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Stemming STEM Will Help Everyone Except the Billionaires

Ohanian Comment; As Jim points out, there is a lot of evidence belying the claim of a STEM shortage. I'd just add that in Shell Game: Corporate America's Agenda for Schools (1997), Clinton E. Boutwell showed how corporate America's push for more 'world-class' educated workforce goes hand-in-hand with downsizing. Convince everybody to get a STEM degree and then the corporate raiders will have applicants begging--and willing to take lower salaries, no benefits, etc. I highlighted all this in a January 2000 cover story in Phi Delta Kappan Goals 2000: What's in a Name?

You know what they say about people who don't learn from history.

The country doesn't need those STEM degrees: The Business Roundtable needs them to deflate salaries. It's nice to know The Atlantic has awakened to this reality.

by Jim Horn

I have been railing for a number of years about the corporate socialism at work in the creation of an oversupply of scientists, technocrats, and engineers. Follow the links.

So here is a clip from a very thoughtful piece from the Atlantic today, which concludes that the creation of an oversupply of workers in science, tech, and engineering could, in fact, make these fields of endeavor so unattractive as career fields that the phony shortage may, indeed, become real.

So the short term goal of creating an oversupply to drive down wages serves no one except Bill Gates and Billionaires who manufactured this crisis.

by Michael S. Teitelbaum, The Myth of Science and Engineering Shortage

. . . . A compelling body of research is now available, from many leading academic researchers and from respected research organizations such as the National Bureau of Economic Research, the RAND Corporation, and the Urban Institute. No one has been able to find any evidence indicating current widespread labor market shortages or hiring difficulties in science and engineering occupations that require bachelors degrees or higher, although some are forecasting high growth in occupations that require post-high school training but not a bachelors degree. All have concluded that U.S. higher education produces far more science and engineering graduates annually than there are S&E job openings—the only disagreement is whether it is 100 percent or 200 percent more. Were there to be a genuine shortage at present, there would be evidence of employers raising wage offers to attract the scientists and engineers they want. But the evidence points in the other direction: Most studies report that real wages in many--but not all--science and engineering occupations have been flat or slow-growing, and unemployment as high or higher than in many comparably-skilled occupations. . . . .

— Jim Horn
Schools Matter





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