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Mike Rowe to Bernie Sanders: Stop Telling Everyone College Is The Only Thing

Sanders implies "that a path to prison is the most likely alternative to a path to college. Pardon my acronym, but...WTF!?"

Reason.comReason.comMike Rowe, the popular host of CNN's Somebody's Gotta Do It and former host of Discovery Channel's Dirty Jobs, lays into Bernie Sanders for pushing everyone to go to college.

Rowe, whom Reason interviewed in December 2013 (see below), isn't against college, but he takes exception to the idea that the only legit way to get ahead these days is to get a university sheepskin. Rather, he argues, there are lots of excellent trade jobs available that many people would not only be successful at but happy to do. He sees a systematic, elitist attempt to denigrate such work in the name of college for all.

From Rowe's Facebook page:

Bernie Sanders tweets, “At the end of the day, providing a path to go to college is a helluva lot cheaper than putting people on a path to jail.”

I wonder sometimes, if the best way to question the increasingly dangerous idea that a college education is the best path for the most people, is to stop fighting the sentiment directly, and simply shine a light on the knuckleheads who continue to perpetuate this nonsense. This latest tweet from Bernie Sanders is a prime example. In less than 140 characters, he’s managed to imply that a path to prison is the most likely alternative to a path to college. Pardon my acronym, but...WTF!?...

It’s a cautionary tale as predictable as it is false. But now, as people are slowly starting to understand the obscenity of 1.3 trillion dollars in student loans, along with the abundance of opportunity for those with the proper training, it seems the proponents of “college for all” need something even more frightening than the prospect of a career in the trades to frighten the next class into signing on the dotted line. According to Senator Sanders, that “something,” is a path to jail.

I try not to be political on this page, because the truth is, arrogance and elitism are alive and well in every corner of every party—especially with respect to this topic. But I have to admit, this is the first time I’ve seen an elected official support the hyper-inflated cost of a diploma by juxtaposing it with the hyper-inflated cost of incarceration. Honestly, I’m not sure what to make of it.

When Reason TV interviewed Rowe, he made a similar argument. It's as forceful as it is convincing. Take a look or a listen. Transcript after the jump.

Diplomas vs. Dirty Jobs

TV host Mike Rowe on the educational bias against unglamorous, good-paying work

 from the April 2014 issue

"If we are lending money that ostensibly we don't have to kids who have no hope of making it back in order to train them for jobs that clearly don't exist, I might suggest that we've gone around the bend a little bit," says TV personality Mike Rowe. Rowe is the longtime host of Discovery Channel'sDirty Jobs, where he takes on gigs straight out of Bob Dylan songs: working on fishing boats, sewer systems, oil derricks, slaughterhouses, and more.

"There is a real disconnect in the way that we educate vis-a-vis the opportunities that are available," he adds. "You have right now about 3 million jobs in transportation, commerce, and trades that can't be filled."

Rowe, who once sang for the Baltimore Opera and worked as an on-air pitchman for the shopping channel QVC, worries that traditional K-12 education demonizes good-paying, in-demand blue-collar fields while insisting instead that everyone get a college degree. Between the mikeroweWORKS Foundation and Profoundly Disconnected, a venture between Rowe and the heavy equipment manufacturer Caterpillar, the TV personality is hoping both to help people find new careers and to publicize what he calls "the diploma dilemma."

Rowe recently sat down with reason's Nick Gillespie to discuss the problem with taxpayer-supported college loans, the importance of a work ethic, the burden of regulatory compliance, and his own unusual work history. For video of the interview, go here or see the video embedded at the end of this article.

reason: We're doing everything we can to push every kid to go to a four-year college. What's wrong there?

Mike Rowe: It's not working. You've got a trillion dollars in debt on the student loan side. We have a skills gap.

reason: What do you mean by skills gap?

Rowe: You have right now about 3 million jobs in transportation, commerce, and trades that can't be filled.

reason: This is anything from carpentry to being an electrician, a plumber, construction-

Rowe: Heating, electric, truck drivers. Welders is a big one. There's a long list of jobs that parents typically don't sit down and say to their kids: "Look, if all goes well, this is what you're going to do."

reason: But these are actually jobs that are not only available but pay well.

Rowe: Yes, is the short answer. But of course, "pay well" is kind of relative. What they are mostly, in my opinion, are opportunities. A good welder right now can pretty much write his or her own ticket. Companies like Caterpillar, Bechtel, you can go down the list: They have had open shortages for decades. I talked to a kid the other day up in Butler, North Dakota. So it's Butler, right? It's cold. But he works on heavy equipment up there, makes over $100 an hour, works when he wants, paid for his house in cash, raising a family, no debt. People don't tell his story.

reason: Instead, we're telling everybody you've got to get that sheepskin, you've got to get the college B.A., otherwise you're not going to be happy or have any opportunity.

Rowe: It feels that way to me. That was my experience in high school, and I still hear the same platitudes today.

reason: You have a great story about your high school guidance counselor.

Rowe: Mr. Dunbar, yeah. He called me down, as millions of kids have been called down, to talk about my future. He was looking at some test scores and said, "You're not an idiot. You've got a shot at James Madison University in Maryland, maybe some other schools." I said, "I don't have any money, but more importantly, I don't have any idea what I want to do. So, while I figure that out, I thought I'd go to a community college." At which point he says, "Well, that's way below your potential," and pointed to the poster that said "Work Smart, Not Hard."

The thing about the poster wasn't just the bromide at the bottom. It was the image. On the left-hand side you've got a college graduate, recently matriculated, cap and gown, sun setting behind him, looking like he owns the world and the future. Next to him is a mechanic, holding a wrench, covered in grease or something worse, looking at the ground like he won the vocational consolation prize of all time. That was a very specific PR campaign for college, higher education.

reason: This was the late '70s?

Rowe: 1979, yeah. All PR campaigns always go too far, and they always, it seems, promote the thing they want to focus on at the expense of something else. Now, it's kind of egregious in education, but in my opinion, it shouldn't be shocking, because the best way to sell a truck is to talk about how lousy the competitor is. The best way to get elected is to talk about how creepy your opponent is. The best way to really promote college hard is to talk about how subordinate all the other opportunities are.

Now, as part of our ongoing campaign for the trades, we sell posters that say "Work Smart and Hard." I now play the role of the graduate standing there holding my degree looking somewhat confused by the industrial setting in which I find myself next to a far more aspirational tradesman. It's just another way to juxtapose these roles.

reason: What are the goals of the "Work Smart and Hard" campaign?

Rowe: We have to change the conversation and we have to challenge the existing protocol. The first thing is this general PR campaign around the trades. The second thing, there is a financial thing. The posters were only $10, but if I can get 20,000 or 30,000 of them hanging in guidance counselors' offices around the country, well that's fun. We take the money we raise, of course, and it goes into a foundation to keep the conversation going and to award what we call a work ethic scholarship.

reason: What is a work ethic scholarship?

Rowe: The scholarship business, as I understand it right now, rewards four basic things: intelligence, so you have academic scholarships; athleticism-if you can hit a three-pointer, we have money for you for days; talent, we reward talent; and of course need. Who's addressing work ethic? Who's affirmatively trying to reward the behavior we want to encourage? The behavior that mikeroweWORKS wants to at least talk about redounds to two things: the willingness to learn a useful skill and the willingness to work your ass off. Combined, we think that is something that ought to be affirmatively rewarded.

reason: When did the idea disappear that you should learn a skill that is actually useful or in need, and that you should work hard?

Rowe: That's a good question for a real social anthropologist. My own opinion is just that there's a kind of inertia that most parents would agree exists, and it's the desire to see something better for your kids than you had. The question is: What is better? Is it better right now today to have $140,000 in debt but a degree from Georgetown in law? Or is it better to be that kid I described up in Butler? I don't know. But there is an inertia that says the first one is a better thing.

reason: Let's talk a little bit about the college loan scam. You talk about how there's a trillion dollars in debt. Most of that principal will be paid off by the people who take the loans. But you're against the idea of taxpayer-supported loans for going to college.

Rowe: We hold the note. Whether I'm against it or not, I get a little curious about when it gets to a trillion dollars. If we are lending money that ostensibly we don't have to kids who have no hope of making it back in order to train them for jobs that clearly don't exist, I might suggest that we've gone around the bend a little bit.

reason: And pumping that extra money into the system allows colleges to raise their prices.

Rowe: Of course. The cost of a degree has increased so exponentially, I can't believe it's not daily news. Imagine any other commodity increasing at that rate.

