Saturday, July 12, 2008

Not Enough Teachers = Not Enough Nurses = Not Enough Teachers

There's a big question that I would have in response to this:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25626353/


And that big question is: WHY?

You see, as a student of finance, it seems highly unnatural that such a large distortion in the job market should appear. If there is such a high interest and so many students who want to learn nursing, then how can we possibly explain the lack of teachers? Simple. Government intervention in the economy.

Government subsidizes medical treatment and insurance thereby driving prices up. While at the same time a litigious culture and permissive judiciary drive the price of hospital insurance up. (Now of course, a doctor who causes harm through incompetence should be punished. But proper consideration of the patient's chances at survival if there had been no doctor at all should be weighed into the judgment.) These create a stress on the resources of hospitals. But, hospitals are, for the most part, private institutions so they have certain flexibility to raise wages, prices and respond to supply and demand.

But factor in things like minimum wage, taxes, insurance premiums etc. and we see a pressure on all businesses (not just hospitals) that keeps them from hiring the necessary personnel. Why? Because they are not free to respond to supply and demand in the labor market and that means that inequalities arise. The inequalities give rise to underemployment of the work force which means unemployment for the workers.

So why do we see too many applicants, not enough teachers, and a surplus of jobs? Well, because there are not enough teachers, there are not enough trained nurses. And if there are not enough trained nurses, then that almost certainly guarantees that there will not be enough trained teachers or nurses in the future as well. So, what is driving the teacher shortage? Well, it's simple. The rewards for entering the nursing profession are greater than the rewards entering the nurse training profession. The highly subsidized and legislated public higher education market has horribly skewed both the importance of teachers and the ability of universities to respond to market conditions. The obscenely high demand for nursing teachers should see a corresponding rise in benefits for those jobs. The free market would enable universities to respond to the demand for teachers by competing with the hospitals for those veterans that both need so desperately.

Unfortunately, for decades, our university system has been dedicated to antiquated systems based on seniority and wedded to sneering socialist dogma which scorns free-market ideals as base capitalism. They rush to suck up private funds, but sneer at the very systems which generate those funds. If their own systems were structured more efficiently, then there would be enough teachers. If you need more teachers, you need to make the terms more attractive. If you need better teachers, then you need to reward based on merit rather than on seniority or associations. You need to look at the work. And you need to pay people what they're worth. If any business tries to get away with anything less, it will inevitably either have a shortage of necessary labor, or it will be stifled with incompetent labor. So, because hospitals consistently offer better terms, the skilled nurses who could potentially become teachers go into the hospitals instead of the schools and only the few who choose to forsake those benefits go into education.

Government intervention kills. By creating market imbalances, by creating 'wormholes' in the fabric of the labor market, government creates unemployment, drives inflation and creates shortages of all kinds. If you want to know what is strangling the US economy it is the American people's mad quest for state-mandated security. Terrified to face the reality of shouldering responsibility for our own lives, our own careers, our own finances, choices, and the consequences of them. Terrified to face the facts of our existence, the fact that there can be no guarantees, the fact that we cannot avoid responsibility for our own actions, we can only defer the responsibility to others, and even then we are only deferring. We cannot run from the consequences of our folly forever. It comes back.

Reality cannot be fooled, schmoozed, or cajoled into letting you have your cake and eat it too. And the ultimate end of market imbalances is not a thing as sterile and intellectual as those words would make it seem. The cost of an economic imbalance is a human life. A dream thwarted unnecessarily by an arbitrary condition that never needed to have been. A life snuffed out, through poverty, exhaustion, despair or negligence. A life that never was. A child who will never have the opportunity to move up the social ladder because clutching and frantic paranoia has convinced so many that the only way to be secure is to hand over all choices to others, and those others (suffering from the same paranoia) have responded by securing their own supposed interests and locking the social ladder in place.

The foolishness that they refuse to recognize is that the more they lock that ladder in place, the more they undermine their own future prosperity and even survival. So whether you're a Republican clamoring for government subsidies for big business, or if you're a Democrat howling for universal health care you are in effect pleading for the same thing. You are pleading for the guarantee of your own interests at the expense of everybody else's. What you fail to see is that that it is also at the expense of your own interests to demand such things. That in the long run, it will come back to you.

When you are lying in the hospital with insufficient nurses taking advantage of your governmentally guaranteed health care, will it be a comfort to you to know that everybody will have the same quality of health care, regardless of how insufficient that health care will have become?

When you are baffled by the collapse of your stock prices despite the money you poured into government lobbies, when the real effect has been the collapse of an economy too top heavy with those very lobbies, will it comfort you to know that you were just doing what everybody else is doing?

When America runs blindly off of the cliff of mad devotion to equality and tolerance as a social absolute, a universal ideal, will it comfort you to know that all people will be guaranteed jobs even when no more jobs exist? When we lack the necessary teachers of math, science, and medicine today, what will you do when buildings collapse, planes fall from the sky, and you die from diseases for which there already are cures? Will you be comforted by the hollow ideal of sacrifice to God, nation, or society? Or will you scream and beg and plead for someone to come save you from the nightmare world of your own creation?

There is an alternative. Reverse the course we are going down. Do not overcorrect by doing more of the same thing which has created the various tragedies of our modern age. Change course. Do what has not even been tried. Set business free. Set yourselves free. Cut back the strangling tide of bureaucracy and neo-fascism which is threatening to tear our country apart into rival camps of those who would control our liberties through force and those who would control our liberties by finance, between Republicans and Democrats, between Big Brother and the last lingering relics of the idolaters of communism. Reject them both. Elect Bob Barr for President. And maybe we'll have a chance at putting this nation back together again.

2 comments:

laya said...
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American Anti-theist said...

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