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Home Topics in Depth Education Globalization may highlight US need for more degreed professionals

  • Akallabeth (2234 posts)
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    Globalization may highlight US need for more degreed professionals

    Americans need to know that both people and companies in the US are getting left behind by the global economy which seems to me to represent a shift to a much more formalized future for sbusiness of many kinds, leaving behind practitioners who may have self taught themselves a skill and made a career for themselves by doing it, but don’t have a college degree – or have one in a different field. This may be worry for no reason, If I was a business owner, however, I would investigate it. I think its potentially a real enough issue though to require some research.

    It seems to me that the various trade deals’ so called “movement of natural persons” sections demand formal certification of knowledge (“reasonable and objective criteria” is one way they put it but I think that means formal degrees required – for workers crossing borders – possibly in both directions, in and out.)

    Because the stated purpose of so called “procurement reform” via globalization is represented as striking a blow against nepotism and cronyism, second or third party references about skills don’t travel well over international borders in that context, and so approving bids because of personal recommendations or experience with a vendor may tend to become associated soon here (as has become an issue in some other contexts)  with soon to become prohibited discrimination against foreign services firms and their temporary service providers. For that reason informal – even if quite capable practitioners would be well advised to put together strong portfolios documenting their experience as best as they can and I think a market will spring up for schools that can – credibly- award formal credit and degrees that rely on experience learned in real world practice (I think we should have done that more ages ago) Otherwise their star workers may not able to be recognized as legitimately qualified by international trade agreements in the bidding context.

    This problem may even bite companies competing within the US for bids that involve government spending because of the Government Procurement Agreement the US recently joined. This is a question which firms should investigate with trade lawyers. (Also, I may be worrying for no reason. Check.)

    Regardless of whether I am right right now, here, I think US companies may need to encourage their employees to get more formal documentation of their skills –  even if they plan on having the lowest qualified (cheapest) bids (which may be hard if competing against the developing world) and only bid on local (inside the US) work..

    I don’t know. Time will tell. But the level of formal education for many jobs outside the US is higher (Because in many other countries the work world is far more competitive than here.)

    Its doubtful that in small jobs that bid awarding would be contested, but if so, others might be awarded work that US companies without formally educated staff would then miss out on.

    It would be a shock to have a foreign firm contest the awarding of work from their long term customers, claiming that their bid was more competitive, but I definitely could see that happening in some contexts because it happens all the time elsewhere. (such as in the EU for the last 20 years)

    Customers might be anguished at having to switch providers because of some virtually unknown deal making the bidding process international, but it might happen.

    Where I expect this maybe could happen is in infrastructure spending/engineering. The US became a member of the GPA in 2015 and so people may have to change the tendering and procurement process gradually, state by state, city by city. I don’t know exactly how that works, or if I am completely wrong here. I am not a lawyer and so this is not something I know, just something I am wondering about. As a non-lawyer. They should check with the government- whomever the procurement process normally goes through should know!

    (If anybody knows please fill us in.)


    Here is a related body of information which applies to the (already existing) GATS, CAFTA, etc.



    "Out of many, one"

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9 replies
  • liberalmike27 (41 posts)
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    1. I Always Thought

    The idea we don’t have enough people with degrees in various fields is mostly a myth.


    It’s affixed to globalization.  They don’t want us to think they’re simply moving the jobs away, or that they are importing people to do jobs with H1B visas, just because they want to change the job title, and hire foreign labor more cheaply, which is what I think they are doing.  So they tell us “We simply don’t have people with degrees.”


    Back when we were on the cusp, beginning this practice, I clearly remember episodes of “60 Minutes,” that examined the H1B visa issue.  They brought on people with degrees who said “No, I have a degree, but was let go so they could hire these folks for a third of the cost.”  It pointed out how often they all lived in a tiny apartment to save money, and were paid about a third of what the guy who had the degree, and once had the job, was paid.


    Be careful of the things the corporate media tells you.  I think it’s mostly BS, that solidifies whichever corporate policy they want to follow.  If this was legitimate, what has our government done to address the shortage?  Not much, because like I said, they want to bring in cheap foreign labor, to take tech jobs.  It’s all about whatever increases their bottom line, and allows them to pay those huge CEO salaries, and make more profits, at our expensive.  And by “our” I mean the collective, not the rich “our” we hear when they say “This is better for “us.”

    • Akallabeth (2234 posts)
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      2. I am not talking about H1-B visas because they are used by US firms here

      Actually I didn’t bring up visas at all, but the employees of global firms may be a mix of foreign and domestic workers or they more likely would be mostly foreign employees likely holding L-1 or similar visas..

      So a great many rules which apply to H1-B (prevailing wage, necessity tests, economic means tests) do not apply. 

      So, their workers pay and SOME conditions under which they work may not be regulated – or regulatable- others may be. Its a complex unknown- Wages may be between them and their employer, who is based in another country, one which has a low level of regulation. They may be paid into overseas bank accounts, even. As subcontractors, the relationship would be with their employers, not with their workers. (This could potentially be a real disaster for worker rights in the US!)

