Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘gig economy’

Of Two Minds – OK Boomer, OK Fed

Posted by M. C. on December 19, 2019

Charles Hugh Smith

Eventually the younger generations will connect all the economic injustices implicit in ‘OK Boomer’ with the Fed.

Much of the cluelessness and economic inequality behind the OK Boomer meme is the result of Federal Reserve policies that have favored those who already own the assets (Boomers) that the Fed has relentlessly pumped higher, to the extreme disadvantage of younger generations who were not given the opportunity to buy assets cheap and ride the Fed wave higher.

OK Fed: you’ve destroyed price discovery, driven housing out of reach of all but the wealthy and hollowed out the economy, all the while patting yourselves on the back for being so smart and fabulous.

OK Fed: you’ve waged generational war without even acknowledging how disastrous your policies have been for younger generations. You’ve bloated the paper wealth of everyone old enough to have bought a home 20, 30 or 40 years ago and who’s had a Corporate America or government job who’s seen their 401K or pension soar because “the Fed has our back” and Fed policies have inflated one bubble in stocks and bonds after another for 25 years.

OK Fed: as a direct consequence of your free-money-for-financiers policies, inflation has gutted the purchasing power of younger generations. As the bogus consumer price (CPI) claims inflation is near-zero year after year, two generations of Americans have been crushed by student loan debt that tops $1.5 trillion– a debt serfdom that would have been impossible had interest rates been settled by market forces.

The clueless higher education cartel would have been forced to innovate decades ago rather than pass on their administrative bloat to those least able to pay, the students. Without the Fed and other federal agencies, student debt would not have exploded.

OK Fed: as a direct consequence of your pump-up-speculative-excess policies, speculation has ruined the U.S. economy as banks, financiers and corporations all skim hundreds of billions of dollars via leveraging Fed cheap money while younger generations get credit cards with nosebleed interest rates and rapacious banks that charge $25 and up for every overdraft that they engineer by manipulating when deposits are credited.

OK Fed: while you’ve been hectoring young people to buy assets so they can join your speculative asset-bubble party, they’ve been dealing with the broken mess of an economy you’ve created while patting yourself on the back, an economy where only the already-wealthy can buy a house in hot job market regions, where young workers have to work crazy-hard to keep their precarious jobs or get by on the gig economy, a happy-story code phrase for an economy in which corporations have transferred the risk to their workers while they get rich buying back their own shares with cheap Fed money.

OK Fed: eventually the younger generations will connect all the economic injustices implicit in OK Boomer with the Fed that created the ever-widening wealth and income inequality between the generations: those who effortlessly rode the Fed’s asset-bubbles to wealth and those who have been priced out of the assets and left the shards of a once-functioning economy, an economy destroyed by the Fed’s toxic worship of speculative exploitation and serial asset-bubbles.

As I have repeatedly observed here: if we don’t change the way money is created and distributed by the Fed, we change nothing.



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Working Teens Dragged Back to School By Bounty Hunters | The Daily Bell

Posted by M. C. on December 8, 2019

By Joe Jarvis

There has been an uptick over the past year in “children skipping school,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

And that is where the problem begins. Because the article does not talk about “children.” It talks about teenagers, young adults. They are “adolescents,” the invented stage between childhood and adulthood which keeps teens in an oppressive purgatory.

And why are these “children” skipping school?

Greene County Career Center, a high school in Xenia, Ohio, dispatches a truancy interventionist to meet with students at home or in school to determine why they are missing classes. ”She has gone to work sites before, if she knows a kid is working,” said Jenny Adkins, the school’s supervisor of student services.

That’s it, let’s drag these “kids” away from work and back to school. Forget making money and building experience in the real world. Let’s keep the real world on hold so they can get a public education.

Especially ironic is that this particular school is called a “Career Center.” Nothing says career training like snatching a teen from work.

So the first problem is that teens are being treated like children. Some have made the choice to work, and the government forces them to attend school instead.

The second problem is that it is taken as a given that school attendance is positive. They act like just being inside a school building will magically educate students. That’s probably why so many people end up with jobs that require little more than a warm body sitting in a cubicle.

It terrifies most people to have a job where getting paid depends on your work output. Yet that is the training that would be most valuable. The gig economy is growing, and getting paid depends on finishing tasks, not putting in your hours.

But schools are on a crusade to encourage attendance. Why? Because that is where the administrators’ incentives lie.

States typically fund school districts based on attendance, so school officials worry about losing money due to absent students.

And there you have it. It has nothing to do with “the children.” It has everything to do with money.

“Truancy interventionists,” are simply bounty hunters for the school. They round up the escaped chattel and return them to their pen.

Of course, it is tempting to equate higher budgets with better education. But the data simply does not back this up.

Some of the worst schools in Camden, New Jersey spend over $23,000 per student. And some of the best schools in American Fork, Utah spend just $5,600 per student.

Most of the ballooning school budgets go to administration. The chart below shows the increase in students, teachers, and administration since 1950.

school administration costs chart

There are about twice as many students, and seven times as many administrators and other non-teaching staff…

If public schools could be replaced with optional resource centers for teenagers, that would be a massive improvement. Provide laundry, showers, and a safe environment. Teens, especially those in bad living situations, could go to learn on their own, or get help from the staff. Even provide certain meals. The cost would be less than public schools, and the benefit would be astronomically higher.

Look, anything the government does is going to be done terribly. It will be inefficient. The incentives will be aligned all wrong. And this solution would have those same flaws. But it would be an improvement.

Perhaps these “Charter Resource Centers” could be placed near some of the worst schools, and allow teens to opt out of mandatory school, and opt into this alternative. If the funding followed them, this might make a difference.

But the current public school system ruins lives. It destroys potential. It creates conflicts in society.

Skipping school is not a problem. It is the solution.

Be seeing you




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