The second paragraph of the United States Declaration of Independence starts as follows: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
If true, and if free market capitalism was a just and moral system, then education and job skills would be essential to all citizens of the Unites States of America in order for them to reach their full potential and achieve the ever popular American Dream that anyone running for office is obliged to refer to in their stump speech.
Only is’t not true.
The truth is that education and job skills only matter if one is a member of the working class. To illustrate my point, I need point to no further than our current president and his brood. Does anyone cling to the notion that Mr. Trump’s wealth and that of Ivanka and Donny Jr. and the rest is the result of the level of their education and skill set? If you do, I have a college course to sell you at Trump University. To be fair, I can say the same for Chelsea and Marc Mezvinsky. They were born into wealth and privilege. They will be wealthy for their entire lives, without having to rely on a sheepskin or skill set for their daily bread.
And that’s the point I make, over and over and over again when I say that “education and jobs skills” ain’t the cure for the gross wealth inequality that plagues the United States of America and with that inequality come a tsunami of social ills ranging from crime rates, to divorce, to suicide, drug addiction, and increased levels of ill heath, both mental and physical.
Yes, education and skills training are important but only as an economic factor if one is born into the working class. Sadly, this paradigm has pushed the costs of a higher education to stellar levels as members of the working class compete harder and harder for the fewer and fewer crumbs being left for us by the ownership class. Sadly too, this has reduced education to being simply the means to wealth, not personal fulfillment or enjoyment.
So where do we go from here? We start with the millionaires tax, the fight for $15, paid leave, four seeks (minimum) vacation, and when we get those, we push for more. What we don’t do is believe in the myth that the hammering of the working class (to paraphrase Senator Elizabeth Warren) is because of their lack of education and job skills.