Phi Beta Cons

Train Them and Jobs Will Come

Mexico has spent heavily on higher education in the last decade, particularly for schools of engineering. Somehow, somebody down there decided the way to build a prosperous economy was to train lots of engineers, who would then attract and create engineering jobs. Sadly, they got the directional arrow wrong— leading to a boondoggle of immense proportions.

Most prosperous countries started out educating people for job openings, not the other way around. Many of the new engineers are woefully underemployed, or unemployed entirely. The government is footing the bill, and it must have cost a bundle to a country that isn’t exactly flush. Central planners everywhere are scratching their heads wondering why, since their attempts to mandate production quotas have never worked anywhere, they didn’t work this time around, either.

Of course, the same sort of thinking is going on in this country. Last year, Virginia put into law a mandate to produce 100,000 more graduates, and North Carolina is considering something comparable.

George Leef blogged about a similar situation in China a couple of months ago.


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