I would like to humbly disagree with the editorial on President Barack Obama’s address (‘STAFF EDIT: Economic lessons,’ Feb. 25). Editor-in-Chief Sydney Lupkin and her staff seem to believe that while higher education, including (and perhaps specifically referring to) vocational training, is a worthwhile task, it is not for everybody because somebody must be uneducated and willing to ‘take the jobs that don’t require any kind of education’ for the good of the economy.
I wonder to which jobs you are referring. Maybe manufacturing jobs or call center jobs. Or maybe even basic accounting, editing (film and type) and even research and development. Unfortunately for Lupkin et al., these are the jobs most easily shipped overseas. And what about jobs in retail service, auto mechanics and harvesting agriculture? Take a recently laid off American auto worker. With further vocational training of six months to a year, she could be using her machining knowledge to install and construct the windmills and other renewable energy projects Obama proposed. An auto mechanic can be trained to understand electric and hybrid engines, to service those as they inevitably become more prevalent. A farmer can learn organic techniques and urban greenhouse farming. An accountant can learn more advanced accounting techniques.
Training and higher education do not guarantee jobs, but they do enhance and protect one’s skill set, making a worker, whether mechanic or manager, more relevant to his industry and position. The fact is no matter what your job, career path or goals, some form of education will benefit you, especially in the long run. Are low-wage, low-skill workers expected to continue at minimum wage throughout an entire lifetime, as you seem to suggest?
The United States is lacking internationally in math and science education. Obama has recognized this lack and is trying to address it, pointing out how we as a country can achieve success. To suggest that Americans, young and old, should not take every opportunity for furthering their education and skill sets is appalling. For a highly regarded, student-run college newspaper, such disdain for education and self-righteous opinions of low skilled labor is unacceptable. Lupkin and her staff had better realize ‘it takes far more effort than . . . expended previously just to pass,’ to borrow some words from Wednesday’s other editorial (‘STAFF EDIT: Making the grade,’ Feb. 25). I expect more insight in future editorial opinions.