Critique of Paul Krugman’s Degrees and Dollar

Topics: Social class, Middle class, Working class Pages: 6 (996 words) Published: September 20, 2015


Critique of Paul Krugman’s “Degrees and Dollar”
Student
Shorter University

Abstract
Krugman’s essay shows strong writing skills and the author’s points are agreeable on the whole. Technology has been an intimidation to the middle class working population. Krugman opens his article with a clear and direct approach. As with this critique, it begins with my summary of Krugman’s “Degrees and Dollars (2011) Next, is a discussion of Kugmans’s writing and an evaluation on how well his points were executed. The points where I agree with the author appear before the conclusion, of this critique. Lastly, the conclusion presents a recap of shared views and points that could have warranted clarity or further expounding. Critique of Paul Krugman’s “Degrees and Dollars”

“Degrees and Dollars” was written in 2011 by Paul Krugman. Krugman is an economist, professor at Princeton University, and a columnist for the New York Times. He prepared this article, and it was printed March 6, 2011. Krugman also won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2008. Krugman’s essay shows strong writing skills and the author’s points are agreeable on the whole. Krugman uses this article as a conventional caution to “job seekers.” Educational pursuits should be about quality, not quantity. Careers that require extended periods are becoming vulnerable to overseas and technological jobs. This topic and his delivery are straightforward and timely. At the beginning of the article, Krugman is clear that education is needed but at higher skill sets. Yes, education is the key to the future. But, technology and oversees jobs, are giving pause to degrees that are pursued. Some jobs are not on the technology take over list e.g. manual labor jobs. Jobs that are common among the middle class are threatened by an increase and dependency on technology. Krugman’s article suggests that international trade is good for the economy. As a whole, it, however, alienates a large population of the working class. The disparities of the poor to the rich are a harsh reality of a community that has not been afforded the same opportunities as the rich. Poverty is a direct reflection of a lack of or minimal education. Additionally, to improve the disparities, there has to be a collective pursuit to close the gap. Healthcare is considered an American essential, and, fair wages and freedom to negotiate salaries should be considered the same. Krugman’s conventional approach to this topic provides a neutral response to the accuracy of his information. He offers simple statistics, but they are specific but broad, to the content when he presents them. This article was written in 2011, and more current statistics would have been helpful. Statistics regarding unemployment, for the decade this article was written, would have solidified his point. For example, Krugman mentions “hollowing out” and a broad statistic from 1990. Crossing a decade and four presidential elections could have been an important factor in job growth or decline; it is an unfair assumption that technology is the main problem. Krugman’s approach is straight forward. There is a cause and effect to his fluency. His thoughts are organized but appear rushed. The point he wanted to make was essentials for all. The conclusion did not support the thesis. Healthcare or the essentials are not mentioned until the very end. Reference of essentials could have been presented early in the article. As he did with statistics, it was broad and not targeted to supporting his thesis. The introduction and thesis are focused on higher skill levels. The conclusion does not repeat the thesis or summarize it. I agree with Krugman on two specifics points: jobs will require higher skill levels and will alienate “main street” America. Additionally, inequalities need to be a priority. Middle class families tend to have jobs that are family friendly. It is imperative that you consider career fields that do not have an influx of...

References: Krugman, P. (2011). In Behrens, L., & Rosen, L. (Eds). Writing and reading across the curriculum (12th ed.). Boston: Pearson.
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