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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

WASHINGTON — Permit me to declare my bias: I came to revere community colleges for very personal reasons and learned to admire them because they are central to restoring social and economic mobility in our nation.

My late mother spent most of her work life as a teacher and a librarian. Her passions were to get every kid she encountered to love reading and to encourage students to become the first in their families to seek higher education.

Her core “constituents” included the largely working-class students in our parish’s Catholic school and, later, mostly lower-income kids who frequented the storefront public library branch she presided over in my hometown of Fall River, MA.

Because of her civic work, she was appointed to the board of Bristol Community College and she served on it until the day she died in 1995 at age 82 — still full of energy and passion.

It’s through BCC that I discovered just how much community colleges do to expand opportunity. For some, they open the way to a four-year degree. For others, they provide the training and knowledge that offer pathways to better-paying jobs.

So I think of the program that President Obama will push in his State of the Union address next week to pay the tuition for America’s community college students as, in part, a tribute to all of the people (including my mom) who have made these institutions beacons of hope. Post-secondary education should become as standard an aspiration as a high school degree once was — partly because, as Harry Holzer, my colleague at Georgetown’s McCourt School of Public Policy has argued, the “higher-wage premium” from a high school degree disappeared long ago.

In a speech on Friday outlining his plan, Obama listed the advantages of community colleges: “They’re local. They’re flexible. They work for people who work full time. They work for parents who raise kids full time. They work for folks who’ve gone as far as their skills will take them, and want to earn new ones. They work for veterans transitioning back into civilian life.”

Community colleges are valued by local businesses and also inspire bipartisan affection. Obama touted his plan in Tennessee because it’s modeled after the state’s free community college program championed by Republican Gov. Bill Haslam.

Might Obama’s idea thus interest the Republicans who now control both houses of Congress? The early returns aren’t promising. Before Obama spoke, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) wrote an op-ed worrying about federal involvement. His solution: “Let other states emulate Tennessee’s really good idea.”

Still, I suspect that Alexander, an education reformer when he was governor, understands as well as anyone how helpful federal initiatives can be in spreading good ideas from state to state. The history of the concept of states as “laboratories of democracy” is not only that governors and legislatures can learn from each other but also that really good programs can be adopted on a national scale. That’s what happened with so many Progressive Era reforms.

And even if the Republican Congress resists this idea, Obama is signaling how he sees his role during the last two years of his time in office: Yes, he needs to govern. But he also needs to put forward a long-term agenda that those who seek a fairer country can fight for after his term is over.

My late mom (who, by the way, was a registered Republican, even if she largely stopped voting for the GOP in the final decades of her life) would tell Alexander and his colleagues that friends of hard work and self-sufficiency should want to expand access to community colleges as much as possible. If they won’t join Obama on this, it’s a cause that will endure beyond his presidency.

————

All who treasure free speech should declare their solidarity with the victims of the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris. My default is to be respectful of the preferences of religious traditions as to what might constitute “blasphemy.” But Ross Douthat of The New York Times was right to say that “the presence of the gun” — the introduction of mass murder — changes everything. In these circumstances, he wrote, both “liberalism and liberty” demand that we robustly defend those who would use their rights to give offense and that we denounce all violence designed to silence them. I agree with my colleague Eugene Robinson that “the tendency must be to err on the side of defiance.”

E.J. Dionne’s email address is ejdionne@washpost.com. Twitter: @EJDionne.

Photo: U.S. president Barack Obama speaks in Knoxville, Tennessee on January 9, 2015 (AFP Photo/Mandel Ngan)

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273 responses to “The Community College Cause”

  1. Dominick Vila says:

    With millions of Americans under employed because they lack the skills needed to qualify for the best jobs our economy has to offer, and many of the best jobs going to foreign professionals, this proposal is long overdue, regardless of how many other initiatives should be pursued, and in spite of the fact that it is, clearly, a long term solution that may not produce immediate results. I think free trade schools should be free as well.

    • itsfun says:

      Who do you expect to pay for these free schools? What is the estimated cost over 10 years (something like 60 billion). The student loan program is working well (not). Oh well whats a few billion to a country that is already 17 trillion in debt?

      • bobnstuff says:

        In investment in education is a bad thing? Build one less fighter jet. Give money to people instead of oil companies.

        • kenndeb says:

          Maybe stop supporting tllegal aliens?

          • bobnstuff says:

            10 less F-22 fighters would pay for the whole thing o0ver the next 10 years and the increase in earnings would increase the taxes collected.

          • kenndeb says:

            So, in a world where we have threats of groups like ISIS, you would rather dismantle our military? The Emperor has already done a real good job at weakening our military, all the while arming government agencies, like the postal service. Perhaps his open door policy at our borders is to let these groups in? Why not? He already has many of his staff that are members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

          • bobnstuff says:

            Kenn once again you are clueless, Our borders are more protected then they have ever been. IS is a boomer job not fighter jets since IS has no jets to fight. Drones will take over most of those jobs in the next ten years. You really need to start watching Fox News because as much as it lies, where you get your information is far worse.

          • kenndeb says:

            Right. Our borders are secure, and no one is coming across, at the invitation of the Emperor. We are not letting people cross with no resistance. These people, that are not crossing into our country illegally, are all good people escaping from bad people. They are all from Mexico, not from middle eastern terror factories. Nope, I now see the “truth ” in what you and the regime says. You are so right. We should dismantle our military. If we do, than , of course, the rest of the world will do the same. I think that all these terror groups, along with N Korea, and Iran have already started to give up their weapons, and a new flower child movement has started to flourish all over the globe. I don’t know how I could have ever thought that the Emperor could have ever done anything that would hurt our country. I guess you liberals have ALWAYS been right. Silly me.

          • itsfun says:

            The emperor just spat on 50 world leaders. We can probably forget about ever getting any help for anything from them.

          • kenndeb says:

            He wants to isolate our country to some degree. How else would he declare himself supreme leader?

          • bobnstuff says:

            You seem to believe that our borders are a door that you can just close. The number of border agents is double what it was 10 years ago. Less the half the illegals come across our borders anyway 60%
            came in on visa and over stayed them. As far as the Air Force goes we have 3,318 aircraft to the 661 out dated planes the North Korea have or the 407 planes Iran has.

          • stcroixcarp says:

            You got one thing right, you are silly.

          • itsfun says:

            Lets wait until ISIS has a atom bomb and fighter jets before stopping them. Do you suggest we should just let them cut the heads of more people off? We are waiting for Iran to drop a atom bomb on us as we sit here in front of our computers. Maybe that would stop illegals from crossing our borders in record numbers though.

          • bobnstuff says:

            As I have said this war is a boomer war and a drone war. The fighter jet is on it’s way out. The flow of illegal is not anywhere close to record numbers look it up.

          • kenndeb says:

            Boomer is something you call your dog. I think you mean bomber.

          • bobnstuff says:

            I love spell check LOL

          • Dominick Vila says:

            Bob, don’t fall for it. The party with the worst foreign and domestic policies record – and an absolute lack of vision – is desperately trying to change the topic from investment in education to childish diatribes that have nothing to do with the issues being discussed.

          • Vincent Harriman says:

            Not many complain about the trillions of dollars spent on the F35, which has still no flown consistently.

      • stcroixcarp says:

        I will be glad to see my tax dollars invested in real people instead of “corporations are people, my friend”.

      • Dominick Vila says:

        The real question is not how much will free community college education will cost, but the cost of doing nothing.
        The positions taken by both parties on this issue, and on the issue of investment in infrastructure, highlights the difference between the two parties. One had no problem wasting $1T “rebuilding” what we destroyed in Iraq, has no problem building sophisticated jet fighters and nuclear cruisers at a time when our only foes – Russia and China – are focused on economic growth and improving their standard of living. The other party, is promoting investment in education as a long term solution to ensure ALL members of our society benefit from the opportunities derived from the strongest economy in the world, and a short term solution (investment in infrastructure) to help those who have been left behind get good paying jobs and put food on the table until they are ready the pursue greater opportunities.
        I can’t think of a better topic to debate with 2016 in mind.

        • itsfun says:

          The question is the cost of new give away programs. We have a student loan program. We have scholarship programs. Are we going to give free housing, medical, cars, food to students too? We have millions of illegals we are paying for now. How much stress do you want to put on tax payers?

          Russia now has the most modern nuclear weapons in the world. They weren’t made by working on their economy. Check out the status of the Russian economy now.

          • bobnstuff says:

            Russia also have free higher education.

          • itsfun says:

            nothing is free, someone is paying for it.

          • Dominick Vila says:

            Neglecting the need to ensure our young are prepared to overcome the challenges of the 21st century, which include the need to have a solid college education to succeed, is the epitome of irresponsibility.
            Yes, we do have student loans, and hundreds of thousands of American college graduates are burdened with the cost of repaying those loans for many years, as opposed to their counterparts in other industrialized countries.
            Providing free community college education is not a cure-all, but it is a step in the right direction.
            Russia military might? You got to be kidding. The USA has the largest and most sophisticated nuclear arsenal in the world. The most powerful, best equipped, and best trained military force in the world. As for the Russian economy, the problems they are facing as a result of a dramatic drop in oil and natural gas prices, and the impact of the economic sanctions we imposed on them because of the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula and their, alleged, involvement in the Ukrainian civil war, has nothing to do with their focus on economic improvements and efforts to raise their standard of living. The same goes for China. Interestingly, both of those countries, most European countries, Japan, Australia, and just about all Western nations understand the importance of a formal education, and don’t hesitate to pay for it.
            Conversely, the GOP supports a status quo that includes inadequate academic credentials, refusal to pay for anything that may help middle class and poor students get the formal education they need to succeed, and refuse to fund domestic improvements designed to ensure we remain the dominant economic country in the world.
            As a Democrat, I would love if the GOP insists and persists in pursuing anti-American policies…while supporting anything that helps those who do not need our help to enjoy everything that money can buy.

