Go to college
The commenter “map” writes:
Lion, not to berate Yakov because I genuinely like his posts, but I think this meme that has spread across the right-wing blogosphere of college being such a waste is ultimately very destructive. It ignores one salient fact: it is almost impossible to find any decent job that does not require a college degree. College is not some marginal value calculation where you can measure the cost-benefits of college returns against not going to college. College is the baseline. Non-college grads do not compete with college grads for the same jobs or even in the same markets in any meaningful way. Corporate HR departments at firms of all sizes screen-out non-college grads. They fire people who have lied about getting degrees, even if their work output was exemplary.
In other words, the entire work culture is oriented around the college degree. That is not going to change anytime soon.
Yet, people on this blog and others are seriously advising not going to college? Is this what they would tell their own children?
I definitely love Yakov’s blue-collar point of view, and I’m genuinely happy for him that he likes his career in HVAC, but I completely agree with Map’s comment.
1. If your IQ is 1SD above the mean or higher, you are unlikely to enjoy the company of your average-IQ co-workers in a blue-collar profession.
2. I am doubtful about how easy it supposedly is to make good money in certain trades that are commonly presented as better deals than white-collar work. If something sounds too good to be true, then it’s probably not true, and making twice as much money as the average college graduate without having to go to college, that sounds too good to be true. There must be barriers to entry which prevent people from entering those fields, although I am not familiar enough with that sort of work to say exactly what they are, but my guess would be that it’s extremely difficult to find an entry-level job that allows you to get the experience you need to make the higher salaries. And I don’t know whether or not having a higher IQ than the average member of the profession makes it easier to get that entry-level job. Maybe it’s more important to have connections?
3. Blue-collar work is dirty (like a plumber dealing with old pipes that literally are full of crap) and often done outside where it would be broiling hot in the summer and freezing cold in the winter. Doesn’t it sound a lot more pleasant to sit at a desk? And blue collar work is often dangerous to your health. For example, auto mechanics have to breathe in carcinogenic and toxic aromatic petroleum distillates all day.
4. The elites know how society really work and they want their kids to also be part of the elite. That’s why they send their kids to college, and not just any college but the best college their kids are able to get admitted to.
As Map points out above, it’s impossible to get into any white collar work without a college degree. No one will hire you, so you won’t find any white collar job unless your parents own the company. And parents who own companies have their kids go to college anyway. For example, all of Donald Trump’s kids went to college at Penn (Trump’s alma mater) or Georgetown, even though they could all theoretically work in the family business without a college degree.
So why do some commenters at conservative blogs push such an obviously wrong meme?