Hart: Why not just learn a trade?

Hart: Why not just learn a trade?

March 15th, 2019 by Ron Hart in Opinion Columns

The University of Southern California in Los Angeles s one of many colleges and companies moving swiftly to distance themselves from employees swept up in a nationwide college admissions scheme, many charged with taking bribes and others from well-to-do and celebrity parents accused of angling to get their children into top schools. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Photo by Reed Saxon

The recent arrests of Hollywood parents paying for their kids to get into good colleges highlights what is wrong with higher education. We make a college education a bigger deal than it deserves.

We continue to encourage our kids to go to awful colleges and load up on stifling student loan debt, resulting in unfulfilled dreams, when many of these kids just need to get a job or learn a trade.

Ron Hart

Ron Hart

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Access to higher education is important for those who truly want to attend, but we send way too many kids who are unsuited and unprepared for it. They party and come back indoctrinated, not educated. Many become angry, entitled and virtually unemployable.

Talk to some of those "college kids." Half think Sharia Law is a daytime TV show hosted by a no-nonsense African-American lady judge.

A recent study by Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation found that only 36 percent of Americans can pass a basic citizenship test (74 percent of those 65 and older could, while only 19 percent of 45 and younger could). Educators note that this is the worst score on the citizenship test since 1916, when this country was founded.

That's the problem. Kids are getting pie-in-the-sky advice and, judging by obesity rates, they are also eating the pie.

Students should prepare for a job. Let them attend more Take Your Children to Work days — unless their parents work in the adult movie business. That'd just be awkward.

Comedian John Mulany is right about the misinformation we get as kids. Growing up, I really thought from watching cartoons that quicksand was going to be a bigger problem than it turned out to be. I was not prepared for real-life problems, such as relatives who want to borrow money.

The damage comes from parents pandering to the "Ninth place trophy kids" who are led to believe: "Just be yourself, great things will happen."

That sort of coddling false confidence is why half of American workers are unhappy and disappointed when they have to work hard at something. They inevitably view themselves as "victims" (a.k.a. Democrats). Intuition tempts us to call this "compassion," which is really feel-good lies fed to kids that take the onus off them and put the blame on others. It becomes a perpetual excuse.

Students are victims of a giant fraud: the government-run education system that has molded them for 12 gullible years. Public schools are government-run; teachers are government-hired; and government determines standards, pay, curricula and graduation requirements. Government seeks to produce compliant citizens it can someday rule without much pushback. Smart, independent thinkers are not wanted.

The result is kids who are not prepared for life or for the workforce. Twenty million young "adults" ages 18-24 live with their parents. Many parents have child-proofed their homes, but millennials still get back in.

Members of the Greatest Generation at age 19 were saving Europe from the Nazis and asking nothing in return. Now kids stay on their parents' health insurance until age 26. Kids are voting for socialist Bernie Sanders or AOC (another beaut of our education system) in droves, scared to death they may have to pay for something someday.

Few schools teach about the value of hard work, ingenuity, gumption and entrepreneurship. Those lessons are as rare as Donald Trump bumper stickers in the faculty parking lot.

Keep in mind, I have served on the Tennessee State Board of Regents, two college boards and have seen the inefficient underbelly of higher education.

Colleges have become more about political activism than education. Harvard invited the treasonous Chelsea Manning to speak as a "visiting fellow." The university eventually disinvited her, but not before ex-acting CIA Director Michael Morell resigned his senior fellowship at Harvard over it. I'd like to see Republican Bruce Jenner, Michael Morell and liberal Chelsea Manning debate. The only thing they have in common is that they are all ex-fellows.

Contact Ron Hart, a syndicated op-ed satirist, at Ron@RonaldHart.com or @Ronald-Hart on Twitter.

Getting Started/Comments Policy

Getting started

  1. 1. If you frequently comment on news websites then you may already have a Disqus account. If so, click the "Login" button at the top right of the comment widget and choose whether you'd rather log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or a Disqus account.
  2. 2. If you've forgotten your password, Disqus will email you a link that will allow you to create a new one. Easy!
  3. 3. If you're not a member yet, Disqus will go ahead and register you. It's seamless and takes about 10 seconds.
  4. 4. To register, either go through the login process or just click in the box that says "join the discussion," type your comment, and either choose a social media platform to log you in or create a Disqus account with your email address.
  5. 5. If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google to log in, you will need to stay logged into that platform in order to comment. If you create a Disqus account instead, you'll need to remember your Disqus password. Either way, you can change your display name if you'd rather not show off your real name.
  6. 6. Don't be a huge jerk or do anything illegal, and you'll be fine.

Chattanooga Times Free Press Comments Policy

The Chattanooga Times Free Press web sites include interactive areas in which users can express opinions and share ideas and information. We cannot and do not monitor all of the material submitted to the website. Additionally, we do not control, and are not responsible for, content submitted by users. By using the web sites, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of the Times Free Press web sites and any content on the Times Free Press web sites, including, but not limited to, whether you should rely on such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to review any content that you have submitted to the Times Free Press, and to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content that we determine, in our sole discretion, (a) does not comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement; (b) might violate any law, infringe upon the rights of third parties, or subject us to liability for any reason; or (c) might adversely affect our public image, reputation or goodwill. Moreover, we reserve the right to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content at any time, for the reasons set forth above, for any other reason, or for no reason. If you believe that any content on any of the Times Free Press websites infringes upon any copyrights that you own, please contact us pursuant to the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. § 512) at the following address:

Copyright Agent
The Chattanooga Times Free Press
400 East 11th Street
Chattanooga, TN 37403
Phone: 423-757-6315
Email: webeditor@timesfreepress.com