I get it, education is hugely important. If there's one thing that's more important than education, it may be health and fitness, because what's the point if you're not functioning? But imagine if the conversation we have about colleges we have today applied to gyms. Imagine saying: OK, it's important to be healthy and fit, so what you need to do is spend $1,000 a month at the most expensive club in town, otherwise your heart might explode, you'll crap your pants, you'll get fat, nobody will love you.

reason: Obviously you've done some background research on this.

Rowe: I didn't want to say anything, but there's an odor.

reason: But you're not anti-college?

Rowe: Not at all. I'm not anti-gym membership. If you've got $1,000 a month and can go to the place with the shiny equipment and the cadre of personal trainers and the private Jacuzzi-do it and enjoy your protein shake in the privacy of your own largesse. Not your large ass, your largesse.

But if you can accomplish the same thing for $12 a month, I think it'd be prudent to at least put the two things on the table. And if I have to pay for part of your membership in either facility, I must get a little exercised about your ultimate choice if you can't pay it back.

reason: You come from a background in which your grandfather was a laborer. He worked with his hands, he built things. Did he say to you, "I want you to do things exactly as I did"? Or did he want you to have a job-you hear this all the time-where you don't have to wash your hands for 45 minutes when you come home before you eat dinner?

Rowe: He was fairly agnostic about my hopes and dreams. I wasn't. I very specifically wanted to follow in his footsteps. The guy could build a house without a blueprint. He only went to the eighth grade, but by the time he was in his thirties, he was a master electrician, carpenter, steamfitter, pipefitter.

reason: You've talked about how one of the best days you've ever had was when you first learned the pleasures of dirty work.

Rowe: I was maybe 10 or 11. We lived in a small little farmhouse with one toilet. I went down one morning, took care of business, stood up to flush it. For whatever reason I like to watch it go away, there's something satisfying about watching something that was just in me going away. On this particular morning, it went away and the toilet made a sound kind of like the pig noise in The Amityville Horror, a gurgling, demonic, sort of disappointing screech. Everything that had just been in me came flying backwards and covered me.

My grandfather lived next door. Obviously something between the septic tank and toilet had gone tragically wrong. My grandfather, being a magician of sorts, dug up the yard in just the right place, found the problem in a pipe, replaced the pipe. There was welding, laughing, cursing. My mother brought me my first thermos of coffee. My dad and my grandfather worked covered in crap for most of the day. I took the day off school to do it. It was a very satisfying day, because I was with the two most important men in my life, and I saw again, certainly not for the first or last time in my life, a real problem corrected. I wanted to do that.

The gene my grandfather had cruelly and horribly skipped right over me, and I washed out of every shop class there was in high school. It was my grandfather who ultimately said, "Look, you ought to think about getting a different toolbox."

reason: So he was like, "Sorry kid, you don't have the chops to become a master electrician, go into TV"?

Rowe: No, he didn't go that far. What he said was, "It doesn't matter what you do. You think you want to do what I can do. What you want to do is work in the way I'm working. So in other words, whether you're a TV interviewer or an opera singer or a writer, you can approach your craft like a tradesman."

And by that I mean like a freelancer, instead of, "OK, I need my job, and my job will be 30 years, and it'll come with benefits and it'll be provided blah blah blah." That's not working anymore. I was never really enamored of it. I like the idea of the classic freelancer. I always have.

reason: What are the ways you develop a stronger work ethic in people?

Rowe: I think it has to do with being suspicious of anything that's too easy, suspicious of anything that doesn't hurt a little bit. It has something to do with the willingness to find and take the reverse commute. That's the big lesson on Dirty Jobs.

There's another bromide, another platitude out there that always chapped my ass a bit, which is "follow your passion." My scoutmaster, my reverend, my dad, everybody growing up was like, "just follow your passion." It's terrible advice. On Dirty Jobs I met a lot of very passionate people, but very few followed their passion into their current vocation.

Les Swanson from Wisconsin cleaned septic tanks. I asked him one day-we were literally standing up to our nipples in the most indescribable bouillabaisse-"Les, what'd you do before this?" It's like 110 degrees, the sweat is running off his face, and he looks and me and he says-I swear-"I was a guidance counselor." He was a psychologist. I said, "Why'd you leave that?" And without missing a beat he said, "I got tired of dealing with other people's shit."

It was very funny, but it was also very instructive, because he always thought that what he wanted to do was the thing he was told he should do. He became passionate about something he really didn't care for. When it came time to make the change, he just looked around to see where everyone else was going, and just went the other way. It took him into a septic tank, his own business, a couple workers, very happy.

How do you know you're going in the right direction, how do you foster a good work ethic? I think you just have to identify the thing that most people don't want to do, figure out a way to do it, and figure out a way to love it.

reason: Should schools be more in the business of doing vocational-technical training stuff? Should it be businesses that are doing apprenticeships and building up interest and saying, "Look we can offer you a good job at a good wage with some honor and integrity"?

Rowe: I would if I had a big business. I don't know if they should do it. I don't want to should all over anybody, but I think that if I depended on a skilled workforce, I would not depend on the public education system to provide it for me. I would set up my own things internally and I would make sure I was doing things in the most effective way I could in terms of training the best candidate I could find.

But I do think that companies are at a kind of disadvantage, because so many kids who come to apply for the kind of work we're talking about, they have an expectation that's not realistic. They've been watching American Idol for too long. They just have an idea that I did my time in high school and maybe I even did my time in college, so where's my cheese? You want me to do what?

There's a real disconnect in the way we educate vis-à-vis the opportunities that are available. There's a disconnect between the companies that are providing the opportunities and the parents and guidance counselors who are advising their kids. Ultimately, the company is going to have to step in to provide the training that is required.

reason: You're a critic of credentialism. In a world where everyone graduates from high school-everyone graduates from college, it seems-how do we tell who's good and who's bad?

Rowe: I don't think we do. It's one of the reasons we fall in love with credentials. It's the same with falling in love with one-size-fits-all education. "Look, it's simple, all you have to do is go to college." "Look, it's simple, either you have your credentials or you don't."

I was at the Marine Corps ball a couple weeks ago. I go every year. I talk to them at it. You can't find work. Now eight months earlier, he's somewhere over there. He's got his service revolver in one hand, he's holding the femoral artery shut, he's saving a life, he's taking a life. The guy's qualified, but he's not credentialed. He can't get hired as a nurse.

All the c-words get tricky. Compliance-the hidden costs of compliance in the workplace today is staggering. The cost of hiring someone is not simply the cost of paying them their salary. On Dirty Jobs, I've talked to so many employers in every state, and after we shoot, usually over beer, we start to talk about the way things really are, what are the real problems. Compliance is always a word.

reason: That's compliance with a wide variety of state and federal regulatory agencies?

Rowe: There is an army of angry acronyms out there, and they each have a very specific agenda. And this is not a judgment call on OSHA or the EPA, or the SPCA or PEtA, but they all have their letters and they all have their marching orders and none of them are there to make your life easier. They're there to make you more compliant.

reason: I think one charge that can be leveled against you is that you're in the business of romanticizing blue-collar work. Hard physical labor, which wears people out, is hard. And I'm looking at a Bureau of Labor Statistics chart about earnings and unemployment rates by educational attainment. If you've got a high school degree, this is in 2012, your median weekly earning is $652. If you have a bachelor's degree, it's $1,056. If you've got a high school diploma, the unemployment rate is 8.3 percent. If you've got a bachelor's degree, it's 4.5 percent. What do you say to that?

Rowe: I suppose I'd get another graph with some other numbers and I'd say we're $1 trillion in debt. I get hundreds of letters a week from parents whose beautifully educated snowflakes are back home, sleeping on their sofa, but completely unqualified for any of the work that's available.

I'm not saying that what you ought to do is go to high school and then go straight to work. That view is just as ridiculous as saying to go into the most expensive school you can possibly get in and get your degree. Those two things are equally fallacious. There's got to be a component of a freelance mentality, a new understanding of basic margins. If you have 12 million people unemployed right now, most reasonable people would go, okay so we need 12 million more jobs. Except we don't. It doesn't work that way. If it did, we wouldn't have 3.9 million jobs available right now. It's an inconvenient truth to the prevailing narrative.

I'm not against job creation. I'm not against education. I'm not against any of those things. I'm just saying that the statistics I've seen, that are right in front of us right now, scream opportunity. The problem is, the opportunities they've been screaming for have been historically, consistently, and traditionally beaten out of our own aspirational wish-fulfillment.

reason: During his stimulus a couple of years ago, when President Obama talked about shovel-ready jobs, he also talked about how ATMs were taking people's jobs. It seems kind of odd-airplanes displaced railroads, but then you need mechanics to fix the airplanes, you need guys to fuel the airplanes, you need people walking up and down the aisle serving drinks on airplanes. Is technology the problem here?

