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Author Topic: Santorum: Obama 'A Snob' For Wanting Everyone To Go To College  (Read 3443 times)
ajb
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« Reply #25 on: February 25, 2012, 01:58:35 pm »
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If everybody had a college degree, are we going to have college graduates who are janitors? College graduates working the front-lines at Target? We already have quite a few who work at Starbucks...

Perhaps we could get a workforce where being a janitor was a job rather than a career?  While it came out sounding very silly, Gingrich's proposal to have kids doing the bulk of the janitorial work at their schools made some sense because you don't need even a kindergarten diploma to do most janitorial tasks.

I'd say that college (including community college) is only partly about training people to do a specific job. It's also about improving peoples' capacities to do many different kinds of jobs.
One of the problems with specifically vocational kinds of training is that vocational skills do become obsolete rather quickly these days. Whatever level people reach in the education should be aimed at expanding their opportunities generally, even if they're also getting training for a specific occupation.



Just as an aside, Santorum used to think that promoting access to college was a good thing:

http://2012.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/02/flashback-in-2006-rick-santorum-wanted-to-send-all-paians-to-college.php
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« Reply #26 on: February 25, 2012, 02:00:29 pm »
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If everybody had a college degree, are we going to have college graduates who are janitors? College graduates working the front-lines at Target? We already have quite a few who work at Starbucks...

Perhaps we could get a workforce where being a janitor was a job rather than a career?  While it came out sounding very silly, Gingrich's proposal to have kids doing the bulk of the janitorial work at their schools made some sense because you don't need even a kindergarten diploma to do most janitorial tasks.

While it's true that you don't even need to know how to read/write to do most janitorial tasks, it's also true that you have to have somebody to clean up facilities. We do not have machines that can do that task. It's an essential job in the sense that somebody has to do it if you want clean facilities. With that said, there is no great shame for some people in being a janitor for life. There are folks with an IQ of 70, for example, who could not do much else. It does not make them any less dignified than you or I. The question is this: Do we really want to dumb-down our education system to the point where people like that are being pushed through into college the same way they are, in many places, being pushed through high school today? The end result is they still end up as a janitor, a college education means nothing, and many resources were wasted in the process of getting them from point A to point B, so to speak. It would be government intervention run amok, if you ask me.
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Politico
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« Reply #27 on: February 25, 2012, 02:14:13 pm »
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One of the problems with specifically vocational kinds of training is that vocational skills do become obsolete rather quickly these days.

I question this, but I am admittedly unfamiliar with the subject. Yes, being an auto mechanic is different today versus forty years ago. But it is not that much different, is it? I would imagine auto mechanics who learned their trade forty years ago have updated their skills/knowledge on-the-job with the changes in automobiles. To give some other examples, I cannot imagine much changes with regards to learning the different specialties within construction (e.g., carpentry, electrical work, dealing with heavy machinery, etc.), or plumbing to give another example.

These are occupations that will always be around in our lifetime, and I suspect a lot of folks would be a lot happier learning one of these trades rather than being forced to attend college first.
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anvi
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« Reply #28 on: February 25, 2012, 02:19:52 pm »
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The thing is, nobody ever said everyone has to go to college.  No one.  And no one ever said that labor jobs, and careers, that required no college are not important for everyone in society.  They are, and the people who work at such jobs have, as far as I'm concerned, just as much dignity, and are worthy of just as much respect, as everyone else.

The problem here is that Rick is claiming that Obama believes everyone should go to college, which isn't true to begin with.  He believes everyone who wants to go, and who can qualify, should have a chance to go.  Secondly, Rick constantly insinuates that universities and colleges are liberal indoctrination mills.   I've taught in colleges and universities full-time for twelve years, and for five years part-time before that, and I've had just as many conservative and/or Republican colleagues as I've had colleagues of other political persuasions.  The "liberal indoctrination" charge is bs, and Rick, who has been through as much college as he has, knows it's bs.    
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« Reply #29 on: February 25, 2012, 02:26:04 pm »
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The thing is, nobody ever said everyone has to go to college.  No one.  And no one ever said that labor jobs, and careers, that required no college are not important for everyone in society.  They are, and the people who work at such jobs have, as far as I'm concerned, just as much dignity, and are worthy of just as much respect, as everyone else.

