Education & Jobs Creation
Cutting funds towards education is a perfect set-up for exporting jobs at a time when we should be importing jobs – (see the Wisconsin Job Situation).
The reasons are quite simple. The high-school drop-out rate in the US is as high as 20-30%; 50% in inner cities. There is good evidence that if the drop-out rate decreases by 5%, unemployment can decline by as much as 1.7%.
There has been a paradigm shift over the last few years in US education in relation to the world. The United States has gone from the top place in education to the 16th place. At present the highest number of research articles come from China –used to be the United States hands down.
Further, it is important to understand the changing landscape of the job market. Along with increase in global trade and easy exchange of information, jobs are easily transferable –they go where employers find the best talent to fulfill their needs at the best rate.
Moreover, there is a growing gap developing between the needs of prospective employers and the available skills in the labor force. Business leaders, Federal Reserve officials and the media have frequently alluded to the latter fact. Further evidence of this comes from a recent report of the Federal Reserve. Eight times a year the Federal Reserve releases what is called the Beige Book that outlines economic conditions in the various federal districts. The last release on dated April 11, 2012 had a telling statement “Difficulty finding qualified workers, especially for high-skilled positions, was frequently reported.” The same theme is repeated in the prior report dated February 29, 2012 “contacts in a variety of industries faced difficulties finding skilled workers” and so on. It is mind-blowing that with unemployment greater than 8%, employers are facing difficulty finding workers. This tells us we need to provide people with better tools to compete in the marketplace.
In this environment education needs to be significant enhanced not decreasingly funded. Common sense would dictate that cutting funds cannot make education better but can only cause increased stain to the system and is nothing but a false economy. My sons go to public school and I have first-hand observe their increased stress. A good education system is one the foundations of a successful economy. Regions that out-educate us will out-compete us by creating a better talent pool, and will do better in attracting and supporting successful businesses that create will jobs and increase tax revenue. The goal should be to become a state that is the crème de la crème of education not the other way around.
To those well-meaning folks who support Scott Walker –look hard across the dinner table at your children and grand-children. Because they are the ones who will suffer. They are the ones who will have to compete in the job market of the 21st century.
In summary, as governor I will enhance education in Wisconsin to outcompete others.
Update: The point regarding the relation of education and employment that I have always contended is well made in this article by Edward Glaeser, professor of economics at Harvard University. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-21/jobs-vary-by-state-showing-why-education-matters.html