September 2nd, 2013

Labor Day thoughts: college for all

[Hat tip: Maggie's Farm.]

What ever happened to the skilled labor force? It went to college, and that’s not an entirely good thing:

When everybody’s special, nobody is. Getting everyone into college means you have to dumb down the curriculum until it is nothing but meaningless drivel that has no application in the real world…

Forcing everyone to become smart is like a countrywide affirmative-action plan. It doesn’t work…

The controversy that destroyed 11-plus [the British meritocracy exam system] is long and complex, but the CliffsNotes version is that some clueless politician saw educated siblings do better than uneducated siblings and thought, “They should all have the opportunity to do as well as their brother.” But the educated sibling didn’t thrive because he was educated. He was educated because he thrived. If you think his brothers got ripped off, tell it to God. He was the one who doled out the lower IQs…

I’m not denying that outsourcing and automation has made many jobs obsolete. Of course it has. But that doesn’t mean you abandon the entire concept of a working class. There is still a huge demand for skilled labor.

But our young people aren’t skilled (or interested) in hard labor, so we bring in illegal Mexicans. When you take away a young person’s ability to work, you take away their pride.

True, but we have to be careful not to promulgate the myth of the stupid-but-happy worker, singing joyfully at his/her trade no matter how menial. A lot of work is boring and nasty, and a lot of people who used to do it were crippled or broken by it and nourished the dream that for their children things would be better.

And to a great degree, it was. But the article’s author, Gavin McInness, is correct in asserting that the whole process of pretending everyone is suited for higher academic study and a job in the professions has gotten absurd, and has had the effect of lowering standards to an alarming degree.

If you think about it, it was kind of a no-brainer (pun intended) that this would be the result. No doubt there were sincere people who thought (and still think) that human beings are infinitely malleable, and that inherent differences in intelligence and personality and abilities either don’t exist or don’t matter and can be transcended through enough and better education. Or additionally, there are people who thought (and still think) that, even though education won’t equal everything out, it still is necessary to pretend that it will, and that this should be the highest and most pressing goal of a society no matter what the costs.

Not so bright, is it?

34 Responses to “Labor Day thoughts: college for all”

  1. Sam L. Says:

    ‘Tis usually smarter to blame coincidence or stupidity rather than malice, but malice is looking much more likely these days. Much.

  2. sergey Says:

    Yes, a lot of work used to be boring and nasty, but most of it ceased to exist in post-industrial society. And it was not usually called “skilled labor”, but unskilled one. Now skilled labor is plumbing, wielding, carpenter’s job and so on, not digging trenches by spades or harvesting cotton by hands. These manual work hardly is boring or nasty.

  3. Ann Says:

    The other thing we have to be very careful about is not to be seen as destroying the hope of advancement among the less fortunate among us.

    And it’s not always super clear at an early age just who is cut out for college and who isn’t. I think that was one of the things that pushed high schools into largely abandoning vocational training tracks.

  4. London Trader Says:

    My wife is a PreK teacher. She qualified without going to college in the UK (and has many many years of experience both in the UK and in the US) but when recently looking for a new job in Atlanta she found that without a degree she was not qualified for most positions. The subject of the degree was irrelevant – just her lack of one. Candidates with a geography degree but no child care qualifications were acceptable to the licensing body whereas she was not.

    I am fifty and have lived in the US for 12 years. I have a professional career but like my wife started straight from school as was fairly common in the UK at the time. I find that even today I still have to explain my lack of a degree despite my resume when applying for a new position. That assumes I get as far as an interview.

  5. Don Carlos Says:

    sergey is right, Ann is wrong. The US public ed system did not ever stratify for vocational vs. college at “an early age”.

    Germany for a very long time had (? still has) an “Apitur” exam taken about 8th grade, which did so stratify. If one did not pass, one was barred from attending public university. If it still exists, it has been dumbed down, like everything else educational throughout the breast-beating West.

  6. Don Carlos Says:

    My error: abitur, not apitur.

  7. George Pal Says:

    The demolition of education since Dewey continues apace. Having once happily sought out and encouraged the better man modern education seeks to make of him/her more flotsam and jetsom. To stand out encourages an unwanted judgment or inevitable realization – equality is a delusion.