The problem here is that Rick is claiming that Obama believes everyone should go to college, which isn't true to begin with.  He believes everyone who wants to go, and who can qualify, should have a chance to go.  Secondly, Rick constantly insinuates that universities and colleges are liberal indoctrination mills.   I've taught in colleges and universities full-time for twelve years, and for five years part-time before that, and I've had just as many conservative and/or Republican colleagues as I've had colleagues of other political persuasions.  The "liberal indoctrination" charge is bs, and Rick, who has been through as much college as he has, knows it's bs.    

This. Nobody's saying that everybody should have 2 or 4 years of college to be an auto mechanic. But they should have that opportunity.
There are interesting statistics out there that show that below-average students who come from richer-than-average families are more likely to go to college than kids in the top quartile in terms of test scores who come from poor families. In other words, there are actually lots of people out there who are clearly qualified to go to college, and don't go.
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« Reply #30 on: February 25, 2012, 02:33:44 pm »
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Folks, the British have a saying: "Horses for courses." It comes from the fact that certain horses run better on certain courses. Similarly, what is suitable for one person may not be suitable for another. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for everybody. For better or worse, market forces pick horses for courses. Let the markets operate, and we will be more competitive, and resources will be allocated more efficiently, than any entity could possibly hope to achieve via planning/manipulation.
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« Reply #31 on: February 25, 2012, 02:33:47 pm »
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I've taught in colleges and universities full-time for twelve years, and for five years part-time before that, and I've had just as many conservative and/or Republican colleagues as I've had colleagues of other political persuasions.  The "liberal indoctrination" charge is bs, and Rick, who has been through as much college as he has, knows it's bs.    

In all fairness, most professors of a conservative persuasion are less likely to openly voice their opinions compared to their liberal brethren, especially outside of economics/business. At least at most colleges, anyway. I cannot imagine disputing that. But I do agree it is a bit much to charge "liberal indoctrination." I like to think that most folks in college are able to see bias when it rears its head. Perhaps I am wrong.
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« Reply #32 on: February 25, 2012, 02:47:03 pm »
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In all fairness, most professors of a conservative persuasion are less likely to openly voice their opinions compared to their liberal brethren, especially outside of economics/business. At least at most colleges, anyway. I cannot imagine disputing that.

I dispute it.  I know plenty of conservative faculty in departments of history, sociology, psychology, philosophy, religious studies, certainly law, and many other fields outside of econ and business who have no difficulty expressing their views openly, inside and outside the classroom.  There are surely places where liberals are more vocal, but there are others where either conservatives are more vocal or there is a rough balance between them. 
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Badger
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« Reply #33 on: February 25, 2012, 03:14:06 pm »
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...I support Rick, and all, but this is stupid. I live in a family where almost no one went to college in my family.

Don't tell ME someone is a snob for wanting to go to college, when YOU went to Penn State University, and the University of Pittsburgh.

It's easy to say that college "doesn't matter" or "isn't THAT important" when you went to college.

Senator, you need to word things better.
It has nothing to do with his 'words'. This is what santorum (ba, mba, jd) truly believes in his heart of hearts.

And now, because I am widely known to unfairly persecute all santorum supporters, illl be infracting you 10 points for this, and all succeeding posts you make. Wink
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« Reply #34 on: February 25, 2012, 03:14:39 pm »
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Here' some data to support what I was saying, though I've seen more complete data out there.

