Putting the Cart Before the Horse in Education

There is a major problem with education, and the way our country has chosen to structure it, economically.  The people who most need education to find work (the young and the suddenly unemployed) are the ones who are least likely to be able to afford to pay for it out of pocket.

This happens because, excepting our grade school system, the students are required to pay for the education “up front”.  The whole point of establishing the grade school system was supposed to be to help regular people compete in the job market, but the important skills are no longer being taught in grade schools.  Taking out usurious loans to pay for that education is severe exploitation of this situation – if we are going to have loans pay for education, they should at least be interest-free.

But even this is a twisted way to look at the system.  Why do most people want “education”?  So that they can get a job and gainful employment.  By putting the cost of education first, the whole system is foisting the costs of professional training onto the employees, leaving the businesses free to reap the rewards without paying any of the costs (often not even via taxes, if they have enough loop holes).

If employers want us to have a specific skill in order to work for them, then the employer should have to eat the cost of training for that specific skill.  If we treat college or other self-funded training as a requirement for getting a job, then employers have successfully transferred the cost of training from the companies to the hopeful employees, with no promise of ever recouping their losses.  The alternative is starvation wages and death, so everyone who works is forced into this gamble where someone else (someone rich) decides whether they get to live a decent life, or whether they will rot in the streets with a useless piece of paper and run away debts.

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