Andrew Wilk's Sept. 8 guest commentary contained some thoughtful comments concerning coming changes in all levels of education. Unfortunately, the first part of his commentary also contained some of the usual stereotypical thinking about the world of work and economic action.
Contrary to his assertion, the U. S. economy is hardly "hum[ming] along quite well with fewer workers."
As a professor emeritus of economics at the University of Dallas, it's my view that our economy is slogging along under the burden of rapidly increasing governmental interventions. The short list includes the highest corporate taxes in the world, failed post-recession federal fiscal and monetary policies and a federal deficit that is pushing our national debt in the direction of Greece. And we are just beginning to see the damage to full-time employment that will be one fruit of Obamacare.
As for Wilk's claim that profit-driven businesses turn workers in the private sector into "money-obsessed jerks," this is no more true than to claim that the use of coercion required by police work turns police officers into thugs who beat and kill citizens who resist their authority. Some do yield to this temptation, but they are the exception. Nor does the position of intellectual dominance of college professors necessarily stimulate them to turn their students into little sycophants, although we all know some who do that.
Merely faced with an incentive to behave badly does not necessarily induce bad behavior. Lack of character and the absence of a clear sense of values can be found in any sphere of work.