Thursday, August 21, 2003

Offshore and education funding

I've tried to stay away from the offshore issue since my Aug 4 blog, but this article asks:
Dammit, weren't our kids supposed to bring home the bacon? ... expensively educated middle-class kids learn that their investment (and, in the US, this can be upwards of $120,000 per child) has gone offshore.
Um, no. Higher education costs a fortune, yes, but that is more about the higher cost structure in the US (real estate, health care, litigation, etc) than about any extra value returned. And kids enter university here in much worse shape than those from other countries because of chronic underfunding of grade and high school. Folks, the US is being outinvested in $ adjusted to local economic conditions. Why would anyone think the knowledge (read: IT or programming) jobs should stay here?

The article goes on to wonder if this will be a political issue. No doubt it will, but I have no faith that the public and politicians will attack the problem at its root (funding and cost structure) when it will be easier to stump about protectionism and big bad corporations. Somehow I think adding value is a better product strategy than increasing cost.

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