corporate contractors many of which are foreign corporations.  And as someone who works in immigration, I know this list to be largely accurate:

            http://abcnews.go.com/...

            "[I]n the absence of genuine leadership, they'll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone...They're so thirsty for it they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand."

            by cardboardurinal on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 11:41:50 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I agree. Corporations look to a staffing company (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cardboardurinal, elfling, nchristine

              to contract out their work. Say a US worker earns $100,000 in pay and benefits.  Corporations can contract out the work for a flat rate of $80,000 (or less, it's just an example) for an immediate savings of 20% PLUS contracted services are a business expense qualified for different handling for taxation purposes.

              The Staffing Company or corporate contractor then secures workers for $60,000 each in pay and benefits and imports them to the US on H1B visas.  The workers are overjoyed, at least initially, until they learn the cost of living in the USA.  Still, by sharing living quarters, they manage to send a good bit of money home, lifting the lives of their families.

              I don't bear a grudge against these human beings. They're doing what they can to improve their lives.

              But the laws which throw all workers into a race for the bottom are simply wrong. It's another version of supply side, trickle-down, free market bullshit.

              If the race to the bottom continues, the United States can only look forward to falling incomes and a faltering economy as consumption becomes less and less possible on minimal salaries and wages. We've written ourselves a prescription for poverty.

              "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

              by YucatanMan on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 12:08:44 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  And... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                YucatanMan

                if the foreign worker is married, he (or she, most are men) has to maintain a household on that salary.  H-4s (visa category for spouses in H-1B) are not authorized to work unless they get sponsored by an employer independently.  

                "[I]n the absence of genuine leadership, they'll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone...They're so thirsty for it they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand."

                by cardboardurinal on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 12:28:43 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yes, and the impact on the US economy is stark. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  cardboardurinal, nchristine

                  For jobs formerly paying $100,000, employees in those same identical jobs are now making $60,000.

                  The amount of money circulating in the economy drops by 40% (generally speaking). Where do the savings go?  Into corporate profits, which are shared by the Top 5-10% in the nation only.

                  Meanwhile, a job position which was formerly paying nearly double the US average of roughly $50,000 per year is now paying just a bit more than $50,000.

                  All this stifles the economy. (not to mention that some of that money leaves the US economy completely)

                  Again, I don't begrudge the workers who do this. If I were in their country and these sorts of opportunities appeared, I would jump on them.

                  Our laws and our government's capture by corporations is literally eroding our own economy. Corporations, apparently, do not yet feel threatened by the idea that they're eroding their own consumers as well.

                  It can only go on so long before the chickens come home to roost.

                  "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

                  by YucatanMan on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 01:42:15 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Of your Top 10 list, a number of those companies (3+ / 0-)

              are used by our company... so if we look up an "employee," the directory shows "Non-employee, WIPRO" for example.

              I'm very well aware of who those companies are. The contracting out of jobs continues. Corporations have captured our government.

              "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

              by YucatanMan on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 12:29:31 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  I can speak... (0+ / 0-)

            from experience.  DoL is trying to do something, but they do not have the manpower or expertise to deal with the issues they face.  Currently, I know that there is a multi-national corporation in this country that is getting no PERMs approved where there were lay-offs in their workforce.  I know this isn't H-1Bs, but it is a nice sign...also PERM audits have been increased dramatically over the last year.  Again, it is a nice sign, but unfortunately, H-1Bs have much looser rules...

            "[I]n the absence of genuine leadership, they'll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone...They're so thirsty for it they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand."

            by cardboardurinal on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 04:05:32 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  The reason for bringing STEM workers in (0+ / 0-)

      from overseas is to train them to go back to their own country and supervise the jobs that will be shipped overseas.

  •  Yes they are making less but they (7+ / 0-)

    get the honor of having a house payment and no house which was not generally the case 40 years ago. So lucky to have those student loans. I paid $130 tuition a semester 40 years ago. My niece has the honor of paying close to $5000 a semester today. Good thing the uber wealthy got all this tax cuts otherwise we could have made going to school much cheaper. Another neglected part of the infrastructure because of "Supply Side Economics" and the uber wealthy getting out of paying for the infrastructure they use to make their millions.

