A New World

As we watch the world perform policy rain dances in hopes credit comes pouring down from the skies again, we hope policy makers remember it is a different world than their fathers and mothers. At a presentation this morning, the CFO of the Gates Foundation, Alexander Friedman, reminded us of how connected the world now is, using many graphs and data to explain that the U.S. economy (and even more so the Puget Sound economy, is tied to the world.

Later in the day I came across this little table which also shows how different our world is:

year high school dropouts high school graduates some college college graduates
1950 58.6 24.4 9.2 7.8
2000 8.7 29.6 32.0 29.7

As policy makers and the public grapple with the large economic challenge, we need to look at the world as it is today in thinking of solutions. Only half a century ago, more than half our labor force were high school dropouts and less than 10 percent were college drop outs.  In figuring out answers in a global economy with a radically different workforce, we’ll need to keep these things in mind.

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