One important economics-oriented blog I read regularly is Mish’s Global Economic Analysis. Mish (Mike Shedlock) is a good anti-dote to the pernicious debt-is-good dogma that has dominated economic thought for the past quarter century. Mish’s philosophy represents what I consider true capitalism – economic growth based on building up real capital i.e thrift, savings and investment and building up of real skills in the workforce, in contrast to government-backed financial speculation, excessive debt and a general financialization of the economy that has regrettably become the norm. For several years, Mish has steadfastly maintained that the finance-driven economy would crumble, and the only solution is a return to sanity, old fashioned thrift and common sense. In recent times, this has brought Mish in direct conflict with the solution-to-debt-is-even-more-debt crowd, whose cheerleader-in-chief is the Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman. I believe history would view Krugman’s Nobel Prize as the low point of economic thought, and people like Mish would be vindicated. Well, at least I run this company on the assumption that the values Mish tirelessly promotes through his blog matter. Specifically, we have completely avoided debt, and have always focused on frugality, investment in R&D and building up our real skills. I am happy to say that this common sense approach has served us well over the years.
So it is with particular pleasure that I noticed Mish had picked up my post on how we recruit to highlight in his blog. Mish has been talking about the massive debt-driven bubble in higher education in the US for some time, a view that I share myself. I have interviewed college grads who have over $100K in debt, something that I find shocking. I believe society has a moral responsibility not to send our young men and women into debt slavery. College professors who extol the virtues of a liberal education should ask themselves if debt slavery leads to good citizenship.
Our company’s recruitment philosophy, where we hire high school graduates and train them, is partly influenced by this moral consideration of debt on the shoulders of the very young. In addition, I believe private sector employers have played, and will continue to play a major role in developing the skills of the workforce and making them civic-minded citizens. Education is too important to be outsourced to colleges. I am happy Mish chose to highlight this aspect of our recruitment philosophy in his post.