mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

If elected, I will do nothing and then act like I did it...

John Kerry is promising to increase the number of students graduating college.

Interstingly enough, even his campaign says in the article that "nearly half the hike in graduation rates will come from population increases". So basically he can do nothing, and still say that he's keeping his campaign promise.

He also says We need to move toward the day when four years of college is as universal and affordable as a high school education is today.. This is, of course, silly. Unless the nature of jobs changes greatly, there will still be certain jobs out there (ditch digger, fast food server) that don't require much education, and others (plumber, carpenter) where one can be very sucessful without a college education, but rather with on-the-job training or aprenticeships.

The other thing is that college doesn't just exist to teach material - it also serves as a signaling mechanism to employers that a potential employee is willing to put in the time and effort required to graduate from college.
Megan McCardle has a good discussion of this (about halfway down). Right now a high school education is a bare minimum for a job, because most people have one. If college became as ubiquitous as high school, then anyone wanting to signify that they are harder working than average would need an MBA or pHD.


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