Critical Thinking In Short Supply? What About Short Demand?

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Michael Shedlock via,

A survey by the Wall Street Journal shows  ‘Soft Skills’ Like Critical Thinking in Short Supply.

The sought-after soft skills most in demand are communication, organization, teamwork, punctuality, critical thinking, social savvy, creativity and adaptability.

The job market’s most sought-after skills can be tough to spot on a résumé.


Companies across the U.S. say it is becoming increasingly difficult to find applicants who can communicate clearly, take initiative, problem-solve and get along with co-workers.


A recent LinkedIn survey of 291 hiring managers found 58% say the lack of soft skills among job candidates is limiting their company’s productivity.


In a Wall Street Journal survey of nearly 900 executives last year, 92% said soft skills were equally important or more important than technical skills. But 89% said they have a very or somewhat difficult time finding people with the requisite attributes. Many say it’s a problem spanning age groups and experience levels.


A LinkedIn analysis of its member profiles found soft skills are most prevalent among workers in the service sector, including restaurant, consumer-services, professional-training and retail industries.


To determine the most sought-after soft skills, LinkedIn analyzed those listed on the profiles of members who applied for two or more jobs and changed jobs between June 2014 and June 2015. The ability to communicate trumped all else, followed by organization, capacity for teamwork, punctuality, critical thinking, social savvy, creativity and adaptability.

At Two Bostons, a small chain of pet boutiques outside Chicago, owner AdreAnne Tesene conducts at least three rounds of interviews before she hires someone.


For higher-level positions, she invites job candidates and their significant others out to dinner with the rest of the management team, “so we can see how they treat their family.” She also has her employees fill out an evaluation of a new co-worker after 90 days.


Ms. Tesene, who opened her first store 11 years ago, said she sees fewer candidates who can hold a conversation, want to interact with people and are eager to excel.

Dare to Be Different?

Outside of communication and punctuality, I wonder how many companies really want what they say. Large technology firms like Google and Apple do. So might small startups.

What about banks?

For most bank positions, the last thing banks want is for someone to think for themselves. There are rules for everything.

Group Think

Critical thinking was 5th on the list. How many companies really want just that? One way to find out is to express opinions different that the one your boss has.

Want to work on a government sponsored global warming project? If so, you better not have be open to the idea that man-made global warming is a theory and not a fact.

Want to replace Ben Bernanke or Janet Yellen when they retire? If so, you better think just like them.

When your job depends on believing idiocy, you believe idiocy. You won’t get hired in the first place if you don’t.

Regardless of what they say, most companies really want punctual robots, not creative thinkers.

No one will care if robots are “socially savvy” as long as they do not make blatantly obvious mistakes.

What About Unions?

Public unions are the worst of all.

Union leaders expect union members to be paid on the basis of how long they have been on the job, not how well they do the job.

Not even communication skills matter, once someone is hired in the first place.

Short Supply or Lack of Demand?

If critical thinking is in short supply, it’s for one reason only: Lack of genuine demand.

Unions permeate the “thinking not necessary” culture, so do something for nothing beliefs at the Fed. So does Obama, and so do Democrats in general with counterproductive government handouts.

In general, critical thinking is so unwanted. It’s fully functional robots that are truly in short supply.

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TalkToLind's picture

Gubermit schools are there to teach goyim kids how not to think. Higher education doubles down on this concept.

Ghost of PartysOver's picture

Quick Draw beat me to it.  All together now,  "Thank you Government for the Indoctrination Education System"

Number One form of child abuse:  Sending your kids to public school.   College is not far behind.

JuliaS's picture

You know what they want? They want obedient workers. People who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork, and just dumb enough to passably accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime, and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it.

- George Carlin

Automatic Choke's picture

yes.  my experience confirms this.

i do high tech consulting.  most my clients could easily do what i provide if they rubbed two brain cells together, but they are too busy powerpointing each other.   there are intelligent folks in these companies, but they have learned to keep their heads down, as the engineering management wants to use formal procedures for everything, and innovation is neither appreciated nor allowed.   when they get in real trouble and their customers demand real solutions instead of fluff, they panic and go outside, hence my business thrives.

HopefulCynical's picture

Bureaucrats are the death of any organization. Some organizations are able to generate enough cash flow to keep themselves on life support.

JuliaS's picture

"Work is made up by the ruling elite so we’re too tired and bored and can’t rebel or philosophise about our own existence, and actually evolve properly."