          • itsfun says:

            You may want to check your sources, I am sure you will discover that Russia now has a newer and better nuclear arsenal. You also may want to check the size and how modern the Chinese Navy is. When everything is given to one, where is the incentive to ever earn anything? We are becoming a country of free everything for anyone. We are paying for illegals, we have huge welfare roles. Food stamps are at a all time high. We have a 17 trillion dollar debt. What happens when the tax payers run out of money? Now you want to add another 60 billion to the debt. The time has come to cut these give away programs, not increase them.

          • Dominick Vila says:

            Since I had to work for everything I have, I am at a loss when it comes to talking about freebies.
            Our national debt is the result of deficit spending, and expenditures exceeding revenues. The solution for that is to pay for what we benefit from, rather than charge it. The record on deficit spending, and what caused it, are clear.
            Investing $60B to improve our education system is a drop in the bucket, and does not require raising taxes or additional deficit spending. All we have to do is to change our priorities and focus on what is truly important to us as a nation.

          • itsfun says:

            One cause of the national debt is creating give away programs with no way to pay for them. 60 billion is not a drop in the bucket. It will just be a additional burden to carry. Our government doesn’t cut programs once they are in place. They just keep adding and adding burdens with no way to pay for them. Maybe if we quit giving illegals free housing, medical care, food, then we could afford a free community college program.

          • Dominick Vila says:

            I don’t know where you live, but in Florida, where I live, illegal immigrants live in shacks in the farms where they work. Don’t confuse illegal immigrants with legal Hispanics and Latinos, who have the same access to social programs and benefits as everyone else.
            A 5% reduction in the DoD budget, and limiting foreign aid to countries afflicted by famine, widespread disease, and natural disasters would pay for the expansion of free formal education in the USA.

  2. Gary Miles says:

    I’m all for helping young people get better opportunities. Before we know it, McDonald’s will be requiring a 4 year degree to get one of their 15 dollar an hour jobs that some people want. Another “careful what you wish for” moment. I like what Tennessee did and hope that other States, via a vote by the people, will do the same. Nothing is free and nothing the Feds do is cheap. Let the States fix the problem.

  3. The market is already saturated with people who have degrees. Many of those degrees are useless. This will just make the college degree even less worthwhile and push more people who should not be going to college to do so, all the while increasing the overall cost of education.

    • bobnstuff says:

      There is no such thing as a useless degree. It’s the act of learning that is important. That being said, the degrees that are of less value come from for profit “colleges” that charge as much as the finest schools gave give the student little more then a high school level class. These “colleges are already getting a lot of government education dollars from the GI bill. Just shifting that money and the other grants would help. The community colleges have a history of working with the business community to develop programs that will fill there needs for skilled employees. If America want’s to stay competitive with the rest of the world then need to kick up the education system and this is a good start.

      • > There is no such thing as a useless degree. It’s the act of learning that is important.

        Unfortunately college degrees tend not to be about learning. They are about creating good little workers that do as their bosses tell them. Community college has more or less become an extension of high school.

        > If America want’s to stay competitive with the rest of the world then need to kick up the education system and this is a good start.

        This is true. However “free” community college will not have the desired effect.

        • Jambi says:

          Nice to know their’s some optimistic people in America (who can even speak for millions of Americans who’ve attended Community Colleges and who’ve become successful) who don’t? believe in higher education?…Thanks for sharing your amazing “vision” and your undefined ideal of “desired effect”….

          • I speak as someone who has done extensive research on education. The core of the education system in America is flawed. Could a healthy education system take its place? Yes. Should it? Yes. Will it? Probably not.

        • bobnstuff says:

          Over half the people I know with college degrees are not working in their field of study but would have never gotten the job without a degree. I worked for the Scotts Miracle-Gro Company you had to have a degree to move up in the company. They didn’t care what it was in. I was an English Lit major.

          • Dominick Vila says:

            I worked for a large corporation (a NASA contractor) for 40 years. At first, promotions were based on measurable accomplishments and merit, by the 1980s promotional requirements for management positions included having a degree. Without a degree, workers were simply ineligible for promotion to management, largely because that was a contractual requirement that could not be ignored or dismissed.

          • As I said, a degree is necessary, but it is not in any way sufficient. Also, having a degree isn’t about having skills in a field. It is about being a good little worker.

          • itsfun says:

            A degree no matter what field shows a employer that you can and will learn. Whats more important, a degree or years of experience in a field? Keeping a person from a promotion because of no degree is without merit and completely destroys the moral of a good employee. Whey work hard when there is no chance of promotion?

          • No.it shows an employer that you will obey, not that they can and will learn. Also, itmis outright disgusting thst a high school deploma does not show this.

          • bobnstuff says:

            So you want to tell your employer you won’t obey?

          • The education system should not be about creating good little workers.

          • itsfun says:

            Are you saying that earning a degree and doing what professors tell you to do is not showing a employer that you can and will learn their business? If someone is not capable of or willing to learn my business I don’t want them. Your make it sound like a master-slave relationship.

          • A college degree says that you will obey your superior regardless of how stupid the command and that you are good at regurgitating information. The “education” system is not about being a good learner. It’s about being a good worker. That’s a problem.

            > Your make it sound like a master-slave relationship.

            Welcome to corporate America.

          • itsfun says:

            What happens if you obey and can’t learn? So much for the degree.

          • charleo1 says:

            Well, that’s the system. Like it or not. The unemployment rate for H.S. Grads only= 5.9%. The unemployment rate for Bachelor/Associate degreed=2.9%. Now let’s talk about the top 1%.How many of their kids have degrees? Now let’s talk about opportunity, the lack of it, without a secondary ed. And the growing income gap, the cratering Middle Class. Or, the odds of one ending up poor, if they started out poor, going up above 50%, for the first time in America, in 70 years. And the increasing odds of being born into poverty in America doubling in the past 15 years. Who pays? We, the American people pay. Who benefits? We all do.

          • itsfun says:

            Sorry Charlie: I just can’t agree with much of what you say. Obama wouldn’t be president if there is no opportunity for poor. Bill Clinton would not have president if there is no opportunity for poor. It seems we just keep throwing money at education with no results. Maybe the education system needs to change and show some better results. I have paid enough for school taxes, food stamps, welfare, etc and I am seeing no benefits.

          • charleo1 says:

            It’s the same argument that’s been around for years. I don’t have kids, so why should I have to pay school taxes? It’s all eff”d up anyway! Well, it’s called, you pay it forward, for the good of society. It goes to the idea, we owe the following generations at least the same opportunities for a future as we had, when we were their age. And it really doesn’t matter if one is rich, or poor. Although, those who were poor, and became rich, I think seem to appreciate the concept more than those who’ve always had everything handed to them. You know, the entitled rich. The I’ve goy mine Jacks, too bad about yours, Jack! Barack Obama was elected not because the poor have more opportunities than when Bush was elected. They have less. Obama was elected because even rich persons agree that having an educated society is worth the investment. It’s essential to their interests. And some even love their Country more than they hate paying taxes to support the education of all America’s youth.

          • itsfun says:

            My point about both Clinton and Obama was they both came from poor upbringings to become the President of the US. They must have gotten an opportunity somewhere along the line.

          • charleo1 says:

            I’m sure, when one comes from single parent homes, of modest means, to become POTUS, as both these men did. There’s a lot more than simply expanding the education franchise involved. But, expand it we must, it seems to me. Because, if the road to becoming President involves access to those higher
            educational institutions. And those institutions are not
            available but to the rich, which is more and more the case. Then, only the rich will ever become President. And how good for the Country would that be? How many of our best Presidents would have never become President under such a system? Plus, if we are to compete in a global climate, where foreign govt. send their best, and brightest here, and pay their way. We can’t afford to have our best, and brightest denied entry simply because they lack the money.

          • Gary Miles says:

            Charleo, Good day and best wishes to you and yours on this fine day. I wasn’t long ago I was researching for an article on how government involvement has been mostly a disaster. To keep this post short, I went all the way back to Carter and read every single State of the Unions address’s given by every President to date. Every one of them stated in basically the same words, “we need to invest in education”. What I learned is that throwing money at the issue of education isn’t working at all. In fact, in my opinion, our education system has gotten worse since the Carter administration.

            I’m unsure of your opinion of today’s education system. I feel that it is poor, over priced and failing our kids. Too many college grads are way too far in debt and can’t find good paying jobs in their selected studies. My suggestion is to remove government from the system completely. Let charter schools open country wide and let the taxes currently being collected pay for it, but without any government input at all. Lose the school boards that are unnecessary and tend to be a hindrance to actual education. Just some thoughts, have a great day!

          • itsfun says:

            I don’ think our brightest and best are going to community colleges. They are getting scholarships provided for the brightest and best.

          • charleo1 says:

            Let me tell you, in this Country, they could be working for minimum wage at McDonalds. The point is, we should be expanding opportunities for higher ed. not counting pennies. While cutting taxes for billionaires, and subsidizing non-livable wages, by chipping in on food stamps, and housing. Okay, but here’s the real kicker. We ostracize single Mothers for not going to work for wages that don’t pay their bills. Then, turn around and cut early schooling programs like head start, to ‘cut spending.’ Handing Mom a $250.00 a week baby sitting bill, there’s no way she can pay at minimum wage. Then, refuse to raise the minimum wage. So she’s back on welfare, because she has no choice but to stay home with her children. And she’s the goat they blame for all the debt. Now she could take classes online. But, they are loathe to help out there too. Oh, the Head Start money? That went up the lobby chain, and is now a new tax break for businesses starting up in China. Or, increasing the farm subsidies, for no particular need. Education expansion is for mostly about getting out, or staying out of poverty. A hand up, and off the gov. dole.

