Maybe Becker Could Try A Little Occupational Therapy

For Gary Becker ("A ticket out of the inner city," Economic Viewpoint, June 22) to equate computer programming with carpentry and to dismiss both as occupations fit only for high school dropouts to be taught in rip-off trade schools displays a sad ignorance of modern economic and technological realities as well as an elitist contempt for honest labor.

With regard to the first issue, computer programming is now essential to the operation of all major enterprises, industrial operations, financial markets, the production of newspapers and magazines, as well as any mechanical or electronic device that uses an embedded microprocessor. With regard to the second, it should be remembered that according to the Talmud, scholars were required to work at a craft as well as their studies. Perhaps the same should be true today for economists.

Jason Olasky

Rockville, Md.

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