Glenn Reynolds, wearing his MSNBC hat, says the economy of the future my be anti-education:
If brain-jobs can be exported easily, then whatÃ¢€™s left? The other stuff. Some guy in Bangalore canÃ¢€™t fix your toilet for you, no matter how smart he is. In a globalized economy, being on the spot will convey one of the few advantages that canÃ¢€™t be competed-away by the Internet. Electricians already make more than many professors, and so do plumbers. Before long, they may do better than accountants, engineers, computer programmers, and a lot of other people. Other jobs that require actual presence Ã¢€” massage therapists, car mechanics, painters and carpenters, etc. Ã¢€” may actually do better than Ã¢€œknowledge workÃ¢€ over the next couple of decades.
So hereÃ¢€™s the contrarian play. People have said for years that to prepare your kid for the economy of the future, you should be saving for a college education, and planning to turn him or her into a knowledge worker. But maybe the smart thing to do is to save the college money for your own retirement, and teach your kid to fix toilets. Because people will always need their toilets fixed, and thereÃ¢€™s a shortage of people competing for the work. DonÃ¢€™t believe me? Just try and hire a plumber.