          • itsfun says:

            Charlie: You are reading me wrong. First, I am against using my tax money for free community college. I mostly agree with what you are saying about single mothers. Where I used to live the state had a program, where single mothers on state aide could apply for a part time job with the state and still keep their aide. They were paid minimum wage, given child care in addition to keeping all their state aide. They were trained in various fields. After one year they were off the program with 1 year of training and good references to help them get a full time good paying job. That was great training while being paid and getting the satisfaction of accomplishment. It was a chance they had never had before. One problem is dead beat fathers. Another problem is I personally have a niece that applied for state aide because she is a single mother. However when she refused to name the father, she was refused the aide. I can’t blame anyone but her for that. She denied the state the chance to go after a dead beat. Single mothers are not terrible or bad people, they are just people. On anther subject, I believe our government should provide excellent care and housing, food, and anything else to people with terrible diseases, instead of making a private insurance company pay to help these poor people. I think that would be a good use of my tax money. I don’t think it is a good use of tax money to give hand outs to health people that just refuse to work.
            One more thing about the community college give away, if a student works hard enough in high school to earn good grades, there are several ways for them to get tutition help.

          • charleo1 says:

            If I’m reading you wrong, I apologize. But you seem fairly reasonable, and not atypical of those who mistrust any program funded by the gov. to be effective, and affordable. And not be blown up into some giant, self sustaining bureaucracy. It’s understandable for good reason. And we should all be cautious. But here’s the deal for me. As is the reality from here on out, we’ll be living in a super competitive global economy. Where companies that will employ hundreds of thousands of people are going to be able to pick, and choose where they locate, and what labor force they will be employing.
            It will be in this is the World in which our following generations will have to not only survive, but thrive. If America is to remain a force for all the good things we’ve always strived to represent. And even here, in America, as we’ve watched the proliferation of low, and semi-skilled immigrant workers. And a lot of attention has been directed at that. There has also
            been the growing tendency to employ foreign educated workers in the high tech industries. Because they work here for less, for the experience. And, because their Gov. pays for their education, they have what I think is an unfair advantage on our kids, in their own Country! And to add injury to this unfair insult, these now highly trained engineers, and software analysts, go back to their respective Homelands, with hundreds of billions of dollars worth of knowledge, we taxpayers often paid for the research that made the industry possible in the first place. And America, which I consider, my team. Is, as a result of this lack of opportunity for our best, and brightest, is falling behind such powerful competitors as China, India, or even Vietnam. This as graduates of MIT often face a staggering $100,000 loan, even after taking advantage of available grants, and scholarships.

          • plc97477 says:

            I have often asked those who claim no reason to pay school taxes because they have no one using the schools, “Would you want the doctor that is going to take care of you at your end of life to be able to read and write?” I would say that is a good reason to pay school taxes.

          • charleo1 says:

            Of course! But you read what the I’ve got mine crowd is reflexively throwing at the idea of gov.
            subsidization of Community Colleges? The same
            objection they throw at everything that could possibly help the poor, and Middle Class. Well, the education system that put men on the moon, is now terribly broken. That’s according to the corporate Right Wing elites. And nothing more will be spent, until the evil Federal Gov. is expunged entirely. I couldn’t have put it more cleverly if I was billionaire, “Leave my money alone, and quit regulating my chemical, and refining companies!!!” David Koch himself. It’s actually extortion, and here’s the ransom note. We’ve got your Country by the short hairs. We control better than half of the gov. And if you, the Middle Class want help on anything, first you will allow me, us, my class, to shape, and control every facet of your lives. And here’s our list of demands. First destroy the public school system, and turn your children’s education over to us. We feel most of them, are useless little creatures anyway, and need very little education. What? To run cash registers, stock shelves, and drive trucks? And cost us a fortune on healthcare. Which, by the bye, we aim to dispose of that wholly unnecessary expense, ASAP. They don’t do it in China, and so we’re not doing it here no more! Lots of
            freedoms like that in Communist China!

        • whodatbob says:

          Hard to find so much BS packed into one post!

    • Dominick Vila says:

      The market is saturated with professionals from India, Pakistan, China, and European countries, who fill the most lucrative and challenging jobs our economy has to offer, while our young blame illegal immigrants for their inability to do bracero work.
      It is true that some liberal arts degrees offer few advancement opportunities, beyond those dealing with personal satisfaction, but more often than not a college education is the key to professional, and financial success. The same goes for trade schools.

      • A college degree is necessary, because of market saturation and lack of alternatives, but it is not in any way “the key” to success. Trade schools are a good alternative, and other options need to be added.

        • bobnstuff says:

          Are you aware that many community colleges, all in my area , offer trade as well as straight college programs.

          • Yes. I am. An associates in occupational studies is a good option, but trade options should not start after graduation from high school. By 16, students should be deciding what route to take.

          • bobnstuff says:

            I changed my major 6 times in college. My oldest got her draftsman certificate while in high school but has never worked as one. My son got a degree in Culinary Arts and has never worked out side of that area.

          • bobnstuff says:

            At age 16 I had no clue what I wanted to do as was the case of my daughter. My son after 15 years is looking to change out of food service and my daughter just went into it. This is the reason for a university education.

          • So after spending 12 years in education, you need to spend another 2 years in education so that you can start thinking about what you want to do. Yeah. There’s an issue with that as well.

          • bobnstuff says:

            Some people take a little longer deciding what they want to do. I have had five total different careers over 45 years and am about to change again. I’m good at almost everything I have tried.

          • And your indecision should be on someone else to be why? All “free” community college does is force colleges to dumb down their material while increasing costs.

          • bobnstuff says:

            I had the advantage of a university education which didn’t limit me in what I could do. I have used
            everything I learned in college and not a class was wasted. Had I gone to trade school I would have never been able to do the things I have done. My point is that a good basic education can open doors
            that you never even know were there.

          • A good basic education CAN open doors. If after 12 years, you’re still looking for a good basic education, that says something about the system.

          • bobnstuff says:

            High school can only do so much. I went to a top rated high school which prepared me for college. College prepared me for the world.

          • Less than 40% of those in 12th grade are prepared for college.

          • bobnstuff says:

            The high school I went to has a 98% graduation rate most go on to higher education but that has a lot to
            do with the parents and the fact that it’s an educated area. If you want to improve education you must value it first. We do not value education in our country. We value the sports team more then the
            academics. Untill this changes nothing will improve.

          • That’s great that you had a good high school. However the general situation is not so wonderful. But as I said, college should not be an extension of high school, and “free” community college is just promoting that.

          • bobnstuff says:

            All high schools should be as good as
            mine was and still is. I think I have done a little to help by
            valueing it and by passing on that value to my children. I have been
            active in their education and they are now active in the education of
            others. When I was in school there was enough time in twelve years to
            equip me to go out in the world but in the 45 years since things have
            changed. The 21th century demands a whole new skill set
            that can’t be fully mastered in just twelve years. We need higher education just to be competitive in the job market. You need computer
            skills to stock shelves or work on a car. It’s a whole new world. As far as being free, it’s the one thing that can cut across all classes. The other thing to take into acount is the cost of higher
            education to day. When I went to college you could make enough money in the summer to pay for the years college. I had no student loans.
            Tuition at Penn State was $618 per year back then now it’s $16,992 per year. People are always talking about passing the national debt down to our children but look at the real debt we give them just to get an education. As far as the quilty of the education at the community colleges, it is in someways better then the big universities. Smaller classes, instructures that teach their own
            classes instead of getting their grad students to do it for them. The big universities can be publish or perish places and resource is more important to teaching.

          • > When I was in school there was enough time in twelve years to equip me to go out in the world but in the 45 years since things have changed. The 21th century demands a whole new skill set that can’t be fully mastered in just twelve years.

            Really? People in many different countries decide to go directly into the work force rather than going to college. Japan is a prime example. Or are you saying that Japan’s limited technology and backward third world nature (sarcasm) is why they don’t need that whole new skill set?

            > Tuition at Penn State was $618 per year back then now it’s $16,992 per year.

            Of course it is. Subsidies inflate prices.

          • bobnstuff says:

            54% of the Japanese go on to college, the forth highest rate in the world. Their education system is better from the ground up. Their teachers aren’t spending half their time keeping order in the class room and the students help each other to learn. Also most children go to school on Saturdays for extra classes so yes they can go out into the world with a high school diploma, it’s worth more then one of ours.

          • > 54% of the Japanese go on to college, the forth highest rate in the world.

            I am guessing you did a quick google search and found http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Education/2010/0809/Countries-with-the-highest-college-graduation-rates/Japan-53.7-percent

            If that’s the case, please note that the article discusses graduation rate, not attendance rate.

            You might want to look at estimates for enrollment rates instead: http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/Education/Tertiary-enrollment

            Note that the United States actually leads the pack at 72.6% while Japan’s enrollment rate is only 47.7% Part of this has to do with the fact that it is more difficult to get into college in Japan and also that college is not as necessary.

      • Louis Allen says:

        Come on, Dom.
        “… REPUBLICAN style fiscal conservatism: deficit spending, accumulation of
        debt, ….” ??!!!!
        WHATTTT??!!!

        • Dominick Vila says:

          Check the record. Deficit spending was the centerpiece of Reagan’s, Bush I, and Bush II’s, presidencies. Reagan increased the national debt 18 times to keep up with spending and the effects of irresponsible tax breaks. W did the same. Bill Clinton’s policies helped generate a budget surplus, and President Obama has cut the deficit by 2/3 from what he inherited from W.
          When the GOP talks about fiscal conservatism they don’t talk about what most people interpret as conservative policies. That is, paying for what we get and benefit from. Their idea of conservatism is to charge it, let someone else worry about how to pay for the debt we incur, and make sure we have enough money in our pockets to buy the latest video game, cell phone, or invest in overseas ventures.

        • joe schmo says:

          Isn’t it always the Republicans fault if you are a Liberal. The narcissists can never see the forest for the trees…..

