Jason Furman is an economic advisor to President Obama. His resume is impressive if you think getting educational degrees is somehow pertinent to understanding how America and its economy work. You see, the delusion that academics are synonymous with common sense is undermining the future of this country. Has been for far too many years!
I have a college education but I can tell you my greatest learning came from my childhood growing up in NY in a “working class” family. (I don’t believe that America has classes; we all are part of the opportunity class). Back to my point. The greatest learning in America comes from childhood experiences, jobs we have held, people that have mentored us, and our overall experiences.
College is about education, life is about training. Education is the art of learning about things. Training is about learning how to do things. Huge distinction. At the University I attended there were “perpetual students.” These students were often found at the campus pub debating philosophy and science over a pitcher of beer. They also had multiple degrees. They held an undergraduate degree or two, maybe already had a Masters or two, and often working on a PHD or two. None of them with the intention of using those degrees beyond teaching others how to get those degrees.
There is a big difference between perpetual students and the people that had to work every break to pay for their education. Often students like me started as a paperboy, busboy, waiter, bartender, garbage man, and other odd jobs to pay for education to then return to be a productive member of society in the private sector. Learning from every job to secure a better job. Learning how business worked from sales to management, accounting to operations and so on. Observing and learning hands on how to be successful but not absolved from failure. Observing, trying, learning and changing accordingly.
The economy of the United States is a reflection of people that have been observing, learning, trying, failing, and succeeding in industries as varied as food service to nuclear engineering. Most business people in America observe and create products and services based on their experience in the economy and some become successful and some fail. But they all learn what works and what does not work.
Every one of these people would be a better choice as an economic advisor over the perpetual student. Because you see the perpetual student is insulated from what happens as a result of their theories in the real world. They write papers to get a passing grade. Entrepreneurs start businesses to survive. If a perpetual student gets a bad grade they re-write their paper. If an entrepreneur does not execute effectively they can lose everything. There are real consequences.
This administration in particular, but in many administrations for far too long, there has been a propensity to hire academics. Academics are ruining this country because they are supporting policies that don’t work in the real world. If they had the sense of any business person they would know that. We need to start hiring economic advisors that have actually worked in the economy they pretend to understand…