Lion of the Blogosphere

USA Today says there are too many college graduates

As reported at USA Today:

[Richard Vedder, an Ohio University economist], whose study is based on 2010 Labor Department data, says the problem is the stock of college graduates in the workforce (41.7 million) in 2010 was larger than the number of jobs requiring a college degree (28.6 million).

That, he says, helps explain why 15% of taxi drivers in 2010 had bachelor’s degrees vs. 1% in 1970. Among retail sales clerks, 25% had a bachelor’s degree in 2010. Less than 5% did in 1970.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 28, 2013 at 7:05 AM

42 Responses

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  1. College today, is only a Social Construct (more of a fabrication) of the Elite Government to neutralize that volatile age group’s natural inclination for revolution.

    In 1970, radicals wanted to overthrow The State. Now, those radicals ARE The State; the status quo pacifies youth into becoming runway models for American Socialism.


    January 28, 2013 at 11:42 AM

  2. And in other breaking news, two plus two equals four.



    January 28, 2013 at 11:49 AM

  3. One of the problems is everyone is told they need to go to college, so pretty soon a Bachelor’s will be a prerequisite for being a janitor, store clerk, etc.

    The older I get, the more learning a trade makes sense for a kid coming out of high school. I guess a lot of factors go into it. The 130-IQ probably won’t go to mechanic school, but your 105-110 might be more inclined to do something of the sort.


    January 28, 2013 at 12:08 PM

    • Getting into good trades will probably require a college degree. Skipping college is bad advice.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      January 28, 2013 at 12:20 PM

      • I agree, do you think an Associates will be useful, or will a Bachelors be necessary? I suppose it depends on the field.


        January 28, 2013 at 12:27 PM

      • What was the point of your post exactly then? If there are 41 million degrees but only 28 million jobs that require one then for 13 million people a college degree was a bad idea or at least a waste of time and money thus far. How does your advice in this comment square with the reality of 25% of retail sales clerks having a degree because there are not enough jobs that require or even desire the degree those people have?


        January 28, 2013 at 1:09 PM

      • Doubtful. I’ve never cared to check the educational qualifications of an electrition/plumber/carpenter. If they’re recommended by a neighbor, that’s usually good enough for me.

        Half Canadian

        January 28, 2013 at 2:05 PM

      • These days apprenticing with any of the trade unions requires enrollment at the local community college for an Associates degree. Even more egregious is that having a previous Associates, or even a Baccalaureate, does not count. One must be enrolled and attend classes for the degree the local union specifies. It’s one hand, labor dem’s, washing the other, academic dem’s.


        January 28, 2013 at 4:13 PM

      • There’s no evidence if that.


        January 28, 2013 at 6:35 PM

  4. Steve Sailer points out that the one job qualification that the courts are unwilling to consider “discriminatory” is that of having a college degree. So now you find cities demanding degrees of virtually all employees, particularly policemen and firemen. It’s a lot easier to just demand a degree than it is to spend a million dollars on a “validated” test and then several million more on lawyer fees. Just pay a little more and demand a college degree.


    January 28, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    • Who said they’re paying a little more?

      The whole point of the college degree scam is that youth of today are de facto required to waste (in the opportunity cost sense) at least 4, and often 5 years of what would otherwise be gainful employment, while at the same time running up massive, non-dischargable debt, and being indoctrinated in liberal, redistributionist, identity politics. The only thing the kids get for their trouble is a wanton orgy the likes of which would make old Rome proud.

      Of course, the government which aids and abets the scam benefits far more. It gets a down-sized work-force, an opiate for the demographic most hostile and otherwise most likely to incite a change to the status quo, and a cohort of debt-serfs heavily indentured to the Federal Govt and the status quo. Not everyone finds a job, but enough do, and among those that do their existence in tenuous enough and the financial impact great enough that they are going to be loathe to risk anything by joining their former classmates that didn’t find a suitable job in agitating for change.

      This shouldn’t be that hard to figure out.


      January 28, 2013 at 2:27 PM

  5. That report must be erroneous. Everyone knows that if you get a college degree you automatically get a high-paying job behind a desk. All other jobs are to be filled by little brown people who foolishly neglected to get college degrees.

    Longtime Reader

    January 28, 2013 at 2:09 PM

  6. Of the 41 million degree holders, how many are voluntarily out of the workforce (mainly stay-at-home moms and retirees, but also just idle rich people and prisoners, but the last two categories won’t be large for college grads).


