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Recommended Reading

A heavy mil-theory day….

Top Billing! Captain Nathaniel T. Lauterbach, USMC at Chicago Boyz Clausewitz, On War, Book 1: Clausewitz on Military Genius

Capt. Lauterbach is posting as a member of the The Clausewitz Roundtable, hosted at Chicago Boyz and his post is exceedingly good and worth your time to read whether you have delved into On War or not.

CTLab unveils their new Spatial Forces Index 1:2 

Tom Barnett is going on Milt Rosenberg’s show. I may just have to call in 😉

He’s an education report that really grabbed my attention:

Tough Choices for Tough Times by The New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce

Kings of WarWars over Future Wars and Point/Counterpoint

SWJ BlogSECDEF Gates Meets with COCOMs, USMC Makes Case…

DNIWhen Sun-tzu met Clausewitz: John Boyd, the OODA Loop, and the invasion of Iraq

Rethinking SecurityThe Crisis of 4GW and More Thoughts on 4GW

That’s it!

5 Responses to “Recommended Reading”

  1. Dave Schuler Says:

    I was completely unimpressed by Tough Measures for Tough Times because, as best as I could tell, it was completely unmoored from the economic realities.  I’ll give two examples of this.
    Over the period of the last ten years the only sectors in which education is a benefit that have seen  substantial growth are government, education, and healthcare, which all receive hefty government subsidies.  If hefty government subsidies were the path to a healthy economy, the Soviet Union would be the world’s economic powerhouse.
    Americans (particularly men) have noticed this reality and are opting out of higher education.  The message here is clear:  if we want a more educated workforce, there need to be jobs for that workforce available at the end of the process.  There is no Field of Dreams, the jobs for educated workers don’t magically appear because there are educated workers.  The sad reality is that our legal, policy, and regulatory systems encourage an uneducated workforce.
    Second,  we are already paying above entry level wages for entry level workers in primary education, at least in major cities.  Here in Chicago for example a bachelor’s only new hire teacher gets more than $40,000 for a nine month position.  Those are work rules and compensation schemes I see no way of altering.

  2. Fabius Maximus Says:

    I second Schuler’s comment, which was the first sensible thing I’ve read about this aspect of Obama’s stimulus plan. 
    Many areas requiring advanced degrees already have low wages relative to the education investment required, indicating a surplus — not a shortage — of workers.  The complaints of "shortages" usually come from employers, who have a vested interest in ever-lower wages (hence their enthusiasm for immigrants for high-tech jobs, driving wages down).
    As for schools, there have been many experiements testing the effect of greater spending  — often with little or no improvements (this does not mean that there are no grossly underfunded schools).  For results of testing the extreme case of almost unlimited spending, ee the Cato study "Money And School Performance:  Lessons from the Kansas City Desegregation Experiment", 16 March 1998.

  3. zen Says:

    Hi Dave & FM
    I agree the report skipped in deus ex machina fashiom over the practical political difficulties of changing work rules and compensation schemes in places like CPS.  I also agree that more money without structural, methodological and curricular changes will not create systemic changes.

    What I think you may have missed is the section discussing the need for public and higher ed to inculcate greater creative and adaptive thinking because of the issue of competing with well-educated by cheap to hire foreign labor – greater innovation being the primary way to secure the higher returns of comparative advantage as our traditional claim on upper-end labor erodes.  To switch gears, the report is right that there really isn’t a need for "High School" per se as the last two years simply hold back the upper 30-40 % of students intellectually when they could be doing something a lot more rigorous – likewise the bottom 25 % needs some other avenue forward than dropping out or coasting through ( where we could use an expansion of vocational ed.) to some dead end retail or unskilled job.

  4. Seerov Says:

    This report gave me the impression that this is much more than a plan to improve American education.  The following sentence is an example of what I mean:
    "They (meaning school districts)would also be responsible for connecting theschools to a wide range of social services inthe community, a function made easier inthose cases in which the mayor is responsiblefor both those services and the schools."
    I think we can see where this is headed?

  5. zen Says:

    It’s already there Seerov in at least skeletal or latent form for the pragmatic reason that even the most dysfunctionally incompetent citizen can usually physically manage to locate their neighborhood public school and there’s lots of space there in off-hours which can be leased inexpensively. As far as children go, public schools are the point of contact for most local agencies and for integrated community/county disaster response ( this started cranking up after Columbine, Beslan, hurricaine Katrina etc.).

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