Rowe: It's not a problem. The displacement theory is interesting. I first read about it in our industry, where the idea was the newspaper would displace the telegraph, movies would displace books, TV would displace movies, and on and on. It doesn't.

But the 8-track's gone. Sometimes things are displaced. Sometimes they're just re-imagined.

The first time I heard the phrase shovel-ready jobs, I was in a water tower in New York with the guys that replaced the wooden water towers on top of skyscrapers. A guy had a small TV, we were on break, everyone was watching it. Everyone just laughed at the expression and one of the guys I was working with said: He's going to have a lot more success selling shovel-ready jobs to a country that still values the notion of picking up a shovel.

reason: People growing up today, as opposed to maybe 30 years ago, recognize that companies like IBM, AT&T, and Sears are not long for the world-that the companies we assume will guarantee you lifetime employment are not around anymore. Part of your message is that recalibration.

Rowe: The welder is a really interesting example, because he's like the freelancer-he doesn't have a lance, he has a welding torch. And a good welder is a very artistic thing to watch. Many, many different kinds of welding exist, and the people who are good at it are almost savant-like. It used to be called the industrial arts.

All the press I read about the vanishing thing from high school was the arts. It really was voc-tech that went first and hardest. The idea that artistry can still exist with work is really important. When you separate work from artistry, you get the same problem you get when you separate clean from dirty or blue-collar from white-collar: You create a gap, and it's that gap to which all sorts of things fall, including expectations, including opportunity, including millions of jobs.

I look at welding as maybe the best example of everything we're talking about right now. The opportunities exist, the opportunities pay well and are wildly underserved, people don't aspire to it, and yet everything in this room requires it. Whether it's smooth roads or runways or cheap electricity or indoor plumbing or basic infrastructure: We used to look at the people that provided those services as vaguely heroic. Now it's not that we disparage them, we just don't look at them. And if we do, we just don't see them.

reason: Speaking of freelancing, or recalibrating, Dirty Jobs is over. Do you know what you're doing next?

Rowe: This is it. I'm going to do a series of interviews in hotel rooms around this great land talking about the changing face of the modern-day proletariat. The bad news is there will be no money.

reason: But the good news is there's room service.

Rowe: There's room service.

I'm living in the age of Honey Boo Boo. Not a bad thing necessarily-it's transitioning, just like anything else. We were joking before that the ducks have a dynasty and the Amish have a mafia and non-fiction television right now is being hugely impacted by writers. These shows have writers' rooms. Dirty Jobs is a very tough sell in that regard, because I didn't know how Dirty Jobs would end. I still don't, except that it's over, so I guess I knew it eventually would end. But episode by episode, segment by segment, what was really for sale on that show was uncertainty.

Viewers dug it. People liked the idea of no rehearsal, no scripts, no writers, no second take. That today makes people really anxious, and so we're seeing a much more careful, measured, controlled look at something that should be uncareful, unmeasured, and uncertain, in my opinion.

Rather than jump into some version of Dirty Jobs that is more controlled, I'd rather talk about some of the things I've learned from doing it and see maybe if there's a way to stay relevant in that space. Because really, I was lucky. I went to a community college, then I went to work, then I went back to school and I got my degree. But my real education took place in reality TV. Mostly in a sewer.

For more on Rowe at Reason, go here.

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  • Idle Hands||

    Do yourself a favor Mike and stay away from the zoo of caged retards that is facebook.

  • Idle Hands||

    Do yourself a favor Mike and stay away from the zoo of caged retards that is facebook.

  • Contrarian P||

    And squirrels. Avoid those bastards.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Hey!!!

  • Suicidy||

    But roasted squirrel is tasty.

  • Brandybuck||

    Actually he is on Facebook. And a pretty good guy to follow. Unfortunately he tends to have a lot of conservatives pretending he's on their side. Still, a pretty good guy to follow.

  • John C. Randolph||

    After all, Bernie went to college, and he became a useless public parasite with zero understanding of anything at all.

    -jcr

  • XicaXica||

    A useless public parasite who fights for veterans, fights for Social Security, fights to keep jobs from being outsourced to other countries, wants to end the drug war, end the obscene number of Americans incarcerated, proposes a major program of jobs rebuilding our infrastructure, and proposes a way for Americans, regardless of their income level, to have a chance at a college education - if they qualify, and so choose - through taxing Wall Street speculation? Wow, parasite, for sure, dude
    .

  • Rockabilly||

    Abolish social security and the federal income tax.

  • Frankjasper1||

    Why are you against foreigners having jobs? That does sound like a parasite cause he expects everyone else to pay for these goodies.

    What fighting for veterans does he do?

    And if he was serious about ending the obscene number of americans incarcerated he would look to take on the prison guards unions. But of course we know he is a union skills.

    A major jobs program building infrastructure? Sounds like conscription. It is funny how though Bernie supporters are against the Keystone because those infrastructure jobs are only temperorary.

  • timbo||

    Greenhut, Stephen – Reason – “I still regularly meet people who believe that the laws under which we are governed are the result of a deliberative process led by legislators driven by a commitment to the public good. Stay away from people like this. They will lead to more crack-baby scares, to the funding of new armies of social workers, planners, tax collectors, cops, and regulators, who are more than happy to lobby for higher taxes and meddle in our affairs.

    Xica Xica is one of those frightening idiots. Authoritarianism is OK as long as its my kind of authoritarianism.

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    fuck off. troll

  • Win Bear||

    A useless public parasite who fights for veterans, fights for Social Security, fights to keep jobs from being outsourced to other countries, wants to end the drug war, end the obscene number of Americans incarcerated, proposes a major program of jobs rebuilding our infrastructure, and proposes a way for Americans, regardless of their income level, to have a chance at a college education - if they qualify, and so choose - through taxing Wall Street speculation?

    You know who else loved veterans, fought for public retirement funds, fought to keep jobs in the country, proposed major programs to rebuild infrastructure, proposed free higher education, and hated speculators? Adolf, a failed artist from Austria.

  • Suicidy||

    Also fights vigorously for America's transformation to a new Soviet State, eh comrade?

  • KalkiDas||

    He did a lousy job "fighting" for veterans. His blindness of accepting anything the government does as being infallible is what made him so, and would continue to be a problem writ large if he ever was elected.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02.....ponse.html

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

  • UCrawford||

    And she married a guy with a law degree that gave him so few skills in the law that nobody wanted to hire him after he graduated. So she feels the pain of all those liberal arts majors with six figures of student loan debt. :)

  • Suicidy||

    Anyone who has a degree in sociology, gender studies, ethnic studies, etc. should be forever barred from receiving any form of government welfare on any level. They made their own fucking bed.

  • sarcasmic||

    Write in Mike Rowe for president!

  • Citizen X||

  • Zeb||

    I'd take the dog too.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Mike Rowe is 110 percent correct.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    110% possible, but not recommended.

  • martman1||

    Actually, he has no idea what he is talking about:
    a) Bernie is also advocating for free tuition at junior colleges and trade schools
    b) There may very well be 3 million jobs currently available in transportation, the trades and commerce as he says, but he is dead wrong in saying these jobs can't be filled. At any given time there are 3 million jobs available because of people leaving their jobs for a whole host of reasons, but they are quickly filled. These are NOT THE EXACT SAME JOBS that go unfilled week after week or month after month. This float of the number of unfilled jobs is always the case and is why 3% or 4% unemployment is considered "full" employment. If those 3 million jobs available were the SAME 3 million month after month then that number would mean something, but they aren't, so it doesn't..............anecdotal, but my son, a project manager for a large infrastructure construction firm ran an ad locally on Craigslist recently for 6 people with heavy construction experience ("welding experience preferred") and got over 100 responses within 24 hours before he pulled the ad.

  • Frankjasper1||

    Your story isn't really evidence and a response does not mean they are qualified.

    Bernie is concerned about the value of high school degrees going down and costs of college increasing. So his solution is to make it free? That will drive up the costs while decreasing the value of college degrees. It is almost if he has no grasp of reality.

  • martman1||

    a) I said it was anecdotal.........the part before that isn't....any economist will tell you that.
    b) He hired 6 after only talking to 10 and those 10 were all qualified.
    c) Many people are going to want further education after high school anyway.....free is better.
    d) Will probably pay the median tuition for the previous year plus inflation or something like that to keep the colleges competitive and prices from rising too much.......I'm too lazy to look it up but I'm sure other countries with free colleges, trade schools, etc. don't let them charge whatever they want.
    e) You're right, though, without a big change in our trade and fiscal policy (which Bernie is also suggesting) there will still be a lot of college graduates either unemployed or working at lousy jobs and many skilled people without degrees in the same boat.

