Interesting read: Knowledge Isn’t Power (Paul Krugman)

This OpEd-piece by Paul Krugman has been puzzling me since yesterday as it’s indeed debunking quite a lot of present educational talk.

An excerpt I can subscribe to:

For one thing, is the pace of technological change really that fast? “We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters,” the venture capitalistPeter Thiel has snarked. Productivity growth, which surged briefly after 1995, seems to have slowed sharply.

This excerpt is a bit more complicated:

Furthermore, there’s no evidence that a skills gap is holding back employment. After all, if businesses were desperate for workers with certain skills, they would presumably be offering premium wages to attract such workers. So where are these fortunate professions? You can find some examples here and there. Interestingly, some of the biggest recent wage gains are for skilled manual labor — sewing machine operators,boilermakers — as some manufacturing production moves back to America. But the notion that highly skilled workers are generally in demand is just false.

And this one is a really big surprise to me:

Finally, while the education/inequality story may once have seemed plausible, it hasn’t tracked reality for a long time. “The wages of the highest-skilled and highest-paid individuals have continued to increase steadily,” the Hamilton Project says. Actually, the inflation-adjusted earnings of highly educated Americans have gone nowhere since the late 1990s.

Read the whole article here.

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