    January 28, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    • Idle rich is a thing of the past, today rich people WANT to work. Not working is for poor people on welfare.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      January 28, 2013 at 3:34 PM

      • Rich people who don’t need to work have all the best (and best paying) jobs


        January 28, 2013 at 5:55 PM

      • Some of the rich, sure. But as Jon Krakauer said in one of his articles, “at both ends of the socioeconomic spectrum, there is a leisure class”.


        January 29, 2013 at 1:51 AM

  7. Now you see why it is necessary to admit huge numbers of immigrants – legal or illegal – who will fill the lower ranks of society and thus eventually create degree-level jobs for the US-born higher up the pyramid. See – your government loves you, really.


    January 28, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    • Explain how huge numbers of immigrants taking up the lower level jobs is going to create higher level jobs.

      Job creation comes from the top, not from the bottom.


      January 28, 2013 at 7:55 PM

      • I think the theory is that we’ll have lots of brown proles to rip off for cell phone plans and cable TV. And they increase property values in the white enclaves.

        The Anti-Gnostic

        January 30, 2013 at 9:09 AM

    • I think that was sarcasm…


      January 29, 2013 at 6:28 AM

      • I know, but weak, unfunny sarcasm is pointless.

        Merely stating the opposite of what you really think does not = humor.


        January 29, 2013 at 5:24 PM

  8. The number of college graduates is 31% higher than the number of jobs requiring a college degree. That gives employers a nice buffer; they hired the “top” 69%. So what if 31% work in high-school-diploma jobs? All investments, including in education, are not necessarily successful.

    Blog Raju

    January 28, 2013 at 7:08 PM

  9. Expect this report to have no impact on public policy. Why can’t we double the number of college graduates by 2020? Triple it!!!

    There is almost no public appetite for the truth: that only about 15% of the general population should get 4 year degrees.


    January 28, 2013 at 8:14 PM

    • Obama’s proclamation that “Every American should have a college degree!” just makes people feel good, therefore he wins out. In our current societal setup, feeling good is more important than prudence or responsibility.

      Since the Victorian era, we have been transitioning (particularly in the 20th Century and beyond) to a society where superficial presentation is more important than logic or character. This can be linked in part to the anonymity afforded by urban living. In short, we have transitioned from a society based on masculine prerogative to feminine prerogative. This is only possible in times of abundance.


      January 28, 2013 at 8:30 PM

      • I agree. Contermporary society is vaginalized.

        Nicolai Yezhov

        January 29, 2013 at 2:26 AM

  10. College is the greatest scam ever invented.

    Instead of spending a small fortune developing and administering a test to vet potential new hires for G, punctuality, attendance, a distinct willingness to submit to the modern Byzantine corporate work environment, etc and other traits that would make for a desirable wage slave, er, employee (ala the ASVAB), the fine folks in the C-Suite have conspired with the higher education gang create a world in which we vet ourselves on our own dime.

    The joke of it all is that I out-earn 9 out of 10 of my friends (25-35 demo) with “degree-required” jobs; I’m an operating engineer in Mid-Town Manhattan (for the record I am part of the small college educated minority in my profession).

    Yes that’s right cube creatures; there’s a good chance the guy who shows up to fix the A/C when its to hot or cold in the office pulls down a higher salary than you do.

    Another great aspect of working in a skilled trade is that when personal time turns into work time and the boss makes us stay late, we get paid overtime. Consequently, there’s a rather strong disincentive for bosses to to keep their people late for trivial reasons which I understand happens quite a bit when you are on a salary (i.e. when your boss decides to involve you in his vain attempt to “look good” to his boss). Its basic economics. Free things get abused and when the marginal cost of your time is 0 to the company , well…

    You get the picture.

    Status is fine and dandy but I think weekends, a 40 hour work week, and some extra money in your pocket when you work late to be a fair trade indeed.

    Personally, I find the whole SWPL status jockeying routine to be a bit exhausting.

    High Prole all the way baby!!!

    High Prole & Proud

    January 28, 2013 at 8:22 PM

    • What type of women do you seek/attract?


      January 29, 2013 at 12:00 AM

      • I dig Columbian women and tend to attract short Hispanic women from various nations south of the border, however I date a white woman who works in finance.

        High Prole & Proud

        January 29, 2013 at 6:25 PM

    • “…the fine folks in the C-Suite have conspired with the higher education gang create a world in which we vet ourselves on our own dime…”

      And when grades are the measure rather than cummualtive exams — the way the entire rest of the world does it doesn’t even do that good a job of vetting.