College attendance by Parental Income Quartile and Child's Math Test Scores:

Top quartile for income
Top third, math test scores:  84% go to college
Middle third, math test scores: 59%
Bottom third, math test scores: 27%

Bottom quartile for income
Top third, math test scores: 68% go to college
Middle third, math test scores: 33%
Bottom third, math test scores: 15%

http://www.pewtrusts.org/uploadedFiles/wwwpewtrustsorg/Reports/Economic_Mobility/PEW_EM_Haskins%207.pdf

So students from well-off families of about average intellectual ability are almost as likely to go to college as students from poor families with above-average abilities. And average-ability kids from poor families are half as likely to go to college as average-ability kids from well-off families (and go to college at about the rate of the bottom-third of well-off kids).

College isn't for everyone, and we'd be crazy to insist that it was. But it's pretty clear that there are lots of kids out there who'd benefit from going to college who aren't getting the chance.
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ajb
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« Reply #35 on: February 25, 2012, 03:17:59 pm »
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Folks, the British have a saying: "Horses for courses." It comes from the fact that certain horses run better on certain courses. Similarly, what is suitable for one person may not be suitable for another. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for everybody. For better or worse, market forces pick horses for courses. Let the markets operate, and we will be more competitive, and resources will be allocated more efficiently, than any entity could possibly hope to achieve via planning/manipulation.

To sum up what I say below: market forces already determine a lot about who goes to college -- and they favor, not the smartest kids, but the ones with richer parents.
Conservatives used to say they believed in "equality of opportunity." This would be a good place to do something about that.
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« Reply #36 on: February 25, 2012, 03:31:49 pm »
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     Santorum had a worthwhile point in there, but then buried it with an anti-education tirade. Not too surprising.
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« Reply #37 on: February 25, 2012, 03:39:02 pm »
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Folks, the British have a saying: "Horses for courses." It comes from the fact that certain horses run better on certain courses. Similarly, what is suitable for one person may not be suitable for another. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for everybody. For better or worse, market forces pick horses for courses. Let the markets operate, and we will be more competitive, and resources will be allocated more efficiently, than any entity could possibly hope to achieve via planning/manipulation.

Wow. The length of my 'point and laugh' post refuting politico's citing a phase from the victorians class system in defense of 'market forces' ensuring less affluent kids who perform well on tests go to college notably leds than wealthy kids who test similarly well would take pages to fully squeeze out every drop of foolishness in that post. Instead I'll just leave it with this apt summary:

Let's just say this is exactly the type of post one would expect from someone who (supposedly) works in finance and only a few months ago openly adnitted to envying the tycoons his bosses work for who rack up trophy wives with their vast wealth.
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« Reply #38 on: February 25, 2012, 04:03:50 pm »
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In all fairness, most professors of a conservative persuasion are less likely to openly voice their opinions compared to their liberal brethren, especially outside of economics/business. At least at most colleges, anyway. I cannot imagine disputing that.

I dispute it.  I know plenty of conservative faculty in departments of history, sociology, psychology, philosophy, religious studies, certainly law, and many other fields outside of econ and business who have no difficulty expressing their views openly, inside and outside the classroom.  There are surely places where liberals are more vocal, but there are others where either conservatives are more vocal or there is a rough balance between them. 

This--about the only disciplines where I haven't met or don't know of conservative or right-leaning professors of some description are those that are in basic bent or expectation essentially postmodern, like gender studies. Even the English department at my university has some conservative Up-Western-Canon! old-guard folks.
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« Reply #39 on: February 25, 2012, 04:05:05 pm »
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I would think the real "snobs" would want a mass economy of poors to service the college-educated  elite.
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« Reply #40 on: February 25, 2012, 05:03:21 pm »
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If the signalling model of education is at all accurate, then it's possible that at least some types of education can have negative externalities.