      That does not mean local laws (those that aren’t pre-empted, some probably are) don’t ever apply. Many probably would unless they were “more burdensome than necessary to ensure the quality of the service” or a number of other similar criteria – (trade deals use time worn phrases like that – typically borrowed from previous agreements that have built up commonly recognized meanings.)


      Wage laws however may not apply. Regulations on work sites, safety, etc. likely would apply at least in the EU, (because I’ve seen discussions of that, more safety conscious EU nations don’t want foreign companies – perhaps from other EU countries that had lax regulatory environments – as well as the low wages- thats the major draw for employers- some EU countries have very low wages- coming in and ignoring their safety rules and having employees injured as a result)

      "Out of many, one"
    • Akallabeth (2234 posts)
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      3. Countries where people do things without degrees

      are at a disadvantage when these bidding processes are designed to minimize the influence of recommendations and preferences on the bidding process.

      "Out of many, one"
    • FanBoy (7983 posts)
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      4. yes, it's bullshit. we have more degreed professionals than any other

      place in the world, per capita.

      the poster is selling a mainstream storyline as an inevitability

      • Akallabeth (2234 posts)
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        5. I'm not saying its inevitable unless we (stupidly) allow it

        People should realize that these deals which claim to be deregulation, do very different things than what people expect our government to do, and thats whats scary. Its quite exploitative of the trust we put in politicians.


        Do you have a source for your claim that we have “more degreed professionals than any other country”?

        That doesn’t seem likely to be true. I suspect we’re somewhere in the middle of developed countries, maybe trending towards the bottom. Access to higher education is declining, a disinvestment in society which doesn’t bode well for our economic future.


        "Out of many, one"
        • FanBoy (7983 posts)
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          6. Access to higher ed is declining because of cuts in public spending since

          the 80s and increasing inequality and wage stagnation that had made college less and less affordable.  This is a deliberate policy choice on the part of elites.

          However, the US is  in the global top 5 so far as higher ed goes (and it’s fallen this far only since about 1995).


          > Pct. population with tertiary education: 43.1%
          > Average annual growth rate (2000-2011): 1.4% (the lowest)
          > Tertiary education spending per student: $26,021 (the highest)

          In 2011, more than $26,000 was spent on tertiary education per student in the U.S., nearly double the OECD average of $13,957. Private expenditure in the form of tuition fees accounted for the majority of this spending. High education expenditures have paid off to some degree, as a large proportion of U.S. adults have very high levels of qualification. Because of the slow growth rates of the past decade, however, the U.S. has slipped behind many other nations. While spending per tertiary student between 2005 and 2011 increased by 10% across OECD countries on average, U.S. spending decreased over that time. And the U.S. was one of only six countries to cut public education spending between 2008 and 2011.

          I haven’t been able to find any comparison of “degreed professionals” & don’t find it a very useful term.  What professions?  What kind of “degrees”?  And because credentialing can vary so between countries, e.g. college degrees per se are more important in some places, other kinds of training in others.  Doesn’t make much difference so far as actual skills go.

          Suffice to say that lack of college degrees is not *the* problem in US income stagnation; the deliberate defunding of the state and the citizens by elites so they can vacuum up all the nations economic gains, is absolutely the problem.

          Nor are the bullshit trade agreements you keep babbling about.




          • Akallabeth (2234 posts)
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            7. You can find lots of verification for what I am telling you in the literature.

            Yes, declines in public spending, i.e. privatization, disinvestment..

            To WTO, etc, “public service” basically means completely noncommercial/free . If a country allows charges for a service like healthcare or education, or pensions/retirement – its statutory social security,  it may end up in a position where it loses any right to have that as a public service, especially in newer “negative list” US-style FTAs, unless its carved out in advance.This started in 1995 with the GATS but its still not commonly known. The reason they may be doing this is to allow those jobs to be traded. To become bargaining chips in a sense. Healthcare, education and IT represent a lot of bargaining chips. The denials of this are extremely deceptive and only serve to verify that indeed they are trying to pull something over on the country. Huge amounts of money would be “saved” (from being paid as wages!)  if they could globalize even a small percentage of service jobs. The literature goes on and on about this and its not hard to find, if you look under terms like “labour mobility” “movement of natural persons” etc.

            "Out of many, one"
            • FanBoy (7983 posts)
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              8. The decline began before 1995. The impetus is not the "agreements".

              They didn’t emerge de novo.

              The agreements are the manifestation of the will of the global ruling class.  Those people have names and addresses.  They’re not Gods, and their “agreements” weren’t brought down from Mt. Sinai.

              • Akallabeth (2234 posts)
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                9. Indeed, NAFTA begun the lock ins- but now the WTO in the war against compassion

                Global War Against Compassion (GWAC) (and Might is Right (TM) Inc. is fundamental to privatizing everything and eliminating public healthcare and education systems by a incremental process of ever increasing corporate rule and disinvestment . (progressive liberalisation)

                NAFTA started the great reversal of the 20th century before it was even over in 1993.

                Were it not for the FTAs, we would have kept the Glass-Steagall Act preventing huge profits losses in 2008. also the pressure to expand Medicaid would have been too great to resist.But GATS ties policymakers hands forever.

                We’re not about to throw all that work out the window just because of 50 kilodeaths/year x 20.


                "Out of many, one"