My in-laws were asking me when I was going to start my son’s college fund, over the weekend, as my son had his first birthday party. I said “never.” I also explained that I intended, rather, to ensure that our family avoided debt and maintained assets and savings. They looked at me all puzzled. To them, college was a given. You just did it. That’s the way it was. And, to be fair, it once was that way. __
Once there was a time when going to college might be considered important — even necessary — for a young person to make his mark in the world. Things have changed.
Instead of providing a useful education and training in broad-ranging thinking skills, universities have become indoctrination centres and rallying places for destructive radicals and quasi-fascists.
The resulting incompetence of mind and body is becoming obvious across the landscape of the college-educated.
Awhile back, I was going to lunch with another developer friend of mine. When we got back to his car after eating, he had a flat tire. So he did what every modern American these days seems to prefer: he called AAA to come deal with the tire for him. I offered to just change it for him, because he had a full-size spare. But he insisted on waiting for the tow truck. He seemed incredulous that I would even offer to change a tire.
After awhile I gave up and just walked back to work. He waited for like two hours for someone to change the tire for him.
It was another one of those moments that struck me as a symptom of the Decline of the West. He had an Ivy-league degree, but couldn’t change a tire.
What students receive at universities today is not an “education.” It is a bilateral academic lobotomy. It is bad enough that “higher education” forces so many young people to go deeply into debt. To also bequeath them with a lifetime of incompetence is beyond forgiving.
My son deserves far better. When he’s old enough, I intend to introduce him to the philosophy of Mike Rowe. This “work smarter, not harder” catchphrase that drove higher education for the last several decades is a fallacy. Work smarter AND harder. And even if you just wanted to be smarter, college campuses are ill-equipped to provide even that much.
The author of the excerpted piece above wants to expose his son to practical tradecraft. He feels there is a future in the work that electricians, welders, plumbers, mechanics, construction workers, heavy equipment operators, and other skilled workers perform — moreso than in traditional modern college programs such as, say, multicultural basket-weaving or fighting economic inequality as a social justice warrior.
He is correct that practical and trade skills are extremely important for job markets today and in the future. In fact, kids (such as Dangerous Children) should be able to support themselves at least three ways by the time they are 18 years old. For boys, at least one of those ways should be in the practical trade skills.
After the young person is thoroughly financially independent, however, it is his choice whether he will go on to finance further training or education. He is responsible for any payment, of course.
Even more important than the practical trades and skills training for those who skip higher ed., is childhood training in basic economics, banking, investing, and entrepreneurship — starting and running businesses.
Janitors and custodians can become millionaire businessmen if they understand both business and the custodial trades. Any useful tradesman can do so. Both basic business and custodial skills can be mastered by the age of 12. If the kid has an adult to use as a front man, he can start a business and acquire a significant nest egg before most kids are graduating from a conventional high school.
The overall mindsets of adults toward children and child-raising / education is abominably limited and short-sighted. Not all children are cut out to be Dangerous Children. But most of them can acquire basic practical skills, and become financially and intellectually independent by age 18. In fact, it is the duty of parents to make sure that they do.
What should be done with the modern abominations commonly referred to as “higher education?”