    The greater part of the miseducated are comprised of those that don’t belong there but have been enticed by progressive shibboleths of the value of an education. The dumbing down of the curricula to grievance studies is the bargain for the certificate of achievment. In return the sheep are asked to become the mass, the mob, the cheering crowd.

    Throw in the financial angle – long term debt for a worthless sheepskin and higher education becomes a flim flam. Debt relief may be had at a cost – I wonder what it could be?

    It should come as no surprise the lengths to which the ruling class will go to maintain a system of education that produces so little education and so much of compliance. A truly progressive society would burn down the schools, tear down the Dept of Education, and scatter the NEA to the winds but it won’t happen because Dewey won.

  8. Ann Says:

    Don Carlos,

    The U.S. may never have had a rigid tracking system like Germany’s, but I know that in my California hometown in the 1950s until some time in the 1960s, there was the academic track and the technical track in the high schools, and that students picked one or the other, with counseling, in the 9th grade. To me, that counts as an early age.

  9. Mr. Frank Says:

    Where everybody is somebody, nobody is anybody. When only 20% of high school students went on to college, a degree had value. Today the figure is 60%. People who went to college in the past were smarter on the average than those who did not. They could read, write, do math and follow directions. Thus, they could get a job. Many of today’s college graduates can not do those things.

  10. Don Carlos Says:

    Ann, that might count as an early age to you and me NOW, since we are no longer middle-aged, even. But by 9th grade one has completed 2/3 of one’s public ed, so that is not ‘early’ in one’s education.

  11. expat Says:

    Ann,
    The difference is that in American schools, typically, vocational courses did not separate the students completely. In Germany, there are 3 types of schools: basic, vocational, and gymnasium. Also, German schools don’t have the extracurricular activities of American schools. To play soccer, you have to join a Sport Verein. Another difference is that in Germany, the son of the most successful plumber in town might take vocational courses so he can become a master plumber. In America, he might get a BA.

    The systems are very different, and both have pros and cons. The American community colleges do allow people with knowledge gaps to fill them so they can move up.

    Don Carlos,
    The Abitur is the exam you have to take when you finsh your Gymnasium studies. BTW, German is reducing school years from 13 to 12 for those who are pursuing an Abitur.

  12. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    One of the things that has been forgotten or maybe was never recognized is that education is a life long event. We begin learning at home from our parents and siblings, then we begin formal education that supposedly prepares us for a life time of work. However, IMO, that formal education only prepares us for a lifetime of further learning. I was trained as a geologist and thought that was what I would do for my career. War intervened. I was then trained as Naval Officer, then as a Navy pilot. When my Navy days were over, I went into airline flying and had to be retrained to do that. When my airline flying ended, I had more time to learn new things that didn’t apply to my work, but rather to my duties as a citizen. My life has been a never ending process of learning new things. My formal education was the base upon which that was built

    When I checked into my first job with an oil company in the 50s, the Chief Geologist told me to forget everything I had learned in college because they were going to train me to their standards. He was wrong. What they did do was add their training on top of what I had already learned. More education. Then back in the late 60s I was a recruiter for Naval Aviation. We wanted people with college degrees. Why? Because a degree was an indication that the recruit could be trained – that he knew how to learn. That, IMO, is what a formal education should give you – the ability to continue to learn on your own for a lifetime. Another example. My grandfather had a formal fifth grade education, but he never stopped reading, studying, and inquiring. He was one of the better informed men I have ever known.

    One of the things a lot of people forget about is that in Japan, Germany and many other countries, if you do not test for continuation of your studies at college at a certain age, you are shut out of ever going to college – unless you can get to the U.S. We are the country of second chances in education. A few of my high school graduating class went to college for a year and flunked out. (That was in the days when you could get Ds and Fs.) All of them went into the service (That’s what happened in those days – college or the military.). All of them went back to school after they were discharged and all of them achieved professional degrees. That’s what I mean by second chances.