  • Frankjasper1||

    What incentive would there for colleges be to keep prices low when taxes are being used to pay for tuition? Why would they even care about trying to be competitive knowing that there is going to demand no matter what? Also students won't care about prices cause they are going for "free". Free is not better...the students haven't invested in it and thus are less likely to take it seriously. It will decrease the value of those degrees...colleges will want to keep the gravy train rolling and have to essentially dumb down their curriculum.

    The problem is it sounds nice in theory but there are these issues which arent addressed: administrative costs, housing and general fees, books, does free college only apply to a certain age group, is it only certain number of years or majors, can i go as long as i want, is there a grade point needed to be met, what if i get kicked out?, do requirements for entry have to get lowered, and is the federal gov going to put price controls?

  • XicaXica||

    Rowe is correct that some people can do well without college; yet he ignores that many people are handicapped in the job market today, without at least a bachelor's degree. It's foolish that he lays this situation on Bernie Sanders head, as though Sanders created it.

    Sanders always states it as IF you do well in school, you should have a CHANCE to attend college, regardless of income" - NOT that every kid should go to college. He is right in making the connection that young people, especially people of color, are more often routed to prison, than they are to college, as evidenced by our expenditure on education vs incarceration.

    Sanders pointing out that our nation spends far more on incarcerating youth than on educating them does not mean he thinks that every young person needs, or is qualified, to go to college. He often states that our youth should be "in school, or at work, instead of hanging out on street corners" due to high youth unemployment.

  • Frankjasper1||

    And yet Bernie Sanders want to raise the min wage to 15. how does raising the min wage to $15 an hour help put the youth to work? That prices them out of the labor market.

    What do you mean they are routed to prison?

    Bernie clearly does not think through any of his proposals

  • Win Bear||

    yet he ignores that many people are handicapped in the job market today, without at least a bachelor's degree

    Yes, if you don't have a college degree, you are "handicapped" relative to people who do have a college degree. But it doesn't follow that increasing the number of college graduates will help anybody.

    Let's say you have one million people entering the job market, filling a million jobs. It doesn't matter what percentage you give college degrees to; it doesn't change the number of available jobs. A college degree merely saves the employer a little bit of on-the-job training. But college is remarkably ineffective even at that: a four year college degree seems to be the equivalent of a few months of on-the-job training.

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    You never heard of Pell Grants and Stafford Loans? Everyone who wants to go to college in the U.S. can do so with some effort.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I saw a movie that discussed this issue: "Cowage. Cowage is wot bwings us togeder tooday. Cowage, that cwussed awangment, that scam wifin a scam. And dwebt, tru dwebt, will fowow you foweva. So tweasure your dwebt."

  • Mainer2||

    +1 Impressive Clergyman

  • Pro Libertate||

    His Bedazzled is on Netflix, I think. Or Amazon Instant Video.

  • Princess Trigger||

    "Stop quoting 'Princess Bride' bitches!"
    -Cranky Old Actor
    http://www.nytimes.com/politic.....nkin/?_r=0

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Anyone else suffering squirrelz?

    Oh hey, speaking of killing jobs...

    Seattle first U.S. city to give Uber, other contract drivers power to unionize
    Originally published December 14, 2015 at 1:09 pm Updated December 15, 2015 at 12:51 am

    The Seattle City Council voted 8-0 Monday afternoon to enact Councilmember Mike O’Brien’s ordinance giving taxi, for-hire and Uber drivers the ability to unionize.

    8-0. Eight to zero. Eight... to zero. Not one dissenting voice. Not one person willing to stand up to the lobbying efforts of Big Labor. Not... one...

    Tell me about diversity again, now?

    http://www.seattletimes.com/se.....tes-today/

  • Pan Zagloba||

    Well, at least your idiots didn't just up and ban the whole thing.

    Oh, I'm sorry, I don't mean banned, I mean "delayed to evaluate the impact of" unil further notice. And forbid more taxis at Christmas season.

    Always when you feel bad, look to the North, my friend.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Why would you ban something that you can suck dry for decades?

    Every local government will come around to this solution. The issue was that they weren't prepared for Uber's disruptive influence, so the reaction was to ban first, think of a Union Solution later. Enough time has passed to allow cities like Seattle and L.A. to turn Uber (and all ride-sharing companies-- and eventually everything within the so-called sharing economy) into a proving ground for Union graft.

  • Pan Zagloba||

    As per the article I linked, they know they can suck out more money if they allow more cabs for Christmas season, and they refused to, over advice of their own staff.

    Our council and hizzonor want a car-free city. So their policy is to make it harder to own or drive a car in Vancouver. Having a company which leverages private car ownership is verbotten. Shit, if we didn't have cabs already, they'd ban those too.

    And yes, squirrels are on a warpath. I blame gay marriage thread. No, wait, Trumpticle.

  • Pan Zagloba||

    As per the article I linked, they know they can suck out more money if they allow more cabs for Christmas season, and they refused to, over advice of their own staff.

    Our council and hizzonor want a car-free city. So their policy is to make it harder to own or drive a car in Vancouver. Having a company which leverages private car ownership is verbotten. Shit, if we didn't have cabs already, they'd ban those too.

  • Pan Zagloba||

    As per the article I linked, they know they can suck out more money if they allow more cabs for Christmas season, and they refused to, over advice of their own staff.

    Our council and hizzonor want a car-free city. So their policy is to make it harder to own or drive a car in Vancouver. Having a company which leverages private car ownership is verbotten. Shit, if we didn't have cabs already, they'd ban those too.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Our council and hizzonor want a car-free city

    I'm getting to the point where if these Western cities want their hunter-gatherer society back, let them have it.

  • UnCivilServant||

    No they're trying to turn into grazing herbavores. This wouldn't annoy me, if they weren't forcing it on the innocent.

  • Pan Zagloba||

    Oh no, they want it car-free, but with all amenities of civilization.

    What they imagine is a place where you can get anywhere on bike or bus, no one lives in suburbs (suburbs are evil!) and commute to work, they all live in multi-story highrises that are affordable, hold all the people, and also don't ruin the view and the skyline.
    I swear, Jane Jacobs should be in the pantheon of Unintentional Villains, alongside Rachel Carson of Silent Spring fame.

  • Free Market Socialist $park¥||

    Shadowrun arcologies gotta start somewhere. Seattle is supposed to be ground zero anyway.

  • Pan Zagloba||

    Holy shit, Vancouverism is actuall a thing with a Wiki page!

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Vancouverism is an urban planning and architectural phenomenon in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, that is unique to North America.[citation needed] It is characterized by a large residential population living in the city centre with mixed-use developments, typically with a medium-height, commercial base and narrow, high-rise residential towers, significant reliance on mass public transit, creation and maintenance of green park spaces, and preserving view corridors.[1][2][3][4][5]

    Yeah, citation needed, indeed.

    This could easily be called West Coastism.

  • KalkiDas||

    And mega-homes. Hongcouver.

  • KalkiDas||

    And mega-homes. Hongcouver.

  • Rhywun||

    Jane Jacobs should be in the pantheon of Unintentional Villains

    Read her sometime then - she explicitly pointed out that she was talking about cities, not suburbs. She never said any of things you seem to be implying that she did.

  • Pan Zagloba||

    I know, hence Unintentional. People who read her about cities up here also concluded that suburbs are bad, should be banned and life should be made as difficult as possible as people who live there. Not having any power over the goddamn suburbs, best they can do is fuck with everyone who doesn't live in the city and/or can't handle everything on a bike or bus.

  • Rhywun||

    Fair enough. I think such people already had unfavorable views of the suburbs when they read her, like me. But I am not a control freak. It is actually quite the turnaround given how generally powerless such people were during the 2nd half of the 20th century.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I too had an unfavorable view of the suburbs, until the the urban environment, or should I say the political urban environment became so utterly stifling and so completely lacking in diversity.

  • Rhywun||

    In my talking with like-minded friends I don't find the thinking to be nearly as lockstep as the media would have us believe. Yeah they're probably all Democrats but it is quite easy to convince them how appallingly awful they have been for city folk. But what are they going to do, vote Republican? Ha ha.

  • Derp-o-Matic 5000||

    I'm totally in favor of workers being allowed to unionize. What I'm against is the preferential treatment that labor law provides to unions. Employees/contractors should absolutely be allowed to join together for collective bargaining, etc., so long as (1) employees are not compelled to do so and may opt-out and (2) the employer is equally free to collectively fire them or tell them to collectively fuck off.