      • joe schmo says:

        I truly think a non-profit should be set up to deal with wealthy philanthropists and Corps.

        No need to raise taxes… Just have someone find out where all that education money is going. What about part of the money from the lottery that was supposed to be for education….. Ohhhh, that’s right, Governor Moonbeam in our state robbed Peter to pay Paul.

        • Dominick Vila says:

          Florida Governor Rick Scott is doing exactly the same. Using state lottery monies for other than its intended purposes is not the same as using Federal government money appropriated for education, for other purposes. If caught, the latter can result in a prison sentence for defrauding the government and taxpayers.

    • charleo1 says:

      Thanks for being the naysayer here. Every good conversation needs a naysayer. Unfortunately, the Country is awash in them. And sorely in need those who still remember the value of investing in our youth. And the diddley-squat benefits of another budget busting tax cut, for corporations, and billionaires. Or, the insanity of flushing more of our money down the toilet on the next credit default scheme. How many young minds could we have trained with the treasures poured out in the sands of Iraq? How many brilliant minds will decide to forgo a higher education, because we now decide the monies are just not there? And how much will that cynicism, and lack of faith, save us in the long run? Money, like time, is a finite commodity for which we can always find enough to invest in those things we believe in, and trust. And, when education is no longer included in that category. Can the splatter we make as we hit rock bottom, be something we can all finally believe in?

      • A naysayer? Nay. I am pointing out how stupid the idea of “free” community college is and how broken our education system is. There are ways to improve our education system. This is not it.

        • charleo1 says:

          It’s stupid then, only because of the failure of the larger system? Or of gov? Which is never likely to change in any real way overnight. So, it’s best not to be an excuse to put off investment in education. We can still walk and chew gum. Invest, and improve. There are some issues that simply should not wait until we decide whether or not to hold a revolution.
          Or another Civil War, by another name. While our infrastructure crumbles, our public investment atrophies, and our kids all become Walmart Associates. That’s the half that can find a job. Or, why some High Schools have a 50% drop out rate? Is it really because of the system? Or because these kids look out at their prospects, the life of their parents, and say why bother? I’m not buying in to this crap! And why should I become just some good little pawn to fill the Walton’s pockets And if we delude ourselves into thinking, well, that’s just their tough cookies. We’re going to look around and ask one of these days, what has happened to this Country of ours? What went so wrong, and when? Why are all the prisons full? Why are there so many kids involved in gangs, and drugs nowadays? What has happened to the Middle Class? Why does everyone I know rent, and not own their homes anymore? And have almost no savings for the future? Were did all that prosperity, and security go?

          • First, let me introduce you to a concept. It’s called the paragraph. It makes it easier to read what someone has written. Without paragraphs to separate ideas, words become one giant mass. That being said, let me address your points.

            > It’s stupid then, only because of the failure of the larger system? Or of gov? Which is never likely to change in any real way overnight. So, it’s best not to be an excuse to put off investment in education. We can still walk and chew gum. Invest, and improve. There are some issues that simply should not wait until we decide whether or not to hold a revolution.

            We should work on improving the current situation. However, trying to provide “free” community college is not an appropriate solution and will further drive the education system into the ground.

            > While our infrastructure crumbles, our public investment atrophies, and our kids all become Walmart Associates. That’s the half that can find a job. Or, why some High Schools have a 50% drop out rate? Is it really because of the system? Or because these kids look out at their prospects, the life of their parents, and say why bother?

            There is no single answer to this string of questions. Strong family involvement is important. So is a healthy education system. We do not have either. However, that does not change that the education system is fundamentally flawed.

            > And why should I become just some good little pawn to fill the Walton’s pockets?

            This is exactly what the public education system is about: creating good little workers for corporate America.

            I will not attempt to address your final string of questions as they are so far off topic that they border on absurdity.

          • charleo1 says:

            Hey, we’re just talking Professor. Don’t make me get out my red pen on your inability to believe in, looks like anything. Too late! Got kids? Are you just as negative about their possible improvement of opportunity thru education, as you were in your own? That is not a trick question. Unless you have some definitive solutions to repair the flaws you see in our Ed. system, that doesn’t require investment. It sounds to me, you’re just using the old flawed system excuse to cover up your own selfishness, and lack of insight to be bothered with any future most people would be interested in living in. Including the kids, who’s opinions you see as being so far, “off topic,” as to not be worth addressing. Just how long did you have to think about this idea of free college ed. before you dismissed it? Decided to be against it? About two seconds, I’m guessing. That’s why I pointed out, right here, without paragraphs, proper grammar, spelling, whatever. Naysayers are useful in conversations. Then, they just become lumps to be overcome by the rest of us.

          • > Are you just as negative about their possible improvement of opportunity thru education, as you were in your own?

            Again. I have no problem with improving the education system. I wrote a book on the topic. I just do not consider the approach being mentioned here to be the correct one.

            > Just how long did you have to think about this idea of free college ed.

            Quite a long time. I have done a large amount of research on the topic of education, including comparisons between our education system and other systems as well as the history of our education system. I also tutored at a community college for ten years, during which time I came up with the idea of a more holistic approach to education where less focus is placed on specific topics and more emphasis is placed on nurturing the ability to learn.

          • charleo1 says:

            Excuse me please. But if, in all your experience, and book writing, your conclusion is, in order to keep the value of a college degree high, we must make sure we limit the number. Then, I disagree with your conclusion. Especially if your method of limiting the supply, is denying a higher education to those not fortunate enough to have Daddy pay for it. Okay?For all it’s holistic approach, you don’t so much as hint at. It seems is just another way of verbalizing, or putting into other terms some simpletons may not understand. The further protection of the rich, and their perceived entitlement to run, and own all, and everything in this Country, at the expense, and on the backs, of everyone else. Thus, your transparent, down the rat hole description of education as not empowering one to control their own destiny. No, you claim. But, only to teach one to be subservient to their corporate overlords. Bunk! Why do we know it was illegal to teach the slave to read? So to be more slave like, or less? You know, I have done a fair amount of research myself. Read the proposed curriculum of those who would destroy the public school system. Their objections to any oversight of what they decide to teach, at their publicly funded, corporately, and politically directed, little Right Wing, ideologue factories. These Kleptocrats, and their wet dreams of glory. Of course they are against a bit of publicly funded higher education. Of course!

          • > Excuse me please. But if, in all your experience, and book writing, your conclusion is, in order to keep the value of a college degree high, we must make sure we limit the number.

            I am not saying that we should limit the number. I am saying that making it “free” artificially inflates the demand for college degrees and decreased their worth, both because they are more plentiful and because, in order to make it easier for one to receive a college degree, the courses are often watered down.

            > Thus, your transparent, down the rat hole description of education as not empowering one to control their own destiny. No, you claim. But, only to teach one to be subservient to their corporate overlords. Bunk!

            Not bunk at all. The number of “high school graduates” who are deficient in basic skills is revolting. They are not taught to learn. In fact, much of education results in apathy towards seeking information.

            I won’t respond to the second half of your reply as it is too far off topic.

          • charleo1 says:

            The second half of my comment goes to the heart of the discussion. It’s no longer why Johnny can’t read. The fact is, Johnny could always read. It was the lack of investment in his schools in the inner cities, that failed Johnny. His 20 year old texts, while we see computers, and internet in the suburbs. Inner City Johnny, is still using the hand me downs, in his falling down, gang infested school. Living his latch key existence, as his Mother works two jobs to pay the rent. Or, has herself given up on everything. Johnny a
            long time ago. Hey, newsflash to the wealthy elite. Living on public assistance is no picnic. Nor is sending kids to dangerous and dilapidated schools, to save a buck in order to lower corporate taxes, a way to cut the deficits. But, a case of pay me now, or pay me much more later.

        • Dominick Vila says:

          The most challenging problem, when it comes to education, cannot be solved by the government or academia. The source of the problem is at home and it involves parents too busy pursuing financial goals to care for their children, children growing up without parental supervision or guidance, children who are not motivated because they are spoiled from the day they are born, and ambivalence on the part of society.
          Government can establish goals, pursue policies such as this, and provide funding, but they cannot change the mentality of those who prefer to text or play video games instead of preparing to overcome the challenges of the 21st century. Likewise, academia can – and does – provide excellent tools, good institutions of learning, and devoted teachers, but in spite of their best efforts they are as incapable as the government to tech those who don’t want to be taught. That is one of the most important challenges we face as a society, and one that only us – the people – can solve.
          President Obama is simply proposing an expansion of public education for those who want to better themselves, and for those who do not have the financial means to pursue a higher education.

          • There are certain issues at home. However that does not mean that we cannot work to make the education system itself as successful as possible. And as I said, “free” community college is not the answer.

            > President Obama is simply proposing an expansion of public education for those who want to better themselves, and for those who do not have the financial means to pursue a higher education.

            Less than 40% of individuals in 12th grade are prepared for college. Fix that before creating 13th and 14th grade!

          • joe schmo says:

            It is kind of modeled after the European Model because the first two years of High School in Europe are actually the first two years of college.

          • joe schmo says:

            Honestly Dominick I think what you are stating is a crock of crap. I believe we need better guidance counselors at the High Schools. My wonderful parents had European educations but did not understand the American way. I wish I would have had a counselor pull me in the office every year I was in High School and talk to me about college. I basically had to find out everything myself. Some people are self driven. I am one of those people. I started slow, worked hard, went full time and ended up with my Master’s. It can be done. You just need the motivation and a great role model to help steer you in the right direction. I think counselors in the High Schools should be much more proactive.

          • hicusdicus says:

            People thinking like domino is one of the reasons this countries butt is in a crack. I don’t have any degrees and I did not graduate high school. I am debt free and my capital base is way over a million. What did I do wrong? Formal schooling is only a part of being successful.Turn off the TV put down the beer, snub out the joint pick up a book and read and when you finish it read another one. and so on.