    Join the War on Thinking. Watch Fox News- John Lucas

    by Jlukes on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 07:56:52 AM PST

    •  If we really care about national security, we'd (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elfling, left of center, Jlukes

      make education free for anyone who kept their grades up.

      But we care more about the rich getting richer, so screw everyone else. It's a really sorry state of affairs in Washington where our politicians are beholden to the 1% over everyone else.

      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

      by YucatanMan on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 09:05:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Squeeze 2 years of college into Public school (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ekgrulez1

        Our High Schools should be graduating students with the equivalent of an Associates Degree.

        A national program of a free 2 year college for everyone.

        .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 11:14:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yep College Was Nearly Free 40 Years Ago nt (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, Jlukes

      Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

      by bernardpliers on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 07:04:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  My first semester at ISU was 1300 for tuition, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jlukes

        room/board, and fees.  Books were around another 100, I think - to long ago - 1984!!  I had gone to a community college the previous year and it was something like 16 dollars per credit hour.  My parents paid for the tuition and room/board and they nearly had a cow at the time over the costs of college as it was much higher than when they got married and started their plans.

    •  The corporate "war" against the universities has (0+ / 0-)

      its origin in the perception from the 60's that the universities were the hot beds of radicalism and dissent. What we are seeing happen with the lack of government support for higher education and the corporate subsidization of the faculty and administrations is the nullification of institutions of higher learning as incubators for free thought.

  •  Meanwhile-"Cost of College degree up 1,120%... (6+ / 0-)

    in past 30 years.

    We are paying (much) more to get (much) less.  It's a trend that not only is discouraging for all personally involved--it's another indicator that the "long steep decline for Americans' Standard of Living" is still shrinking.  Oct. 2013: Gallup's Standard of Living Index has tumbled eight points in the past month to 31, its lowest reading since January.

    But, there is a bright spot in all this gloom, at least for some people:  Corporate Profits Are At An All-Time Record Peak At 70% Of GDP and Millionaire Freshmen Make Congress Even wealthier

    ...Ninety-four new senators and House members joined the 113th Congress...the median estimated net worth of the incoming freshmen is almost exactly $1 million more than that of the typical American household...

    If we just sit back waiting and hoping that these "meaner, stingier, and less trusting" rich corporate-types and politicians will do anything to reverse these downward economic trends for the average American, we will have a long, futile wait.  

    It we have any hope of turning around the downward economic trends faced by the majority, we have to continue a sustained, determined, and strong push-back against the  corporate types and our rich "representatives".

  •  Need larger scale of analysis....... (4+ / 0-)

    We are in the midst of a seismic change in several areas.  The first is globalism, something we encouraged after seeing the carnage of the  world wars of the last century.  One could say they were fomented under a system of nationalism, where actually conquering a country was the way to gain their productivity.  

    China, in the course of continuation of current values, has no desire or need to invade and control other countries.  They can receive the type of revenue that used to only come from occupied colonies.  They do not need to build weapons, but can increase productivity, and get in return functional power of their asymmetrical trading "partners." (IE, the U.S.)  It is not only trade in good for currency, but  property-land, homes, corporations etc- that is controlled by those of that country.

    The other transformation is the disconnect between what had been the last vestiges of what could only be done by humans, which was the basis of a free market system  This fostered free exchange of human effort for the wherewithal, the currency, to purchase goods, security, education--from all over the world.

    Those who are reading this are doing so without the use of days of human effort- writing, copying, printing or mail delivery, that had been required only a generation ago.  The aggregate of human needs can be satisfied by a fraction of what it took in the past.  The dream was that work hours would be contracted, which would have meant that everyone worked less, enjoyed life more.  This has not happened anywhere, except to a small degree in Germany and perhaps silicon valley.  

    This process is growing at exponential rate; the fear of Luddites, which up to now has been negated by new needs, new occupations, just may have reached a tipping point. Until now, exploring this has been in the realm of science fiction of such dystopias, none of which had a solution.

    While I also have no answer, understanding the extent, the unprecedented transformation of our world is a beginning.