  • ||

    ^ This.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    For Uber workers to Unionize, they have to first be considered employees.

    Employees/contractors should absolutely be allowed to join together for collective bargaining, etc., so long as (1) employees are not compelled to do so and may opt-out and (2) the employer is equally free to collectively fire them or tell them to collectively fuck off.

    Everywhere except the public sector, I can get behind this.

  • Rhywun||

    Everywhere except the public sector

    It occurs to me that even private-sector unions get all the favors when it comes time for the public sector to outsource anything. For example when NYC buys subway cars, I'm pretty sure that non-unionized manufacturers need not apply.

  • sarcasmic||

    (3) their employer is not government.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    +1000 blooming flowers.

  • MJGreen - Docile Citizen||

    Well of course drivers should be allowed to organi--

    Under the ordinance, a taxi, for-hire or app-based vehicle-dispatch company will be required to provide the city with a list of its Seattle drivers. Then a nonprofit organization — most likely a union — will use the list to contact the drivers.

    The nonprofit organization will need to gain the support of a majority of a company’s drivers to be designated by the city as their bargaining representative.

    The ordinance will require the company to seek an agreement with the representative organization. The city will enforce the ordinance’s requirements through penalties such as fines, but not by revoking a company’s license to operate.

    Oh, right.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Under the ordinance, a taxi, for-hire or app-based vehicle-dispatch company will be required to provide the city with a list of its Seattle drivers. Then a nonprofit organization — most likely a union — will use the list to contact the drivers.

    If this were ANY OTHER FUCKING INDUSTRY these guys would be in orange jumpsuits and legirons. And yet, when a Union's involved-- it's all for the Good of the People!

  • Brochettaward||

    That's some of the most crony-tastic shit I've seen in a while. Well, at least probably since the LA unions being exempt from the minimum wage hike thing.

  • JW||

    Alsways Ubering, Ubering, Ubering towards freedom!

  • Zeb||

    And how many of the drivers actually want any of this? Was there something preventing them from contacting the "nonprofit organization" if they were interested in what they are selling?

  • Zeb||

    The Seattle City Council voted 8-0 Monday afternoon to enact Councilmember Mike O’Brien’s ordinance giving taxi, for-hire and Uber drivers the ability to unionize.

    OK, I know how unions work, more or less. But I'm going to ask the naive question anyway. How the fuck does this make any sense? How can a council vote give anyone the ability to do anything? And how is anything but freedom of association required for people to unionize?

    And yes, I know that the law gives unions special privileges and that's how it works.

  • ||

    The operating idea is that employers will actively keep union organizers from talking to their employees. Which, in fairness, they will.

    They believe themselves to be leveling the playing field by distributing the workers' contact information so that the employer cannot conceal the union's existence from the employees.

    Normally (at least in construction trades) the rule is simply that you can't prevent union guys from talking to your workers during break times or off hours (but you absolutely can during work hours). That's tricky with Uber, since it's very decentralized.

    I'm guessing that the rationale is that it's unfair to the workers that they don't have a central gathering place where union guys can proselytize, so the government makes them pass out contact information instead. A "virtual organizing space," if you will.

  • Zeb||

    Without regard to whether or not the Uber drivers actually want to hear from union organizers, I assume.

    I can only assume that the real motivation here is to make Uber more expensive and less convenient so they won't spoil the taxi racket.

  • ||

    "Without regard to whether or not the Uber drivers actually want to hear from union organizers, I assume."

    Of course they want to hear from union organizers. Only those who have been alienated from their own self-interest by capitalist ideology would ever resist such a thing!

    "I can only assume that the real motivation here is to make Uber more expensive and less convenient so they won't spoil the taxi racket."

    Partly. Defining Uber as an employer and not as a coordination service for independent contractors is another part, as I think the "gig" economy makes tax collectors and regulators nervous generally speaking.

    And the potential to line the union's pockets with expanded membership is never a bad thing.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    The operating idea is that employers will actively keep union organizers from talking to their employees. Which, in fairness, they will.

    Unfortunately, all of this, 100% of it requires we accept the premise that the drivers are employees.

  • fuckyougotmine||

    "8-0. Eight to zero. Eight... to zero. Not one dissenting voice. Not one person willing to stand up to the lobbying efforts of Big Labor. Not... one..."

    I fucking LOVE IT. Choke on your rage, fucking oligarch.

  • Sevo||

    fuckyougotmine|12.15.15 @ 6:08PM|#
    "I fucking LOVE IT. Choke on your rage, fucking oligarch."

    As a lefty shitbag, you love putting people out of work. What a pathetic excuse for a human being.

  • Suicidy||

    The Seattle city council are all good little Marxists.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Mike Rowe is an American hero.

  • UnCivilServant||

    I just finished rehydrating after schlepping around disk array power supplies (contents - Lithium Ion Batteries, Iron Core transformers, aka, not the lightest three-foot long steel boxes in the world). All I could think was "I thought I went to College to get away from manual labor".

    I was lied to.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I did nearly the exact same thing this weekend. We rebuilt our entire data center. We worked 18 hours on Saturday alone.

    My joints were stiff after turning screwdrivers and hefting switches into racks all day.

    Luckily, I didn't go to college so I guess I have nothing to complain about.

    About which to complain.

    I like the first one better.

  • UnCivilServant||

    I hate fiscal mismanagement, so this next example is going to be somewhat galling. Sitting atop one of the disk arrays we worked on was a 48-port switch or router almost fully populated with SFPs for fiber. I had no idea where it came from. A grand total of one fiber port and one ethernet port were in use. Our network guys had no idea where it came from, but the label on the fiber line said it was probably put in by Enterprise.

    Each one of those SFPs can run into the hundreds of dollars (four digits for the bleeding edge types). A 48-port switch or router (not sure which it was) built for them is not cheap either. We're looking at a piece of hardware that probably cost some $25K+ used as a media converter between fiber and copper. And I can't get anything we actually need.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Luckily, we don't have such deep pockets. I left an organization that was literally so big that that $25k for a fully populated switch with gbics SFPs was so far to the right of the decimal point, that they'd have four more sitting in a closet somewhere, never installed, gathering dust.

    I don't know where you work but it's my firm opinion that that's what you get when you "silo" your technology departments.

  • UnCivilServant||

    I work for the State of New York. It's a job, they pay me to do IT work. I keep shit running and I kvetch about the stupid mandates pissed down from on high. And you bet IT is oversiloed. I keep warning about the troubleshooting train wreck that will take place once Cuomo's transformation of State IT is complete and cross-speciality communication becomes verboten. Right now the only reason anything gets done in anything resembling a sane time frame is because of back-channel communications between people who used to be in the same agency IT department. The official channel has tickets that orbit ITS looking for someone to claim them, but it's always "Someone else's job", espeically because the people who could figure out what went wrong got shoved into very narrow job silos to meet the official structure 'vision'.

  • GILMORE™||

    "I work for the State of New York.'"

    ....(looks above).....

    "I hate fiscal mismanagement"

    .....

    .....

    uh, you are probably in the wrong place.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    uh, you are probably in the wrong place.

    The State of New York?

  • GILMORE™||

    perhaps i should have said, "You're working for the wrong people"

    I feel no animosity to the geography of NY state. I'm kind of a fan actually

    Its just the chin-deep slime you seem to encounter whenever dealing with its 'public services'. I think ISIS would present a less morally-compromising employer.

  • UnCivilServant||



    "I work for the State of New York.'"

    ....(looks above).....

    "I hate fiscal mismanagement"

    .....

    .....

    uh, you are probably in the wrong place.

    I have noticed that disconnect between my personal philosophy and the ways of the state.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    I was following this sub-thread and was going to say if one finds themselves constantly dinking with datacenters and wasting $25k on a switch etc., than EC2 is prolly better way to go for your organization - but then I saw you work for New York State, and now all makes sense.

    I do have good story of us losing our content db (NoSQL Couchbase nightmare) down to no pings coming back - nada, nothing - and calling up the cloud provider (not EC2, will not name vendor) and asking WTF.

    They're excuse? A dumpster fire - like a literal fucking dumpster fire that was smoking out the HVAC and too hot for anyone to get close to.

    Good times!

  • R C Dean||

    Considering changing my handle to "Derpster Fire". Yes? No?

  • TheZeitgeist||

    Feel the derp. Sanders/Marx 2015!

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    You don't like Manual Labor?

    It's because he's Mexican, isn't it? Racist!

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    The irony being that while almost all of the students in the Euro-Socialist countries Bernie wants to emulate do go on to some sort of post-secondary education, a large majority of them do not attend universities, as we would label them, but instead attend vocational schools. And their attendance in these schools was ordained all the way back in 5th grade, as the vast majority of these countries employ some sort of Prussian-style academic tracking; Finland being a notable exception.

