In the National Review, Heather MacDonald laughs at the New York Times for it’s hand-wringing and pearl-clutching over the idea of rural teenagers using their high school degrees to make good money without first going to college. Teenagers are making an economically rational decision to work for several years, learn a skill, and earn very good money (for an unmarried teen/twenty-something with no financial obligations). They do not see the need to head straight to college as an “undecided” major, rack up debt, and spend four to six years out of the workforce. Good for them.
More importantly, the “lifetime earnings” canard is just that. There is no law saying that you cannot obtain a bachelor’s dgree at night or after several years in the workforce. Those kids in Montana may work in the oil fields for several years, then get a degree in petroleum engineering. The plumber could go to school at night. A nurse could continue obtaining degrees if it benefits her career or stimulates her intellectually. This is university with a purpose – not as the mindless pursuit of an aimless teenager, aged out of state-mandated daily schooling and desiring to ape the customs of the nineteenth-century’s upper class.
Moreover, the value in a non-technical college degree had mostly been to show discipline and the ability to learn. Before the days of grade inflation, getting into college, and staying in, were no small feats. The work was harder, the courses more rigourous, and thus, the value of the degree, greater. Consider, however, the modern college student, and compare to the young men highlighted in the New York Times:
“I just figured, the oil field is here and I’d make the money while I could,” said Tegan Sivertson, 19, who monitors pipelines for a gas company, sometimes working 15-hour days. “I didn’t want to waste the money and go to school when I could make just as much.”
Less than a year after proms and homecoming games, teenagers like Mr. Sivertson now wake at 4 a.m. to make the three-hour trek to remote oil rigs. They fish busted machinery out of two-mile-deep hydraulic fracturing wells and repair safety devices that keep the wells from rupturing, often working alongside men old enough to be their fathers. Some live at home; others drive back on weekends to eat their mothers’ food, do loads of laundry and go to high school basketball games, still straddling the blurred border between childhood and adulthood.
While the NYT may think that a young man is “straddling” the border between childhood and adulthood while working 15-hour days laying pipeline, most employers will understand that this is an adult in every sense of the word – in a way that college students, and college graduates, are not.
Who would you rather hire – the young man who has gotten up at 4 am every day for four years, or the B.A., communications graduate, who hasn’t gone to bed before 4 am in four years? Let’s also not forget: should the oil boom dry up, these kids can go to college, but the college graduate, B.A, gender studies, may never get hired for one of these jobs.
Back when I thought Romney was going to win I wrote this about one of my fears if he did in fact win:
The thing I fear the most about Mitt is that he will form a team with Establishment GOP and liberals in the House. The Establishment gets it’s spending, liberals get a piece of the action and Romney is hailed as “Bipartisan”.
Looking at the final fiscal cliff vote in the House where passage was secured by an overwhelming number of democrats teaming up with establishment republicans to get the 257 votes the Bill ended up with.
Dems split 172-16, Republicans split 85-151. Boehner didn’t come close to satisfying the “majority of the majority” rule, which leaves him on thin ice for Thursday’s Speaker vote. At least he didn’t hide, though: He voted yes tonight, as did Paul Ryan, much to Team Rubio’s delight. Meanwhile, the rest of the leadership team — i.e. Eric Cantor and Kevin McCarthy — voted no, although Cantor waited until the bill had 218 votes to register his meaningless disapproval.
With that heaven sent 41-1 ratio of tax increases to spending cuts no wonder over 90% of democrats would go for it, but I”m slightly disappointed that they managed almost 40 percent of the GOP going along.
I expect a lot more of the same, establishment GOP members making deals and the speaking marginalizing his own party for the next two years. I go back to what Mike Rogers said after election day:
The time to take over the GOP (state by state) or set up a real third party (let’s call it the conservative party, like NY state), is NOW, after a historic election that demonstrated the ineptness of the “Wizards of Smart”…
,,,If we successfully set up a conservative party, and win some seats, we can choose to align with Republicans or even endorse their candidate as a tactical matter on a vote by vote basis.
What say you?
I say anyone who is even thinking about giving to the NRCC after this fiasco needs to if not turn them down flat, last least hold off till the debt ceiling business comes up, “better than nothing” argument not withstanding.
In fact I’d put them on notice, if we see a repeat of this in March then that dough will go to support either primary opponents for GOP house members or a new conservative party that can choose to stand with the GOP or no.
If we continue to let ourselves be played we deserve all we get.
Update. Starting the year with a deficit myself, still $370 in the hole. If you’re looking to invest in conservatism this debacle proves I’ve got to be a better investment than these house guys