Posts Tagged ‘Freddie de Boer’

The false hope of “college for all”

March 9, 2022

Hat tip to Bill Harvey.

Freddie deBoer, author of The Cult of Smart, is a Marxist.  Oren Cass, executive director of American Compass and author of The Once and Future Worker: A Vision for the Renewal of Work in Americais a conservative.  Neither one of them believes in “college for all.”

People with college educations on average make more money that people whose education stopped in high school..But that doesn’t mean everybody will be better off if more people go to college.

The more college graduates there are, the less a college degree will be worth.  That is the law of supply and demand.

Some jobs, such as engineer or physician, require college training.  But once there are enough college graduates to fill the available positions, you just create a zero-sum game, you just raise the bar for getting a job.  You wind up with a lot of people in low-wage jobs with huge student debt.

There are just so many jobs you need college training to be able to do.  Any number of college graduates beyond that are surplus, in terms of the job market.  Employers can begin to ask for college degrees for jobs that high school graduates could fill just as well.

When I started out as a newspaper reporter, you didn’t have to have a college degree to get a job and, in fact, there was some skepticism about journalism schools.  I had a bachelor’s degree with a major in American history.

When I retired back in 1998, there were young men and women with law degrees and MBA degrees applying for jobs that were equivalent to the one I had.

DeBoer and Cass pointed out that college instruction isn’t for everyone.  Many people are better suited for skilled trades, such as electrician or auto mechanic, and often can earn as much money.  

High school guidance counselors are wrong when they try to push all their students into college, or treat those who don’t attend or complete college as failures.  They’d be better off in apprenticeship programs to be plumbers or carpenters.

A lawyer friend of mine told me his son is working for a local grocery chain and hopes to be a butcher.

Skilled trades aren’t a complete answer, either.  There is a need for only so many of the different skilled trade specialties.

DeBoer and Cass say vocational and professional education should be tied in to the needs of employers, so that when you complete job training, you have a good chance of getting a job with a specific employer.

But whatever happens, the supposedly unskilled jobs will outnumber the jobs that require college or apprenticeship training.  DeBoer and Cass say waiters, janitors, day care workers, package deliverers and others in the service economy deserve just as much respect as everybody else.

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Conservatives and liberals: the difference

July 13, 2010

According to blogger Freddie de Boer, the difference between conservatives and liberals is this: –

When conservatives argue, they say, “My position is the really conservative one.”

When liberals argue, they often still say, “My position isn’t too liberal. Don’t worry.”