          • idamag says:

            English wasn’t your strong suit, was it? Actually, I had already guessed you didn’t have a degree and doubted you had finished high school.

          • hicusdicus says:

            And what is wrong with my English? Most people understand me quite well particularly when I write them their paychecks. I guess you could say that accumulating money was my strong point. What is your strong point? Is it your nature to be rude and insulting?

  4. Alvin Harrison says:

    As a nation we are WAY behind other Nations with regards to education…we are 22nd in sciences, in the high teens in match reading etc…anything that can improve the education of our population is worth looking at…we cannot stay on top if our workforce is lacking the skills needed to compete in a world that requires top notch skills …

    • joe schmo says:

      ….and this is what I used to tell my students all the time. You better work your ‘patootie’ off or you will not be able to compete with the rest of the world. No one in any other country will care.

  5. itsfun says:

    Who pays for this? My guess is middle class tax payers.

    • CrankyToo says:

      Of course! Only those tax monies raised from the middle class will be used to fund this initiative.

      Don’t you ever tire of playing the fool?

    • stcroixcarp says:

      And who benefits most from those spent tax dollars–the middle class.

      • itsfun says:

        I haven’t seen any benefits of paying for others.

        • stcroixcarp says:

          Then you haven’t looked very hard.

          • paulyz says:

            Do you mean how I didn’t have to look hard to see all the Illegals in the Hospital waiting for “free” care while I paid thousands, even with expensive insurance? Same with free education. Illegals will get that too at middle-class expense. Why do you Liberals always want to give everything to ILLEGALS then bitch when Americans are broke or unemployed?

          • joe schmo says:

            Do you live in CaliMexico? Boy, are you right on target. They had the audacity to spray paint the Court Building in Santa Barbara the other day because they were called ‘illegals’ in an article the paper brought out. How dare they! It can only get worse.

            If a college does not cater to the bastards, they do not get grants. We had one college almost have to close because it was not ethnic enough and, instructors who speak Spanish get paid more. Just think of all the money we could be saving by collecting taxes from their money and not allowing them to stay here after the growing/picking season is over.

            LOL, Because Liberals are no longer Americans. They are globalists.

          • hicusdicus says:

            Just wait and see how the Muslims treat the global liberals. Think of all the cars it will get off the street. Being a used car dealer might be the way to go.

      • paulyz says:

        You mean like how paying for all those unpaid student loans helped us in the middle-class?

        • stcroixcarp says:

          We have not paid for those student loans. My son and daughter-in-law, for a typical example. are paying back those student loans at 6% interest. They are not able to refinance at a lower rate. If they didn’t have student loans, they could afford to buy a house, a newer car, some furniture, and eat out. All of this economic activity would make for a more prosperous community. All of us would benefit. As for free community college, students could avoid costly student loans. College could afford to offer more courses, more teachers, custodians, secretaries etc providing more employment opportunities in your community. That would in turn stimulate the economy, and more tax revenue would be generated and the national debt could be paid down. that would certainly benefit you.

      • joe schmo says:

        ? No…..the poor….and those on welfare. Who pays most of the taxes?…..The middle class which is becoming poorer every year Obummer is in office.

        • stcroixcarp says:

          If you provide a way out of poverty so that the poor can get decent paying jobs and enter the middle class, you benefit by not having to fund poverty programs, and by having a more productive economy, less crime, more goods and services for everyone. Just a word about welfare. People have a 5 year limit on collecting welfare. This reform was made during the Clinton administration. Non citizens. resident aliens and illegal aliens cannot collect welfare. So you don’t really need to worry your pretty little head about welfare.

          • joe schmo says:

            Well, we have sort of tapped into that by having lower gas prices and by bypassing the president and all his anti-gas initiatives. Guess Americans showed him a thing or two about innovative Capitalism. You know the sort of thing your man wants to mandate an emission tax on. It’s saving EVERYONE money. Even the poor. Anyone who wants to deny them that is not looking out for the underprivileged best interest.

  6. Buzz Waldron says:

    . Should be REAL COLLEGES, not junior colleges…
    . exPres. EvilBushJr. tended to only visit training schools/junior colleges/community colleges, because the students at real colleges were thinkers and vastly smarter than him… and didn’t fall for his lies…

  7. pjm19606 says:

    Good intentions but half-assed from the so-called most powerful nation on Earth while Germany, a nation 1/4 our size is giving away complete college educations away at full universities “for FREE”…..and even to US Citizens!

    • joe schmo says:

      WE ARE NOT EUROPE. Don’t want to be. If my parents would have thought it was so great, they would have stayed there. Maybe someone needs to put their thinking caps on land try to become more innovative to fix the problem.

      1) Non-profit set up for good students for their educations to be paid by philanthropists or Corporations.
      2) Where is all that money for education going? The government kept getting more and more of it yet, nothings changed. Someone needs to do some research and see if there is a way to set up funding for prospective college students.

  8. Vincent Harriman says:

    When I moved to Tennessee in the late 70’s, every candidate for governor ran on the mantra of improving the roads and the schools. After 20 years we had the best roads in the country. That part of the mantra was dropped, and our roads are starting to decline. Education has been a harder fix. One of the methods touted to improve it was a lottery for education. Three billion dollars have been collected since it started. We still are near the bottom in education. I know the money isn’t being spent at anywhere near the rate it is coming in. What is the state waiting for?

    • joe schmo says:

      Very very good point. For years the government asked for more and more money for the schools. Just where did it end up? Makes you wonder doesn’t it?

  9. Whatmeworry says:

    To fund he program there should be a Fed tax on dope. $5 n OZ would go a long way to off setting the cost

  10. paulyz says:

    The youth of this Country are angered by Obama’s lies & being forced onto Obamacare. They are upset with the terrible economy & job market, plus tax increases. So now hew throws out “freebies” to get them back. What about all the student loans that weren’t paid back? What a out the staggering debt? Obama just throws this out their for politics, same as the minimum wage issue.

    • bobnstuff says:

      Where did you get this from or are you just making it up? Most young folks could care less. You are lucky if they know who the president is. Most don’t even think about their student loans until they are out of college.

      • joe schmo says:

        You would be surprised how aware some of them are. I was a Jr. College professor for a few years. I often talked about politics with those I was close to. Believe it or not they are perfectly aware about the money they have to pay unless mommy and daddy are paying their way.

        Also, many of the youngsters are those that just graduated with a BA and intend to go on and young people like the Millennials who are definitely turning to Republicans.

        • bobnstuff says:

          I’ve taught at community college also but the age of my students was higher then average for college
          students. Night classes are not your topical 18 year old for sure. I fine the community college student is much more grounded then the average college student. That might be because the ones I know are
          either older or still living at home and are working while going to school. I work every summer with a bunch of college kids though and politics is the last thing on their minds.

          • joe schmo says:

            Dude, I had a lot of just got out of H.S. types. Gamers to be exact. As time went on the older people faded out and I was left with mainly the kids that’s because I taught extremely tough technical software. Many older adults, unless they were in the field, couldn’t keep up. Taking it just for fun was futile.

            I even had some high schoolers because in our area they allowed high school kids going on to college to take classes at our institution.

          • bobnstuff says:

            My youngest son had a year of college in when he graduated High School, My oldest girl had her draftsman papers. I taught a call in business start up, or as I liked to put it I taught people to be self employed. It was a night school program and the age range was early twenties to one guy who was seventy. They all had dreams. For some I helped them to become true and for others I kept them from making big mistakes.

          • hicusdicus says:

            Did any of them go on to learn anything useful like frame or wire or plumb a house or repair an automatic transmission? We don’t need people to come up with more torturous devices for cell phones , wireless key boards. and flushing choices for toilets.

          • bobnstuff says:

            You did see what I taught, a class on starting a business. I taught them how to run their own business’s. They didn’t need me to teach them how to think and they had life skills or they wouldn’t be in my class. My guess is that you didn’t go to college or you would know that is the place you learn reasoning skills. The purpose of a university education when I was in school was to broaden your horizons. Anyone of my kids could build a house if they wanted to or fix a car if they needed to but
            they also could write a sonnet and know who Albert Gallatin was.

          • hicusdicus says:

            How many decades ago did you attend college? Kids today are idiots-lacking common sense, much less reasoning abilities that should have been garnered from 4 years or more of college education and biological growth. There are lots of college grads that will never use those 4 years of college, but will spend the next 30 years paying off a student loan. Maybe you should be teaching the high school grads instead.Save them the cost of the student loan and wasting 4 years.

          • bobnstuff says:

            It’s been some time since I was a student, not quite so long since I taught and not long at all since I had kids and a wife in college. I never work in my field since there isn’t many jobs in literature but if you thing of college as a trade school you miss what education is for. It’s not all about money or jobs. It’s about life and knowledge. College can get you ready for the job market and not everyone needs to go to college but unless you sleep through it college will enrich your life. It also makes you a better citizen and makes the country stronger. Our founding fathers believed it and so do I.

      • hicusdicus says:

        When most of them get out of college they realize they have no idea how to think.

      • NoNumberNow says:

        Sounds like our pre-college education system has some short comings about educating, right along with parent who don’t teach the wee ones about fiscal responsibility.

        • bobnstuff says:

          Knowledge is expanding at an
          exponential rate. The information that the students of today must
          master is mind boggling. The skills needed in the 21th
          century for basic employment are amazing. A high school diploma is
          not enough to get a job that will let it’s owner enter the middle
          class. A good example is the Pittsburgh Brewing Company who once
          employed 300 people making beer most of which needed only a high school education . Now they have a new plant that lets them do the same thing with 7 people, those 7 people must have computer skills that the old employees never dreamed of. We manufacture almost as much as China in the US but we do it with 1/6 the labor force. We do it with technology. That technology needs skills that didn’t exist 50 years ago. So it’s not the high schools that are falling behind as
          much as the world is moving forward. As far as money goes 50 years ago you could go to Penn State for $600 per year, now that bill is $14,000. If we want to advance as a country we need to make higher education affordable for everyone who wants one. We are fall behind the rest of the world in education and need to do something now, not later. Three years ago we were number one in manufacturing now we are number two. How far do you want use to fall? If you have a better idea lets here it.