Imagine the (highly unlikely) world where college education provides nothing of value, but serves as a way for employers to distinguish between the (probably) smart and hard-working and those who (probably) are not. Then college graduates will earn more than non-graduates because of this and cohort effects, not because college teaches them anything. Now, suppose you introduce subsidies for college. Since the credibility of a signal depends on its cost, this just means that students have to spend more time and money on education to get the same signal. In that case, subsidies are completely wasteful. Signalling almost certainly isn't the entire reason for college, but to the degree it is relevant it reduces the social benefit of incentivising people to go there.
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nhmagic
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« Reply #41 on: February 25, 2012, 05:55:45 pm »
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The liberal indoctrination charge is correct, it's just subtler than the way liberals portray our belief in its existence.

It's in the textbooks that are selected for one.  The textbooks all mention climate change as a fact and something to consider for the future.  We got a book by Michael Ignatius on ethics that basically condemned every type of war and sanction (economic or otherwise).  One of my professors put a test question that said:

The No Child Left Behind Act from President Bush was unfunded.  If President Obama fully funds it like he has claimed he would, it would achieve the goals it was created to accomplish.  True or False.

Hint...the correct answer is "true".

My indian american history class began with the teacher showing us her favorite student's project from her class the prior semester...a video that accused President Bush of 9/11.

A not so subtle example...
When I was in biology, our professor began to talk about evolution.  He then began to show us what he called "proof" over and over and over.  He would show us something and then say.  "Still not convinced" and then he would show us another example.

And there is more
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« Reply #42 on: February 25, 2012, 05:59:35 pm »
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Reading the above post reminds how f[Inks]ed up this country is; that 'belief' in climate change and evolution are considered 'liberal' opinions.
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« Reply #43 on: February 25, 2012, 06:02:53 pm »
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Reading the above post reminds how f[Inks]ed up this country is; that 'belief' in climate change and evolution are considered 'liberal' opinions.
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nhmagic
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« Reply #44 on: February 25, 2012, 06:08:18 pm »
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Reading the above post reminds how f[Inks]ed up this country is; that 'belief' in climate change and evolution are considered 'liberal' opinions.

Perhaps, others consider it crazy that we've allowed these fraudulent theories to infect our country and twist our fellow citizens' minds.
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« Reply #45 on: February 25, 2012, 06:15:33 pm »
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People like nhmagic are the reason this country is circling the drain.
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IDS Ex-Speaker Ben Kenobi
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« Reply #46 on: February 25, 2012, 06:19:44 pm »
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While I believe that a four year education is not the best for everyone, it is for about 90% of people; this is just pandering to those who didn't go to college.

Conservative here - with a college degree.

Santorum speaks my feelings strongly. Something like what - 25 percent of people finish with a degree? Most people don't want to go and see no need to rack up a ton of debt when they would prefer to do something else.

Forcing everyone to go to college just makes it grades 13 through 16.

People should be able to do well and make a success of themselves irrespective as to whether they have a college degree.

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« Reply #47 on: February 25, 2012, 06:24:30 pm »
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I dispute it.  I know plenty of conservative faculty in departments of history, sociology, psychology, philosophy, religious studies, certainly law, and many other fields outside of econ and business who have no difficulty expressing their views openly, inside and outside the classroom.  There are surely places where liberals are more vocal, but there are others where either conservatives are more vocal or there is a rough balance between them. 

I had a few, but they were few and far between.

Only 5 percent of college professors are registered republicans. That's not balance, that is liberal indoctrination at it's finest.
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« Reply #48 on: February 25, 2012, 06:25:03 pm »
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Reading the above post reminds how f[Inks]ed up this country is; that 'belief' in climate change and evolution are considered 'liberal' opinions.

Perhaps, others consider it crazy that we've allowed these fraudulent theories to infect our country and twist our fellow citizens' minds.

Please tell me you're a self-parody or something.
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« Reply #49 on: February 25, 2012, 06:27:57 pm »
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Reading the above post reminds how f[Inks]ed up this country is; that 'belief' in climate change and evolution are considered 'liberal' opinions.

This is why liberals believe that there is 'balance'. They really don't understand what a conservative is and wouldn't understand what a conservative was even if one came up and bit them.
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