ROBOTS, OTHER COUNTRIES KILLING U.S. JOBS?

#robots #AmericanJobs #efficiencies #CreativeDestruction
Do you believe robots, or manufacturing in other countries, are killing American jobs?
A recent article in The Guardian carries the headline, “Robots will destroy our jobs – and we’re not ready for it.”
Economist Joseph Schumpeter describes technological change as “creative destruction.” Actually, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the U.S. labor force in 1950 was 62 million. By 2000 it was 79 million and it’s projected to reach 192 million by 2050.
These bits of information come from an article by Walter E. Williams of Creators Syndicate. It was published Feb. 21, 2018, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“Though the ‘creative destruction’ process works hardships on some people who lose their jobs and are forced to take lower-paying jobs, any attempt to impede the process would make us all worse off,” Williams writes.
It’s tough to understand the value of technological progress if you’ve been shown the curb from your job. Many people have lost relatively good-paying jobs, and been forced to take lower-paying jobs, if they were lucky enough to find a new job at all. The recession of 2008 has taken a toll on many.
The Williams article tells of the 62 million in the work force in 1950. Back then, progress was definitely slower. People could count on the jobs they had to be around for as long as they wanted to work. Some of those jobs were hard, either on the body, mind or both.
Back then, many workers were represented by unions, which helped impede some process innovations and efficiencies to keep more people working.
Today, fewer workers have that kind of representation, and the number keeps decreasing. Workers are essentially on their own to plan their careers.
As a result, in many cases, careers come to a premature end, and workers are left figuring out what to do next.
But just as technology has been, by and large, a good thing for the U.S. and the world, having workers determine their own destinies can also be a good thing, if you want to look at it differently.
It’s been said in several different ways that hardship creates opportunity. Though the opportunity may be difficult to see if circumstances have dealt you a difficult blow, they are out there for those willing to look for them.
If you have lost what appears to be a good job, and are not yet ready to retire, there are many ways out there to make money other than through a traditional W-2 job. To check out one of the best, message me. You might even see a great way to help your friends overcome difficult circumstances.
The U.S. has moved over the centuries from a primarily agricultural economy, to a primarily manufacturing economy, and is continuing to move into a more technologically based economy. You, as perhaps a temporarily displaced worker, can’t do anything to fight that. In fact, no governmental entity can do anything to fight that. If we try to impede innovation here, someone else somewhere will innovate, leaving the U.S. in the dust.
So the next time you try to blame robots, cheaper overseas labor or other advances on your circumstances, remember that you can’t stop those things. You can only look for ways to help yourself to a better life.
That may require a change of mind-set, or departing your comfort zone, but ANYONE can do it. If you don’t find a solution immediately, keep looking. You just might meet the person who will show you how YOU can change your life for the better.
Peter

RURAL AREAS NEED ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, BUT …

#RuralAmerica #EconomicDevelopment #jobs #employment
Rural areas want to boost their economy.
They want to attract companies/employers who can employ lots of people who are now out of work for a variety of reasons – not the least of which is where they live.
Kyle Wingfield, a columnist for The Atlanta Journal Constitution, took on this issue, as it applies to rural Georgia, in an Aug. 27, 2017, column.
“There are a lot of different factors that affect the quality (of the workforce),” Wingfield quotes Amy Lancaster, director of workforce development for the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. “The education system is a big piece of that … but the opioids (epidemic), criminal justice reform – all those things have a big impact, so it’s hard to limit or confine it to one issue or agency,” the quote continued.
Regarding the education system, Wingfield discussed the community college system with Lancaster. “The course offerings may not be aligned with local demand, at least not from the employer side,” Wingfield quotes her. In other words, what the employers want the students to learn is not what the students themselves want to take.
She told Wingfield that there are no incentives for colleges, either two-year or four-year, to offer what the employers really need students to learn.
Let’s break this down further. Rural areas, be they in Georgia or any other state, have a distinct disadvantage to urban areas in terms of attracting employers. It’s difficult to attract the type of talent employers seek because the workers they want to attract, usually young and fairly educated, don’t want to move to a rural area. They look for the multitude of life options urban areas provide in abundance. And those workers already living in rural areas may not be the type of workers Company X needs.
Secondly, though there is relatively high unemployment in rural areas, it doesn’t appear that people are willing to do what it takes to become more employable. In other words, if a company needs, say, welders, and people are not willing to take the necessary training to become a welder, there’s a mismatch between the supply of employable people and the demand for the needed skills.
From the worker’s perspective, he may think, “is it worth my time to get the extra training that Company X wants me to have, only to find that a year or two later, the employer demands something else – or needs to reduce staff — and I’m no longer needed?”
Many workers who thought they had secure jobs have lost them, so it’s easy to figure out why they would ask whether the extra training and effort would be worth it in the long run.
An example might be truck driving. Would a prospective new truck driver want to go through all the training that it might take, only to discover a few years later that his company will be going to driverless vehicles?
Welders may be in demand now, but will they be replaced by robots later?
It’s a tough position all around. But, if you are a prospective worker who is examining what to do with your life, you might want to think outside the box. There are plenty of ways out there to make a potentially sizeable income, without a W-2 job, if you are open to checking them out. To learn about one of the best, message me.
If you are an employer, consider that workers willing to be retrained for the skills you need now will want some assurance that they will be able to adapt as your technology changes. And, in fact, that they will still be welcome as needs change. So, it’s not only the educational institutions that need incentives to offer courses in skills employers need, the workers, too, need incentives that a decent future awaits them, if they make the effort to be retrained.
It’s not just technical skills that employers look for. The so-called soft skills – being able to work as a team, being friendly and attentive to customers etc. – can be just as important to employers.
It’s a tough world. Good things come to those willing to adapt. How you adapt – and how you think about the future – could make all the difference in your success.
Peter

