Remedial Class Struggle

James Farmelant farmelantj at
Mon Jun 1 07:40:00 PDT 1998

On Mon, 1 Jun 1998 09:07:13 -0500 Yoshie Furuhashi <furuhashi.1 at> writes:

>The ruling class argument that 'post-industrial' economy (or whatever)
>needs 'more + more educated workforce,' what with computers and other
>fetishes, is merely an ideology. This is an argument that is designed
>blame the unemployed/underemployed/low-wage workers for their alleged
>'education' deficit. This ideology also serves to make workers accept
>they--not employers--are responsible for job training.

Certainly my own observations confirm this. I recently completed a course at Boston University in C++/Windows development programming. In my class there were a number of people who been COBOL programmers or who had done database work. Despite the fact that the IT industry complains about a shortage of C++ programmers the people in my class who were experienced programmers were paying for the course out of their own pockets. At least a couple of people had left their old jobs to be retrained. Corporations by and large have little interest in retraining people if they have to pay for it.
>And if more college grads get actually produced, it will merely
>to the credential inflation, where the positions that used to require,
>only high school diplomas would demand bachelor's degrees.
>Also, if universities are in fact expanding in Florida, it's probably
>because with more college grads in the labor market, capitalists think
>they can depress the wages/salaries of the middle strata and/or
>the attitude of future employees.
>Also, with less and less state funding, colleges + universities are
>retooling themselves to become the Edu Serv, Inc. where students will
>treated as consumers of education services. Pretty soon 'student
>evaluation' might be renamed 'customer satisfaction survey,' which
>ask questions such as: "Did your instructor treat you with courtesy?";
>the service prompt and efficient?"; "How do you rate the production
>of classroom experience?"; and so on. College presidents will be
>CEOs. Tenure? A thing of the soon-to-be past.
>I don't see any 'skills shortage' in the USA. Besides, there is an
>overabundance of highly educated people all over the world, especially
>the formerly 'socialist' countries and Asia. The US ruling class can
>import them or subcontract work abroad (if it's tech work).

That is increasingly the case in the software industry. Right now many companies will do project design work domestically and then outsource much of the routine coding work overseas to places like India, Bangladesh or China.

Jim Farmelant


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