    Interestingly, a student's family's socioeconomic status is a good predictor of which track they will test into. I wonder what the Bern would have to say about that.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I would suspect that someone of Bernie Sanders's pedigree would think that Top Men in Government Institutions Guiding every child through a preordained track designed by competent government actors would be just fine with it.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    The correlation between academic tracks and things like race/ethnicity and economic status are features, not bugs, eh Bernie?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    tracks and things like race/ethnicity and economic status are features

    But that wouldn't be a factor with the right top men... Remember, I said competent government actors.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    The correlation between academic tracks and things like race/ethnicity and economic status are features, not bugs, eh Bernie?

    I recall the man-in-street interviews during the Arab Spring's false positive in Egypt, and wondering who the fuck did anything in that country because all the interview subjects' occupation was 'student.'

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    who the fuck did anything in that country because all the interview subjects' occupation was 'student.'

    The 1979 Iranian revolution was EXACTLY the same way.

    How little it has changed.

  • fuckyougotmine||

    Yep, Bernie Sanders is a racist! Do you read what you type?

  • Win Bear||

    Yep, Bernie Sanders is a racist!

    Glad you realize it.

  • Pan Zagloba||

    Hell no, or he'd be first against Affirmative Action.

    Seriously, Prussian system would be an improvement over what you have right now. It includes an outlet for social advancement, for one. Pass an exam into your grammar-school equivalent and you'll get streamed academic regardless of your social status. Thatcher got into Oxford like that, as did Michael Gove (my favorite British politician, and also for some reason never mentioned on H&R for as long as I've been coming here).

  • Idle Hands||

    You assume Bernie's speech writer knows anything about nordic economies and cultures beyond what he/she reads in a daily kos message board.

  • Pan Zagloba||

    Yes. One of the things us immigrants notice when arriving in North America is how shitty school system is, because it doesn't stream. And that there are no entrance exams, which ensure only top-scoring X people get to go to university.
    I'm sure it's also completely unrelated that for most* immigrant teenagers, Canadian high school is a joke for at least first two years.

    *Canada picks and chooses its immigrants on point system, so, unless you qualify for family status, your background is likely the kind of background that ensures your kids go into academic stream.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I wrote a large post as to why I don't think streaming is the bee's knees, but it was eaten...so I'll just link to Yong Zhao.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Lessons that Matter: What should we learn from Asia’s school systems?

    That corporal punishment instills discipline?

  • Pan Zagloba||

    Oh, streaming is not the bee's knees. But it's better than keeping 30 students in class, where 10% are hopeless, next 40% is who is being taught and the rest are wasting their time.
    I think I lucked out on the revolving door of school reform back in the old country - grades 1-8 (7-14 years old) were 'elementary,' mandated by law, and they just mixed us up and threw us into classes based on no criteria I could discern. At 14, I applied to several 'gymnasia,' wrote a general entry exam and got a good enough score to my #2 school, where we were taught stuff like philosophy, real literature (Balsac, Cervantes, Dostevsky, Tolstoy, Baudellaire, plus domestic writers - not a lot from English-speaking world is the only downside), physics up to general relativity (covered briefly), organic and inorganic chemistry, biology (which I was terrible at), calculus, algebra and programming in BASIC, FORTRAN and Pascal. Seriously, my first year of university in Canada was just a recap of shit I picked up in years 3-4 of high school.

  • ||

    "But it's better than keeping 30 students in class, where 10% are hopeless, next 40% is who is being taught and the rest are wasting their time."

    ^ This.

    "But it's better than keeping 30 students in class, where 10% are hopeless, next 40% is who is being taught and the rest are wasting their time."

    When I was teaching at an American university, my European students said this almost universally - i.e. that the first two years at an American university are spent learning all the things people *should* be learning in high school.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    When I was teaching at an American university, my European students said this almost universally - i.e. that the first two years at an American university are spent learning all the things people *should* be learning in high school.

    I think one unspoken reason college is considered a 'need' in America these days is because public education is worthless. H.S. diploma used to indicate that someone could show up on time, grind - even a little - on stuff with no immediate reward, and read.

    Those abilities are now indicated by a ~$50,000 four-year degree in marketing, psychology, etc. Useless public education has consequences.

  • ||

    "I think one unspoken reason college is considered a 'need' in America these days is because public education is worthless"

    ^ This.

  • Rhywun||

    Well, American public education is often worthless. It is considerably better done in some other countries with the tracking and such, and even in America I got a great public education and guess what - it was all about the tracking.

  • Ms. Eleanor Lavish||

    Hmmm. I was tracked back in PS in MN in the '80's, and my local PS (NJ) tracks pretty aggressively beginning in 3rd grade. Our high schools have AP, honors, and International Baccalaureate programs which are quite challenging and usually only the best students participate. My oldest son chose one option called 'Classics Academy'.

    This just to say, PS differ in quality (no shit) but many do track. Those tracks aren't necessarily rigid, though. I agree with Rowe that many students who should be offered a quality trade/tech education get short-shifted because quality programs don't exist and those students are typically encouraged to enroll in college.

  • ||

    I was tracked at PS the 80s, too, but it seems to be vanishing, at least in CA. They’ve found that if they take students like my daughter and seat her with the slow kids, the slow kids’ test scores improve (no matter why . . .). And these days it’s all about collective outcome, not individual achievement.

    However, as Rowe points out, when we do tracking in this country, we put some kids “on level” (meaning behind), and continue training them for college instead of providing opportunities to learn trades.

    The European system of just branding people as tradespeople in the fifth grade is not particularly attractive, but our system of denying opportunities to learn trades to people on the principle that you’re doing them some kind of favor by encouraging/forcing them to go to college is just dumb.

  • kbolino||

    They’ve found that if they take students like my daughter and seat her with the slow kids, the slow kids’ test scores improve (no matter why . . .)

    The real trick is getting the "slow kids" to keep those higher scores when left to their own devices.

  • Hi there!||

    Why not have narrow tracks available, but any track can be tested into any year, if the student wants to change? Then, completely do away with year limitations, allowing any student to test into any year of a given discipline at the beginning of any academic year. Students use their time as they see fit, achieving certification in as many tracks as they like, as quickly or as slowly as they can test out of it....that type of system sounds good to me, you get the benefit of the tighter focus on a field or fields early on, but avoid the early labeling.

  • Hi there!||

    ...and, the bored kids can open throttle a little.

  • Win Bear||

    One of the things us immigrants notice when arriving in North America is how shitty school system is, because it doesn't stream.

    Actually, it does: there are large differences between high schools. As an immigrant, though, you're probably just going to end up at your local public high school, which is why you may not have noticed those differences.

    Of course, the American system would "stream" even better if there was more school choice, more vouchers, and more private schools.

    The European system of "streaming" is a poor substitute for a diversity of schools and school choice.

  • Ken Shultz||

    It's interesting how those educations get put to use, too.

    Looking at these stats...

    http://data.worldbank.org/indi.....CACT.FE.ZS

    It seems like more developed countries generally have lower rates of female participation in the labor force than less developed countries, and there may be cultural barriers in Latin American and Muslim countries.

    Maybe in sub-Saharan Africa, the women work because they have to, in the developed West, women don't necessarily have to work, in Latin America, women may opt for home life for cultural reasons (or marry younger than in Europe and North America), and in the Muslim world, women's options are just severely limited.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    And yet, data shows in this country that women are getting college educations at a far greater rate than their male counterparts.

  • See Double You||

    I think Bernie, like the vast majority of his followers, doesn't know much about European higher education.

  • Citizen X||

    It'd be shorter to compile a list of things Bernie DOES know:

    1. Free shit sells.
    2. ?...

  • UCrawford||

    I think Bernie Sanders, like the vast majority of his followers, doesn't know much of anything about anything.

    He seems like the kind of guy who got into politics for the same reason a lot of politicians go into politics...because he doesn't actually have any skills that make him employable elsewhere. He's never worked in any field besides politics, so he can look at any problem and understand absolutely none of it because he has no life experience outside of his political bubble to draw from. He's not a political cynic...he's a well-intentioned fool.

  • Rhywun||

    their attendance in these schools was ordained all the way back in 5th grade

    In Germany at least, you can change tracks later on if you have the aptitude.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Yeah, there are lots of ways to get ahead.

    I've seen girls sleep their way to the top.

  • Jerry on the rocks||

    Yes, the easiest way to riches is to whore yourself out.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Or you could "work" for the government, but I guess that's a lot like whoring yourself out.

