Monday, December 14, 2015

Mike Rowe Doesn't Feel the Bern

Trigger Warning:
Pretty much the opposite of this.
Reality TV show host and right-leaning paragon of awesomeness Mike Rowe had a few choice words for Bernie Sanders on Monday.  Apparently Sanders had posted a tweet earlier stating "At the end of the day, providing a path to go to college is a helluva lot cheaper than putting people on a path to jail.”  That didn't sit well with Mike Rowe, and he had quite a few choice words for Bernie Sanders:
I wonder sometimes, if the best way to question the increasingly dangerous idea that a college education is the best path for the most people, is to stop fighting the sentiment directly, and simply shine a light on the knuckleheads who continue to perpetuate this nonsense. This latest tweet from Bernie Sanders is a prime example. In less than 140 characters, he’s managed to imply that a path to prison is the most likely alternative to a path to college. Pardon my acronym, but...WTF!?
Historically, universities have promoted themselves at the expense of many other forms of “alternative education.” The implicit suggestion, reinforced daily by a generation of well-intended guidance counselors and misguided parents, is always the same - get yourself a four-year degree, or accept one of the many “vocational consolation prizes” that result from all other forms of “lesser knowledge.”
I have to admit Mike Rowe definitely has a point.  Society has pushed the idea that you HAVE to have a college degree of some sort in order to have any chance of success in today's world.  We constantly see news stories and opinion pieces that emphasize the fact that the education bar just keeps getting higher and higher.  Anyone who wants to get ahead in life has to have at least a four year degree from a decent college.  Young people who refuse to acknowledge this reality are somehow doomed to a life of burger flipping and trash picking.

What few people fail to mention, though, is that the cost of that four year degree keeps going up exponentially.  A college that cost $2,000 a semester 20 years ago might cost $5,000 a semester today.  More if we're talking about private colleges.  The situation is getting to the point where students are required to take out huge amounts of government loans to pay for these college degrees.  Unfortunately the job market today is such that many college students have trouble getting a decent job when they finally graduate.  Add to that the only way to escape from student loans is to pay them off or literally die, and you've got a recipe for disaster.

Mike Rowe has always been a champion for trade schools and vocational training.  He counters Bernie Sanders by stating that there are alternatives to a traditional college education other than jail:
The truth, in my opinion, is this: There is no alternative for an education, and no hope for a person who doesn’t want to learn something useful and apply it. But there are many, many alternatives to college. And none of them come with a prison sentence.
I have to say I find myself agreeing with Mike Rowe pretty much every time he opens his virtual mouth on Facebook.  This is definitely one of those times.

Share your thoughts and comments below.  Or follow me on Twitter @trigwarnblog, or check out my Facebook page.

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