As a tradesman for most of my life, this article touches on an important topic. Even bricklayers/stone masons can easily make six figures a year. There is so much opportunity in skilled trades.

Expand full comment
Mar 7Liked by Rod Graham

Great article. I think part of the problem is one of prestige. There needs to be more recognition of the skill of people in these fields. Seems like in many movies and shows the characters are lawyers, journalists etc

Expand full comment

All of this makes great sense as far as it goes. I do, however, have some questions which may or may not be worthy of your attention!

1. Is the notional duration of "cultural lag" lengthening, or shortening? One can imagine reasons for either answer (shortening, because communication is much faster - parents at least can learn of labor market shifts very quickly; lengthening, because education is now coded not only with class, but with politics, which may make it harder for the children of blue-voting craft-beer quaffing professors to become (say) electricians who hang out with Bud Light-swilling red-voters). Thoughts?

2. To what degree does institutional self-interest extend cultural lag? If we were to make a serious effort to shift as you propose, a lot of colleges at the margin would fail, enrollment would fall at others, and public schools would have to pivot their curriculum in ways that might put educators of one thing (college prep stuff) out of a job as the school hires more shop teachers.

I can think of others, too, but don't want to be too big a pain in my first comments here!

Expand full comment