It just struck me in the shower recently that we seem to be living in two distinctively different worlds today that are weirdly occupying the same space in time. That phenomenon is not terribly unusual in the overall scheme of things, but the intensity of it is almost freakish now. The “Us vs Them” mentality seems to have caused a VERY deep chasm between too many of us. That is what this unusually long post a about.
This phenomenon has several different faces. Let’s look at some of them.
Throughout the 20th century, it was a well-known fact that good paying low skilled jobs are in large metropolitan areas. That was where the factories were, and they hired by the thousands to keep the mind-numbing assembly lines running. Today, of course, those low skilled factory jobs have been rightfully replaced by automation. Why hire a human being who gets easily distracted and makes mistakes, or simply calls in sick, when you can make a robot who is totally focused on the job 24/7?
Here is what an article in the New York Times has to say about that:
Low-skilled workers may also find opportunities in cities that don’t come in the form of higher wages. They could come from the availability of nonprofits and social services, or of training programs, or from better access to health care and public transit. And there are other ways to measure opportunity in a community, like whether it enables poor children to get ahead.
The disparity between rural and urban when it comes to low skilled jobs is just not as evident in the 21st century. But as cited above, the metro areas still have the advantage in that that is where the training programs reside. If you are in a remote rural area those just don’t exist for you.
Eventually, everyone will consider a high school diploma to mean you now have fundamental life skills and basic education to train for your chosen occupation. Maybe we need to change the term “high school” to something else that would make it clear that it is not an endpoint?