    Of course, the cost of college has become a disgrace. I managed to put myself through by working every summer, then working part time jobs during the school year. Yes, I lived pretty low on the hog, but left school headed for my first job with no debt and $25 in my wallet. That can still be done today, it just can’t be done by going to a “prestigious” school.

    Talking about prestigious Ivy League educations, when I was assigned to go to Navy Officer Candidate School the assigning officer told me I was in for a rough time because fully 50% of the class of 750 was from Ivy League schools. Guess what? Even though I was educated a lowly State University, I graduated in the top 5% of the class.

    As Sergey said, people don’t need a college degree to do skilled work – welding, pipefitting, carpentry, heavy equipment operator, truck driver, airplane mechanic, etc. etc. What they do need is an aptitude for the job. Not everyone can be a journeyman carpenter, or an A&P mechanic. That’s where the vocational training and counseling helped and would continue to help people see where their talents and interests fit into the work force.

    Thus endeth the rant.

  13. expat Says:

    One more interesting thing about the german vocational system: Previously, after an apprenticeship,one would travel around the country and work on different projects in your field–hence, journeyman. It is not so common today, but the daughter of a friend did this in her chosen field of stonemasonry. Hotels provide free lodging for these people, and there are stricktrules about not going within 50 km of your home during the 2-year program, not even for Christmas.

  14. Paul in Boston Says:

    Mike Rowe, the Dirty Jobs Guy, has an interesting take on higher education. A lot of “manual” jobs take quite a bit of intelligence but to the people whose stock in trade is words, the liberal arts faculty, that’s a lower form not worth promoting.

    http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/why-work-smart-not-hard-is-the-worst-advice-in-the-world-15805614

  15. Mr. Frank Says:

    What has driven this college for all push is the fact that on the average college graduates make more money than high school grads. The thinking is if we increase the number of graduates then more people will have good salaries. It never occurs to politicians that doubling the number of graduates does not double the number of good jobs in the economy. However, it can lower salaries for degree holders.

    What we have now is the Wizard of Oz approach to education. When the Scarecrow learned he would not be getting a brain, he was crestfallen. However, the Wizard had a fall back plan. He said that he could not give the Scarecrow a brain, but he could give something almost as good. He could give the Scarecrow a diploma. It’s a great scene.

  16. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    Mr. Frank, a great comment. Increasing the numbers qualified for certain job without increasing the number of jobs will lower the salaries paid. Increasing wages come from increasing economic activity not just from producing more qualified workers for a static or dwindling number of jobs.

  17. M J R Says:

    Paul in Boston, 5:56 pm –

    I will add, for over forty years now, I (with my academic degrees) have sworn to anyone who will listen, that there are many forms of learning, book-learning being just one. But book-learning is very highly valued by the book-learning class, which just happens to exert an awful lot of control over the culture (and the economy).

    I have sworn (to anyone who will still listen) that, for example, I never learned to give my car a tune-up, that not being the sort of thing I feel comfortable doing, but my mechanic knows what the h#ll he’s doing and can have my car humming in an hour or two. He is highly skilled and perfectly intelligent, but unlike someone like me with my fancy degrees, he never scored so high on book-learning. I think it’s quite an injustice.

    (Same for my plumber, my electrician, and so on and so on.)

  18. Bill Says:

    I had a friend who was a graduate of a German vocational school run by one of the national railroads. Upon graduation, not only had he read Shakespeare in English, was conversant about many authors and philosophers, but could run a locomotive, was at home in a machine shop, and ran industrial robotics. His liberal arts portion of his vocational education was better than most BA’s I’ve run into who seem to have poorer vocabularies, can’t write clearly, and know nothing of history. He says the German industries make it a point of pride to have the finest school possible as a reflection of their company.

    My experience with vo-tech in my day was this is where they sent the delinquents.

    I am so happy Mike Rowe of the Discovery channel has set out to correct this nonsense; I am referring all the bewildered recent high school grads dumped into the work world without a clue (except “I guess I should go to college for something”) to Mr. Rowes website, “MikeRoweworks.com”.

