What Future for US Blue Collar Workers?

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Just recently, I had a bit of a ding-dong about FB Friend and Democratic activist, #RonKlain, writing on CNN about the attractions of education after high school being a magnet for new Democratic voters.

Thank goodness for this CNN article, which talks about technical further education and re-training for those working sons and daughters who don’t want to go to an Ivy League red-brick.

The fact of the matter is that most of Europe and the US are now deeply post-industrial. As much as there may be thousands of blue collars who may hate that fact, it is the case.

Now, it may well be that politicians of all US parties were a little too quick in marching boldly into the globalist new dawn. While forgetting the left-behinds.

And it may well be that we have to backtrack a bit, and allow for a longer period of acclimatization. Which may itself require public funding.

But. At the end of the day. The new dawn is here. Whether we like it or not. That is going to require some serious rethinking about long-term US economic and educational policy-making.

Immediately, I believe we may need to look at the following:

1) De-stigmatizing vocational training. Sons and daughters of blue-collars have no desire to go to university. But, if the future, even after a period of transition, genuinely holds no more blue collar jobs for them. Then, they need retraining in areas for which they are qualified, with which they feel comfortable and where, quite bluntly, they will be happy.

2) Raising the profile of mutualism and co-operation. Encouraging and funding communities to set up their own, chosen and sustainable economic interests.

3) Accepting that, in this brave new world of emerging industrial economies, there may well be large swaths of the US population for whom ‘normal,’ traditional gainful activity is no longer available. And sensible people of all US political parties may have to begin discussing the notion of a guaranteed basic income.

(Facebook comments here.)

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Published in: on July 10, 2017 at 3:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

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