TV star Mike Rowe posted an NPR article to Facebook on Thursday that noted the massive number of vacant high-paying trade jobs as high school graduates continue to sign up for four-year-degrees. The post, which included commentary from Rowe, was not well received by everyone, especially one woman who was offended by Rowe's pro-"hard work" mantra, telling him he's attacking higher education and shaming those who choose to attend university.
"Yesterday, I posted an article that dared to question the universal wisdom of pushing everyone toward a four-year degree. The article reached 3 million people, and not everyone was pleased," posted Rowe on Friday.
Here's what one Dawn Baker wrote to Mr. Rowe: “Is it your intent to make those who choose college to feel ashamed, lazy and brainwashed? Our country's education system is under attack, and you seem to be supplying more ammunition to those attacking it......There's a reason many of these jobs pay well - they are truly HARD WORK - physically hard. Dangerous hard. Mentally hard. Feel free to send reps to the local unemployment office and brow beat them to send people to these jobs. Whether you mean to or not - your are sending a very bad message to those who want to destroy our higher education system."
The former "Dirty Jobs" star agreed with Baker about higher education being under attack — sort of. "You’re right — our countries educational system is indeed under attack. But the attack is from within, and the wounds are self-inflicted," he explained.
Rowe noted a so-called "cry closet" at the University of Utah, and Fresno State professor Ranga Jarrar slandering Barbara Bush as a racist witch in the hours after her death and bragging about her tenure, as recent examples of high ed falling short, to put it mildly.
"Point is, Dawn, the hypocrisy in our educational system is rank, the bias undeniable, the disrespect for our flag ubiquitous, and the entire 'safe space' mentality the exact opposite of what life is like in the real world. Higher education has created its own PR nightmare," he wrote. "Is it any wonder parents are trying to figure out if their kids should be sent into such a lopsided environment? Is it any wonder reasonable people are beginning to question the value of a four-year degree?"
He continued, "Tuition has increased at two and half times the rate of inflation. Nothing else this important has ever done that. Not real estate, energy, food, even healthcare. The question is why? Is the quality of education two and half times better than it was thirty years ago? No way. Are universities turning out more graduates? Hardly. Fifty percent of those who enroll don't even graduate. Do people have more disposable income today than they used to? Of course not.
"No, universities have been able to raise their prices partly because too many parents believe that anything less than a four-year degree will doom their kid to a less productive existence, and partly because we’ve pressured millions of kids to borrow whatever it takes from a bottomless pool of unlimited money that doesn't really exist. The result? One and a half trillion dollars of student debt, 6.3 million jobs that no one wants to do, and millions of college graduates who can't find work in their chosen fields — but lack the skill to do the kind of jobs currently available. The kind of jobs you deem, 'hard work.'"
Summing up his point, Rowe told Baker that his "intent is not to make those who choose college feel 'ashamed, lazy or brainwashed.' My intent is to remind people that a university is not the only place to enrich your mind or prepare yourself for the real world. Nor is it necessarily the best place. It's merely the most expensive. Other options exist, including those offered through my scholarship fund. Please feel free to apply, should your position at Oregon University ever vanish. Or, should you one day conclude that work is not the enemy."
Here's the full post:
H/T The Blaze