Monday, 21 October 2013
Intellectual recession - are we hiding a potential urgent national problem?
Recent events have clearly demonstrated the willinginess of governments to intervene during a recession. An activity which predominately supported corporations and those with the largest investment portfolios and incomes.
What if we were faced with an intellectual recession. How would governments react?
To begin the discourse, what would one expect in an intellectual recession?
· reduced enrolment rates in fulltime undergraduate programming. While it appears there are some 817820 enrollees in 2012 (AUCC enrollment data 2012), the last Statistics Canada data predates the economic recession and are not comparable Stats Can enrollment to 2008 (why would this data not be readily available?)
· higher youth without jobs – while statistics are not good, rates hovering in the mid-teens to 20 % are reported in some areas which rival depressed areas of US and Eurozone and are well reported in Huff Post . In a weird quirk of EI statistics, in order to be “unemployed” you have to have first been employed, so the number of unemployed youth may be a significant underestimate for new graduates that have never obtained adequate employment.
· Numbers of Canadians taking temporary or long term employment outside the country. For which no source of information could be found on data more recent than 2008 More data from Stats Can which is untimely and pre-recession. This used to be referred to as brain drain for the most elite of researchers, but now includes those taking jobs in US and Asia.
Help contribute to the discussion by proposing possible indicators in comments or at firstname.lastname@example.org
That none of the indicators are timely, up-to-date or monitored should raise questions of itself about the openness of government to “bad news”.
If one were to analyze who benefits from an intellectual recession, it is those that likely can benefit from lower wages, less skilled workforce, more focus on labour based employment – basically corporate Canada.
The ultimate question on an intellectual recession is how would one address such a recession? The economic recession was addressed through government subsidization, capital project spending, bolstering corporations teetering on financial collapse. In parallel, an intellectual recession might be addressed through expanding government and private research, subsidization of education costs, bolstering post-secondary institutions in openness, and a very forward thinking fashion in investing in early childhood development.
Would evidence of an intellectual recession generate the same urgent government response that the economic recession would? Does the lack of indicators that would even unmask such an event a sign that we are avoiding an inconvenient truth?