  • Citizen X||

    That's an insult to honest, hardworking whores everywhere. At least people who get screwed by whores can enjoy it.

  • Je suis Woodchipper||

    TRIGGER WARNING: mikeroweaggression

  • GILMORE™||

    golf clap

  • waffles||

    I audibly laughed. That's a solid.

  • Anomalous||

    Brilliant!

  • Bodica Slayer of Woodchip||

    Got it now and yes, if this was a Lenore contest, Je Suis would win.

  • lafe.long||

    I saw this earlier... the derp in the comments... it burns.

  • Contrarian P||

    Yeah no kidding. Hordes of "But Mike, Bernie has a plan to make college free!!" and "Bernie has a plan to reduce the cost of college!!". I'm pretty sure these people think that the laws of economics, physics, and every other discipline cease to exist when politics are involved. In their own lives, if some guy came by door to door and promised them a free pony, they'd be skeptical as all hell, but since it's a guy in a blue "hey look at me, I'm Kennedy-style presidential!" suit with a teleprompter, they'll go for it like a carp after a worm.

  • Rhywun||

    Well to be fair, the guy in the presidential suit - if he wins - will have the opportunity to just steal your neighbor's pony and give it to you - so it's not like they're being unrational in supporting him.

  • MJGreen - Docile Citizen||

    On that note, I enjoyed the Onion's joke about Michelle Obama's super-hip rap about going to college: Irresponsible Rapper Encourages Youth To Splurge On Extravagant Expense They Can’t Afford

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    College seems to be devolving into First World Bling. A flashy, overpriced thing that sits on your resume that depreciates wildly immediately after the investment, but is required for acceptance with a certain constituency.

  • GILMORE™||

    ""First World Bling""

    For some, a college degree is a permission slip to never be told you're stupid and wrong.

  • Zeb||

    How's that working out for them?

  • GILMORE™||

    Perhaps i should have said, "an excuse to ignore everyone telling you that you're stupid and wrong"

  • DesigNate||

    For a lot of people it's the only way to get permission to do the job they want to do *cough*architects*cough*.

  • kbolino||

    While not as bad, good luck becoming a computer programmer without a STEM degree. There are lots of people who can do the job without the piece of paper, and a few people in the field who are grandfathered in due to experience/accomplishments, but it's effectively become a mandatory credential for entry.

  • Tak Kak||

    To be fair, if Bernie had his way I'm sure it'd be free. So no debt! Just like that student protester said.

    (Don't grad students hold a vastly disproportionate amount of the student debt?)

  • DesigNate||

    I want to say yes we do, but I'm too lazy to look up the actual numbers.

  • Trshmnstr, terror of the trash||

    Anecdotally, my debt is 10:1 law school to undergrad.

  • Win Bear||

    (Don't grad students hold a vastly disproportionate amount of the student debt?)

    About 2/3 of students have no student debt. Graduate students in most disciplines don't incur student debt either; they are paid for by assistantships. The percentage of people's salaries that goes to servicing student loans has actually decreased over the last couple of decades (and is usually just a few percent).

    The people with large student debts are usually people with professional degrees (law, medicine); they should have no problems paying off their debt.

    The other group of people with large student debts and difficulties paying them off are people with soft majors and poor job prospects at expensive private universities.

    That is, the typical demographic of someone with problems paying back their student loans is a communications or political science major at Yale or Brown who then moves to NYC or DC to work for some third rate political campaign or publication. Unfortunately, those people are just the people in a position to endlessly whine about this supposed "student loan crisis", when, in fact, their problems are entirely self-created.

  • Gleep Glop||

    Sanders seems to be implying that money is the only obstacle to getting a college education--otherwise it's the slammer for you.

    Sander's acolytes seem to think these "connections" he makes are brilliant causal factors, when in actuality it takes a wee bit more thinking to see beyond the bull...

  • GILMORE™||

    You're one of the good ones, Gleep Glop

  • Akira||

    +1 space beer

  • The Last American Hero||

    For some people, getting the sheepskin is a path to financial success, for others, skinning the sheep is the path to financial success.

  • ||

    Some people just like to be the sheep.

    #FeeltheBern

    Some people like to fuck sheep.

    #ScottishLivesMatter

  • kinnath||

    I saw a facebook post from someone who recently finished an MFA in comic books. W T F

  • GILMORE™||

    Did they actually publish one as well? or did they just get their certificate of potentiality?

  • kinnath||

    Looking for support for a book they were trying to launch.

  • GILMORE™||

    "trying to launch"

    If they can't sell an already-written book to a publisher in this day and age, when low-volume publishing (and digital publishing) is basically a zero-barrier-to-entry business.... then you might as well just put the shit on the internet and use it as marketing for clicks for your *next* prokect. Because you're never going to do better by putting that shit on paper.

  • Zeb||

    Probably more marketable outside of academia than most MFAs.

  • Mainer2||

    dammit...i see someone already made the MikeRoweAgression joke.

    Here's the one I like:

    "Hey Pajama boy, get a job !"

  • Bodica Slayer of Woodchip||

    Hey, Mike - Nancy Pelosi said I don't need to. I can day-dream, drink cocoa and get covered.

  • bacon-magic||

    We need more people like Mike Rowe, and less #feelthebernofsocialismkillingmillionsofpeople

  • Bodica Slayer of Woodchip||

    Before I get blocked, I always find it amusing to debate the Bernies on Twitter. They genuinely believe this socialism shit.

    Then, they put call me a RWNJ or a Selfish Bitch or a KochieKue and run off in a huff.

  • kbolino||

    Selfish Bitch

    Oh, the projection. Every one of their arguments is about how they're not getting what they deserve, but nope that's not selfish at all, no sirree.

  • Bodica Slayer of Woodchip||

    Either a selfish bitch or a Ayn Rand pimply teenaged groupie. The derp is derpendous with Team Bern.

    Either i"m too young and dumb to understand or I'm too cruel to care.

    Well, not too young (but thanks for the thought). But yes, I really don't care and I wear the selfish bitch badge proudly.

  • Bodica Slayer of Woodchip||

    Mike Rowe - a libertarian? He sure sounds like one.

  • Zeb||

    He does that a lot.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    Mike just keeps it on the down-low to avoid upsetting consumers of his product.

    But like Apple's Tim Cook circa 2013, he's the only one who thinks he's still in the closet.

  • Bodica Slayer of Woodchip||

    Tim Cook can suck my Samsung.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    Tim Cook's on line 1.

  • LynchPin1477||

    He strikes me as someone who doesn't get that concerned with politics as long as he is left alone. Is that libertarian? I dunno.

    I think more than anything, he wants to see decent hardworking people respected. I'm with him on that.

  • fuckyougotmine||

    "I think more than anything, he wants to see decent hardworking people respected. I'm with him on that." So, unions then?

  • Zeb||

    Nothing says respect for the individual like treating people like interchangeable cogs in a machine.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Mike Rowe can have my wife. That is all.

  • ||

    One of my friends is on the Bernie Train and while he acknowledges that government can do some bad shit,in his eyes corporations are even worse because they are evil and only out to seek profits. We had a discussion years ago and I asked him, " Who the fuck has the guns, Jamie Dimon or Timothy Geithner?" If I don't want to do business with Chase, then there's no way that Dimon can force me to do so, but if I don't comply with an order from Treasury, they can send armed guards to force me to do so.

  • Frankjasper1||

    This corporations are evil talking point is mind boggling to me.

  • R C Dean||

    On the suppression of pro-Pali speech:

    We were wondering how prevalent this suppression is. Most of what I have seen in the news is the rabidly anti-Israel/Jew and pro-Pali BDS campaign, which has very widespread support amongst faculty.

    Which makes me wonder: how much suppression is of student speech that is strongly favored by faculty?

    The National Women’s Studies Association has voted by a huge majority to join the worldwide Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

    Their annual conference passed the measure by a 653-86 vote, and their full membership of 12,000 will vote on it in the next two months.

    That means the NWSA is on the verge of becoming the fifth American academic association to boycott Israel since April 2013. It began then with the Association for Asian American Studies, and since that time the American Studies Association, the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association, the American Anthropological Association, and now the NWSA have joined in.

    http://pjmedia.com/blog/femini.....l-movement

  • TheZeitgeist||

    That'll show'em. Now the diaspora of the Zionist entity has been reduced to dominating physics, finance, law, and media - you know, the useless stuff. They'll fold any minute now.

  • JeremyR||

    Saying you don't need college is all well and good, but far too often places require college because they even think about hiring you.

    Reason is the perfect example - a while back when you were hiring an editor, you required a college degree. Even though to do the job, you just need to know the rules of English.

