Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

I hate the term 'human capital' because it represents a view of people as commodities. And the term is a lead-in to a lot of very bad economic theory. Like this: "The value of human capital can be approximated by an individual's lifetime earnings, and represents roughly two-thirds of their total wealth." Not true. A person's productivity far exceeds what they are paid. People by and large receive only a small fraction of the value of what they produce. But what the author is mainly trying to show is that (a) work experience generates a large part of 'human capital', and (b) workers should look for opportunities that produce the largest amount of work experience. Sure, maybe. But again, most of the value of this work experience will be retained by the employer. That's why people are mostly looking for better pay and work environments. See also this report from McKinsey.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Oct 01, 2023 02:18 a.m.

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