HOW ABOUT ANYONE DOING ANY JOB?

More men are expected to be attracted to “women’s jobs” in the coming years.
However, the reverse is not proving to be a trend.
That’s according to research by Jed Kolko, economist at the job-search site Indeed. His study was quoted in an article by Ana Swanson in the Washington Post. It was also published in the April 23, 2017, edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Kolko concludes that less-educated men may especially face challenges in the job market of the future, the article says.
“In recent decades, fields that are dominated by men and by women have not fared equally. Many men have fallen out of work as increased mechanization has allowed the U.S. to produce more agricultural and manufacturing goods than ever, with fewer people than before,” the article says.
“Jobs that are dominated by women are projected to grow nearly twice as fast as jobs that are dominated by men,” the article quotes the Kolko study, based on figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“Fast-growing ‘male’ jobs that require lots of education don’t really help men without a college degree who have been in traditionally ‘male’ jobs,” the article quotes Kolko.
We all have an idea what a “male” job – construction, manufacturing, mining, farming etc. –or a “female job” – nursing, administrative assistant, etc. –is. The article says that computer programming was once dominated by women, but is now heavily male.
It’s been reported many times that men fared worse in the Great Recession than women. The good jobs done largely by men went away more quickly than those done mostly by women.
Kolko points out that some “female” jobs, such as telephone operaters and textile workers, also have been automated out, according to the article.
The broader trend is away from manufacturing and more toward services, which could draw men into jobs traditionally dominated by women, the article says.
So let’s step back and examine this. Good jobs in general are disappearing quickly. Lots of folks, if they are lucky to find new jobs, generally are getting paid less than their previous jobs paid them. Many are not using the skills they were trained for. Those skills, largely, are being replaced by machines. There’s nothing a person can do to stop that!
But what a person CAN do is think about other ways to make money. There are many such vehicles out there for those willing to step out of what’s comfortable, and look at something different. To learn about one of the best such vehicles, message me.
The economy, the recession, downsizing – however you wish to think about it – is not something that will, or can, go away. So, if such circumstances hit you, don’t beat yourself up. Sure, those circumstances will hurt, but by further beating yourself, the pain will be worse.
Americans can be very resilient. Sometimes, tough circumstances require bold action. Sometimes, one has to think differently to better himself.
If you view yourself as a hard-working person, and most do, don’t expect someone to give you something. You may have to look for other opportunities, perhaps completely unrelated to what you’ve done before.
So whether you’ve been doing a “male” job, or a “female” job, and it has gone away, remember that someone you know, or may not yet know, may introduce you to something you may have never heard of. Listen. Don’t dismiss out of hand. You could be hearing about the light at the end of your tunnel.