          • NoNumberNow says:

            First of all, I don’t think you know what exponential means. No doubt they education system dropped the ball on that one. If our school system is not preparing kids to enter the work force to become contributing members of society, has it not failed in it’s primary duty? That $600 adjusted for inflation is equivalent to about about $4500 in today’s dollars, which is still too much of an increase. Can we blame the
            easy money made available to through the various government secured student loan programs? Wages grew for skilled and unskilled workers until the 1970’s when wages started flopping between stagnation or decline. What caused this? There are a lot of brain power being used to answer this question. The government started a huge housing boom by changing the rules by which people could buy a house. In a nut shell, they lowered qualification thresholds. People started spending money they didn’t really have. Does our education system not teach anything about economics or budgeting? One big problem that all the technology as caused is to raise the minimum requirements for almost anyone entering the work force. Those unwilling to learn have fewer opportunities but do not want to do menial labor. My parents and grandparents has kids had to work picking crops if they wanted to go to college or have new clothes for school. How many kids today do anything to support themselves or their lifestyle? Perhaps it’s time to have an education system that allows curriculum choices other than going to college. What ever happened to vo-tech?

          • bobnstuff says:

            I do know what the word exponential
            means,

            ex·po·nen·tial

            adjective ˌek-spə-ˈnen-chəl

            : very fast : increasingly rapid

            mathematics : including or using an exponent

            I also know that the housing boom started in the fifties with the GI bill. I know that to buy a house in the seventies you needed 20% down and your payment could not be greater the 25% of you income. The push for low income mortgages started in 1992. I have studies the history
            of education and know that at no time in history have the school spent much time teaching life skills except for to the slow students and years ago women who were never meant to enter the work force. You can’t say they dropped a ball they never had. I also know that Vo-tech schools are doing very well in the 21th century having had two children graduate from them. I spend every summer with kids working to help pay for college as did my kids and most are hard working good kids.

          • NoNumberNow says:

            Knowledge is growing at a very fast rate? Really? I contend what is growing exponentially is the proliferation of data distribution sources, such as the social media craze and the internet. Do a google search on ‘exponential’ and up pops a list in a fraction of a second with 4,500,000 results. I rarely go past the couple of pages of a search. The remaining 4,499,900 are irrelevant, repetitious, in a foreign language or an extrapolation. The push for affordable mortgages actually dates back to the 1930’s following the real estate debacle created by the Great Depression. If schools are to prepare our youth for life, perhaps the education system should be leading the way by offering useful curricula applicable today’s world. Otherwise, what is it’s purpose? Based on the amount of taxes I pay to support education, I am getting cheated. Vo-tech is much maligned and under utilized. According to the National Center for Education Statistics only about 10% of high school age students are in vo-tech programs. That’s pathetic.

    • 788eddie says:

      Youth – tax increases? Where? What tax increases for the youth of the country? What on earth are you talking about? Are you referring to the top marginal income tax bracket being raised to 39% (two years ago, BTW). I know that would affect teenagers and young adults entering the market at the top.

      The few younger people I know who have encountered “ObamaCare” are very pleased that the premiums are so low (mainly because they’ve received subsidies). One was even able to get an operation that his parents weren’t sure they could afford.

      I agree that student debt is a considerable issue that needs to be dealt with. It’s unfortunate that the Republican majority blocked reducing the interest rate to the same that the big banks were getting. Who should we blame for that?

      • joe schmo says:

        You better do your research…… The taxes will not be paid by youth unless they have jobs. Most work 2-3 nowadays. Some can barely afford a car, food, or housing. They are pissed that they have to pay off such an astronomical debt.

        ….and that thing about Obamacare with subsidies ….well guess who’s paying for it? Yours truly….

        I still have a small amount of student loan I am paying off. Really, they make it affordable for most students. I do agree, college expenses have gotten way out of hand. Pretty soon only the elite will be able to attend. I think perhaps they need to get some philanthropists and Corporations involved to help good students pay for college. A non-profit for scholarships of sorts. It’s one idea that may work. Of course there are other ideas too.

        You all tend to blame everything on the Conservatives. Don’t you think it takes two to tango?

      • hicusdicus says:

        So I get to participate in paying for someones operation because their parents did not want to? Were these young people you encountered living in Ferguson? Do you live in Ferguson? Have you ever lived in Ferguson? Would you like to live in Ferguson? Do your checks come by mail or direct deposit? Was your student loan turned down because you could not sign your name? Do not give up hope I have heard there is life after death.

        • 788eddie says:

          I am a registered Republican, living on Long Island, own two houses, and am debt-free.

          I get the feeling that you feel it’s more important to protect the wealth and profitability of the big banks than invest in our country’s future.

          BTW, who helped pay for your education?

          • hicusdicus says:

            For a civilization to flourish it must have a healthy banking system. The banking systems world wide are out of control. Our banks have overstepped there boundaries and are no longer trust worthy. They are being fed by an out of control government whose answer is to print more fiat currency. I do not see any way this will turn around short of a Weimar republic debacle. But what do I know I am an ignorant oaf. What makes you think I have an education? I have prepared for a financial collapse and if it does not happen I won’t complain. I am debt free but one house is enough hassle for me. At present I am working on 35 cords of fire wood and enough diesel to run my generator for two years. If I don’t need it so what.

          • 788eddie says:

            For a civilization to flourish it is even more important to have a healthy EDUCATION system for its people. We need able plumbers, electricians, carpenters, also auto mechanics, designers of things like iPhones, computers, aircraft, etc. These people aren’t born with these skills; they are trained. Cutting educational funding to provide more profits for banks and the wealthy is not a healthy direction in which to go.

          • hicusdicus says:

            A banking system has to come first. What you are saying is incorrect and has no correlation with anything.There has to be a banking system before you can have funding. Go read the history of the Rothschild s..

          • 788eddie says:

            Our banking system is currently doing very well with record profits; they do not need any more help. Our educational system, however, does does not need more funding cuts. I would respectfully suggest to you that investing in our country’s young minds is an investment in our country.

          • NoNumberNow says:

            That is a big leap in logic: Cut spending on education and the profits of banks and the wealthy increase? How exactly, does that work?

          • 788eddie says:

            NoNumberNow: Please re-read my comment. I respectfully suggect you may have missed something.

          • NoNumberNow says:

            This is your comment: “Cutting educational funding to provide more profits for banks and the wealthy…” I missed something?

      • paulyz says:

        The tax increases Obama swore there would never be. Remember him saying “Your taxes won’t increase one dime “? Everyone’s taxes increased, except for all those that don’t have a job! The rest of us pay for that as well.

      • NoNumberNow says:

        “The few younger people I know who have encountered
        “ObamaCare” are very
        pleased that the premiums are so low (mainly because they’ve received
        subsidies)”. Obamacare is about health care. It being pleasing should
        be based on the quality of care, provided for a reasonable cost. From my
        view point as the one paying for those subsidizes, it sucks. The cost
        of “free” when the government is involved, always increases taxes,
        creates more government employees and reduces service quality.

  11. EaglesGlen says:

    Obama amnesty to give 2 years of college to illegal aliens for free.

  12. bhaggen says:

    This is a total brain-fart, but I applaud his decision NOT to take the trip to Paris. The soldiers buried in Normandy should more than prove the US’s commitment to France. Especially with A-Ks & grenade launchers floating around town. How would you like to be in charge of security? One can only hope he hasn’t become enamored with the strict French gun laws. Vive lé Frãs!

  13. joe schmo says:

    Isn’t this appropriate. What a bribe. I have heard that this idea comes at a time when many of his young voters are turning to the Conservatives:) …..and where do you suppose this money is going to come from? You got it….the taxpayer…..which means more debt will be accrued. There is no end to this guys demise for this Country. By the time he is done with us there will be little left.

    • pjm19606 says:

      Joe Schmo you are just another typical anti-tax conservative born with a silver foot in his mouth. You don’t want to ply, then don’t! But you are either all the way in or all the way out. If you choose the latter and I catch you on the roads I pay for, you will be summarily be removed from the planet! Simple. Without participation, there is no reason for the Nation. Go find an Island in the middle of the Pacific.

      • joe schmo says:

        Your anti-American stance is going to be your own demise, not mine. You are right on several counts… I am a hard working, business owning, anti-tax/anti-regulation/anti-outsourcing/anti-illegal, nationalistic, freedom loving, patriotic America first individual. You are also right in stating that I have a silver spoon in my mouth. I am also very much for our young people getting an education, I just think the European model is not the answer. I believe there are much more creative ways at attaining money to help young people and many are mentioned below. Mostly by Conservatives.

        I think government money is oftentimes mismanaged and misspent. Where the hell is ALL that money that was made from lottery winnings and the money that was voted in specifically for education? Nothing’s changed. Nothings better. Oh, that’s right I forgot, the ENTIRE education system is run by Liberals. Who knew?

        • pjm19606 says:

          Oh Joe! You hate taxes but you still pay them. That’s hypocrisy! The entire education system is run by Liberals? Really? If that were the case, “no child left behind” would have been a fairy tale, no an actual nightmare. Resources have been wasted for decades thanks to this nation’s military-industrial complex. You are just another typical “I, me, miner” who continues to blight the nation with his selfishness. Another believer in “survival of the fittest”. You, nor any of us in the USA, has gotten ANYWHERE without stepping on somebody else.

          • itsfun says:

            He obeyed the law by paying taxes. Are you saying he should break the law?