  19. Randy Says:

    “but we have to be careful not to promulgate the myth of the stupid-but-happy worker, ”

    I agree. However, I think mankind is suited for work, and is disfunctional without it. Even if we could guarantee a minimal standard of living, without work, for those who are unsuited for the jobs that exist, I think such life would not be a gift. Most people are not suited for free time to “self actualize”, if anyone truly is. Perhaps this is a legacy of getting expelled from the Garden of Eden.

    “Gavin McInness, is correct in asserting that the whole process of pretending everyone is suited for higher academic study and a job in the professions has gotten absurd”

    Moreover, even if everyone was so suited, we would still need some way to pick choose those will do the jobs no one wants.

  20. T Says:

    JJ formerly. . . , and Bill,

    You have both touched on ideas that have been very important to me for quite some time. First, let’s put aside the quality of a college education and what it has become; that’s a discussion for another time. I worry about two issues: 1) that the value of vocational training has been diminished by the bien-pensant and 2) that college level education has been reduced, almost exclusively, to a job-intentioned experience.

    This may be true in medicine and engineering fields; i.e., applied science, but it is not generally true. The liberal arts education has become demeaned as a waste of time because there are no jobs for literature majors. This approach demeans the liberal arts as essentially worthless pursuits and nothing could be further from the truth.

    What, precisely, is wrong about a plumber having an appreciation for Bach, a carpenter who enjoys opera or a phlebotomist who likes Jackson Pollock? As Bill so aptly points out above:

    he [a native German] read Shakespeare in English, was conversant about many authors and philosophers, but could run a locomotive, was at home in a machine shop, and ran industrial robotics.

    Further, as JJ formerly . . . points out above, education is a life-long process. One whose richness and variety is more fully appreciated with the knowledge that a liberal arts background provides.

    I thins we are seeing the results of a prostitution of humanities education not only because much of it has been taken over in service to Progressive propaganda, but also because more and more people think that it should lead to specified job skills.

    I suspect that you both would agree with me that the study of the humanities was never intended to serve either goal.

  21. T Says:

    A prime example of my second concern above:

    I just rear this posted by Maetenloch (9/2 @ 10:09 pm) over at Ace of Spades [emphasis mine]:

    And David Thompson points out that Andrea XX is in fact a victim – but of the leftist professors and radicals who indoctrinated her and led her down a path leading to zero marketable skills all while profiting off of her

    http://www.ace.mu.nu

    The problem is not that she has “zero marketable skills.” The problem is that she was led to believe that a degree in other than applied science ever provided any “marketable skills.” I earned advanced degrees in the history of art; there are fewer unmarketable fields than that (one can’t sell art history papers from a cart on a street corner) and I was never under the illusion to begin with that I was learning “marketable skills.” I recognized the fact that I was training my mind to be critical and versatile in its service to my future.

  22. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    T: “I suspect that you both would agree with me that the study of the humanities was never intended to serve either goal.”

    Many commenters here are much better versed in history and literature than I am. My degree was a BA, but other than a few freshman and sophomore required courses in English, history, and literature, most of my study was in chemistry, physics, mineralogy, sedimentation, structural geology, tectonics, plane table mapping, with a sprinkling of algebra and calculus. My intent in studying geology was to work in the oil exploration field. Thus my course of study led directly to employment. However, events led me into aviation, which much to my surprise, I had a talent for. When I was recruiting, I began to realize that my formal education was just a base for a life time of learning.

    Two things appear to me to have devalued the humanities degree.
    1. Grade inflation. There are many with degrees today that really haven’t mastered some basics.
    2. Companies no longer want to train their employees. In the 50s, 60s, and 70s, most companies had in house training programs and the degree was only a signal to them that you were trainable. They wanted long term employees. That has changed. They want someone with the needed experience or training – they’re not willing to pay for the training. The trick is to get that experience or training somehow.

    Reading this blog provides me with a lot of the historical and literature education that I missed. Thanks to neo and her well-informed commenters. :-)

  23. JKB Says:

    Seems to me, we should first come to an understanding of what a college “education” is and what it provides. One, besides by government fiat or guild rules, needs a college education to do anything. Creator of multi-billion dollar business, no. High tech CEO, no. Designer of new technology, no. Journalist, no. Lawyer(except for guild licensing), no. etc. ad infinitum. A college education has become necessary as a signal, i.e., shortcut, to exposure to a body of knowledge. Those making decisions as to who is the best risk to take when choosing someone to contribute economically to their enterprise do use it as a proxy.

