Published On: Mon, Oct 24th, 2016

Work and wealth

Jacob Gelt DekkerRapidly changing technologies, its economies and job markets pose new challenges for all workers. Special wisdom is required of today’s politicians who are supposed to shape the future wealth of the young generations. Will they create wealth by having a workforce already tuned to tomorrow's reality, or will they be stuck in antiquity? In September 2013, Oxford researchers, Frey and Osborne, published, “ The Future of Employment.”

They concluded that a lot of jobs will disappear due to smart algorithms like we already have on our smartphones and computers, and workplace robotization. About 47% of the total of present jobs will disappear forever, they concluded. For instance, the likeliness that the following jobs will have disappeared in the next 15 years is:

99% : telemarketers, insurance underwriters
98% : sports referees
97% : cashiers
96% : chefs
94% : waiters, paralegal assistants
91% : tour guides
89% : bakers, bus drivers
88% : construction workers, carpenters
86% : veterinary assistants
84% : security guards
77% : bartenders

So, why are schools still training for jobs, we already know will no longer exist soon? Politicians and Unions have had enormous influence on tomorrow’s workforce, and therefore the future wealth of the working class. Nothing has proven to be so devastating for wealth formation as a future workforce that does not fit the demand of the market. Work ethics on Curacao are already extremely poor, especially amongst those who recently left schools and for more than 50% were unable to find jobs.

If no radical change is made by politicians in formal education, the students of today, even graduates on top of their class, will become the misfits of tomorrow with youth unemployment of 80-90% rather than 50%.

Over the last thirty years, political idealism forced schools to become the nurseries for future political utopias of one kind or another. It was suddenly no longer important for students know factoids, to know what Plato or Thomas of Aquinas thought about public or scientific issues. A teacher would tell you that he or she : “ teaches kids to think for themselves.”

“Thinking” in the cuddly warmth of the new religion called humanism, was soon replaced by “feeling”. With extremely little respect to the historic facts, the colonial period and the institution of slavery were resurrected in the teaching material as the lead for social formation; to teach students to feel the pain and sufferings of the 150-year past slavery period were suddenly more important than anything else. It created a hateful and poorly motivated young workforce with extremely low productivity. Political idealism and fanaticism, soaking in collective humanism, stole from the " feeling" students any chance to escape the "cycle of poverty." The graduates are simply misfits in today's economy, not to mention tomorrow's.

With the disaster of political idealistic brainwashing comes ignorance of politicians and teachers and a complete lack of reality about future markets.

When will the students and their parents take the power back from political fanatics and put it back into their own hands and do what is good for their welfare and well-being of their children?

Please go and educate yourself and your children so you can function in real economic markets with demand.

By Jacob Gelt Dekker
Opinion columnist for Curaçao Chronicle

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