Day: 2010/06/04

Big Bubble Bonus Battle

Earlier I wrote:

Theoretically, when people are thrown out of work, the solution is to reeducate the workers and they’ll get new jobs in the recovering economy.  In practice, there’s no reason to believe that jobs that vanished during a recession will be replaced with jobs for which the workers are training.  Unless the government boldly decides to plan the post-recession economy (good luck seeing that with Uncle Sam), we could just as easily see many people leave universities with useless degrees and more debt.

It’s nice that USA Today backs me up on that because I had to give it some thought.  It’s not quite an instance of the Luddite fallacy, which assumes productivity increases don’t coincide with output increases and price reductions.  Instead, we need to recognize that unlike the industrial revolution (when farm labor could be easily converted to factory labor), in our current economy, converting labor isn’t frictionless.  In the legal sector, b’ween undergraduate, the LSAT, law school, bar exams, and employment searches, entering the legal market costs quite a bit.  If the demand isn’t there, then people should neither make the shift nor be encouraged to do so.

Kinda reminds me of this Elie Mystal scathe on a law professor criticizing trade schools.