Recent Faux news breaking reports have been promoting the idea that a college education is “just not worth it”. Normally, I tune out their drivel, but when total misinformation is pounded into the airwaves every fifteen minutes, twenty four seven, I find it impossible to ignore without comment. Additionally, it seems that in an effort to keep abreast of Faux, CNN, “the most trusted name in news”, has picked up the meme and is doing their part to promote ignorance throughout society.
The logic thread, if you can call it that, is that the amount of student debt encumbered by some degrees does not translate into a quick return on investment. Sadly, the propagandists at Fox only recognize quick turning ROI’s like insider trading or cash laundering. We are to believe from the Faux news reports that an investment that doesn’t return instant profits, like a higher education, is foolish and to be avoided at all costs.
Contrary arguments to their news blurbs are never presented, especially ones that irrefutably disprove Faux’s assertion. For example, an article in US News and World Report states that, “Those holding bachelor’s degrees earn about $2.27 million over their lifetime, while those with master’s, doctoral, and professional degrees earn $2.67 million, $3.25 million, and $3.65 million, respectively.” “Today’s young high school-only grads earn about 62 percent of what their college-graduate peers earn.” Now even a simple-minded country boy like myself can figure that even with a $100,000 tuition debt at graduation, the $2.27 million looks like a good return on my investment.
There is an argument that can be made that there are certain high earning professions that don’t benefit from a degree. My cousin Rad has made mid 5 figures annually since high school running the family business. Simmons Sewers and Septic have been proudly pumping bilge in the Atlanta area since 1947. Rad is a third generation pooper pumper, and started his ascendancy to the “throne” in high school. Working after school and weekends, Rad learned the ins and outs of the business before he graduated high school. While Rad’s classmates were listening to SAT prep instructors, Rad was listening to the septic truck’s vacuum pump motor to make sure that the vacuum pump was operating properly. If the pump got blocked, well, things could “go in the dumper” pretty quickly.
Many of us envied Rad’s financial independence. Rad had a new car, always had spending money and was the first one of us married and then to have children. Rad went from high school to middle-age while the rest of us were trying to figure out how to squeeze out six years of parent sponsored independence for our four year degree. Rad has had a good life, and looks forward to the first Simmons graduating college in the Spring. Early on, higher education for his children became a priority to Rad because he wanted them to have a better life and more opportunities.
If the Faux news argument that “a college degree is just not worth it” can so easily be refuted, why are the propagandists so ardently pushing the concept? Could promoting ignorance have a different reward? Could the fact that the ignorant are more easily led be the real end game?