The War On Education

Due to the Corona more and more children are being educated remotely these days. While I advocate social distancing and keeping the little ones safe, I wonder if there was another approach. Seems like in Europe they thought it was more important to keep the schools open than the bars. I guess they don’t have the raging influential alcoholics over there like we do here. Or maybe it’s that they value education more than we do. I use as example for my premise of our lowly evaluation of education the years of articles and TV news reports that a college education is “just not worth it”.

The logic thread, if you can call it that, is that the amount of student debt encumbered by some degrees does not translate into a quick return on investment. Sadly, the propagandists for ignorance only recognize quick turning ROI’s like insider trading or cash laundering. We are led to believe from these champions of dumb that an investment that doesn’t return instant profits, like a higher education, is foolish and to be avoided at all costs.

Contrary arguments to these news items are never presented, especially ones that irrefutably disprove the presenter’s assertion. For example, an article in  US News and World Report states that, “Those holding bachelor’s degrees earn about $2.27 million over their lifetime, while those with master’s, doctoral, and professional degrees earn $2.67 million, $3.25 million, and $3.65 million, respectively.” “Today’s young high school-only grads earn about 62 percent of what their college-graduate peers earn.” Now even a simple-minded country boy like myself can figure that even with a $100,000 tuition debt at graduation, the $2.27 million looks like a good return on my investment.

There is an argument that can be made that there are certain high earning professions that don’t benefit from a degree. My cousin Rad  has made mid 5 figures annually since high school running the family business. Simmons Sewers and Septic have been proudly pumping bilge in the Atlanta area since 1947. Rad is a third generation pooper pumper, and started his ascendancy to the “throne” in high school. Working after school and weekends, Rad learned the ins and outs of the business before he graduated high school. While Rad’s classmates were listening to SAT prep instructors, Rad was listening to the septic truck’s vacuum pump motor to make sure that the vacuum pump was operating properly. If the pump got blocked, well, things could “go in the dumper” pretty quickly.

Many of us envied Rad’s financial independence. Rad had a new car, always had spending money and was the first one of us married and then to have children. Rad went from high school to middle-age while the rest of us were trying to figure out how to squeeze out six years of parent sponsored independence for our four year degree. Rad has had a good life, and looks forward to the first Simmons graduating college in the Spring. Early on, higher education for his children became a priority to Rad because he wanted them to have a better life and more opportunities.

If the argument that “a college degree is just not worth it” can so easily be refuted, why are the proponents of ignorance so ardently pushing the concept? Could promoting ignorance have a different reward? Could the fact that the ignorant are more easily led be the real end game? I guess we’d have to have some kind of study that proved Fox news viewers were actually less informed than the average American. Oh wait, here’s one. These statistics were documented in a 2011 PublicMind poll conducted by New Jersey’s Farleigh Dickinson University. Sounds like the “news” agency wants to shape policy as well as dumb down their viewers.

I could even advance the idea that if there is less competition for college entry, it makes admitting a Trump more viable. The standards might drop so low that Jared’s children don’t have to have their daddy buy a building at the university like their granddaddy did. I am forever mindful that “Talent is equally distributed, opportunity is not.”

I want that talent to have the same opportunity, even if they have to go into debt to get it. I don’t want the guy that has the cure for cancer in his head cutting my lawn.

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