          • pjm19606 says:

            It’s what I tell all you anti taxers. Don’t pay but don’t use the roads, etc. I willingly pay for etc. He, and apparently you, are being hypocritical. Everyone has to pay to play. Stop bitching over the inevitable. The wars the Right Wing has lead us into are NOT inevitable. Trickle Down which has collapsed our economy for the third time in our history is NOT inevitable and again was implemented by the Right Wing. Guess your kind never learned to share on the playground.

          • itsfun says:

            Using your tax logic, we should be paying taxes to England yet.

          • pjm19606 says:

            That statement proves your mind is incapable of logical thought!

          • itsfun says:

            You are the one that loves taxes. If people agreed with you, there would have been no tea party by our forefathers. Without our military you would be speaking either Japanese or German today. Of course anyone that hates America and her accomplishments as much as you do would like that.

          • pjm19606 says:

            I’d be speaking Japanese or German? The US was entirely immune to WW II. We antagonized the Japanese into their attack on Pearl Harbor to give us a reason for entering the war. Brush up on your history. The Forefathers are no different from the Conservatives of today. No taxes. Period. Like I said before, if you don’t want to pay them, DON’T. But if I see you on my roads I pay for, I will take you out with my 30-30 and remain a free man! Thief!

          • itsfun says:

            You are one hateful individual. You blame the United States for every evil you can think of. We get attacked and you blame us. You hate our forefathers. You threaten to kill anyone that doesn’t agree with you. Have you ever spent even one minute doing something for our country? You blame Americans for being successful and then threaten to kill them. You are one sick hateful individual. Are you a member of ISIS?

          • joe schmo says:

            They are no longer Americans. They are people of the World. they would do us a great service by leaving and commuting their a**es to Cuba or North Korea or Valenzuela. Any place where Communism still thrives. They would rather help out the ILLEGALS than their own people. They are the traitors to the free world. During our forefathers time they would have been hung.

            You are right, they are the violent ones. They are the virus terrorists that are sucking our freedoms dry.

            LOL, I guess we have one gun toting Liberal here, but I don’t think he wants to come up against the Conservatives who Liberals claim are way to gun happy. I suppose that includes many in the military, many veterans and the police. They all don’t have too much respect for what’s going on. I certainly would rather be on the Conservative side than I would ever want to be on the Liberal:)

          • itsfun says:

            I am beginning to think he is a member of ISIS.

          • pjm19606 says:

            We were attacked? 9-11 was a set up between the Bush administration and the Saudi Royal Family. Those who committed the crime were martyrs so why has it not been tried again. Heck they were extremely successful the first time and as they ARE martyrs. they have “nothing to lose”. The answer is, the entire event was orchestrated by the USA! Like most of this nation, you drank the kool-aid. Threats? No. Just stating facts. Those who don’t want to pay taxes shouldn’t but will pay severe penalties if they try to use ANY public resources. Simple!

          • itsfun says:

            Yea right and the attack in Paris was a setup between the Obama administration and ISIS.

          • pjm19606 says:

            What does Paris have to do with 9-11? That’s France’s problem which we caused. Obfuscation is the refuge of the weak minded. Keep it up!

          • itsfun says:

            Seeing as how you hate this country so much, why don’t you leave. You sound like a member of ISIS. Are you a member of ISIS?

          • pjm19606 says:

            Typical! Anyone who disagrees with you is an enemy!

          • itsfun says:

            Anyone that threatens to shot people for using the roads sounds like a member of ISIS. By the way, you didn’t answer the question. Are you a member of ISIS?

          • hicusdicus says:

            This person is just baiting you. From some of their comments I would say they are a master baiter. Most likely a blind person with furry palms.

          • pjm19606 says:

            Think about it…if I was, would you have been able to type your last message?

          • pjm19606 says:

            You can’t read. Didn’t threaten to shoot anyone. Just the system designed to handle antitaxers and still allow them not to pay. Just a penalty like present day capital punishment, which I am sur, as a Right Winger, you approve! Puleeeeze!

          • pjm19606 says:

            Leave? Your kind are way too much fun!

          • pjm19606 says:

            A non-sequitur!

          • hicusdicus says:

            Omg you really do need to get in your box before sunrise.

          • pjm19606 says:

            Great comeback for something you can’t disprove!

          • joe schmo says:

            I think we should eliminate income taxes and the IRS. We should have either a consumption tax or flat tax. This way everyone pays their fair share and in the interim we can get rid of that dreaded evil IRS.

          • hicusdicus says:

            Wow! where did you come from? You need to get back before the sun comes up.

          • pjm19606 says:

            That was 4th grade clever!

          • hicusdicus says:

            I wanted you to be able to understand it.

          • pjm19606 says:

            I will never have trouble understanding the selfishness of the Right Wing mind!

          • hicusdicus says:

            I certainly glad you can understand something you seem to be having difficulties with everything else.

          • pjm19606 says:

            Many thanks for the incoherent retort.

          • hicusdicus says:

            From your comments everything seems to be incoherent to you. Is English not your first language. I could belch talk would that be more coherent to you?

          • pjm19606 says:

            Another 4th grade retort. You obviously can not tolerate disagreement.

          • hicusdicus says:

            Those seem to be the only kind that you understand. Before I can disagree with you I need to find some merit in what you say. So far that has been completely lacking. When you feel ready I will try 5th grade retorts.

          • pjm19606 says:

            You HAVE disagreed! The fact it you don’t want to pay for anything in this nation! Fine! I agree 100%. You should not have to pay a dime in taxes, but you are either all the way in, or all the way out paying no taxes. Choose the latter and try to use the roads I pay for, you will be summarily removed from the planet! Greedy slime!

          • hicusdicus says:

            You are putting words in my mouth again. Why don’t you get on a bandwagon and see what you can do about the 45+ percent who don’t pay a dime in taxes, ever

          • pjm19606 says:

            You are denying you disagreed? Amazing!

          • hicusdicus says:

            What in the world is greedy slime??? I have disagreed with you ??? I can barely follow what you are talking about. You are talking, right? Have you ever considered putting your comments into rap and rhythm ? You could develop a whole new circle of gold toothed friends and they would all be liberals.

          • hicusdicus says:

            What do you want to bet he pays no taxes.

          • itsfun says:

            No bet unless I get the pays no taxes side.

          • joe schmo says:

            We learned to fight for what we have on the playground. To compete with the big boys and fight back when we were bullied. It made us tough and not wimpy. It made us grow so that we could deal with everything life threw our way. If kids nowadays went through the school of hard knocks, like we did, they wouldn’t still be attached to the umbilical cord of Mommy and Daddy.

            We had principles and we shared when we could discern that it was right to share and who we wanted to share with. We were taught who to have reverence for and who not to respect.

          • hicusdicus says:

            Amen, Amen, and Amen again.

          • pjm19606 says:

            I see. You are a Darwinist. Survival of the fittest. Eat or be eaten. Guess you haven’t evolved above that pre-historic mindset. I always believe that as humans it is our responsibility to rise above that way of thinking.

          • hicusdicus says:

            Survival is on the top of my list. Think what ever you want it won’t change a thing. It won’t change a thing until your time comes to grab the tiger by the tail. I am sure you have no idea of what I am talking about.

          • pjm19606 says:

            Survival is at the top of your list? You sound so fearful, you have my sympathies.

          • hicusdicus says:

            I really doubt that sympathy is in your frame of reference. The kind of sympathy that you might possess is something I can do without. With survival not being part of your agenda I can always hope..

          • pjm19606 says:

            54 with a condition which was supposed to have taken me out at 40….Think I will live forever!

          • hicusdicus says:

            Its good to hear you have successfully coped with Alzheimer and brain tumors. Now you need to get a handle on misinformation.

          • pjm19606 says:

            Your inability to insult coherently reveals all!

          • idamag says:

            not surprisingly a bully.

          • pjm19606 says:

            Bully? Wow, aren’t you thin skinned! Can’t take heat, get out of the kitchen. It’s an open forum. Don’t want criticism? Don’t post!

          • idamag says:

            One of these days I am going to go outside and see a bird. It is going to have brown-gray wings and a bright orange breast. Experience and education tells me this bird is a Robin. I am not afraid of this bird but I can identify it.

          • pjm19606 says:

            Typical. Live like an animal. You are free to do it. I won’t!

          • hicusdicus says:

            Forget it Joe. This commenter is bogus. They stir the pot to keep the website alive. Have you noticed how few commenters this site has and they all seem to be the same people and say the same thing.

          • idamag says:

            I feel you love this country so much that you are willing to pay taxes and abide by the law. We appreciate a Democratic government and are not trying to destroy it. We need more people like you and less of the anti-government – anti-taxes people.

          • pjm19606 says:

            Many thanks for the support. The Conservative train of economic thought which currently prevails is the same thought which has precipitated all 3 of this nation’s major economic downturns: 1929, 1983 and 2008.

          • idamag says:

            “Oh, but God the giftee gie us to see ourselves as others see us.? That is something the radicals should be praying for.

          • hicusdicus says:

            You know better than that. You are just stirring the pot.

          • pjm19606 says:

            Stirring what pot? Why do you pay taxes when you don’t want to? Nor have to? The Constitution does not obligate anyone to pay taxes. A true anti taxer would behave like one!

          • hicusdicus says:

            I pay taxes to help the government protect my property rights Its the least I can do after what this country has given me.

          • pjm19606 says:

            Stirring what pot? The one in your head? Your insult was not as subtle as you think!

          • hicusdicus says:

            There was no insult intended. You need to loosen up a bit.

          • hicusdicus says:

            Get it it right if you possibly can. Anti big government and anti excessive taxation. You can always donate money to the treasury they won’t turn you down.

          • hicusdicus says:

            How much taxes do the millions on welfare contribute to road taxes?

