Private Equity Legend Wilbur Ross Traces America's Problems To One Thing

Wilbur Ross

Today, Bloomberg Markets Magazine hosted a lunch with Wilbur Ross, an investor known the world over for dealing in distressed assets.

That said, he’s obviously a man who knows how to pinpoint the problem with something that would otherwise have value.

Now let’s apply that kind of mind to the United States. Since 2008 our unemployment rate has been a huge problem, but Ross told the luncheon attendees that’s just a symptom of what’s really plaguing the nation.

“Unemployment will stay high,” he said, “due to a failure in education…high schools aren’t turning out people who can work in factories.”

See, according to Ross, the factories of the future need to employ people who understand algebra and geometry while machines do all the manual labour. He’s disappointed that the current Presidential campaign isn’t addressing this issue. Instead, candidates are trading barbs and arguing about smaller things like carried interest rate tax (a private equity issue, as you know).

Ross even touched on the problem with student loan in this discussion. “If I were a kid with student loans I’d be unhappy too,” he said. He believes that colleges aren’t teaching kids useful things for their money. As a result the product (college) isn’t living up to the promise (an education that leads to a job), and in the end young people are left with massive debt.

“It’s horrible to sidle a young person with $100,000 of debt,” he added. “We have a real education problem in this country and we need to fix it.”

Got it. But How?

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