Skip to comments.Santorum: Not every kid has to go to college
Posted on 01/08/2012 9:59:45 AM PST by SeekAndFind
Call it low-brow or populist if you wish, but Rick Santorum took aim at Barack Obama this weekend in the arena of education and reminded the president of one aspect of social development which often gets lost in the shuffle. While an admirable goal and extremely important under the right circumstances, not every high school student will wind up going to college. And for those who don’t, not all of them are “losers” in any way shape or form. Roll 212.
Former Sen. Rick Santorum expanded his populist message into education Saturday, accusing President Barack Obama and others of snobbery for pushing all kids to go to college.
We are leaving so many children behind, Mr. Santorum said at a forum sponsored by the Atlantic, the National Journal and Saint Anselm College. Theyre not ready to go to [college.] They dont want to go to college. They dont need to go to college. I was so outraged that the President of the United States [said] every student should go to college.
Who are you to say that every child in America goes to college, he continued. I have seven kids. Maybe theyll all go to college. But if one of my kids wants to go and be an auto mechanic, good for him! Thats a good-paying job.
This is a theme we’ve covered here before, such as our story about good jobs going unfilled, and I always try to be careful about how we handle it. A college education is, in and of itself, obviously not a bad thing. On average, workers with a college degree earn more money and have a lower rate of unemployment than those with only a high school diploma. But those figures don’t tell the entire story by a long shot.
Rick Santorum is correct here. While many people with less education go on to face problematic situations, that doesn’t cover nearly all of them. Some go from high school directly into the military and find rewarding careers there, or learn valuable trade skills which they take to good paying jobs in civilian life afterward. Others go to trade schools or apprenticeship programs, with the opportunity to earn very significant incomes in fields like heating and air conditioning, construction trades, plumbing and more.
This isn’t a one size fits all world. Insinuating that every student must go to college or be seen as some sort of lesser individual is snobbish, elitist, and any other similar term you’d care to apply. President Obama should take time out to read Matthew B. Crawfords book, Shop Class as Soulcraft. Our schools need to prepare students for life, in addition to gearing them up for college. Some of them may profit more from shop class than a liberal arts progression. I’m sure Santorum will catch some flack for these comments on the campaign trail, but I found his remarks refreshing.
Just think if bill gates had applied himself and earned advanced degrees he might have made something of himself.
It happens to be the truth. At this point, college is a questionable decision at best for many subjects. Its like saying that every American must own a home regardless of whether they can afford one or not.
I’m a college professor. Even though it benefits my profession to have all our classes filled, I can tell you that between 1/3 - 1/2 of the students in college now are just wasting there time. About 1/3 of the students belong there (e.g., will graduate in their chosen major). The middle 1/3 have the capability (to excel) but don’t take it seriously enough. The bottom 1/3 should be doing something else entirely. This is a tremendous misallocation of resouces. Probem is that almost no one has the courage [anymore] to have a frank conversation with these kids about their future.
In the global marketplace, American workers living in nice suburbs are trying to compete with poor, short-lived Chinese peasants living next to polluted rivers. Guess what? The Chinese will work for less. This is part of why US unemployment and manufacturing are in rough shape. Our tax policies and union policies are part of the problem, but the bottomline is that we cannot compete internationally unless we want to live like peasants and put up with scandalous amounts of pollution. What to do?
But the flip side is that we produce lots of food, and we could produce vast amounts of energy. In certain respects, we live in a post-scarcity society. Americans do not need to be poor. With some sort of flat tax scheme, in which everyone is guaranteed a basic national income (yeah, I know, this veers toward Socialism) and pays no taxes on the first $20,000 or so, then we could eliminate poverty in America.
What we need to grasp is that not EVERY American can live in a 3000 sq ft house on the beach, with occasional vacation to Switzerland for skiing. We need to accept the fact that auto mechanics, plumbers, and carpenters have good lives. There is nothing wrong with just building (through sweat) a strong national economy.
Nation Building begins at home.
And, yes, I realize its “their time”, not “there time” and “problem” vs. “probem”. That’s why I teach computer science vs. English. I’m used to the compiler finding my syntax mistakes.