Peter

DEFIANCE VS. CHALLENGE: THE SIMILARITIES MAY SURPRISE YOU

#defiance #challenge #complacency #acceptance
When we think of defiance, we think of fighting back against someone or something in authority. People defy dictators. Children defy parents, teachers etc.
In other words, we think of defiance as a bad thing. (We certainly don’t want to raise defiant toddlers).
When we challenge something, we take on the status quo. We stand up for what’s right, against what’s wrong. South Africans challenged apartheid. American blacks challenged racism etc. We think of challenge as a good thing.
As adults, we defy evil and challenge for the good. Perhaps we challenge ourselves to defy those things that are keeping us from being the best we can be.
The opposite of defiance is complacency. The opposite of challenge is acceptance.
The question, therefore, becomes: are we too afraid to defy what is, even though it’s not doing right by us? Do we dare not challenge ourselves to go over or around what is, to make our lives better?
We all have different situations. Some of our situations are good, and worth maintaining, like a good-paying job we enjoy.
For many of us, our situations need, or require, change. Perhaps we’ve let change happen to us, thinking, although we don’t like what’s happening, there’s nothing we can do about it. We accept, rather than challenge. We become complacent, rather than defiant.
Very likely, in whatever situation you are in, there is SOMETHING you can do to change it for the better. You don’t have to wish for better circumstances to come your way. You can create better circumstances by challenging yourself to be a little defiant.
Too often, we are taught by our elders not to challenge, not to be defiant. You’ve all heard the expressions, “keep your nose to the grindstone,” or “keep your head low,” or “don’t make waves.” If you do those things, you’ll stay out of trouble.
Today, however, particularly in the workplace, that advice can produce no fruit. Some very hard-working people may wake up one morning, go to work as usual, only to find they are suddenly out of a job.
The complacent ones, those who accept what is, pack up their things, go home, complain, cry etc., and start to think that life as they knew it is over.
Defiant ones, those who’ve challenged themselves, have not only anticipated that circumstance, they’ve prepared for it. Perhaps they’ve spent some part-time, off-work hours creating a secondary income – perhaps even one that dwarfs their salaries.
There are many vehicles out there that will allow you to do that. To check out one of the best, message me.
The lesson here is perhaps that many people accept what is, and become complacent. When change occurs, they don’t take it well and long for the old days that will never come back.
Defiant ones realize that change happens often. They prepare for the day when their good situations disappear, or change for the worse. Perhaps they don’t know when it will happen, but they realize that someday it will. When it does, they challenge themselves to become even better than they were.
Defiance in young children may not be desirable, but you may want to raise your children to become defiant adults. You do that by being defiant yourself. Let the children watch you overcome obstacles. Let them watch you challenge yourself to turn a bad situation into something that makes you better.
If you challenge yourself to become defiant, you may find yourself in a great situation you had never believed possible.
Peter

JOB MARKET GETTING CRAZY

#JobMarket #employment #SmallBusiness
After years of recovering from the 2008 recession, the job market is starting to look good, even for those who’ve had a hard time finding work in the last decade.
The number of part-time workers who would prefer full-timework dropped by 281,000 in April 2017. Those numbers dropped from 9.2 million at the peak of the job crisis, to 5.3 million in April, according to an article in USA Today by Paul Davidson. It was published May 11, 2017, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
On the opposite side of the coin, many baby boomers who are small-business owners are at or approaching retirement. That may produce a “silver tsunami” of job losses among those who work for those retiring business owners, according to an article by Gene Marks in The Washington Post. That article was also published May 10, 2017, in TheAtlanta Journal-Constitution.
According to Project Equity, many small business owners do not have a succession plan. Therefore, many of those businesses will quietly close forever, the Marks article quotes Project Equity co-founder Alison Lingane.
Let’s examine these two trends together.
Many big employers are finding it hard to find workers. Small businesses may quietly close when their owners retire, putting lots of folks out of work.
“There simply aren’t enough” available workers, the Davidson article quotes Joe Brusuelas, chief economist for consulting firm RSM U.S. “The dynamic has shifted. Labor is going to have power for the first time in years,” the quote continues.
“Since today most family-owned businesses don’t have somebody in the next generation who wants to take over, employee ownership is one of the best ways to keep thriving businesses locally rooted into the next generation,” the Marks article quotes Mark Quinn, district director of the U.S. Small Business Administration.
So, are you finding that your employment prospects are looking better? Do you work for small business with an owner who’ll retire soon, with no plan to keep the business going?
Do you like what you do? If so, enjoy the better job prospects, or become an owner of the company for whom you work. That’s easier said than done, obviously.
If you don’t like what you do, and really need a change, there are many vehicles out there to earn a potentially great income and help others do the same. To check out one of the best such vehicles, message me.
We’re all hearing and reading good news about the economy, but some folks still are not seeing the improvements in their own lives. There are still a good number of folks who, if they are still working, are working a job that paid less than the one they lost. Others just never found work at all after losing a good job, and have quietly left the job market.
In those cases, complaining, blaming various people or entities for one’s plight is not productive. One must take action – perhaps a different action from the one(s) he has taken thus far – to find a better way to live.
Indeed, there is much to be excited and optimistic about out there. Likely, those things may not just land in your lap. Or, if they do, they may do so in the form of a person – someone you already know, or will meet for the first time – who has something to show you.
Don’t be afraid. Check it out. If that person is honest, he’ll take no for an answer. (If he doesn’t, walk away). Saying no before looking could bring you much regret.
Peter

