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.