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Friday, June 14, 2013 ISSUE #763

Educational frills and consequences

    COLUMBUS: Last week a bunch of students at a high-priced college wrote an article complaining about having to work as interns this summer without getting paid for it.  And our local newspaper published it.

    It seems they (or their parents) invested 2 or 3 years in a college education that has reached the point where someone figures it is safe to let ‘em hold a job, but that’s all. No salary. They can work for the “experience.” And if they don’t want the job, there’ll be ten other students ready to take it.

    These students took all their classes in things like anthropology, sociology, fashion, and music appreciation, then they wonder why they can’t land high paying internships like their fellow students in engineering and computer science. Now, instead of kicking themselves for choosing the wrong college or the wrong major, they have decided do what many red-blooded Americans do today: hire a lawyer and sue the employers.

    A lawsuit will sure go a long way toward getting them really good job offers after graduation, won’t it. Well, it will give some work for the lawyers, even if they aren’t paid either.

    I heard a successful businessman named Jim Rogers (no relation) on television last month. He said young folks today need to learn how to produce something, real goods like lumber, wheat, cotton, oil. Learn how to drive a tractor. Learn how to weld. He was not advising against college, far from it. But learn how to do something you can make a living at.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

    “This modern education gag sure got me licked. All the kids I know, either mine or anybody’s, none of ‘em can write so you can read it, none of ‘em can spell. They can’t figure and they don’t know geography, but they are always taking some of the darndest things: drama, dancing, sociology, Latin, Greek art. The things they go in for runs on by the hour. Everybody has swimming pools, but nobody has a plain old geography....
    They got another gag called credits. If you do anything thirty minutes twice a week, why you get some certain credit. Maybe it’s lamp shade tinting, maybe it’s singing, or a thing called music appreciation.... Some of ‘em you get more credits than for others. If a thing is particularly useless, why it gives you more credits....
    Of course you can’t go out and get a job on it, but these old professors value it mighty highly. Some day we will find that we can educate our broods for about one-tenth the price and learn ‘em something they might accidently use after they escaped.”
WA #501, July 31, 1932

    “In our days, the young folks that were fortunate enough to go to college looked forward to graduation with a great expectancy. They felt they would step out into the world and that there was a definite notch awaiting them. There was jobs, there was positions, and all things being equal, you were given a little edge.... That was what might be called the Golden Period.” WA #624, Dec. 9, 1934

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