NOT EVERY JOB IS FOR EVERYONE

#jobs #employment #income
Is the job you have the one you want?
Are you enjoying what you are doing for work, or are you just going through the motions to draw a paycheck?
Stephanie Merry tackled this subject for The Washington Post. The article was published in the Feb. 6, 2017, edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Merry’s article features the story of Dan Nicholson, who earned a physics degree from Purdue University, and got a job as a laser engineer.
He hated it. And it apparently showed. He lost his job.
But, he liked working on houses. So, he became Handy Dan.
His story illustrates that even if you get a degree in the right thing, and get a job in your chosen field, it may not be for you.
Merry points out that some folks would prefer to get back to nature, create something tangible, move to the Caribbean and manage a store or restaurant, or just sit on a sailboat and float around – as opposed to working 20 or more years at what they are doing.
As a reality check, it’s better to make a living than not. So many people want to make a living, but are working hard and barely getting by.
Others are so stressed and overworked that they have no time – even if they have the money – to do whatever gives them pleasure.
Wouldn’t it be grand if we could all dump the jobs we hate and earn a living with the hobbies we love?
Sometimes, it’s not about the job. It’s about the income.
What if one could pursue a hobby, while having a different source of income?
There are many good potential income sources out there, for those who wish to look for them. To check out one of the best, message me.
Meanwhile, if you feel you must stay in a job you don’t particularly like so you can make a living, here are a few tips: First, find some things about the job, besides the paycheck, that you like. Perhaps those might be the people you work with, the customers you deal with or some other perks that might have enticed you to take the job in the first place.
Second, keep your job and use non-work hours to find what really motivates you. It may not be working on houses, as it was for Nicholson, but perhaps there is something else you can do that you love, and that adds value to someone else.
“There’s no right path for everyone, and each one has its own risks,” Merry writes.”So, for those who aren’t living their dream lives, what’s the next step? You might start by sitting on a beach. Just leave your phone at home,” she writes.
Of course, sitting on a beach isn’t necessarily going to make you a living. But if you like sitting on a beach, it could give you time to think about what your life will be like five, 10 or 20 years from now, if you keep doing what you’re doing.
If that’s not what you want to be doing long term, it may be time to pursue an alternative.
Peter

YOUR MOST VALUABLE ASSET IS YOUR EARNING POTENTIAL

#EarningPotential #jobs #employment #GrowRich
We differentiate the “rich” and the “not so rich” not by a difference in wealth.
We may look at the rich and say something like, “if they paid me what I was worth, then I could be rich, too.”
Brian Tracy’s book, “Your Most Valuable Asset: 7 Steps to Growing Rich,” works on the premise is that your most valuable asset is your earning potential.
Basically, it says that what you do to add value to others can make you rich.
The average working person may not see that. He may see himself as adding value to his boss, but that boss is not adding nearly as much value to him.
He may feel overworked, underpaid and completely used. He doesn’t see himself as wealthy, or potentially so. He may not even see himself as worth much at all.
“Your earning ability is like farmland – if you don’t take excellent care of it by cultivating and tending to it on a regular basis – it soon loses its ability to produce the kind of harvest you desire,” Tracy writes.
Successful people, Tracy adds, work daily to keep increasing (their earning abilities’) productive value, to keep up with the marketplace demands.
The marketplace Tracy refers to is indeed fickle. Once day, your boss loves what you are doing. The next day, you get a termination package or, worse, a layoff notice. The great work you did yesterday becomes meaningless.
Therefore, you must convince someone else in the marketplace that you have value.
Entrepreneurs have to do that every day.
So, if the worst happens, and the current person you are offering value to no longer values you, what should you do next?
First, don’t beat yourself up. The marketplace changes. You’re loved one day, and are dispensable the next. This isn’t your fault.
You might find a new person who values the skills you have.
Perhaps you could re-evaluate your skills, and, if necessary, acquire new ones to better conform to today’s marketplace needs.
Or, you can think outside the box and look for one of the many ways to apply the skills and knowledge you have to something you may have never thought to do. If that idea intrigues you, and you want to learn about one of the best options out there to accomplish that, message me.
Finally, if you have it, lose the attitude of worthlessness. NO ONE is worthless. Everyone has something to offer, or can learn something they can offer, to the marketplace. YOU are your most valuable asset. Cherish you. Protect you. If necessary, enhance you.
The marketplace is fickle, and successful people find a way to wade through changes, or even embrace them.
Look for the best you, that you can be. It may appear through that new person that comes into your life. Be open to improve. Be open to new things. Embrace the fickle marketplace.
Flaunt your most valuable asset. Someone is waiting to check it out.
Peter

