The trauma we’re experiencing right now resembles the trauma we experienced 80 years ago, during the Great Depression, and it has been brought on by an analogous set of circumstances. Then, as now, we faced a breakdown of the banking system. But then, as now, the breakdown of the banking system was in part a consequence of deeper problems. […] The problem today is the so-called real economy. It’s a problem rooted in the kinds of jobs we have, the kind we need, and the kind we’re losing, and rooted as well in the kind of workers we want and the kind we don’t know what to do with.
Where Godin lays out the characteristics of future jobs, Stiglitz stays in the realm of classic economic advice, and demands government spending in infrastructure to move to a service economy. It comes as a surprise to no-one that the outdated, industrial education system is one of his four major targets:
We have to transition out of manufacturing and into services that people want—into productive activities that increase living standards, not those that increase risk and inequality. To that end, there are many high-return investments we can make. Education is a crucial one—a highly educated population is a fundamental driver of economic growth.
An investment in traditional education systems is essential, but not enough. Until money put into primary and secondary education shows an effect the world will be a very different one. Funding post-secondary education and basic research will introduce new technologies and ideas. Without infrastructure to bring them to life, however, they will not prosper.
We need to prepare all organizations to use new ideas, play with them and make them better, and execute on their realization. We need to do that now. Too few are prepared for that.