In the famous words of Judge Smails: “Well, the world needs ditch-diggers, too.”
I think he’s right. When I got my degree in 1966 only 6.5% of men and women over the age of 25 had a bachelor’s degree. Now, it’s in the high 20s and there’s high unemployment.
But back in 1966 people had jobs and there was low unemployment. Obviously, attending college was not a big thing then and it shouldn’t be now.
If only the Supreme Court had not decided Griggs v. Duke Power Company (1971) the way it did....
If Obama had any brains he would realize that not everyone is made from the same mold.
Pretty good, pretty good.
He also said “Winning the Caddy tournament might look pretty good on a young man’s (college) application.”
“I’m going to do a terrible job expressing this, but I’m going to give it a shot anyway —”
I think you did a pretty good job.
Our Government policies should be aimed at promoting a healthy economy and Opportunity for all. The best thing for workers and employees is a healthy economy. If an employers doesn’t pay fair or is mean to the employees then they will suffer as the good workers will leave.
We used to have something approximating that in the past but that is not our current reality.
Our defacto policies encourage business to migrate production out of the country (high taxes and regulation) and make the products overseas and sell the finished products here. (Because their are no downsides to this, taxes, tariffs, etc).
In the meantime were bringing in tens of millions of immigrants (legal and illegal) to compete for the remaining jobs...
Also while refusing to develop our energy resources.. Another 500 Billion/yr or so leaving the country and employing others but not Americans.
I don’t know how to fix this as long as our leaders are insulated from the pain their policies are causing. Heck their not only insulated from the pain but they benefit from these policies.
The country would probably be better off if half of the kids in high school weren’t there.
The works of another great uneducated man, http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikhail_Kalashnikov
I can tell you that between 1/3 - 1/2 of the students in college now are just wasting there time
I hope you aren’t an English teacher.
Now days, a ditch digger is a back hoe operator and makes a good living.
Firefox has real time spelling correction. Give it a try prof.
Nothing better than a “their not smart” post. There are probably a few 100 million of them on the internet.
Actually auto mechanics, plumbers and carpenters are among those who, should they desire it, probably can afford a beach house and vacations in Switzerland.
The ‘poor’ today have a much higher standard of living than the poor of a few decades ago, and so the definition is a moving, relative target. Thus, have those who by relative definition are poor as long as some have more—which means forever.
“Actually ? in a neighborhood, a few parents can band together and gather resources to home school their children instead of sending them to public schools..”
In our state - this situation gets labelled as a “private school” and is subject to state regulations that pertain to that.
I was glad to see my niece walk away from Western Michigan after two years. She’s turning on liberalism now.
She says college was a scam and hard work and good grades weren’t rewarded. Instead they got whiny professors riddled with guilt that someone else must suffer for. Social engineering and LUGs (Lesbians Until Graduation) who have found that being a socially preferred oppressed class is an easy route to good grades.
RE: The country would probably be better off if half of the kids in high school werent there.
Where would you have them be instead?
Low wealth or income is a sympton of poverty not the cause of it.
Even with a minimum $20,000 per year many of our countrymen will remain impoverished. Money is just one measure of poverty because there is also moral, physical, and spiritual poverty.
I would think of it more as a bribe. I will give you $20,000 per year if you leave me free to work, earn, spend, and invest as I see fit and not tax me so much that it becomes a disincentive for me to work.
Under my model if you take the $20g you give up your right to vote. “No representation without taxation”.
Mr. College Professor, I think that this should be "their" time? I have no college degree, but am old enough to have worked as a secretary (no, not administrative assistant -- there is nothing wrong with the word secretary) before you were required to have a college degree. I could type and take shorthand, that is what was needed, and I learned that in high school.
I say....working, or going to trade school....doing jobs that illegals are doing. The last two years of high school can (not always) be merely the last brainwashing stages for the educrats...it's not necessary.
Yes, I know. See my post #7. Sadly, I catch most of my mistakes AFTER I post. Very bad habit of mine.
I have family and in laws who sacrificed their arses off to put their kids through college. Most of the silly brats took courses that do not even qualify them to ask; do you want fries with that?