BETTER TO FOLLOW YOUR HEART THAN SOMEONE ELSE’S

#FollowYourHeart #dreams #MeaningfulLife
“Following our hearts may involve quieting other voices that may want us to follow THEIR dream.”
So writes John Izzo in his little book, “5 Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die: The Key To Living a Happy and Meaningful Life.”
Izzo interviewed lots of people at various stages in their lives, to determine what their true meaning of life was.
Not only do people live differently, they die differently, Izzo learned.
“Some people end their lives with deep satisfaction and few regrets,” he writes. “Others die with bitterness or with sad resignation at the life they might have lived.”
In the book, he also urges people to give more than they take.
We all pursue life in different ways. Many of us have gotten advice from our parents to work hard, keep our noses clean and crave security.
Security, in the employment and financial world, is becoming more elusive. A job we thought might be there until we retire suddenly is not. Benefits we thought we would get throughout our work life might suddenly be taken away. Promises may be suddenly broken.
Circumstances will hit you, but they shouldn’t define you. And, a setback here or there should not keep you from pursuing YOUR dream. Remember that when you work for someone, you are helping him or her pursue HIS OR HER dream, which may or may not be in sync with pursuing yours.
If we want to, we can turn bad situations into good, and pursue our dreams. Have you ever been told to quit dreaming, that what you dream for yourself is not realistically achievable? Have you ever been told to stay with the tried and true, for security’s sake?
The tried and true may no longer exist, or may be temporary, or may soon go away. What then?
Be open to looking for other ways to achieve your dream. Be open to looking for other ways to help others achieve their dreams.
If you are, you may be able to deal with setbacks not only more easily, but with a smile.
What are those other ways to achieve your dream? There are many, but to learn about one of the best, message me. Learn how ordinary people with the courage to look for another way not only found it, but are thriving because of it.
Despite what others may tell you, dreaming is not only healthy, it’s encouraged.
It’s certainly OK to work for someone else while you pursue your dreams. If you do, live each day with purpose, and plan for the day that you can do what you want. For the courageous, that day will come sooner rather than later.
Izzo’s interviewees talked about taking risks. While we may have been told to avoid risks, those who take risks generally achieve their dreams sooner. Besides, in today’s climate, taking risks is often necessary to survive. Escaping one’s comfort zone may be the only alternative for many.
So, have courage. Take risks. Take a look at an idea you may be inclined to avoid. You could see a whole new world, and your dreams may be lived sooner rather than later.

Peter

WHY SO PESSIMISTIC, AMERICA?

