Thinking For A Living: Education And The Wealth Of Nations

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9780465085576: Thinking For A Living: Education And The Wealth Of Nations
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Why should employers pay American workers much more to work far fewer hours a year than the competition? They won't—unless Americans know more and can do more than the workers with whom they compete. Thinking for a Living is the first book to address head-on the issue of the appalling mismatch between what our economy needs and what our educational institutions actually provide. A massive imbalance between the resources available for the education of our managerial, technical, and professional workers on the one hand, and our line workers on the other, threatens our economic survival, according to Marshall and Tucker. The book provides a blueprint for the radical reconstruction of our schools, following much the same principles that allowed some of America's leading industrial organizations to rescue themselves from the brink of ruin by greatly raising productivity without increasing costs. But education, the authors point out, is far more than schooling. All the major functions of our society must function as integrated learning systems. This book spells out how families, communities, and, most of all, businesses can contribute to the effectiveness of our most valuable resource: people. The American educational system is designed to meet the manpower needs of a bygone era. If America is to survive in the infinitely more demanding economic environment of the next century, we must maximize the skills of our work force. Our economic policies will fail—and our standard of living will fall—unless they are linked to an aggressive education policy that results in unprecedented levels of performance.

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About the Author:

Ray Marshall, who was Secretary of Labor under President Carter, holds the Audre and Bernard Rappoport Centennial Chair in Economics and Public Affairs at the University of Texas, Austin. Mark Tucker is President of the National Center on Education and the Economy and Professor Education at the University of Rochester.

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A highly educated and trained workforce is the key to economic growth and full employment, assert the authors of this boldly visionary book, an important contribution to the debate over national priorities and the U.S.'s economic competitiveness. They urge the nation's employers to heed the lessons learned by Germany, Japan, Sweden and Singapore--countries that have linked education and economic policy into a single integrated strategy. In those countries, many "front-line" workers--those in non-managerial and nontechnical positions--are granted quasi-managerial responsibilities and are rewarded for improving product design, manufacturing quality and overall productivity. In their "coherent national strategy for human resources development," Marshall and Tucker advocate employers' commitment to the continued education of front-line workers, massive investment in teacher salaries, adoption of more stringent educational standards, legalization of tax credits for families with children, an increase in the minimum wage and creation of a national health insurance program modeled on Canada's. Marshall, an economist, was Secretary of Labor under Jimmy Carter; Tucker is president of the National Center on Education and the Economy in Washington, D.C., and Rochester, N.Y.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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