“Making It In America” by Adam Davidson

…Maddie represents a large population: people who, for whatever reason, are not going to be able to leave the workforce long enough to get the skills they need. Luke doesn’t have children, and his parents could afford to support him while he was in school. Those with the right ability and circumstances will, most likely, make the right adjustments, get the right skills, and eventually thrive. But I fear that those who are challenged now will only fall further behind.

Remember in the 2005 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie when Charlie’s dad gets let go from his job because the factory had machines doing the work, but then at the end of the movie he becomes the guy who fixes the machines?

How did he go from a low-skilled job, a toothpaste-capper guy, to something high-skilled, the guy who fixes the toothpaste-capper robots, in such a short period of time? Did his wages go up for this level of work, or stay the same because he didn’t need to have high skills to fix toothpaste robots? And what about all the other people who used to cap the toothpaste tubes alongside him? Did they ever get new jobs? Surely the toothpaste factory didn’t hire them all back to fix machines. That’s Charlie’s dad’s job.