- Steve Hughes

California Nightmares's picture

Having worked in many corpo environments, I've seen few or none in which managers actively seek feedback of underlings.  Seems that people in supervisory positions feel that they have to maintain an image of expertise. Also, they don't know whom to trust, as some of the underlings only want to manipulate them 

Angry White Guy's picture

Who wants overtime when the theiving .gov sees it and levies ANOTHER 25 % on top of the regular tax.  No thanks.

S.N.A.F.U.'s picture

Just an FYI - there is no "overtime tax". If you see 25% extra being taken out, that's your employer's fault, and it's a "temporally localized error" that gets corrected when you settle your annual taxes. Overtime will only push up your tax rate if you have enough of it to bump your total income into the next tax bracket - i.e. just like any other earned income. (See here.)

As far as I know, the IRS doesn't care about your exact withholding paycheck to paycheck - just that annual taxes paid is sufficient (and that quarterlies aren't too far out of whack). (I used to work at a place where they "let us" fill in our own state/federal/FICA taxes to be taken out of each paycheck - "let us" in quotes because it felt less like a benefit/feature and more like chopping off your own arm.)

Angry White Guy's picture

Your link clearly states that if the employer shows it as OT, it's getting the extra tax.  Semantics removed.

S.N.A.F.U.'s picture

Your post clearly shows you're a retard who refuses to understand the difference between "withholdings" and "taxes".  A "withholding" is what your employer takes out of your pay and gives to the government - that withholding is treated by the government (and by the IRS 1040 form) as a credit towards your taxes.  It isn't a tax itself.  (It's a "tax payment", but the withholding amount your employer comes up with has jack shit to do with the amount of taxes you actually owe.  Just as you can send in a credit card payment that is more than you owe on your card, your employer can do the same with your taxes.)  If your employer over-withholds that does not cause your taxes to go up.  Instead the result is an overpayment of your taxes.  And in the event of any such overpayments, unless you don't file for a refund or you otherwise fuck up, you get that overpayment back in full (less inflation/opportunity costs) as a tax refund.  If your employer is over-withholding on a regular basis such that you end up having to wait for a large tax refund, and you don't like waiting like that for your money, then you should bitch to your employer (or switch employers or become self-employed) because like I said, that whole 25% thing is your employer's fault.

BTW, on the page I previously linked there's the "full answer", and then there's the "wrong answer" (aka the "quick answer").  I guess you stopped after the quick one, which makes you like most of the American public - always after the quick answer rather than the truth.  (Furthermore, even that page's "full answer" isn't the whole story because as I explained in my previous post, it's not necessary for an employer to stick to the withholding guidelines and I've had an employer who completely ignored them and had us put our own numbers in.  And no, putting "0" in for federal withholding would not have reduced my taxes - and if I did too much of that it would have caused me to end up paying extra in fines/fees due to my tax payments being too far under the taxes owed.  And I wouldn't even try that since even a single "0" might have caught some unwanted attention from the IRS.)

Here's one for you -- why don't you point out on the 1040 - you know, that thing you use to compute your taxes - the box where it differentiates between overtime pay and regular pay.  Be sure to hold your breath until you find it.

Killdo's picture

and in the UK where I studied - it's the same. It took me a decade to forget the Friedman shit they taught us while doing a degree in Economics

Captain Chlamydia's picture

Wet pussies in short supply. 

kazanture's picture

We are in the middle of a crisis just like 2008.

Oil prices is a Papier de tournesol for the economy:


roadhazard's picture

They should teach common sense.

rejected's picture

In today's corporate world!

Surely you jest...

Automatic Choke's picture

no, and don't call me Shirley.

hoos bin pharteen's picture

"Common sense" becomes a helluva lot more common when you teach responsibillity.  The two are intrinsically linked.  

Rainman's picture

yup I've said over and over, never send a human to do a machine's job.

BorisTheBlade's picture

One needs to create that demand for himself, out of pure survival necessity. Fuck corporations etcetera, they need obedient robots strictly within narrow limits.

VWAndy's picture

 As a 900lb Gorilla killer let me tell ya. Its a temp gig most of the time.

wizteknet's picture

... oopsnevermind

More Ammo's picture

When your job depends on believing idiocy, you believe idiocy. You won’t get hired in the first place if you don’t.


Think Cops

vegas's picture

Modern day college is nothing more than indoctrinating worker bees into the corporate hive; why do you think large corporations fund business schools? Idealism is great in high school; not so much after you graduate with that worthless degree 120K in debt.

Barnaby's picture

That's almost petrifyingly cruel to robots. Otherwise this treatise is right on the money.

