Coding is the new blue collar; links

In several posts, I’ve expressed my frustration at the American education system. Pre-secondary education really only has one essential role: prepare students to function in society and hold some kind of entry-level job. Unfortunately, it seems like our education system is not changing in line with the realities of the work force: compulsory education needs to be preparing young people to code, not work an assembly line. Coding is one of a job that is manpower-intensive, relatively simple to learn, and difficult to outsource (due to IP concerns). We should be teaching these basics to more young people, because despite what our presidential candidates would have you think:

Manufacturing jobs are never coming back
Like FiveThirtyEight, I can not understand why this trope returns every election. Speeches about restoring manufacturing jobs in America are not only fantastical, they’re not even a good idea. Imagine a scenario where a large part of America is building things. That’s not a good use of human capital at any realistic pay rate. We should be excited about jobs moving to China in manufacturing — the American workforce is more skilled and valuable than the assembly line. Instead of talking about bringing back the jobs we lost, we ought to spend that money and time on massive retraining programs. Be it in services, or new blue collar skills like coding, there’s incredible talent latent in the US economy. We’re not going to tap it looking backwards at the glory days of Detroit; we’ll find it in a future where there’s as much software development in the rust belt as there is in the valley.

The party of Lincoln
Eliot Cohen continues to express my feelings about the Trump-GOP relationship better than I could. There’s a party as an organization, which Donald Trump may lead, and the party as a philosophy, which he can not. Those of us who believe in the ideology of the party recognize this disconnect and fear what might happen if the GOP belongs to a man like Trump.

Merrick Garland is not a moderate
The fight over the Supreme Court vacancy represents a perfect storm: opposing parties in an already contentious environment, during an election year, filling a vacancy by the court’s most notable conservative in a (currently) 4-4 balanced court. Every thing that could make this process difficult is in place. Still, the argument that Garland represents some kind of preservation of the status quo or moderate is laughable. There’s not question his appointment would immediately and significantly shift the balance of the court regardless of where he is on the scale of liberal. Mitch McConnell was an idiot to outright refuse hearings on the matter, but is 100% spot-on in the idea that the nomination ought to languish away until after the election.

Rules for getting clients
Business development in the agency space is difficult. No one wants to be looking for business, and there’s a strange bias against cold calling or traditional sales tactics. It’s been a boon for Woden: we embrace the approaches others don’t. This compilation of David Ogilvy’s rules for winning clients was an interesting window into the past. Hopefully we’re big enough some day to be this judicious in our approach, as welll!