      Formal education is such an inefficient way of learning that student loans really are an obscenity.

      Of course Milton Friedman defended them.

      Nicolai Yezhov

      January 29, 2013 at 2:35 AM

    • Good points, all.

      You have to be good with your hands, though.


      January 29, 2013 at 6:30 AM

    • “the fine folks in the C-Suite have conspired with the higher education gang create a world in which we vet ourselves on our own dime.”

      I found your post informative but have to disagree with the word “conspire” here. I work closely with these upper level executives and let me tell you they don’t have time to conspire over such an issue and anyway there is a great deal of antagonism between these two upper echelon cohorts (C-level people, higher education administrators). They don’t see eye to eye on almost anything.

      The problem exists but it isn’t a conspiracy, it’s the result of a myriad number of botched initiatives, mostly by legislators and the judicial branch.


      January 29, 2013 at 9:21 AM

      • Correct, hiring policies are based on cluelessness and not a conspiracy.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        January 29, 2013 at 9:36 AM

      • Sometimes when I write I tend to disregard Occam’s Razor…

        High Prole & Proud

        January 29, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    • By the time those friends in the “degree required” jobs are 45 they will probably be out-earning you by a significant margin. That makes them more attractive as marriage bait. However if family formation is not your main objective in life, and you have decent game and can pull a steady supply of women now while you’re younger, then the high prole strategy makes sense.

      Peter the Shark

      January 30, 2013 at 9:52 AM

      • I have no doubt that a few of them will end up out earning me down the line, but the corporate trends of: “lay this older guy off he costs too much,” H1B visas, and “McKinsey says we’ll make more money if we lay off your entire department and do the work in Utah/Timbuktu” give me hope to maintain my earnings edge assuming I don’t advance at all.

        There are plenty of options for me down the line in indoor air quality consulting, energy management, facilities management, and of course supervisory roles in my current field.

        That’s the great thing about America; there’s more than one way to skin a cat. In fact, sometimes the established career tracks that we’re encouraged to follow when we’re younger end up with us walking into an ambush of sorts.

        Think of all those engineers who had a sure thing going in the auto industry or in defense at the end of the cold war. Think about all those newly minted lawyers forever mired in document review hell, or the bright eyed and bushy tailed kids who majored in finance circa 2007 who are now working retail jobs.

        All that tuition, opportunity cost, and hard work for what? In America, sometimes the grasshopper is really the ant and the ant the grasshopper.

        P.S. I live in north jersey. There’s plenty of women perfectly willing to marry plumbers, cops and firemen. Trust me.

        High Prole & Proud

        January 30, 2013 at 6:01 PM

      • But the people you have to work with. Isn’t that a problem?

        Nicolai Yezhov

        February 1, 2013 at 7:14 AM

  11. Such is the inefficiency of a classist society, so that well-paid proles always have a chip on their shoulder. The lib solution — make everyone middle class. The conserv solution — only the rich are human. Don’t you want to be human?

    Nicolai Yezhov

    January 29, 2013 at 2:41 AM

  12. You should publish your own top25 undergrad schools based on your opinion for the benefit of the youth.

    Would be a much better guide than USNWR or any other ranking guide out there.


    January 29, 2013 at 6:24 AM

    • Just look at the average SAT scores of the institution and place them in rank order. Pretty much accomplishes the same thing.


      January 29, 2013 at 2:39 PM

  13. I doubt there are 28 million jobs that require a college degree. Aside from law and medicine, you don’t need a degree to do almost any job in this country. That includes those esteemed “STEM” major jobs, which in actuality reduce to nothing more than the application of logic and common sense.


    January 29, 2013 at 9:53 PM

    • You don’t “need” a degree to be a lawyer either, a degree is required. There is a difference. There have been plenty of self-taught lawyers through history who could run rings around most modern JDs – Thomas Cromwell and Abraham Lincoln for starters. Law degrees are one of the best examples of how certification is mostly an excuse to create artificial barriers to entry to keep salaries high in certain professions.

      Peter the Shark

      January 30, 2013 at 9:56 AM

      • The worst part of that is that other occupations are following their lead and inflating their educational requirements in hopes of higher status and pay. Nursing, Pharmacy, and Physical Therapy all come to mind.

        High Prole & Proud

        January 30, 2013 at 6:05 PM

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