The U.S. has its own tradition of apprenticeship going back many years. But like most kinds of vocational education, it fell out of fashion in recent decades—a victim of our obsession with college and concern to avoid anything that resembles tracking. Today in America, fewer than 5 percent of young people train as apprentices, the overwhelming majority in the construction trades. In Germany, the number is closer to 60 percent—in fields as diverse as advanced manufacturing, IT, banking, and hospitality. And in Europe, what’s often called “dual training” is a highly respected career path.
Kolko’s theory isn’t an outlier. There is a deep literature tying liberal residents to illiberal housing policies that create affordability crunches for the middle class. In 2010, UCLA economist Matthew Kahn published a study of California cities, which found that liberal metros issued fewer new housing permits. The correlation held over time: As California cities became more liberal, he said, they built fewer homes.
For the last two years, media companies have been combating a series of lawsuits brought by interns claiming the right to a paycheck under state and federal law. Things began looking good for team management this past May, after a federal court scuttled the class action filed by a former Harper’s Bazaar intern against Hearst Magazines.
As I cruised down the Huangpu River past glimmering Shanghai high-rises with California Governor Jerry Brown and Chinese former NBA player Yao Ming, I could not help thinking that they may have at first blush appeared an odd couple. But their meeting marked not only another chapter in sports diplomacy, but also the culmination of one of the largest U.S.-China trade and investment delegations in history. What this delegation forged in China foretells of not only critical opportunities for the Golden State and U.S. economies, but also the possible future face of diplomacy and economic engagement.