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View Diary: Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: The fiscal thingie and what Republicans need to do about it (114 comments)

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  •  Krugman left out a third factor: (2+ / 0-)

    that the push to get everybody into college devalues college education relative to other skilled positions.

    More kids to more colleges to more classes taught by teaching assistants.

    Fewer kids available to become plumbers and electricians and auto mechanics, etc -- all occupations that benefit from bright, well-trained people.

    What does econ 101 tell us about that?

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 04:58:03 AM PST

    •  I haven't heard of a shortage of plumbers... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bear83, wintergreen8694, Aquarius40, askew

      ....electricians and auto mechanics.

      But, I guess, you must be not including community colleges in your comment, because many of them teach trades such as plumbing, electricity and auto mechanics.

      "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

      by Bush Bites on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 05:09:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There may not be a shortage (4+ / 0-)

        But there is a stigma. Our society has conditioned kids coming out of high school to think college is their only option, so you have a whole slew of kids that are totally unprepared for it and don't know why they're doing it that will spend 6 years and a hundred thousand dollars to get a piece of paper that they didn't want in the first place. Some kids don't need college; they need trade education. If you want to be a electrician, there is nothing wrong with that. You can be the best damn electrician in town and make a hell of a lot of money if you're good at it. But instead we force students into "LIT419: Angolan Transgender Literature, Ancient and Modern" to check the box.

        •  Becha those average college incomes would go (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Heart of the Rockies

          up if you weeded out the kids who don't want to be there, don't belong there, and would be much happier doing something else.

          And you're right about making a hell of a lot of money, especially if they expand into contracting and hiring others.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 05:26:39 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  We have a family friend (4+ / 0-)

            That is a master electrician. He makes beaucoup bucks. He got contracts from the school board to wire the new middle and high schools, he's quite a happy camper. But Republican as all hell. Guess they dont teach irony in electrician school.

            •  Republican probably makes sense for him. (0+ / 0-)

              At this point, he's a businessman, not an employee.

              Not only that -- but he's sitting pretty compared to a lot of college graduates who do work that can be farmed out all over the world thanks to global communications.

              Very hard to get somebody in Bangalore to wire up a house in Muskogee.

              LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

              by dinotrac on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 06:41:31 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  I can tell you that the smartest PhD. gets pretty (0+ / 0-)

          upset and disconcerted when they flip the switch and the lights fail to go on.

          And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

          by MrJersey on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 07:11:33 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Good ones, always. (0+ / 0-)

        I'm sure that many community colleges do teach classes pertinent to the trades, though much of that education comes from unions and OJT.

        More and more, community colleges are a way for kids with less money to get through the first two years of college without going broke, and...as more TAs and fewer professors teach freshmen and sophomores, not a bad way to get those required pre-major classes out of the way.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 05:22:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Actually Krugman has quite a bit to say (9+ / 0-)

      about the benefits of higher education and whether a degree really helps in securing a job on one of his blog entries.

      If this is the wave of the future, it makes nonsense of just about all the conventional wisdom on reducing inequality. Better education won’t do much to reduce inequality if the big rewards simply go to those with the most assets. Creating an “opportunity society”, or whatever it is the likes of Paul Ryan etc. are selling this week, won’t do much if the most important asset you can have in life is, well, lots of assets inherited from your parents. And so on.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 05:48:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rarely do I agree with you, (0+ / 0-)

      but I'm behind this comment 100%.  As a former university faculty member, I can attest to the fact that colleges are filled with students who are not certain why they are there and are unprepared to do college work.  They've been pushed into it because they, their counselors and their families are convinced they will get a better job when they get out.  Never mind that many who do get out are in deep debt and still cannot get a job.  And from the employer's side of the equation, they often have learned little.  "I will make more money when I get out." is hardly a motivator for true learning.

      We need to provide more support for K-12 and community and technical colleges.  And quit demeaning forms of education that that don't provide a "college" education or don't lead to a college degree.  

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