Anyone Can Have Good Ideas

Jim Geraghty at NRO’s The Corner and on his Morning Jolt newsletter has this quote from Tom Perez, the new DNC Chairman (what term do the Democrats use?):

I was in the U.K. and Germany and went to Volkswagen and learned about their apprenticeship model—young people become paid apprentices in trades. It’s not a coincidence that youth unemployment is far lower in Germany than the United States because there are paid opportunities for young people to get experience. So, yes we need to and do investigate [internship violations], but I think the broader solution will help more people faster to transform the culture of America around this earn-while-you-learn idea.

Jim rightly takes Tom to task because the DNC uses unpaid interns, including those that work 40 hours per week.   We doubt that Tom is really serious about his support for such a system but it is an idea worth supporting and it has a couple of conservative implications.  Two obvious ones are the minimum wage and government control of K-12.  Raising the minimum wage is inconsistent with taking the [realistic] view that individuals develop skills and earning power over time.  On the job training (OJT) is inconsistent with a government monopoly on K-12 and our current obsession with college.  OJT can work with K-12 and college but it changes both and can be a separate thing on its own.

Sidebar: We are a big fan of college.  It is great for some folks but not for everyone.  We support a variety of ways to learn skills consistent with the variation in those skills and folks.  End Sidebar.

Almost every candidate has good ideas and bad ideas.  We are working on a longer post on voting that recognizes we are buying or rejecting among two portfolios of ideas when voting.  Tom has at least one good idea although we doubt he has thought out the implications of OJT.  As a comparison, The Donald has some bad ideas about trade.  In part to get elected and in part from bad thinking, every candidate has a portfolio of ideas and emphases that attract us and repel us.  There is rarely a perfect vote.  Tom’s positive idea amongst a plethora of bad ones [read all of Jim’s post] shows us that.

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