If people have the want to become better educated, they will get the how by their own hook and crook.
My formal education ended at the eighth grade, but my seeking of knowledge has never ended.
I have been issued US patents, have chaired committees composed of professional engineers. I was blessed to have been able to retire from the private sector at age 52. Have I ever felt hampered or held back for lack of a sheep skin? No, not ever. It has been my personal experience that in the real world, producing results takes precedence over having a diploma.
Generations of males and females got jobs right out of high school and found themselves becoming productive members of society (I daresay, may of our young and not so young people would be far better off with a "productive" job than lounging around, using drugs, getting paid to do nothing and hating society in general.)
After WWII, men came back and decided to further their education with the GI Bill, though most did not and went to work, married and raised families.
Americans did not have the entitlement mentality that many do today. It's hard to feel "entitled" when you are working.
That is a big part of what is ruining our society, as may young people have gone to college, graduated, found that the jobs available aren't going to pay them what they think they deserve.
Those with the means to do or or not, decide to "get their Masters" not for the educational benefits that they will need for their future but merely as a way to avoid working!
True story. My father was a college professor (Veterinary Science). One of his advises was not cutting it either academically or in terms of the effort required. He had repeated talks with her trying to get her to step up the effort to no avail. Finally, he had a frank discussion with her about changing her course of study to something less demanding.
She told her father, a bigwig in the campus administration, that my Dad told her she was too dumb for the program. Big lie, but it didn't matter. Dad got reprimanded and demoted for telling the truth.
Long story short is that if ObaMao wants to go man to man against Santorum on this topic, then Santorum wins. There are tons of kids who have made successful and productive careers in an assortment of trades by not going to or getting out of college. There would be a lot more if the academic establishment wasn't hell bent on lying about the value of a degree in womyn's studies or other similar claptrap.
Fantastic! I have to say I’ve never seen his show (I watch almost no TV). Sounds like a good guy.
“Our tax policies and union policies are part of the problem, but the bottomline is that we cannot compete internationally unless we want to live like peasants and put up with scandalous amounts of pollution.”
I don’t necessarily agree. I think that we can compete against the Third World, simply because their corruption prevents them, in large part, from benefiting from their cheap labor structure...possibly to the point where it’s completely negated. We’ve never ALLOWED ourselves to try to compete, because every time we start making progress, a new ‘crisis’ (like Global Warming) pops up and causes us to shoot ourselves in the foot.
But I will definitely agree with you on labor (i.e., unions), BIG-TIME. Also agree on tax structure, and will add our legal system, racial quotas, and excessive worker safety regulations.
I dream of the day we start addressing those problem - because if we do, we might just kick butt again in the world.
“Where would you have them be instead?”
Trades - especially if we send home the illegals that are now doing it all for us (but I live in Texas, so fat chance here).
I believe that the median educational attainment of the generation that won World War II was about eight years. I honestly believe that high school does more harm than good for most kids. If they worked at a job, or possibly received vocational training they would be far better off.
Incarcerating kids with bored, lazy bureaucrats until age sixteen is nonsensical. H.L. Mencken, for instance, was a high school drop out. Thomas Edison was home schooled from age 8 on. Mark Twain was apprenticed to a printer at age 12. Henry Ford had very little formal education. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are both college drop outs.
One of my peeves. Any suggestion that the poor should be directed to vocational education is, these days, immediately labeled “racism.” Every single minority person is supposed to go to college as an Ethnic Studies major and become a social worker or community orgainizer.
Politico Santorum correctly says that not everyone should go to college, but maddeningly brings up an out-of-date what came to be demeaning job title: "auto mechanic." The term "auto mechanic" fell out of PUBLIC favor because of shoddy mechanics no better and often worse than the average "shade tree" amateur mechanic, who ran small shops and garages that charged outlandish fees for their shoddy work.
Automotive Technician is a more proper term for the modern tradesmen and craftsmen who work on automobiles. It takes considerable training and a very well-equipped high-technology shop to work on today's cars for most in the business.
There are a few, generally greatly gifted, old-school mechanics who get by in most circumstances without the formal training and high-tech equipped service bays, but those numbers are dwindling.