    So why college? I found the following from 90 years ago:

    The idea is, of course, that men are successful because they have gone to college. No idea was ever more absurd. No man is successful because he has managed to pass a certain number of courses and has received a sheepskin which tells the world in Latin, that neither the world nor the graduate can read, that he has successfully completed the work required. If the man is successful, it is because he has the qualities for success in him; the college “education” has merely, speaking in terms’ of horticulture, forced those qualities and given him certain intellectual tools with which to work-tools which he could have got without going to college, but not nearly so quickly. So far as anything practical is concerned, a college is simply an intellectual hothouse. For four years the mind of the undergraduate is put “under glass,” and a very warm and constant sunshine is poured down upon it. The result is, of course, that his mind blooms earlier than it would in the much cooler intellectual atmosphere of the business world.

    Sadly, this is no longer universally true. Many who graduate college today show a serious lack of ability to think, to learn, to go beyond their instruction and training to achieve an education.

    Usage: Education, properly a drawing forth, implies not so much the communication of knowledge as the discipline of the intellect, the establishment of the principles, and the regulation of the heart. Instruction is that part of education which furnishes the mind with knowledge. Teaching is the same, being simply more familiar. It is also applied to practice; as, teaching to speak a language; teaching a dog to do tricks.
    Training is a department of education in which the chief element is exercise or practice for the purpose of imparting facility in any physical or mental operation. Breeding commonly relates to the manners and outward conduct.
    [1913 Webster]

    The much maligned vocational training in the useful arts does prepare a person to do something useful for others (for which others will pay). The student may then either advance his skills slowly or quickly given his interest, or possibly transcend the rote by seeing the bigger picture through purposeful experience assuming such work comes his way. Or he may also achieve the latter by purposeful study through the power of education

    “The power of doing something not taught by nature or instinct; power or skill in the use of knowledge; the practical application of the rules or principles of science.”
    - Johann Pestalozzi (defining education as the “generation of power”)

    The mythology of a college “education” is that it is education. It is really just schooling, training in mental discipline and an exposure to a body of knowledge during that training. In some fields the exposure to the specific body of knowledge is important. In others, such as the humanities, not so much. But either only have the rudiments of an education. A leg up, hopefully, on the condition without college but not so high they can rest on their laurels or expect to remain in the lead of those who are working to come up through the hawse pipe.

  24. T Says:

    JKB,

    Your quotations have eloquently stated what was (so ineloquently) my intent. Can you provide sources?

    I would only take issue with the following:

    In some fields the exposure to the specific body of knowledge is important. In others, such as the humanities, not so much.

    IMO it’s not that the humanities are of lesser importance, they are of a different importance. For example, no one needs a nice home in which to live. A simple shed will do, but who wants to live in such Spartan condidtions? We want nicer surroundings because because they enhance our experience as human beings; thus the humanities.

    I repeat, “what, precisely, is wrong about a plumber having an appreciation for Bach, a carpenter who enjoys opera or a phlebotomist who likes Jackson Pollock?” Some would counter that nothing is wrong with that, it’s just that it’s unnecessary. I say “Hogwash!” It may not be necessary to physical survival, but who wants to live at the level of simple survival? Who wants to live in a Spartan shed? Being human and being engaged in the world is much more varied than simple survival. I repeat, “thus, the humanities,” a thought which is reinforced by your quotations above.

    It’s not that they are unnecessary. Rather it is to our myopic shame that we have devalued and prostituted their importance in our culture.

  25. Liz Says:

    “But our young people aren’t skilled (or interested) in hard labor, so we bring in illegal Mexicans.”

    No. No. NO.

    I keep seeing this economic illteracy, and it drives me insane. Young people weren’t interested in the work at the wages, benefits, conditions, etc., that were being offered. That is the *Free* *Market* telling them they needed to improve what they were offering and/or innovate so they didn’t need so many workers, or else go out of business. Instead, businesses decided to get bypass that.

