23 May 2012

What if Knowledge Work Is No Longer the Limit to our Economy?

The Atlantic reports that 

For the 1st Time Ever, a Majority of the Unemployed Have Attended College

This might mean universities are failing. It might. It might also mean that maybe we ought not to plan on a future economy in which everyone with a job has graduated from university. 

During the industrial revolution, it may have looked - for a time - as though everyone would eventually work in a factory and that gains in income and productivity depended on a steady rise. Fortunately, this trend reversed and manufacturing jobs declined. 

So what if not everyone is suited to be a knowledge worker? What if not everyone can graduate from university even if the steady growth in college graduates during the information economy of the 20th century would have suggested that such a thing was either inevitable or desirable? 

Perhaps policy makers will soon decide that it's time to move from a focus on the information economy that depended on a steady increase in the number and productivity of knowledge workers. Perhaps they'll realize that we've moved into an entrepreneurial economy, and knowledge workers are no longer the constraint to progress. 

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