Much has been said and written about American jobs being outsourced to other countries, and many reasons have been given as to why this is so. Here is one more reason to add to the list — illiteracy.
What on earth does illiteracy have to do with outsourcing? What’s going on, anyway?
According to a recent article by Robert Reich (http://robertreich.org 7-18-12) America isn’t educating enough of our people well enough to get American-based companies to do more of their high-value added work here. He states our K-12 school system isn’t nearly up to what it should be, and that American students continue to do poorly in math and science relative to students in other advanced countries.
Take a closer look at Apple, for example: low wages are not the major force driving them abroad. The components Apple’s Chinese contractors assemble come from many places around the world with wages as high if not higher than in the United States.
More than a third of what you pay for an iPhone ends up on Japan, because that’s where some of its most advanced components are made. Seventeen percent goes to Germany, whose precision manufacturers pay wages higher than those paid to American manufacturing workers because German workers are more highly skilled. Thirteen percent comes from South Korea, whose median wage isn’t far from our own.
Sadly, workers in the United States get only about six percent of what you pay for an iPhone, which goes to American designers, lawyers, and financiers, as well as Apple’s top executives.
And the share of R&D spending going to the foreign subsidiaries of American-based companies rose from 9 percent in 1989 to almost 16 percent in 2009 according to the National Science Foundation. (http://robertreich.org 7-18-12)
And to think it all begins way back in first grade, with teaching reading! Because first, you read. Everything else follows. And if you can’t — it doesn’t.
The mightiest mountain in the whole world is easily climbed by taking only one small step at a time and keeping on going, and the biggest book in the whole world is easily read blending one letter sound at a time into syllables, words, phrases, and sentences using direct, explicit phonics.
Teaching reading is really very easy — anyone can teach it, and everyone can learn!