    A huge proportion of American labour misery is the simple fact that businesses bring in cheap labour because they don’t want to pay the current market value. Then, when the next generations get uppity and decides they want decent wages, conditions, etc., they bypass that and bring in some more cheap, pliable workers. A very brief set of examples:

    Slavery came about because the settlers didn’t want to pay the market price for white, male labour. You’re still paying for that one. When the slaves were emancipated, the industrialists decided they didn’t want to pay market wages for uppity workers, and brought in Irish, Scots-Irish, Italians etc. (Remember Booker T Washington’s “Cast your buckets where you are” speech.) You’re still paying for that one, albeit less spectacularly.

    And now employers are desperately trying to avoid dealing with those icky blacks and, to a lesser extent, working class whites, by bringing in cheap Latin Americans and Haitians. And, now they’re getting uppity (people willing to work for peanuts in the US, generally do so in the dream that their children and grandchildren won’t have to, oddly enough) they’re bringing in Vietnamese, Ukrainians, Somalis etc.

    Just. Sit. Down. And. Sort. It. Out. Free advice from a foreigner. Stop kicking the problem down the road for society to deal with later. (And yes, it is society’s problem when you’re bringing in future generations to be house, educated and often fed by the taxpayer.) The free market does not play nice. It often means paying more than you secretly think, say, waitresses or stoop labourers or irritatingly young graduates are worth. Suck it up.

    I for one have sympathy (if not agreement) with the left when I see businesses scream blue murder about the free market when it comes to tax rates, but dodge it when it comes to basic supply and demand. I’ll repeat it: people refusing to work for what you’re offering IS the free market.

  26. T Says:

    JJ,

    I would add to your list of a devalued education:

    3) a whoring of higher education from the search for truth and facts to propaganda in the service of a predetermined narrative.

    It’s the same sin committed time and again by the media.

  27. T Says:

    Liz,

    But the inacurrate premise in your logic is that the market is truly “free.” It is not.

    For example, when unions negotiate wages and the govt imposes a minimum wage, the wage of which you speak is no longer set by any free market. It is established at a predetermined and capricious level by regulation and fiat.

    The importation of cheaper labor is actually an attempt to skirt such regulation and fiat and return to a free market (or at least a free-er market). In theory, it’s not really any different than using a business deduction to legally avoid tax imposed by capricious govt regulation.

    Minimum wages artificially regulate the bottom level of the market. There was a time when the upper level of the market was regulated, too.

    Back in the 1950s, retail pricing was also controlled; in other words, you had to sell a given prodect at a set retail price (it was called the Fair Market Price. Milk is still like that today as the result of the influence of dairy farmers on legislatures). This was destroyed in a landmark case (White Cross Stores v Sterling Drug) which opened the door for the discount health and beauty industry and eventually for discount retailing in general.

  28. Liz Says:

    @T:

    I’m not disagreeing with you that “free markets” are a bit of a dream. What makes me sick, however, are all those people who get apoplectic about market interference when it comes to things like taxes, but suddenly lose all sense of supply and demand when it comes to labour.

    All the interference you talk about is a tiny bandaid on a severed artery. Big Business, Big Labour and Big Govt (amongst others) are in bed with each other. It works out fantastically for them, but comprehensively shafts the ordinary people. So, rather than, y’know, solving the underlying problem, they enact laws. Lots and lots of laws. That has the advantage of kneecapping their small and medium competitors, and it tells the little people that We Listen And We Care (Just Not Enough To Stop Screwing You.)

    Besides all this, I’m not seeing a counterargument for how immigration is not a way of avoiding that pesky market.

    (And yes, yes I am one of those people who trusts capitalism, but wouldn’t turn my back for a second on capitalists.)

  29. Don Says:

    JKB wrote:

    “A college education has become necessary as a signal, i.e., shortcut, to exposure to a body of knowledge. Those making decisions as to who is the best risk to take when choosing someone to contribute economically to their enterprise do use it as a proxy.”

