Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Friday, November 02, 2012

Quote of the Day - Higher Education Edition

(M)ost school systems are run by people who think that a four year degree in literature is a wonderful thing, and I do, too, but the country is kept running by people who know temperatures and pressures and torques and amps and volts and combustion characteristics and other things that don't fit in the average sit-com. Yes, there are some colleges offering these things, but there are also a lot of people who picked up the skills on the job. -- Mostly Cajun, Ch-ch-ch-changes!
I graduated from college with a degree in what I call "nuclear basket-weaving" - a Bachelor of Arts in General Studies, my three areas of concentration (in descending order): math, physics and engineering.

This gave me a good technical background but no actual practical knowledge other than how to do drafting, back when it was still done with paper and pencil.  That did not make me all that employable.  I started off as a helper in an electric shop at $5/hr, back when the minimum wage was $3.35.  And remember, I had a four-year degree (after 5½ years of school)!  The bottom quintile of pre-tax income in 1986 was $14,300 or less.  I made less.  I did not tell them (nor did I feel) that $5/hr was beneath my dignity.  I said "Thank you, sir, you won't regret this!"

That $5/hr job allowed me the opportunity to learn, and the stuff I know today I learned on the job. It's made me very employable. I've been unemployed once over the last twenty-six years, and that was over Christmas of 2009. Currently, I get a call or an email from a headhunter about once or twice a month. That's because I do know stuff about temperatures and pressures and torques and amps and volts and bits and bytes and words. Kids coming out of college these days? Not so much.  And the majority of the ones who do?  Foreign students who are likely to take that knowledge home with them.

My income now puts me on the ragged edge between the fourth and fifth quintiles.  Add in my wife's income, and we're solidly in the (bottom of) the top 20% of income earners in the U.S. as households go.

All because I studied stuff that makes me valuable to the people who produce wealth.

As I've pointed out previously, Mike Rowe has a lot to say about this topic that's worth listening to.

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