  • block30||

    And there are a lot of good jobs that don't require college. People can find a way to earn their way through college more efficiently than boated four year programs, that often go north of four years. Employers can also help their employees pay for college as needed, NOT the US taxpayer carte Blanche!

  • Notorious UGCC||

    Universal college will increase the population of people who say, "I have a prestigious degree in Social Justice, yet I'm unemployed/flipping burgers...this is unjust!"

    Then the socialists recruit them into joining their movement - "don't you want revenge on the 1 percenters who are keeping you poor?"

    More spending producing more socialists, what's not to like?

  • JoeD67||

    He isn't saying that college is the only way to do something. He's saying that investing in education is much more important, it is CHEAPER, and provides better opportunity than putting people in prison. I think that is fairly obvious. To think he is saying that if you don't go to college you'll end up in prison is just daft. Especially when he mentions the cost of it all, ffs.

  • Frankjasper1||

    He specifically said it is cheaper to educate then it is to care for these people in prison as if those are the only two choices. Free college will not be cheap either. You are trying to spin what he wrote...he is being ridiculous.

    Because you don't go to college does not mean you will end up in prison.

  • Win Bear||

    He's saying that investing in education is much more important, it is CHEAPER, and provides better opportunity than putting people in prison. I think that is fairly obvious.

    The only thing that's "obvious" about it is that it is total bullshit, because it presumes that people go to prison because they can't pay for college.

  • martman1||

    This guy has no idea what he is talking about:
    a) Bernie is also advocating for free tuition at junior colleges and trade schools
    b) There may very well be 3 million jobs currently available in transportation, the trades and commerce as he says, but he is dead wrong in saying these jobs can't be filled. At any given time there are 3 million jobs available because of people leaving their jobs for a whole host of reasons, but they are quickly filled. These are NOT THE EXACT SAME JOBS that go unfilled week after week or month after month. This float of the number of unfilled jobs is always the case and is why 3% or 4% unemployment is considered "full" employment. If those 3 million jobs available were the SAME 3 million month after month then that number would mean something, but they aren't, so it doesn't..............anecdotal, but my son, a project manager for a large infrastructure construction firm ran an ad locally on Craigslist recently for 6 people with heavy construction experience ("welding experience preferred") and got over 100 responses within 24 hours before he pulled the ad.

  • Frankjasper1||

    Why did you repeat this twice?

  • Rick Stewart||

    It is worth pointing out the lack of a college degree does not prevent one from getting a good job in a service industry. My son has a high school diploma from the 'alternative' high school (the one for ruffians, designed only to award a diploma, not to teach anything), and possibly half a dozen college credits (although I can't remember him actually passing any of the courses he signed up for and I paid for).


    Nevertheless he was hired by [famous car company] Financial to dun deadbeats for their car payments by phone. He turned out to be wildly productive at this task, today manages the independent lawyers [famous car company] hires to dun deadbeats for their car payments with threatening legal documents. Pay is inching toward six figures.


    In the long run, ability to problem solve, innovate, and produce trumps any piece of paper you may have been awarded along the way.

  • Frankjasper1||

    Very true. But to Bernie sanders supporters you are screwed if someone else isnt forced to pay for your college apparently

  • XicaXica||

    In one way, Rowe's right; I've often told my bright 19 yr. old that he can do well without college. However, Rowe's ridiculous assertions about Sanders reveal he either doesn't have a clue - or is purposely misrepresenting Sanders.

    Firstly, Bernie Sanders is VERY pro-worker. His platform includes a plan to put millions to work in good-paying jobs, repairing infrastructure. Sanders works tirelessly to protect Social Security of those who worked hard all their lives. He is adamantly against the outsourcing of American jobs.

    Secondly, Sanders never promotes college for all - saying "IF you do well in school, you will have the CHANCE to go to college, EVEN THOUGH YOU ARE POOR". His college plan is paid for by a tax on Wall Street speculation, not by taxing middle-income workers. No advanced degrees covered.

    Not everyone has the aptitude to be a successful tradesman. Bernie also wants those who have more aptitude for things like science, law, or communications, for example, to be able to pursue those careers, without income as a barrier.

    Sanders himself worked as a carpenter. He grew up poor; his dad a paint salesman. He doesn't have any "pedigree", just a bachelor's degree. Bernie has great admiration for workers, small business owners and tradesmen. He champions our best interests.

    Sanders is no ivory tower guy... Watch his interview with Micheal Render (Killer Mike), to see the real Bernie Sanders discussing issues with a non-college-educated, small business owner.

  • Frankjasper1||

    That is the thing...he won't be able to pay for these programs by only taxing 1 percenters. He will have to shake down the middle class to do so.

    What is this plan to put millions to work in good paying jobs repairing infrastructure? Are these millions even qualified to handle infrastructure?

    You repeat Bernie's talking points without having the slightest idea on how they will be implemented. Saying he can do these things doesn't make it so.

  • Sevo||

    "He champions our best interests."

    You're an imbecile.

  • Win Bear||

    Firstly, Bernie Sanders is VERY pro-worker. His platform includes a plan to put millions to work in good-paying jobs, yadda yadda yadda

    Hitler was also "VERY pro-worker" and had "a plan to put millions to work in good-paying jobs". Heck, it even worked for a few years, before the whole thing fell apart.

    Bernie Sanders is a charlatan and snake oil salesman, who knows just the right buttons to push so that gullible people like you vote for him.

  • reasontert||

    TV actor who gets paid millions to do manual labor for very short time periods, tells lower class people they should be happy to do a lifetime of manual labor, for low pay, with the associated danger and bodily wear-and-tear.

  • Frankjasper1||

    That is the thing...he won't be able to pay for these programs by only taxing 1 percenters. He will have to shake down the middle class to do so.

    What is this plan to put millions to work in good paying jobs repairing infrastructure? Are these millions even qualified to handle infrastructure?

    You repeat Bernie's talking points without having the slightest idea on how they will be implemented. Saying he can do these things doesn't make it so.

  • Frankjasper1||

    Where did Rowe tell lower class people they should be happy to do these things for low pay?

  • UCrawford||

    Actually, in his interview he points out that welders are very highly compensated for their work. I've never met an inexpensive plumber either.

    Your problem is that you look down on people who do jobs that you don't want to do...because you're a shitty person who thinks you're better than people who do manual labor.

  • Frankjasper1||

    Yea i thought it was interesting how the person referred to those folks as "lower class" as if they are sub-human or something. I think these type of people like the caste system and defining one's self worth as how much money they have. For which of course they are the ones that should be at the top. It is almost as if they look down on these folks and their "empathy" is really a disguise for contempt to make themselves feel superior.

  • Frankjasper1||

    The Bernie Sanders supporters on here seem to think the government can wave a magic wand and poof prosperity. The cult around Bernie is perplexing. The guy is a demagogue who uses false equivalencies and economic fallacies while appealing to emotion and envy to elicit support. Bernie is a career politician and DC insider

  • UCrawford||

    It's not perplexing if you keep in mind that most people who follow politics outside of their narrow ranges of expertise only care about soundbites and don't care enough to read past the headlines of what politicians say.

    That's why I don't even bother to watch presidential debates anymore...because they're for people who are too lazy to look at what the candidates have actually done and just want the candidate to explain it to them.

  • Win Bear||

    The cult around Bernie is perplexing. The guy is a demagogue who uses false equivalencies and economic fallacies while appealing to emotion and envy to elicit support.

    Bernie is using the tried-and-true methods of early 20th century European fascism. It shouldn't be perplexing that they work again, given that they worked so well in the past for the kind of power hungry third rate politician that Bernie represents.

  • CE||

    Sounds like some of these colleges should add a course in Mike Rowe Economics.

  • Win Bear||

    In a "progressive" society, "free" government funded university education is an important place to park young people who otherwise would be unemployed due to minimum wage legislation and other destructive policies.

  • toolkien||

    A quick note to the collectivists, truncating one person's value system to subsidize another person's "free stuff" is about the most evil construction there is. Being able to use Force, broadcast and mindless, brings about every malady we know of in today's world, the example given is but one incarnation. It is so prevalent because of the rush of "Goodness" you're addicted to.

  • block30||

    I have a man crush on Mike Rowe, and he is absolutely friggin' right about this! Thank god someone has the gonads to question the saint of the left, Bernie Sanders. Bernie is a straight up, platitude pushing fascist. His campaign is so friggin childish too-"The government is gonna make it raaaaain* and we're gonna do it by taking money from the bad people." In 2016 I'm gonna Bern the feelz.

    *For the the non millennial crowd, that means to dispense money wantonly. Or something like that.

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