Filling them would, of course, be a big gain for the economy. And do not fool yourself, as our readers generally do not, because many of these jobs are fairly high-paying. In fact, entry-level pay for many manufacturing and industry sector jobs pay higher than jobs for college degrees. Much higher, in some cases.
So who is the opponent here? Once again, it’s our federal government. Over the last couple decades, politicians on both sides of the aisle have been pushing kids to go to college. More than any other cultural influence, government has promoted the idea that a kid who doesn’t go to college is economically worthless (although Rowe’s foundation proves that isn’t remotely true). You recongize this yourself: the emphasis on grade school education (and Common Core, more notably) hasn’t been on skills needed to get a kid into high school; it’s been about what skills kids need to get into college. College, college, college.
And why? Because the federal government is in the student loan business. 93% of the student loan debt is owed to the federal government. That means 37% of all federal assets are in the form of student loan payments. In fact, the student loan business is really the only sector of government that’s paying for itself and more.
At least two branches of government understand this, and have been working for many years to milk this cash cow further. The more students we push into college, the more money we make. And because this money is not raised through taxes—but by juicing loans—the taxpayers can’t refuse it or do much about it.
Good luck to Mr. Rowe. The Czar agrees, in all honesty, that a lot of smart kids could safely forego college and get into manufacturing, have a nice home, drive really nice cars, and eat in really nice restaurants. Unfortunately, the government disagrees. It wants your cash, one way or another.
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.