          • pjm19606 says:

            Another non sequitur. What does welfare have to do with paying taxes. Welfare is just another aspect of the human condition which the US has grossly mismanaged by not putting able-bodied recipients to work for their check.

          • hicusdicus says:

            What does welfare have to do with paying taxes??? I have led to believe that welfare money came from taxes. Tax money that could be better used for infrastructure. I am with you. Pay the welfare people to repair the roads etc. I don’t understand the word free. What is actually free?

          • pjm19606 says:

            Agreed, every able bodied welfare recipient should have a job. We shouldn’t have a speck of litter or a single pothole on our streets.

          • pjm19606 says:

            Exactly! Ah, welfare, just another social program that the US has effed up for decades!

          • NoNumberNow says:

            One might think that anti-taxers are against excessive or unnecessary taxation. Paying taxes is obviously a necessity for a community to exist, but so is a system of checks and balances. If the taxpayer doesn’t speak up, misuse of taxation powers become rampant.

          • itsfun says:

            exactly right 100%.

          • joe schmo says:

            NCLB – based on the premise that setting high standards and establishing measurable goals can improve individual outcomes in education.

            REALLY NOTHING WRONG WITH THIS IDEA WHICH WAS SIGNED BIPARTISANLY (INCLUDED LIBS and REPUBS) House was Repulican, Senate was Liberal.

            The Act requires states to develop assessments in basic skills. To receive federal school funding, states must give these assessments to all students at select grade levels. The Act does not assert a national achievement standard. Each individual state develops its own standards.NCLB expanded the federal role in public education through annual testing, annual academic progress, report cards, teacher qualifications, and funding changes.

            THIS WAS WHEN THE TESTING BEGAN, BUT LET’S NOT FORGET IT WAS UP TO THE STATES TO SET THE STANDARDS. SINCE I LIVE IN THE UBER LIBERAL STATE OF CALIFORNIA I AM POSITIVE THE STANDARDS WERE SET PRETTY LOW….

            Honestly, I don’t think this was as bad as Common Core. Why not just have good old reading, writing, arithmetic, history (both world and US). We keep experimenting with our children and I really don’t think it is helping our cause.

            If your last statement is true than why are the Liberals trying so hard to equalize our children and protect them from losing or competing. The world is cruel. It’s dog eat dog. We already can see that this type of behavior is causing problems in a young persons mental development.

          • pjm19606 says:

            You are OK with the Darwinian theory of “survival of the fittest” being applied to humans. I am not….and neither was Darwin. Check it out!

          • NoNumberNow says:

            Darwin did not originate the phrase “survival of the fittest”. Herbert Spencer coined it. Darwin addressed natural selection which differs from survival of the fittest. The lay public, as you have done, misuse and confuse the concepts. I guess this is a strike against the current education system.

          • pjm19606 says:

            No, Darwin, did not originate the phrase but he did create the concept. Stop twisting words. Darwin did insist that the concept never be applied to humans. I guess you feel differently! Sad.

          • S.J. Jolly says:

            Educational establishments are run by PhDs In Education. Who develop a theory of education, usually with little or no scientific basis, then ride it to a position of authority. Much akin to disciples in religions establishments. They can be conservative just as well as liberal, or any other political bias.

          • idamag says:

            Maybe, he is saying liberals believe in education while some right wing nut jobs do not.

        • itsfun says:

          Joe: How dare you work and take all the chances with your money? Starting and owning a business is one of the hardest things to do. You are taking the chance to lose your money, home, car and everything you have. You earn everything you have and get called names and people threaten to run over you on the roads you pay taxes to create.
          Where I used to live the lottery money did go to education, the only problem was the general fund money that used to pay for education was cut by the exact amount the lottery brought in. This resulted in zero gain for education, but sure helped politicians to pay back special interest groups for helping them to get elected. All legal, just more unethical use of our money by politicians.

  14. hicusdicus says:

    Instead of free community college why not just try and get them to graduate high school. Has anyone here tried to hire a Electrician, carpenter, plumber, auto mechanic, Service tech, Painter, Small engine repair, you name it. They are in short supply and high demand. Teach them something that will earn them a good living. But first they must finish high school. High school is already free.

    • S.J. Jolly says:

      How many high schools give vocational training in those areas? Probably very few. Which makes the big trainers the US military, and the union apprenticeship programs.
      BTW: Capitalizing something, such as “Electrician”, indicates it is an organization, not an individual.

      • hicusdicus says:

        That’s the problem The schools don’t seem to teach anything except being political correct. Union apprenticeship programs are very lacking in real training. Since when did the military start training plumbers and carpenters. BTW I was referring to a member of an organization. IBEW. Did you not understand the point I was making.

        • joe schmo says:

          Yah, whenever they have nothing to inject they have to correct our spelling and grammar. I usually leave it alone on their end because I’m more interested in the subject matter.

          Any problems we may have with the English language comes straight from our ‘Liberal’ education:)

        • S.J. Jolly says:

          I understood your point. Just didn’t know there are professional organizations called “Service tech,” “Painter,” or “Small engine repair”.
          Union apprenticeship programs prepare people to become functioning members of the union. Likewise for military training programs.
          When did the military start training people as plumbers and carpenters? 1776? When you’re far out to sea, or deep in the boonies, and you don’t have enough experienced plumbers and carpenters (and other skilled jobs), you have to train your own. The US military did a LOT of vocational training in WW-II.

      • NoNumberNow says:

        You feel obligated to correct typos in a blog? Why?

        • S.J. Jolly says:

          Because they can change the meaning of what someone intended to write. And why do you care?

          • NoNumberNow says:

            And why do you care, yourself? You could be polite and not point out obvious typos. If you can recognize them, undoubtedly so can everyone esle. Now, if you find the text unclear because of a typo, ask for clarification. Do not take it upon yourself to speak for other commenters.

      • NoNumberNow says:

        Union members constitute about 12% of the labor force. The military has about 140,000 or so quitting every year to re-enter civilian life. The labor force is about 153,000,000 people. Unions and the military training programs aren’t that big a factor.

    • joe schmo says:

      We used to have a vocational High School in Las Vegas. Maybe that is what we need to have more of. Not everyone can handle college.

      In Europe they really do discern as to whether you are good enough to go to the University or a Trade school. If you are not good enough to go to med school, they will make you choose a trade. However, I don’t really think that is a good fit for us. We have always had the ability to dream and become what we want in this country and I believe it should remain that way.

      • hicusdicus says:

        I never found the university that interesting. The professors were usually bias and arrogant even way back then and engineering was not of any interest. I became an electrician by osmosis. It was mind numbing boring but it paid very good. Every body seems to look down on the trades but some of them require more knowledge than a lot of college degrees and pay a lot better. My dad was an electrical contractor and his income ranged between 7 and 15 million a year. He never finished high school. He was a math prodigy. I agree with you that being able to dream is the best thing this country has to offer. I made my first million selling bicycles. Go figure.

        • joe schmo says:

          Kudos to you:) Your dad and you truly have lived the American dream. I suppose that you got your good wit from the school of hard knocks. I think all of us Conservatives love your cynicism on the ‘Memo.’ You are a great addition.

          My dad came over to America as a legal immigrant with 7 dollars in his pocket. He studied electronics at night and ended up at Hewlett Packard and then Las Vegas. He was not an engineer but helped develop the first 21 machines with the help of an engineer. He also did very well for himself and he is a millionaire today. He taught us to work hard and believed we could achieve our dreams.

          I do have several degrees. I am in the technical computer field. I have to keep up with technology because it is forever changing. You are right the professors are extremely bias and the classes that are mandatory typically tend to be very subjective. I learned overlook the professors crap because my parents were very political so politically correct ideology did not sink in. I just blew it off. You know garbage in and garbage out. I focused on the classes that I had to take for my major.

          • hicusdicus says:

            I don’t know how my parents voted they were very tight mouthed people. My dad thought I was a dumb bunny because of my math skills. He could actually out perform the early calculators. What chance did I stand.. His brother who I never met was vice president of General Electric His other brother had a son with an IQ of close to 190 and a practicing doctor at 21. I was adopted. My crappy little IQ of 125 did not rate any mention. I had leanings to be a drug dealer, the money was incredible but my nervous system failed me. So I sold bicycles to intel engineers and upscale young drug dealers. When my income started averaging $4200.00 a day I figured I had made the right choice. Three and a half years later I quit while I still had some sanity… Earlier in life I bought a thousand Kruger rands at about 200 and sold them for between 5 an 6 hundred each. That’s what made me realize legitimate money was better than illegal money.at least it was better for my nervous system. Guns knives and biker gangs give me the creeps. Most of these people don’ t have a clue to what real life is all about. Sometimes I wish I didn’t either. Oh yeah for a little over a year I worked as an undercover informer for the DEA. That was a eye opener I wish I had avoided. It ended up getting me three bullet holes in touchy places. I have blabbed enough have a good one.

    • Ruby Rott says:

      Education is not just about books. How many people fail at supposedly simple jobs? Is there any reason a restaurant staff can’t keep coffee cups filled for customers? Why does a store clerk talk on the telephone while customers are standing around waiting for service? Can’t mechanic at least start the day with clean clothes and clean his hands before getting into my car? Obviously, many tradesmen get it, but so many of the younger people are clueless about what it takes to get ahead or how to do a good job. They may think they are only doing this job until the “big opportunity” comes along–but that is not reality. If you start your work career doing poorly, you will probably continue to do so, always a dollar short, always blaming someone or something else for missing out.

  15. Buzzi Butt says:

    We have raised our kids to not be responsible for their actions. Can’t get a job? No problem-parents let the kid live at home paying no rent, doing no chores. Umpteen government programs offer financial assistance to get training after high school, but there are no penalties for not finishing the program. How about a domestic Peace -corps-like program? Two years of service in exchange for room board and a small stipend.

  16. angelsinca says:

    Another hair brained scheme. We can call this one Obamacation.

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