Austin’s Success in ‘Middle-Skill’ Jobs

A recent Wall Street Journal story focuses on the growth in “middle-skill” jobs in Austin, Texas. Rather predictably, the writer implies that the key is formal education, saying that it isn’t possible for other cities to quickly increase the educational level of their work forces, but the substance of the piece makes it clear that government policy toward education has nothing to do with it. The people who are doing all right in these jobs don’t usually have high levels of formal education, but use their basic skills in tandem with on-the-job training to improve their value. Politicians who keep thinking that we can improve overall prosperity simply by pouring more “education” — that is, college courses — into people should read this article.

George Leef — George Leef is the director of research for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

Most Popular

U.S.

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More
Religion

Billy Graham: Neither Prophet nor Theologian

Asked in 1972 if he believed in miracles, Billy Graham answered: Yes, Jesus performed some and there are many "miracles around us today, including television and airplanes." Graham was no theologian. Neither was he a prophet. Jesus said "a prophet hath no honor in his own country." Prophets take adversarial ... Read More
Film & TV

Why We Can’t Have Wakanda

SPOILERS AHEAD Black Panther is a really good movie that lives up to the hype in just about every way. Surely someone at Marvel Studios had an early doubt, reading the script and thinking: “Wait, we’re going to have hundreds of African warriors in brightly colored tribal garb, using ancient weapons, ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More