Are You Worthy?

I recently saw a news spot on TV regarding the high costs of a college education – costs which seem to be spiraling higher and higher as each state budget gets cut more and more.  The premise of this discussion was “is a college education worth it anymore”.

The “expert” commentator ( I forget which think tank he represented) made the statement that it wasn’t, except for those entering fields such as engineering, accounting, and some of the other direct-to-cash fields.

In other words, don’t worry about literature, history, arts, or any diploma that doesn’t come immediately wrapped in a pay envelope.  Maybe we should carry this a bit further and start asking questions about “is an elementary school education worth it?”

If the only purpose of education is to provide a direct path to the cubicle, so we can get a car loan, a mortgage, and start consuming, then why not just eliminate ALL the fluff and get right down to what our corporate overlords want.

Most of the business books I’ve read have been written at about the 8th grade level, so reading can stop there.  You’ll really only need enough language skills to parrot what your boss says and reply to emails without too many misspellings.

As for math, we can wrap accounting and statistics into a package so that by the time they are sophomores in high school students can get their Six Sigma Black Belt and be up to speed on process control, flowcharts, and all that.

No need for art or music, since you’ll just be spending the rest of your life looking at beige carpeting and wallpaper, and listening to whatever is piped into the conference room.

This way, by the time you are about 15 years old, you can be out there earning your way, with all the skills that our business “leaders” say they need in good employees.

And you’ll work cheap, because you’re probably still living at home and don’t have too many expenses other than video games and the occasional movie.

The part that scares me the most about this scenario is that I think there are certain people I could mention this plan to that wouldn’t see the sarcasm.  And a lot of them are in corner offices.

Because the last thing they want are a lot of squishy-headed liberal arts types thinking for themselves and being able to communicate the things they come up with to others.

Then how the hell are we gonna control ’em?

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3 thoughts on “Are You Worthy?

  1. Hi Harry, I never went to college but always had the curiosity and motivation to learn on my own. It was too expensive and out of reach even back then, and was no guarantee of finding a decent job. I took a few classes at a community college and found the ‘kids’ to be pretty immature and closed-minded. I imagine it’s much worse now with the partying, hazing, social media obsession, etc.

    So I don’t really know if it’s worth it, even cubicle jobs are on their way out. People will have to think of creative ways to survive whether they have a degree or not. I work three part-time jobs, but at least I’m my own boss. And I’m seriously studying Spanish so I can be bilingual. The whole concept of getting a good job is in the past. You can certainly immerse yourself in art and music all you want without ever stepping on a campus. We have libraries to fill in theory, history, etc., but again, you have to want to learn. I don’t think college produces deep thinkers, it’s either in you or it’s not. There are plenty of folks with a degree now working at Wendy’s, right?

    • Hi Deb…I guess the point I was trying to make in my usual roundabout way is that education is something done for the soul, not just a paycheck. Whether it happens at Harvard or in a public library, we should always be trying to enlarge our understanding, just for the sake of figuring things out.
      I agree with you that cubicle jobs are on the way out (not that we’ll miss them) and that people need to be more creative – the only security is within. Have admired your pluck down there in the desert and how you find time to help out the local critters.

      • But one question that I often ask myself is: how is somebody going to survive in this world if he doesn’t have the armory:
        1. Parents’ money to have an easy childhood, education
        2. ‘Marketable’ degrees to find a job (art, literature, history, music, drama — better in the wastebasket)
        3. Social skills (butt-sniffing and licking) to hold on to the job
        4. Cunning to manipulate people
        5. Too-high self-respect to beg/bend/bow/borrow
        6. Too independent/too proud to live off somebody’s money
        7. Money to buy/appreciate music/books/art/theater/movies

        For such a misfit, is there a way out. I have been searching for long.

        How can one be creative if hunger pangs play with the mind! How will creative/productive people have any chance if the world keeps populating like rats. It is not that they don’t have the shine, but is it really possible to see the light with 8 billion blocking your view?

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