Unfortunately, the skills myth - like the myth of a looming debt crisis - is having dire effects on real-world policy. Instead of focusing on the way disastrously wrongheaded fiscal policy and inadequate action by the Federal Reserve have crippled the economy and demanding action, important people piously wring their hands about the failings of American workers.
Moreover, by blaming workers for their own plight, the skills myth shifts attention away from the spectacle of soaring profits and bonuses even as employment and wages stagnate. Of course, that may be another reason corporate executives like the myth so much.
So we need to kill this zombie, if we can, and stop making excuses for an economy that punishes workers.
I'm not of the opinion that corporate executives (or conservative politicians) are consciously punishing, marginalizing and dehumanizing the front line as an excuse to make more profit. Quite the reverse; I think a focus on profit is what's giving these folk cause to dehumanize the front line.
Apex predators, survival of the fittest and all that.
That's just one piece of the puzzle for me, though. Looking at the big picture, I see wrong-headed focus, widening communication and social gaps and not a small bit of anger all emerging at the same time as the stagnancy of our political and social systems are causing public services to reach a breaking point.
Then, there's a private-sector culture that was nurtured during the Industrial Age and is poorly-positioned to maximize their labour's full potential in a more knowledge (information, communication, advanced tech, social media) economy.
But we don't think about such things - not when we're worried about a zombie apocalypse shambling towards us. It takes a monstrous catastrophe of class-shattering proportions to shatter us from this revere and realize that when we opt to react selfishly instead of planning ahead pro-socially, we are that zombie.
Of course, this has happened before, and it will happen again.
Time is mythical that way.
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