    Yes, that is true. Not long ago I read a good article on universities by a professor. He made the point that there are two tracks you can take: technical or non-technical. Technical is difficult, but includes knowledge that is relevent to a career in engineering, science, etc. Non-technical has much less career application, and is generally used to springboard to a law degree, which means a very high GPA must be maintained. Hence the non-technical track is set up so that it isn’t all that hard to graduate with a very high GPA.

  30. Don Says:

    I’ll also note that our education system only educates on that which it values. Hence it pushes the false claim that the Founders copied the federal system from the indians, and fails to show how the English Revolution (Bill of Rights and all) lead to the American Revolution.

  31. T Says:

    lIZ,

    There is no question that the “bigs” (Big govt, etc.) are in bed with one another—same men, different ties.

    I disagree, though, that minimum wages, guild wages (union wages) and price controls are a band-aid. They restrict the economy much the same way that a thin pipe controls a water supply. The pipe might be easily pierced and might leak like crazy, but the bulk of the water is still a controlled flow (note how the economy negatively responded to Nixon’s imposition of price controls).

    As for turning one’s back on a capitalist, no one who is a true capitalist would. After all even Lenin said: “When you want to hang a capitalist you can always find another one to sell you the rope!”

    Speaking of capitalism, a vignette you might enjoy. Matt Damon’s film Elysium was described thus: Matt Damon took a $20 million dollar payday from a film costing $100 million dollars made to turn a profit by espousing the benefits of socialism. There are no socialist filmmakers, only capitalists who espouse socialism (for others).

  32. JKB Says:

    T,

    The first quote is from
    Marks, Percy, “Under Glass”, Scribner’s Magazine Vol 73, 1923, p 47

    A very good article on the purpose of college. Odd how we are still having the same arguments nearly 100 years later.

    The second is from Websters (1913) via DICT app I use for my dictionary. I enjoy the old definitions.

    The third was taken from the text of

    Charles H. Ham, Mind and Hand: manual training, the chief factor in education (1900)

    A good argument in support of the inclusion of the manual arts in “education. MIT came out of this late 19th century drive to include expression through the manual arts in addition to the speaking and writing in education. Skip over the chapters particular to the set up the school for a well reasoned discussion of the historical bias against those who create useful things compared to those whose education was more academic.

    I feared my wording would be misapprehended. My thought on that statement was that in STEM one must have familiarity with a specific body of knowledge in order to be successful. Even though they may develop very good problem solving skills.

    Whereas, in the humanities, studying American history as opposed to French literature is far less critical in a non-academic future. Assuming, of course, the student develops some reasonable level of “critical thinking”.

  33. JKB Says:

    T,

    I wonder what Matt Damon’s profit from making that movie is? Has to be something like $19.9 million. I can’t see his personal expenses that could rightfully be considered costs he incurred to make the movie more than $100,000. The rest if pure profit.

    Perhaps he thinks of the millions as wages but really any wages you earn in excess of your working expenses is profit for the worker.

  34. Ymarsakar Says:

    Most of Hollywood would become conservatives if you taxed them with 95% income taxes on their movie profits.

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About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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Ace (bold)
AmericanDigest (writer’s digest)
AmericanThinker (thought full)
Anchoress (first things first)
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AugeanStables (historian’s task)
Baldilocks (outspoken)
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Beldar (Texas lawman)
BelmontClub (deep thoughts)
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ChicagoBoyz (boyz will be)
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DreamsToLightening (Asher)
EdDriscoll (market liberal)
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GayPatriot (self-explanatory)
HadEnoughTherapy? (yep)
HotAir (a roomful)
InFromTheCold (once a spook)
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JawaReport (the doctor is Rusty)
LegalInsurrection (law prof)
RedState (conservative)
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MelaniePhillips (formidable)
MerylYourish (centrist)
MichaelTotten (globetrotter)
MichaelYon (War Zones)
Michelle Malkin (clarion pen)
Michelle Obama's Mirror (reflections)
MudvilleGazette (milblog central)
NoPasaran! (behind French facade)
NormanGeras (principled leftist)
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PJMedia (comprehensive)
PointOfNoReturn (Jewish refugees)
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TheDoctorIsIn (indeed)
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