Should Johnny Really Go To College?

By Thornton Crowe
Published on Salisbury News

workermanLittle story. A few years ago, I needed an electrician to fix a faulty outside electrical socket after a hard rain. After much calling around (even to my neighbor who is an electrician,) I found getting this simple 10 minute task would have to wait for three weeks to get done. Finally, I found Mr. Bradshaw. He came over and fixed the socket, (bringing parts with so no down time)! Calling around was the biggest investment of my time that day — over two hours of answering machines and Suzy automation. Sadly, Mr. Bradshaw passed away in 2013. Now what?

If you’re a homeowner, you know finding people skilled in plumbing and electricity is very hard – especially on the Eastern Shore — and quite expensive. While Bradshaw was very reasonable, the plumber I use charges me a king’s ransom every time he comes to my house, regardless the issue.

So why am I bothering you on a Sunday morning with this story?

As the title says, “should Johnny really go to college?”

All this talk about free college education is absolutely absurd. While this will no doubtfully get me chastised, I must state: Not all people are meant for a collegiate experience. Oh, sure, we’d all love to think our little Bobs and Sues are college bound and smarter than Einstein, but let’s get real here. Not all people possess the mentality for academia.

Unfortunately, now, we have TOO many people in college, wasting space (like the black girls that did the lynching ‘artwork’ at Blackwell a month or so back.) Yet trade skills are dwindling. Not many people get out of high school and hold dreams of being a plumber or electrician – yet, we NEED them more than we need paper/pencil pushing brainiacs behind a desk in some fancy, schmaltzy office. In reality, the last thing we really need on the Eastern Shore is one MORE lawyer when we have an over-abundance of them now!

originalAll the young ones want to be corporate raiders but in reality, we desperately need more skilled labor in our workforce. This reigns true particularly for small areas like Salisbury, where there needs to be a healthy competition to keep prices reasonable.

As you can see from my handy graph for your visual cortex, many don’t finish college (showing a lack of commitment to a task for some employers) and so why discourage them from attending a trade school – even while in high school? Nothing says more about accomplishment than a new house with excellent wiring and plumbing or a car rebuilt by a skilled mechanic! And let us not forget, while you take it for granted more times than not, your life would be very bland with a city full of white houses. Professional house painters make it possible for you to have a beautiful home – as with landscapers. Highly skilled bricklayers are an asset to any community!

While we hear Bernie’s crowd feeling the free college, we have to wonder what that means. A few months back, I challenged this pseudo intellectualism about Socialism but many were more concerned about whether or not I’d ever lived in London rather than the point I was illustrating.

So here’s the fact: In England, one must TEST and pass successfully in order to get into free college. Furthermore, the profession you choose may not be the profession the government needs; therefore, you can go to college but you’ll have to be what the government thinks is a good fit for you! If you want to be a doctor, but you test as an accountant, you can pursue medicine on your own dime. If you want to crunch beans, you’ll get educated for free. Actually, if we go by way of England, our trade market would increase because people testing in the trades would increase! College would be barred for those people testing high in the skilled trade areas.

the-truth-about-the-skills-gap-webinar-slides-31-638Regardless of whether or not we go free in this country, the premise of testing still should be implemented. Trade schools should be a viable option because there’s nothing wrong with being in the trades. In fact, plumbers have notoriously been considered as a ‘rich’ trade. So you don’t have to worry that your babies will grow up paupers just because they know plumbing rather than Shakespeare.

See my point?

To be honest with you, if I were in my twenties again, I’d study a trade rather than going to college. One can always pursue academics at another time of their life after they’ve made their bank; but very few can go crawling about under a house at sixty-something without much physical pain!

How say you…

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