Faculty News, In the News | New York Times | 27 May 2017
The Dumb Politics of Elite Condescension
Re: Joseph Fuller
Accepted wisdom that decent nonprofessional jobs are gone for good lets elites off the hook. In fact, the United States has a well-documented dearth of workers qualified for middle-skill jobs that pay $40,000 or more a year and require some postsecondary education but not a college degree. A 2014 report by Accenture, Burning Glass Technologies and Harvard Business School found that a lack of adequate middle-skills talent affects the productivity of “47 percent of manufacturing companies, 35 percent of health care and social assistance companies, and 21 percent of retail companies.” Middle-skill jobs are important jobs: radiology technician, electrician, modern robot-heavy factory worker, emergency medical technician, wind turbine technician. In some cities, a construction boom is hobbled by a lack of plumbers. We might ameliorate this problem if we stopped talking about plumber’s butt.

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