May 16, 2007

College for Everybody, Tools of the Trade for Nobody

Philanthropist Jim Woodhill likes to point out that the taxpayers will subsidize 18 to 22 year olds to the tune of many tens of thousands of dollars to, say, go to Virginia Tech and study how to write poetry under Nikki Giovanni, even though the likelihood that will generate economic growth or even come close to paying back the taxpayers' investment is nil. But, if a young person who doesn't think he's college material needs tools or a pickup truck to pursue a trade, well, lots of luck, kid.

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Anonymous said...

So true.

I dont know how the media has done it, but its alarming how guys who are plumbers, welders, craftsman, etc. are thought of as dirt by the elite.

Anonymous said...

Hey, we have illegal imigranst to do all that kind of stuff that requires anyone getting their hands dirty! We will all be stockbrokers, lawyers, consultants, fund managers, or write for the NY Times style section. Many of those dirty plumbers, welders and craftemen are often making some nice money, more than corporate hacks like myself.

Anonymous said...

One good idea Bush had, which never materialized, was to change unemployment insurance to make it possible for unemployed folks to get a lump sum if they got off it early -- a lump sum they could put toward tools or a truck, if they wanted.

Grumpy Old Man said...

I have said it before and I'll link to it again: send your kid to trucking school.

Dennis Dale said...

How I wish I had said it.

Anonymous said...

Plumbers, carpenters, mechanics etc. will be replaced by cheap illegal immigrant labor. That's the whole point of the Bush-Kennedy "plan."


Udolpho said...

They will also do a crap job but who cares, Bill Kristol and John Podhoretz will never have to lift their atrophied arms again! After all everyone should have a servant. What, you aren't a member of the overclass? Tough luck, asshole. The line for day laborers starts over there.

Anonymous said...

Pick up a tool? Ewwwwwwwwwwwww. That's what Mexicans are for. And we already subsidize that.

TabooTruth said...

All the handy work will be outsourced to machines in a decade and a half. Then, once the elites will be the only ones doing anything productive in a welfare state, perhaps then someone will start noticing HBD issues. Anyway, status seekers and political correctness intersect interestingly in this issue.

Urijah said...

Aren't there government grants/loans for students at technical/trade schools? (I'm thinking of places like Apex Tech.) Some of those places gives tools at the graduation (if I remember the ads correctly).

Anonymous said...

Providing assistance to enter into careers mostly pursued by males, would, of course, be sexist and not a good course of action in our brave new world where we try to feminize everyone.

David Davenport said...

I have said it before and I'll link to it again: send your kid to trucking school.

No good no more. They're going to allow Mexican tuckers to operate inisde the US. Same for the rest of that yeoman-tradesman-with-a-pickup advice: the Mexican flood is making that bad, obsolete guidance, unless one intends to accept pay fit for Mexicans:

Mexican truck stampede to hit U.S.!
Bush administration moving ahead despite congressional opposition

Posted: April 12, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Jerome R. Corsi
© 2007

Despite congressional opposition, the Bush administration is fully committed to beginning within weeks a pilot test that will allow Mexican trucks to operate freely across the U.S.

A spokesman for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Ian Grossman, told WND the agency plans to grant the first authority for a Mexican trucking company to operate its long-haul rigs throughout the U.S. as early as the end of this month. ...

Mark said...

Many of those dirty plumbers, welders and craftemen are often making some nice money, more than corporate hacks like myself.

Oh really? Well don't let the elite know about it. They'll put it to a stop right quick. A $300 an hour lawyer feels disgusted - disgusted - that he should have to pay some lousy plumber $50 an hour to fix his leaky jacuzzi.

I have said it before and I'll link to it again: send your kid to trucking school.

Apparently you missed the news - there is now a company - Gagan Global, I believe - that is importing Indian truckdrivers by the thousands.

Anonymous said...

I work for the agency in Texas that licenses electricians, air conditioning contractors, barbers, and about 20 other occupations, and, at least in this state, it's quite easy to get loans to study these fields at community colleges. So long as the junior or community college is accredited, it's very easy to get student loans, just like any other field of study. In a snarkier vien, the prison system provides classes in all building trades, which is about as taxpayer subsidized as it's possible to be.

To the extent that your "elites" don't warmly welcome the idea of their children becoming HAVC techs or electricians, I'd imagine it's because blue collar types usually don't share much in the way of culture with lawyers. I, for one, would really prefer that my sons take up a passion for marijuana cultivation than follow NASCAR or listen to heavy metal. There is an impression which blue collar sorts cultivate -- witness Mr. Andover and Yale President's pronunciation of n-u-c-l-e-a-r -- that culture of the higher sort isn't what they do. This is flat stupid. I know better than most how much intellect goes into wiring a functional circuit or I couldn't do my job. It's certainly enough mental firepower to read most any classic novel or enjoy the mathmatical precision of Bach.

It's late and I'm having a hard time putting my thoughts into coherent sentences. I think, though, that any prejudice that exists between blue and white collars is 1. mutual, and 2. related to tastes, not intellect. Make plumbers speak proper grammar and know something about Shakespeare, and that prejudice would vanish.

Riot Nrrd said...

I wish I'd went into electrical building trades rather than electronics now. But, you have to keep in mind these are physical work trades. You are out in the sun, the hot, the cold, the drizzle. You are working in filthy new building sites and filthier old places. Look at a bunch of 50 year old electricians. They are wore out.

Same with plumbing. You're putting your hands into other people's fermented doo-doo, restaurant slime, flushed tampons. You are snaking out 70 year old pipes and smelling gas pockets that haven't been aired out since LBJ-or maybe FDR-was in office. If you are doing HVAC you have pockmarks from frozen Freon and oil all over you.

I respect the trades but we need to be honest about what you are getting into.

Friedrich von Blowhard said...

(1) The New Class (professionals, financiers and senior public and private bureaucrats) runs this country; (2) Higher education is the defining experience or test of the New Class, which is essentially an "expertocracy"; (3) The New Class sees to it that higher education is lavishly funded; (4) People outside the New Class (like blue collar individuals who aren't trying to join) are on their own, and hence can expect to receive little or no help.

Anonymous said...

I worked my way through college by doing roofing during the summer, in the Pacific Northwest where it was still pretty mild most summer days, and it was great. Hard and dirty work, but the head of the crew ran the local small town theater company and his foreman was a collector of old 78 rpm jazz records, so we'd pass the time while shingling talking about postwar American playwrights and whether Dave Brubeck swings for a white guy. Good times! Fifteen years later, it's probably all Mexican guys making half what I did in 1991.