By using the term "auto mechanic" candidate Santorum suggests his own mind is not fully freed of the old blue collar versus white collar caste system ethos. That's the ethos that drives many parents to push their children into the modern soul destroying, body breaking and career hobbling meat grinder of modern higher education.
Yes, the harsh truth is that today's Higher Education ruins the generation now caught in it's maw. It hobbles their careers with horrendous lifetime debt loads, burdens that keep the average college grad an indentured servant for 15 to 25 years, with little ability to accumulate funds start his or her business, or the flexibility to risk poverty to undertake even the low or no capital start-up.
Modern college poisons the mind with socially deadly philosophies like Marxism, victimology, deconstructionism, relativism and nihilism, and encourages students to feel good and take easy choices rather than learn intellectual discipline and difficult studies like calculus, chemistry, or classical law, history and literature.
Too many youth exit college with lifetime physical and psychological ailments -- depression, STDs, anxiety, etc. That they gained because of the amoral and immoral chaos of modern college life.
The truth? ALMOST NOBODY SHOULD GO TO MODERN US COLLEGE.
Not just one-third, one-half. The number of kids who should proceed directly from high school into a matriculated full time away-from-home college program is more reasonably under 10%!
(1) I am using "politico" as the term to describe Mr. Santorum's chosen profession of politics, it is a more honestly American way than to call him "Senator." See note 2.
I could have referred to him as "Mr. Santorum", but chose the term "politico", as it honestly represents his chosen profession of involvement in making and directing public policy. In the context as I use it the term is neutral, it carries no positive or negative valence. It is not a judgement of merit or a demeaning label.
(2) While modern custom has come to adopt honorific's for "Senator" or "Governor" even for those not currently in office, that is both sloppy and very un-American, in a roots version of "American". As a telling and good example George Washington when he became president was asked what he should be called, he answered "Mister".
There is no higher honor for an American than to be a CITIZEN.
However in the context of a conversation, interview, meeting or hearing it is often important to identify each participant by the role, office or duty they have in the context of the most significant subjects covered by the conversation, interview, meeting or hearing. Thus in a context where legislative matters will be or may be covered it is helpful to refer to a currently sitting Senator, Assemblyman, Governor, etc. by the title.
For example in an interview covering his work in the Senate it is proper to call Ron Paul: "Senator Paul." However in a debate among candidates for office, including that of debate during a Senatorial election, it is NOT proper or American to call him "Senator Paul", as he is only the equal of every other candidate in that debate. The proper honorific is then "Mister", "Citizen" or "Candidate."
I wouldn’t be surprised. It’s amazing what the 1/3rd that’s ‘just wasting their time’, can do with a little bit of tutoring.
But then what do I know? I work with the folks struggling and help them get back on track.
As I was told, perception is a powerful thing. If you believe you can do it, that’s a huge step in the right direction.
And before I was required to have a degree I could teach too. But sadly you need a degree to wipe your butt with these days.
Why do so many employers require it where it is not necessary? Rather then wasting time in school, they could be out working and being productive.
I have my degree - history, but I can’t say I learned very much from my time in school. It would have been nice had they let me challenge the exams, but they don’t let you do that either.
What the US needs is fewer colleges and more vocational schools and apprenticeship programs.
That is an exaggeration.
The Chinese economy loses a large number of manual, factory jobs to automation each year. US factories are highly automated -- you're more likely to lose your job to a robot rather than a Chinaman
Secondly, the average life expectancy shows that the average life expectancy of the Chinese (overall) is 82.2 years and we have a life expectancy of 78.3 years --> so they live longer than us
Polluted rivers -- you are correct on that count
What is hurting us is the increased federal regulations, not just about environment, but about taxes, workers etc.
What is also hurting us is the taxation rule that a company gets double taxed on earnings abroad if it tries to bring that money back to the US. Net result -- companies prefer to keep that money abroad and so build and invest abroad more and more.
Finally -- the US has no poverty really -- compare the "poor" here with those in India or Bangladesh -- our "poor" have a large TV and a couple of cars and do not starve...-- thank GOD and America for that.
Given enough time the "Free Traitor" Captains of industry will fix that.