Every employer on the planet: "Just do your damn job!" Chilling effect is the best Critical Thinking is being imported by cartels, if you catch me drift.

new guy's picture

Many, Many years ago when I started into the enginering business a data deletion tool was known as an "eraser" and was usually found at the other end of the pencil you were holding. Back then the foreword statement for any machinery spec included this statement. "This Specification is not intended to limit or in any way inhibit inovation." Sadly, that is no longer the case.

ilovetexas's picture

right now. by the way, a lot of companies expect loyal employees who can stay on a boring and non-creative job for a long long time. If they have this expectation, their expectation of critical thinking must be a lie.

Lumberjack's picture

Intolerance by the Climate Thought Police at University of Colorado

Professors tell students: Drop class if you dispute man-made climate change

‘We will not, at any time, debate the science of climate change’

Check out the credentials of the three professors in above story….

The class is taught by professors in Genetic engineering, English (with old cooking recipe collections), and Sociology/Social Justice.

A few more issues also crop up with the professors statements:

1) “Moreover, students who choose to use outside sources for research during their time in the course may select only those that have been peer-reviewed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,”

In fact, doesn’t the IPCC use non peer reviewed materials?

” Sources other than scientific journals also provide crucial information for a comprehensive assessment. Examples include reports from governments, industry and research institutions, international and other organizations, and conference proceedings. Information about certain experiences and practices in mitigation and adaptation activities in particular may be found in sources other than traditional scientific and technical journals. Such materials may utilize a wide range of quality-assurance mechanisms, including but not limited to formal peer review. Author teams using literature of this kind have a special responsibility to ensure its quality and validity.”

Teach needs to take a class.

2) The IPCC does not perform peer reviews.

3) The professors even got 98% wrong. It's supposed to be 97%.

Squidbilly's picture
Squidbilly (not verified) Lumberjack Aug 31, 2016 2:13 PM

job security

roisaber's picture

As a graduate of Philosophy... I can assure you the demand is low. :-/

Jack's Raging Bile Duct's picture

I can support the conclusion of this article. Most every employer I have ever had never liked an idea that didn't originate from their own head. It doesn't matter if you show them hard math about what overhead can be reduced, how much money can be saved, or what efficiencies can be yielded. I've gone so far as to create presentations or in other cases design and detail fabrication drawings--all to no avail.

The only positive is that it demonstrated to me that I needed to be self employed. My earnings and control over my own life are now many many times greater.

amanfromMars's picture

Hmmmm?  Touché, ZeroHedge, greater minds thinking alike and all that jazz and jizz? :-) ….. 

Does Uncle Sam not have new intelligence to share and better use for all or is the fatal attraction and addiction of the few to that which they think they know rules everything so practically and easily, that which condemns them to the madness and mayhem of collapsing markets and suddenly lost paper fortunes?


And that last question and paragraph of questions is rhetorical. The answer to pretty ugly and quite obvious to more than just the many and the few. And that presents a many paralleled opportunity with massive zeroday rich vulnerabilities to exploit and expand upon to all who, and that which be ready, virtually fighting fit and able and enabled to server and service Greater IntelAIgent Gamesplay. The Great Game is changed. Now there are Right Royal Renegades and Rogues and Grand AIMasters and Mistresses of Alienating Wizardry in Live Operational Virtual Environments to tempt with Worthy Wares that prove not to be just Vapid Vapour. ……

Mustafa Kemal's picture

"Want to work on a government sponsored global warming project? If so, you better not have be open to the idea that man-made global warming is a theory and not a fact."

This is true in my experience.  We dont need no Critical Thinking.

Mustafa Kemal's picture

In the Power Elite by C. Wright Mills, he makes very clear that the Elite do not value real education or critical thinking. What is most important is to learn the secret handshake and become part of the network. Thats what they call education. That is all that is needed to succeed.

Honest Sam's picture

Critical thinking is obviously just about non-existent, not just because there is no demand.

Fer instance, the current selection for the POTUS.

If critical thinking by her majesty's disciples were in evidence, they would run screaming for the exit row.  That they do not think critically is buttressed by this factoid:

hrc's support has ALWAYS for over 20 years been at 42%.  

If they thought critically about all the crimes she has committed, all the lies she has told of a significant----and this is the most bizarre-----unnecessary nature, the sense of entitlement, the lack of one other female among the democrats to give us a real choice, the fraud in her foundation with only 10% going to the charities they purport to serve, the scandals that in a republican would have Matt Lauer, Chris Wallace, and every other liberal democrat screaming for his incarceration immediamente. 

