Social Inflation

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

This article says America is great because we had high school for everybody, which gave us the educated workforce required to succeed during the growth of businesses as banking, retail and manufacturing.

Wait, what?  Everybody had to go to high school so they could work as bankers and shop clerks?  Those activities have been around for millennia.  Christ drove the money-lenders from the temple.  His Dad, Joseph, was in manufacturing.  His Disciples bought bread and wine for the Last Supper from retail merchants.  None of them had a high school degree. What does Algebra II have to do with working in business?

The article points out that eventually, employers required new employees to have high school diplomas.  Yes, but was that because typewriters were so complex to operate that only the fully educated could manipulate them?  Or was it because there were so many high school graduates available, the employer might as well demand a diploma?  My son is a Senior Financial Analyst but can’t even apply for a promotion until he completes his MBA – not because the job duties require secret training only available in the MBA program, but because there are so many credentialed applicants available, the company can get away with demanding one.

Did demand for diplomas drive high schools to supply them, or did an excess of applicants supplied with diplomas drive demand for them?

It’s a critical question when we consider that Bernie and Hillary both demanded free college degrees, using the same tired justification.  Has it ever been true?

If a mediocre high school student dropped out of high school at age 14 to apprentice himself to an electrician, how would his economic prospects compare at age 24 to those of a mediocre student with a Liberal Arts degree?

Joe Doakes

At this rate, you’ll need a PhD in “retail kinesology” to run a checkout at Cub Foods.

14 thoughts on “Social Inflation

  1. In regards to the electrician apprentice, they would be well on the way to being a master electrician by 24. I do think he would need to go back to school for some sort of business training if he wanted to own his own shop though.

  2. The high school diploma had become a marker for more than the education. The fact that the person didn’t drop out, indicates some level of stick to it-ness. And at least the potential that the person is trainable.

    Since we have now cheapened the diploma with social promotion and removing the focus of high school from the 3 Rs to social value indoctrination, it has lost most of the value it represented.

    So HR managers started using the college degree for the same purpose. I see job openings for bank tellers that require a 4 year college degree, for a $12 – 15 per hour job. These jobs have been successfully fulfilled by high school graduates for decades, and to a large degree have become easier with automation, although fewer are required.

    The social justice types can’t have employers using anything to differentiate the masses from each other, so they are working to remove any value from the basic college degree, both from within (stupid degrees) and without (free to everyone.)

  3. I do think he would need to go back to school for some sort of business training if he wanted to own his own shop though.

    If after 7 years while becoming a master electrician you do not pick up enough business acumen and cannot hire an accountant, your business will fail and you will be out time and tuition you will spend on a useless degree. Never underestimate the power of real world education. Running a business is not akin to building a bridge.

  4. Robots are going to need degrees?

    I am sure it will be a requirement. Because as you know, there are good robots, and then there are bad robots.

  5. Because as you know, there are good robots, and then there are bad robots.

    You can say that again, Hal. And it’s not like there are reasons that people might want to get their food inexpensively or anything.

  6. Considering that 25% of college freshmen require remedial classwork, one can see that a college degree is nothing more than proof that a 21st century kid has at least as good an education as an early 20th century high school grad.

    Except for “studies” majors, who are today’s equivalent of the dope smoking losers who only showed up for shop class to make bongs.

  7. One weekend when I was home from college my dad announced that he was going to help me get my PhD. And then he took me out in the back yard and handed me a Post-hole Digger.

  8. I bet you learned a much more valuable lesson that you could apply in real life.

  9. “a 21st century college grad has at least as good an education as an early 20th century high school grad.”

  10. Swiftee: given what I’ve read, I dare say a 21st century college graduate has at least as good an education as an early 20th century 7th grader. And I believe that the actual proportion of kids needing remedial instruction when they enter college is in excess of 35%, and that group has about a 17% chance of graduating in six years.

    We seriously need to start remembering what community colleges are for!

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