Why shouldn’t the mail carriers of tomorrow go to college?

15 05 2010

Another one of those “don’t go to college” articles appears in Sunday’s New York Times:

Professor [Richard] Vedder likes to ask why 15 percent of mail carriers have bachelor’s degrees, according to a 1999 federal study.

“Some of them could have bought a house for what they spent on their education,” he said.

My mail carrier is an interesting guy. We have a lot of very short conversations about current events when I’m around at delivery time or just out walking the dog at the right time. I have no idea whether he has a college degree or not, but I wouldn’t be surprised. Why shouldn’t he have gone to college to learn more about the world? After all, it’s not as if his being a mail carrier was somehow preordained. Besides, with a good good union job like mail carrier, I bet he could have an education and a house too.

This notion that the only reason you should go to college is to get a job is just as bad, if not worse than the students who say that they’re just there for the degree. Shoot, it might be the cause of students saying that they’re just there for the degree. There is a value to education besides the purely utilitarian, and people who think otherwise are elitists of the worst kind. “College for me, but not for they because I don’t want to pay for it” is what they’re really saying.

Like I suggested the other day: This is all just a pretext for cutting funding to universities across the country.




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