WASHINGTON — The good paying, predominantly white-collar jobs that once sustained many American communities are disappearing at an alarming rate, keeping the unemployment rate stubbornly high despite the end of the Great Recession.
More troubling, these jobs in accounting, financial analysis, commercial printing and a broad array of other mostly white-collar occupations are unlikely to come back, experts predict.
There isn't a single cause to the trend. Some of it is explained by changing technology, some of it is the result of automation. Sending well-paying jobs to low-cost centers abroad is another big part of the story. So is global competition from emerging economies such as China and India.
The result is the same in all cases, however. Jobs that paid well, required skills and produced vital communities are going away and aren't being replaced by anything comparable.
"Unfortunately, the evidence is that you see a form of downward mobility of workers who are displaced from middle-skilled, stable career occupations," said David Autor, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in an interview.
So what does this have to do with Cathie Black?
Simple - she's been brought in to downsize the system.
Chancellor Klein long bragged about the future of education as he saw it - sleaker, more efficient, fewer teachers, more online education.
Now Cathie Black will bring that vision to fruition from inside the system - and of course she'll do that with a smile as she lays off thousands of teachers over the course of her tenure, closes hundreds more schools (57 are going to be axed this year alone) and says "It's just something we have to do..."
Meanwhile Klein will be completing his own education vision by running Rupert Murdoch's new online, for-profit education K-12 initiative and doubtless NYC will be its first customer, outsourcing programs currently run by the NYCDOE to the for-profit sector, just as Chicago has already done with some of its summer school programs.
Ultimately, Bloomberg, Klein and Black have a vision for the future of America where there are only a few good paying jobs left for the middle class and the rest of us will have to continually fight it out for the leftovers.
The top 1% - the folks who attend parties given by Moneybags or Cathie with an "i" Black - will be gobbling even more of the wealth and leaving crumbs for the rest of us.
And they'll blame the school system and unions for all this inequity and continue to decimate public education by closing schools, firing teachers, demonizing educators, and ultimately outsourcing public education to for-profit online learning centers and charter schools run by for-profit EMO's
Scary stuff - but just look at the last eight years in this country and this city, look at what job Klein took with News Corp., look at who Bloomberg hired to replace him, and tell me I'm wrong.