#recession #unemployment #optimism
“In America today, women are liberated, while combined individual wealth is the highest in the world – China, in second place, barely has 35 percent of what we do.”
So writes Jack Hunter, politics editor for Rare.us, in a column published Aug. 28, 2016, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
So why are so many Americans bummed out? Hunter asks.
The first reason, Hunter suspects, is that the country still hasn’t recovered fully from the 2008 recession.
“Comparatively low unemployment numbers mask massive workforce dropouts, and, while sage stagnation is partially a myth, pay still hasn’t risen as consistently as it might have,” Hunter writes.
He also blames the bombardment of the 24-hour news cycle, on which tragedy predominates. Finally, he blames a “tin-eared” government and political class that has little in common with those they regulate.
Let’s break down how things are. The recession produced gobs of unemployment. Those who have found new jobs in many cases are not being paid nearly what they were being paid beforehand. Many who haven’t found jobs have given up looking.
Despite good job availability in some areas – most big rigs on the road are advertising the need for drivers, for example – people either aren’t taking advantage of those openings, or may not be qualified to take those jobs.
Couple that with the fact that truck driving, in most cases, doesn’t pay what it once did, even though the work is just as hard, or even harder given the increased traffic on the roads. That’s a disincentive to wanting to take the jobs.
Eventually, wages will start to increase as demand for labor increases.
Although “now hiring” signs are popping not just on the trucks, but at other places of employment, most of the available jobs are those with which one would have difficulty making a living. Many people are cobbling together a couple of part-time jobs to try to pay their bills. Folks like these are not going to necessarily embrace what’s good about America.
The news cycle spends lots of time on bad news, but the bad news has to be reported. Many news outlets try to balance off the bad news with some good, uplifting stories. Hunter talks about America’s success at the 2016 Summer Olympics as one of those uplifting stories.
Certainly, a polarized government like ours will be slow to solve problems, but the cure for most of the country’s ailments lies outside the government’s wheelhouse.
So, on balance, life is pretty good for a lot of people. If you don’t believe you are among them, there are ways in which you can act to improve your situation. There are many ways potentially to make money without the benefit of a traditional W-2 job. To find them, you first have to be willing to look, perhaps, outside your comfort zone. If you’d like to check out one of the best, message me. You might see how people perhaps just like you took their futures into their own hands and helped others do the same.
To get that positive mind-set, look for the good things in your life – friends, family etc. Focus on those. Then, begin to do all that YOU can to find a solution to the problems in your life. The holiday season is perhaps the best time of year to do that. The joy of what is good shines at Christmas, and that joy can spark optimism for the new year.
Remember, too, that, for most of us, there is no great benefactor out there. We must provide for our own futures. If you see life that way, you’ll be better equipped to celebrate the ups and deal with the downs.
Peter

COLLEGE GRADS’ JOB PROSPECTS IMPROVING? DON’T STAND AND APPLAUD YET

#CollegeGrads #employment #jobs #StudentDebt
It may be the best time to graduate college since the Great Recession. But they are still not great.
So writes Ruth Serven of The Kansas City Star. Her story was published July 3, 2016, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The unemployment rate for college grads is less than 5 percent, and job prospects are getting brighter, Serven writes. But 45 percent of those recent grads have jobs that don’t require their degrees, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Serven writes.
Though there is more work available, grads still face stagnant wages and the highest debt load ever, the article says.
In fact, 42 million people owe $1.3 trillion in student debt, according to the cover story in the August 2016 issue of Consumer Reports magazine, which condensed and reprinted an article by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting.
“I feel I kind of ruined my life by going to college,” the CR article quotes Jackie Krowen, 32, of Portland, Ore., who owes $162,000 in student debt.
We’ve recently discussed this topic in this space, but it bears hearing another perspective.
Many graduates are coming out of college with debt the size of a home mortgage. How can they be expected to 1) buy a house? 2) begin saving for retirement? or 3) buy some of the essential things they need to live a decent life?
On top of the debt, the students’ expensive education is not giving them work that would be worth the investment, in many cases.
Also, some students are getting calls at all hours with prods, if not threats, to make payments on that debt.
Though most consider a home mortgage not just productive debt, but an actual financial vehicle, college debt, without having a commensurate job to make its burden light, is not productive debt.
Certainly, all education has value. But some education has more value than others. If a student goes on to be a doctor, for example, and goes into debt to make that happen, that’s, more or less, expected.
A medical practice can be lucrative and usually, before the doctor gets too old, it is usually paid off. Some even practice medicine in less lucrative places, in exchange for some eventual debt relief, among other inducements.
But if one studies, say, the liberal arts, and goes into debt to pay for that education, it’s very possible, even likely, that, if he gets a job at all, it will not be terribly lucrative. The student debt, therefore, becomes perhaps a lifelong burden. As that student ages, the burden may be so great that he will retire with little or nothing to help him get through old age.
Fortunately, there are solutions that don’t involve stiffing one’s debtor. There are ways to earn an extra income for a few part-time hours a week that might not only pay better than the job you are doing, but has the potential to make you financially free eventually. For one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau.
By all means, before a student decides to go to college, sit down with parents and other advisers and do the math. If you have to borrow money to cover most of the costs, think about how you would pay it back. If you don’t have a good answer, reconsider your future.
Colleges and universities, too, should contemplate their futures. How good would it look to produce thousands, even millions, of graduates that are so crushed with debt, they’ll be paying on it forever? Someone needs to retool education to prevent this.
We have a love-hate relationship with education. We may love it while we’re in school, but, when we graduate, often we don’t love it nearly as much.
Peter