Employment Ethics, Issues Table of Contents On Kennon and Education as the Bridge to a Prosperous American Life 3 Works Cited 5 On Kennon and Education as the Bridge to a Prosperous American Life Kennon makes a good point for the way the capitalist system enables the determination of winners and losers in an economy. Those who are able to offer the best value at the lowest price wins. He then makes the jump and says that wages are market-determined too, and in this market system the way to get higher wages is to offer services that are of value, of higher value that is also more scarce to come by.
This is mainly achieved through education, and hard work within the capitalist system. This presupposes that the system works flawlessly and that is inherently moral. It is ruthless in its determination of wages and prices, as well as profits for those who are able to provide the best value at the optimal price. The market determines the optimal price and the best arrangements for work, at least according to Kennon.
Education is the great leveler in that those who want to improve themselves and push themselves to improve are rewarded by the system in the long term. It is meritocracy and effort that counts, rather than security and mediocrity. The implicit assumption moreover is that economic players are completely level and honest, and that all players, employers most especially, conduct their business affairs ethically and fairly (Kennon). There is Kennons view, and there are the articles by Chomsky and by Kim which posit alternative views of a system that seems to be rigged against students and teachers in the educational system, for instance, so that the schools and the system wins, and the students lose.
Both offer contrary evidence to how market forces, for instance, have led to the overhaul of the higher education system from a mostly free and non-profit oriented business model to one where the financial bottom line is the most important consideration. In support of the new business models, moreover, the educational system has turned students into holders of large debts that keep them burdened all the way to their productive school years.
The system has also bred its own breed of adjuncts with no security of employment and little income. If Kennon were correct then education would have meant that students and adjuncts would be treated fairly and would earn well, but the reality is that market forces, left to themselves, breeds so much suffering, insecurity, and even long-term poverty (Chomsky; Kim). To conclude, in light of Chomsky and Kim, one can see that left to its own devices, economic players may not act ethically, but act only in ways that preserve their own profit-oriented interests.
In other words, the rules of the game do not necessarily mean that those who gain education necessarily progress economically as Kennon asserts. In fact what seems evident is that market players will push the limits of what they can get away with in order to maximize profitability, rather than consciously work to give adjuncts and students a fairer shake so to speak. The conversion of schools into profit machines means that the avenue for economic security proposed by Kennon, the way out through education, does not actually exist (Chomsky; Kim; Kennon).
Works Cited Chomsky, Noam. “Chomsky: How Americas Great University System Is Being Destroyed”. Alternet. 28 February 2014. Web. 21 October 2014. Kennon, Joshua. “Why Wal-Mart is Good for America (and Maybe Your Portfolio)”. About Money. 2014. Web. 21 October 2014. Kim, E. Tammy. “Low-wage professors battle adjunctivitis”. Aljazeera. 17 June 2014. Web. 21 October 2014.