     

  •  As someone (5+ / 0-)

    who been yelling about globalization here for a decade, it did my heart good to read this on the front page:

    Behind this are many factors, but a key one is globalization, that race to the bottom that pits Americans with a college education against those in China or India who will work for wages that are only a fraction of those in the industrially developed nations. There are apologists who claim that this situation inevitable, that it is the natural order and that the solution is for college freshmen to give themselves a better chance at higher earnings by choosing the right major, preferably science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Industry claims that it can't find enough graduates with the right degrees, which is the excuse corporations deploy to justify lobbying for more guestworkers.
    Amen.
  •  This is news? (0+ / 0-)

    I would have expected no less. 40 years ago, people could still stop at a high school education and find a good paying job. Now it is simply assumed that you need a college education, even for basic office work. Add that onto this the fact that real wages for all levels except the very top have been declining for all that time, and I would only have been shocked if college grads had kept pace.

    "Nothing happens unless first a dream. " ~ Carl Sandburg

    by davewill on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 10:50:58 AM PST

  •  When I went back to college even in the 1980's. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock

    You could do work-study, small loan ($2000) plus pell grant to finance your college at a state university.

    Expenses were $100/mo for sharing an apt/house plus $50 for food/misc. Tuition/books per semester was cheap.

    That is no longer possible at a state or private university. Community college still remains a bargain.

    Fighting Liberal at
    “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” --Gandhi:

    by smokey545 on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 12:00:16 PM PST

  •  So, ummm....guest workers being a form of (0+ / 0-)

    immigration that Republicans like and Democrats firmly ensconced in the immigrants only work jobs that Americans don't want meme, how excactly do these problems get approached?

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 07:08:50 PM PST

  •  The STEM section was pure bunk crap (0+ / 0-)

    "Does anyone seriously believe that college graduates today are less skilled or less productive than they were in 1971?""

    Yes I do.

    A random qualitative number I am pulling out of my ass.

    Half of the reason why a college education is valuable is to differentiate yourself

    With college attainment rates steadily increasing,
    1)  The ability of a degree to differentiate yourself decreases.

    2) Assuming you admit by performance. By definition if more students are going to college, you must be admitting lower performing students.  

    • IT workers earn the same today as they did, generally, 14 years ago

    could be true. Dont know for sure. But IT is not by any means the core of STEM

    To put it in perspective  IT is the mechanic as Computer Scientist is to an Automotive Engine.

    • Currently, only one of every two STEM college graduates is hired into a STEM job each year
    I am one of those statistics. And it is not because there are no STEM jobs.

    Its because we are so skilled and abled that we find we can go into other peoples industries and be better at them, than the people who studied for them directly.

    Why should a chemical engineer with a B.S. take a chem eng job for 80k a year when they can be a business analyst and earn 100k+ and work less hours?

    • Policies that expand the supply of guestworkers will discourage U.S. students from going into STEM, and into IT in particular [...]
    Yes. This is the cause of the highly qualified individuals who are STEM trained leaving the field.  Instead of earning an MD's pay as a STEM worker, (as they would without this issue) STEM workers merely earn 80k ish because they have to compete with cheep foreign labor.  As such you get the most qualified STEM workers quitting STEM and becoming wall street bankers.  
    Despite a steady supply of U.S. STEM graduates, guestworkers make up a large and growing portion of the workforce, specifically in information technology occupations and industries. IT employers look to guestworker programs as a source of labor that is plentiful even at wages that appear to be too low to attract large numbers of the best and brightest domestic students.
    Semi True. There is NOT a steady stream of STEM U.S. graduates.  the us education system graduates many non us students. I have yet to see a top level program where more than 1/3rd the students are U.S. citizens. They are all foreign born.  The best and brightest take their B.S. and combine it with a M.D. MBA or J.D. or some other specialty and exit the field.

    "As a consequence, American students who choose "the right major" find that is no guarantee they will earn more because nearly half the jobs in those fields are being filled by guestworkers. A study by the Economic Policy Institute found:"

    So the heart of that line is pure bullshit. Americans who choose "the right major" do not have a problem finding a job, The fact many STEM trained students enter other fields is evidence of the exact opposite of your conclusion.

    For a random example. A Physics major often makes a better financial analyst than someone with an undergraduate degree in business.

    At the height of the recession unemployment for engineers was at 5.5%

    http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/...

    http://www.engine.is/...

    •  Some of us lazy programmers know that we (0+ / 0-)

      probably could make more as an BA, but know our BS skills won't make the cut and are much happier being the programmer, making what the BA's pull out of their butts work.

