Job Turnover and the Minimum Wage | Coyote Blog
"Don Boudreaux criticizes an academic article that purports to tell business people that they should be able to easily absorb minimum wage hikes without consequence . . ."
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Academics can be pretty droll, at least I hope they are being droll.
In college during 1982, I had to read one of Noam Chomsky's books, and Eric Hoffer's, The True Believer for another. After the shock wore off, I looked at the fly leaf bio's and realized that one was a pure academic, the other had real world experiences, but was impressively well read.
It was an epiphany moment. The pure academics have no real life experiences, they live in their heads, and they are very clever. The few more like Hoffer (a longshoreman, not an academic), who have had real life experiences are completely different.
Over the years I have decided this is due to Common Sense, which isn't. The more one works with his hands in hard, dangerous, physical work, the more one realizes the real world is filled with things which look benign but which are not. Working at the paper mill, I realized that the machine rope nip was a level 7/10 danger, life threateningly serious, but the rewinder nip was a 10/10 danger, and the broke hole and repulper 11/10. Experiences like these transfer to other things. The individual views the world more carefully and is much better at sussing out the traps hiding in plain sight.
The academics are much more nescient. They have the words to sound knowledgeable but insufficient experience to keep from falling into each and every trap, or danger. These people resemble nothing so much as children, and everything interesting is in reality an attractive nuisance.
An example of this was a nice young college grad who came to work at the mill as a floor supervisor. At the time the paper machine had six "hands," a shared foreman who was a former senior machine worker, and the supervisor who was a salaried college grad, none of whom had ever worked on the machines. Our young supervisor quickly became confident in his abilities, and, frankly, began to act above his competence. One day he was unhappy with something the Front Tender had done, and walked in front of the machine (tissue paper machine) to catch the Front Tender's ear. There was a large pile of broke (waste paper cut from the reel) on the floor. This was a very bad idea. Two reels were already on the floor, and the broke made the area a dangerous mess with only the barest walk path between the live reel, and the static reels. The team had been up changing the drum blade, luckily, and I simply stood dumbfounded watching him make his precarious walk.
He fell, and nearly dropped through the broke hole (a hole in the floor about 4 feet by the length of the sheet). This hole allowed the broke to be dropped 25 feet to the room below where it would fall on conveyor belts and automatically loaded into a huge repulping tank, think huge, hot water blender.
Fall in that and die.
I grabbed him before he could drop through the broke hole. But it never left me, he knew about the broke hole but took that huge risk presumably so he would not need to walk an additional 80 feet or so. He simply did not have any common sense, no understanding of the consequences.
Today our academics often are crowned with their doctorates never having had a significant job, and especially a job difficult, and dangerous. These are incredibly clever people who would not know the difference between a bear trap and a mouse trap, for that matter between a hot fudge sundae. They say things out of ignorance, and hubris.
I do not know the solution for this problem but if unsolved it seem likely the Academe will suffer.
Having had many jobs from paper machine hand to industrial demolition crew chief, to litigation attorney trying medical issues, I can say this problem is worsening not resolving.