Date: September 23, 1930
Location: Northampton, MA
Summary: Coolidge argues that low-skilled workers are replaceable because they lack adequate education. He writes that workers should strive to achieve as much education as possible.
(Original document available here)
Oftentimes leisure can be profitably employed. While there are some people out of work who are well educated, there are many others who were displaced because they were not sufficiently trained to hold their places. When the time comes to reduce the force, those go first who cannot compete with their more skilled fellow workmen. As our industrial life becomes more complex and requires more and more technical knowledge, it will be increasingly difficult for the unskilled to find and hold employment. High wages require a high earning capacity.
With the present school facilities for the young this situation will come to take care of itself. But the condition would be very serious for those who have already reached maturity without such advantages, except for the opportunity that is afforded by the night schools and university extension.
These are practically free, and correspondence school courses cost but little. But people will find not only their present earning capacity but their chance of future permanent employment greatly increased by serious application to some of these sources for intellectual training. The main value of a wage earner is his mind.
Citation: Calvin Coolidge Says: Dispatches Written by Former-President Coolidge and Syndicated to Newspapers in 1930-1931 (Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation)
The Coolidge Foundation gratefully acknowledges the volunteer efforts of Fr. Stephen Lawson who prepared this document for digital publication.