No, critical thinking IS in very short supply----witness a billionaire like Trump making one intentional gaffe after another and STILL commanding 40%---it is almost extinct.  


Grandad Grumps's picture

Those who parasitically rule the world don't want people who question what right it is that gives the rent seeking parasites the right to rule over them and steal their labor.

Squidbilly's picture
Squidbilly (not verified) Aug 31, 2016 1:49 PM

Richard Paul from The Critical Thinking Community has a good book. YouTube Critical Thinking Org playlist

DrDre's picture

My last banking experience was nothing short of Orwellian. First, they were no 'employees', but only 'team members'. Second, our internal web site would celebrate all our newly appointed great leaders. The rest was just for show. At some point I tried to use the HR system to settle an issue with my boss, only to find out what such a farce that was. In short, employees, pardon, team members, have to be 'team players', i.e. keep their mouth shut, be nice and not express independent opinions, and just go along like sheeps guided by the great leaders.

This is corporate america today.


gregga777's picture

The hereditary, inbred, mentally-defective, subnormal IQ elite morons require gullible sheep who will believe all of the Feral government's lies promulgated by the Feral government's lying organs of state propaganda (mainstream media & entertainment oligopoly). After all, all of the elite morons believe their own lies and they think everyone else should believe their lies, too.

The Pentagon mislays $6,500,000,000,000? No problem, we will just print more counterfeit dollars. Poking the nuclear armed Russian Bear? No problem, we can "win" a nuclear war. 23% unemployment in the exceptional United States of America? No problem, we will just tell everyone that unemployment in the "best job market in decades" is less than 5%. Almost $20,000,000,000,000 national debt? No problem, because deficits don't matter. Invade Afghanistan and Iraq? Sure, no problem, because they'll welcome our imposition of "democracy" over their objections. The Afghans and Iraqis hate us? They hate us for our freedoms and peace loving culture.

Our hereditary, inbred, mentally-defective, subnormal elite morons IQ elite morons are the exact same, no, they are actually worse, as those who sent hundreds of thousands of young men charging to their deaths at the Somme in 1916. [Total Battle of the Somme, 1 July 1916–18 November 1916 German, French and British casualties were over 1,000,000 men.] Now, just imagine how many the hereditary, inbred, mentally-defective, subnormal IQ elite morons can kill today with nuclear weapons!

Angry White Guy's picture

I have left TWO jobs in the last 10 years beacuse I would explain to management where THEY or THE PROCESS is jacked and here's how to fix it.

In one case I was told I was the problem, for explaining that another member of management was the root cause of said problem, and was eventually laid off so the problem went away.  My boss at the time, once said to me "I have a problem, because you're doing the project stuff the senior guy should be doing."....Jesus you'd think she would be GRATEFUL.  Nope, my over achieving WAS THE PROBLEM.

In the other situation I left out of my own accord, because management was so completely inept not only would they not help fix things, they actively took away my ability in the system to fix them.  So as an IT guy I basically became a occupational therapist listening to people bitch about the problems, all the ones I used to be able to fix until HQ got tired of me telling them how to fix it.


So, yeah, critical thinking isn't in demand....reminds me of women...what they SAY they want and what you observe them gravitate towards are TWO entirely DIFFERENT things.

mrtoad's picture

A persons main job today is to keep their job.

Wow72's picture
From the Article: Group Think

Critical thinking was 5th on the list. How many companies really want just that? One way to find out is to express opinions different that the one your boss has.

Want to work on a government sponsored global warming project? If so, you better not have be open to the idea that man-made global warming is a theory and not a fact.

Want to replace Ben Bernanke or Janet Yellen when they retire? If so, you better think just like them.

When your job depends on believing idiocy, you believe idiocy. You won’t get hired in the first place if you don’t.

Regardless of what they say, most companies really want punctual robots, not creative thinkers.

No one will care if robots are “socially savvy” as long as they do not make blatantly obvious mistakes.


This really tells you everything you need to know about the economy.  This is why we wont go far. There is no critical thinking going on ANYWHERE? You have to have some?

Group Think Corporate Socialism? and I try to have a positive outlook? but WTF?  Its history rolling over, once again.  Its really like pounding your head against the wall?

Spungo's picture

Companies don't want good candidates. This is why job interviewing is handled by HR instead of the team. The team cares about your ability to actually show up and do the job. HR doesn't care if you are capable of doing anything; they just want to know what sex you are, what race you are, and how likely you are to say anything against the hive mind.


redd_green's picture

There is no shortage of critical thinking or demand for critical thinking.   its just that media doesn't want to hear about it.   Cheap crap sells.