      By the way I have a BA in architecture and 2 AAS in computer programming.  I can do the BA stuff, but I'm very, very good at programming.

    •  In regards to your last statement (0+ / 0-)

      Even the chart in the article you link to shows that Engineers would have had higher than average unemployment for people who have bachelors degrees or higher. I'm not sure that backs up your claims.

      If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

      by AoT on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 11:21:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Which article (0+ / 0-)

        and which cart?
        From  
        "unemployment Rate, Bachelor’s Degree Holders (2000-2012)"

        http://www.engine.is/...

        ue stem 2012 : ~3%
        ue non stem 2012 :  ~4.5%

        So I think my quoted sources support my point.

        •  You said engineers hit 5.5% (0+ / 0-)

          Which would be higher than the average of 4.5% there.

          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

          by AoT on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 08:40:39 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Different time periods. (0+ / 0-)

            ue stem 2012 : ~3%
            ue non stem 2012 :  ~4.5%

            is accurate

            5.5% was at the peak of the recession for STEM.  2010 ish.

            •  5% was average for everyone ith a Bachelors (0+ / 0-)

              at the peak. I don't know that it changes your argument significantly that one section of STEM was higher, but it certainly doesn't help your argument.

              If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

              by AoT on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 05:31:37 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  You are right (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AoT

                The 2010 peak for all bachelors was about .5% lower for non stem.

                Which is interesting and valuable to note.

                The author writes about this

                "The three rates peaked at about the same level during the Great Recession, though STEM and CMS unemployment has fallen sharply since mid-2010; declining by about 2.5 and 2.0 percentage points respectively during that two-year period. Unemployment for workers outside of STEM has only declined by about half a percentage point during the same period. Overall, the evidence here is more mixed: STEM workers seem to face higher volatility while unemployment for non-STEM workers rises less during recessions but also falls slower in recoveries. Even so, the STEM rate has fallen sharply in the last year."

  •  I don't agree with this. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ekgrulez1

    Sorry, but claiming that "illegals steal our jobs!" is discredited economic thinking based on the "lump of labor fallacy". Let's not forget that back in the 1920s the dominant economic thinking was that women shouldn't work because they will steal jobs from men. And the anti-immigration argument is based on what Steve King, Jeff Sessions, NumbersUSA and FAIR are now repeating against immigration reform.

    As to the anti-trade sentiment, I just can't understand how anyone believes in it when it has been debunked over and over again. Here you have Paul Krugman comparing anti-trade sentiment is akin to opposing evolution (which a sizable part of the GOP does): http://www.pkarchive.org/...

  •  I don't agree with this. (0+ / 0-)

    This anti-immigrant "illegals steal our jobs!" argument is irrational and untrue due to the "lump of labor fallacy". It is repeated over and over again as one of the scare tactics by NumbersUSA, FAIR, Jeff Sessions and Steve King. If you increase the labor supply, growth benefits everyone. Back in the 1930s many people claimed that women shouldn't be working, because they steal jobs from men - similar thinking back then.

  •  I Got My BS in 2009 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    enemy of the people

    I haven't made more than $15/Hour, which is what I'm making right now.

    As a temporary employee.

    "Go and get your degree, any degree, you'll get a good job that way" they said.

    They were fuckin' wrong.

    I'll be 30 in a few years. Haven't even started a real career yet.

    They were fuckin' wrong.

  •  "There are solutions to this mess."? (0+ / 0-)

    What are they? Globalization and technology have up set the traditional applecart for sure. I mean it isn't too far from today that robots will make our burgers and drones will deliver our purchases. What are your solutions?

  •  We need 'make-work" work. A new WPA. (0+ / 0-)

    Those national parks, schools, roads, bridges and post offices are still servicing the public today. True those jobs didn't pay much but people need jobs. We need a mandatory retirement age so greedy bosses are put out to pasture. The information economy is just GIGO. The financial economy is just the next crash waiting to happen.
    If the system can't create real jobs get rid of it.
    This country is like France before 1789 and the rotten
    'ancien regime' has yet to come down.

    "Those who have not lived in the eighteenth century before the Revolution do not know the sweetness of living"

  •  I ask again (0+ / 0-)

    What are these answers you speak of? Please?

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