Kids Today

A Nation of Working-Class Dropouts

August 23, 2013

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A Nation of Working-Class Dropouts

Every time a liberal sees someone behaving badly they sigh and say, “They just need education,” but the solution to America’s problems is less education, not more. If we got over this myth that everyone needs infinite academia, we would have less unemployment, more manufacturing, a stronger economy, less student debt, and less school tax. The economy would be stronger and we would all be happier. Ironically, in an effort not to hurt anyone’s feelings, we developed a system where everyone has to go to college, even the stupid people, until we all feel like shit.

When everybody’s special, nobody is. Getting everyone into college means you have to dumb down the curriculum until it is nothing but meaningless drivel that has no application in the real world. Colleges aren’t going to complain when you stick them with more customers. They just take the check, lower the bar, and say, “Come on in.” But getting a gold star on your math test does not a computer programmer make.

“Only an idiot could truly believe we’re all equally smart.”

When my dad was a kid in Scotland, Britain was practicing a very successful exam system called 11-plus. Dad came from a huge working-class family and as is often the case, one of them had an IQ much higher than the others. They all took their 11-plus test at age 11. His brothers did fairly poorly and he did incredibly well. The brothers were then diverted from academia and put into trade schools, whereas my father got scholarships for private school and eventually got a degree in physics from Glasgow University. The brothers did very well working at a printing press and now lead fulfilled lives as proud tradesmen. My father went on to develop sonar equipment that called the Russians’ nuclear-submarine bluff and helped lead to the fall of communism. This was all thanks to the 11-plus system and it worked beautifully for over 30 years until 1976 when the egalitarians decided it was cruel to admit that some kids are simply not as smart as others.

Not only is this kind of thinking the stupidest. It’s stupidist. What’s the matter with not being smart? As Hemingway put it, “Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.” Have you ever seen a genius at a water park? He’s miserable. The only time people with an IQ over 120 are really happy is when they’re at work. They’re basically our slaves. Dumb people ride ATVs with their sons, go bungee jumping, and laugh their heads off when somebody farts. Many of them are also rich.

Many cops and firemen in NYC retire at age 40 with a $120K-a-year pension. When they die, the money goes to their spouse. It’s the same with most union men in this city. I know a union electrician here who easily clears $100K a year and he’s only 32. There is a huge demand for his level of expertise and if he doesn’t feel like working, he can rent his license out to a site that’s dying for it. Sometimes the union even pays him not to work because they want to give some new kids a chance. A few weekends ago, he and his buddies made $10K each. The job was past deadline so everyone had to work around the clock. That meant they’d bring cots and add up their breaks until they could take a six-hour stretch on the mat. Staying at the site all weekend meant overtime became time-and-a-half became double overtime, and by the time Sunday night rolled around, they were making more than most doctors. The client was happy because having these guys all weekend is cheaper than the late fees he was going to have to pay.

Poets, bloggers, film experts, gender warriors, religion aficionados, and modern dance novelists would be lucky to make $10K in a lifetime. Even lawyers in their first couple of years could only dream of a weekend like this. Unlike the cops and firemen, my friend’s union is private, but like the majority of Brooklyn blue-collar workers I’ve met, he’s damn proud of what he does.


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