Robert Siegel talks to regular political commentators, E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and Brookings Institution, and David Brooks of The New York Times. They discuss Mitt Romney's "47 percent," new polls on the presidential race, and close Senate races.
The weak economy and high unemployment have prompted many adults to head back to the classroom, armed with the promise that more education will bring them a higher paycheck and increased job security. But now, some are learning the hard way that just earning a degree isn’t a guarantee of a good paycheck -- or any paycheck at all – when the job market is so difficult. That’s leaving many Americans saddled with high student loan debts and frustrated by low job prospects.
When Mitt Romney -- echoing the writings of novelist Ayn Rand -- tells us that half of Americans choose dependency, he reinforces one of the biggest myths in America: the idea that we have to choose. We have to choose between the "individualism" of a Romney/Rand and the "socialism" of an Obama. We have to choose between unleashing personal ambition or nurturing community.
It’s a scary world out there for young people looking to start their careers, and this has led to plenty of college education panic. Don’t have a degree, say a host of hyperventilating pundits and extremely anxious parents, and you’ll almost certainly be consigned to low-paid wage slavery and a stunted life.
Bachelor degree production isn’t a big problem in this country. Associate degrees and certificates are where the U.S. lags other industrialized countries, according to the latest study from Anthony P. Carnevale, director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.
What’s at stake is whether the progressive turn that global politics took in the 1990s will make a comeback over the next decade, and also how much progressives who embraced markets during the heyday of the Third Way sponsored by Clinton and British Prime Minister Tony Blair will adjust their views to a breakdown in the financial system they did not anticipate.