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Tag: College Debt

It’s Time to Stop Telling Young Adults They Need a College Education to “Succeed” in Life


Let me begin by saying that I am not anti-college. Polly and I have college educations, as do four of our children. We encouraged our children to attend the local community college. Four of them graduated from the Northwest State; one is working on his bachelor’s degree and another is finishing up her master’s degree. One of our sons is a certified auto mechanic. He currently is the shop manager for a local auto repair shop.

That said, high school counselors, parents, and well-intentioned adults are selling young adults a false bill of goods when they tell them that success in life requires a college education. It doesn’t, and young adults need to know this. Far too often, high school seniors feel pressured into attending college; vicariously fulfilling their parents’ dreams. Teens are often encouraged to go into deep debt to fulfill their “dream.” And that’s fine if they know what they want to do in life. Many eighteen-year-old teens, however, don’t. It took me two years post-high school to decide on going to college. Were those years wasted? Of course not. I spent them working full-time, learning real-world skills, including having my own car, apartment, and bank accounts. I suspect many parents fear their children will never go to college if they let them work for a year or two first. Why is that?

I live in the industrial Midwest, so what I say next will be colored by experiences living in rural Ohio. Working for a year or two after high school exposes young adults to the fact that a college education doesn’t guarantee higher income. Currently, an eighteen-year-old young person can get a job at a local manufacturing concern, making $40,000 a year with health insurance and benefits. Do your job and paths to management-level positions await, as three of our sons found out. While our oldest son is working on his bachelor’s degree, he started working at a large manufacturing concern at age eighteen –twenty-six years ago. He has made a good life for himself. Our oldest son works for the same business, as does Polly. In fact, five of our six children worked for this company at one time or another. Polly plans to retire in October, having spent twenty-seven years cleaning offices and buildings. She started as an entry-level employee and will leave as a manager. Factory work has been good to the Gerencser family, so I will never disparage the honorable (essential) work manufacturing workers perform. Personally, I HATED factory work. I worked for a number of factories in college and when Polly and I were first married. The monotony of the work drove me nuts, so two years into our marriage, I took a low-paying management position with Arthur Treacher’s. Six months later, I was promoted and became the general manager of their Brice Road store in Columbus. I found my “calling,” so to speak. From that time forward, I worked a plethora of jobs to make ends meet as a poorly paid pastor, but most of them were management positions.

Young adults should be encouraged to follow their bliss; to experience the fullness of this country of ours (and countries beyond our borders). If college is what they want to do, then fine. We need college-educated citizens to work jobs where advanced training is essential. That said, many jobs that management says require college educations don’t. As a sixty-six-year-old man, if I have learned anything, I have learned that “learning by doing” is often a good way to gain real-world skills. That’s why we need to encourage the establishment of apprentice programs — paths to well-paying careers. Our son is an auto mechanic. Everything he knows about cars and trucks comes from doing. He got his first taste of turning a wrench with his dad, mainly running for tools and holding flashlights. From there, he worked on his own vehicles, and that turned into a job at a local automobile dealership.

Young adults shouldn’t be pigeonholed, forced into post-high school paths parents and counselors want them to take. Certainly, parents play an instrumental part in their children’s post-high school futures. Local factory floors are littered with employees with college degrees. After college, they found themselves in debt, and upon learning that their chosen field either doesn’t pay well or there are no openings, they decided that factory work was a means to an end. And that’s okay too. I told all of my children that you can view factory work in one of several ways. First, it is a means to an end; the place where I earn money so I can do what I really want to do. Second, it is a good career path, one that could lead to management-level jobs if you apply yourself and do your time. Third, use your job as a way to further your education. Many companies pay for college. Several of our children followed this path. One of our sons worked in a factory for several years, and earned an associate’s degree in network administration. He parlayed his degree into an entry-level position with a local wireless internet provider. Today? He is their senior network administrator.

Different strokes for different folks, right? As a father and grandfather, I want my children and grandchildren to be happy and prosperous. The path each of them takes will vary, and I will support them in whatever they do. I am excited that two of our granddaughters are headed off to college next fall. It will be interesting to see what comes next. If one or more of my grandchildren decide to follow their parents into the factory or choose industrial trades, I will be just as excited for them too. My goal is to be their supporter and cheerleader, and not a demanding grandfather who is disappointed that they didn’t follow the path I wanted them to follow.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Are Factory Workers Mindless Drones Who Need “Smart People” to Tell Them What to Do?

sauder woodworking

I recently listened to a podcast that featured an interview with a scientist. The scientist extolled the virtue of education, especially science education. Everyone needs to think like a scientist, the thinking went. If not, they will end up working mindless jobs in factories. Such people don’t think for themselves. They want or need overlords to tell them what to do.

The scientist quickly caught himself, saying “not that working in a factory is bad.” In my mind, that was too little, too late. His statement revealed a bias that is common among “educated” people. Such people typically have no real-world experience with factory work. Had they any experience working the line at a factory, they never would have made such an asinine statement.

Instead of demeaning factory workers, how about valuing the work they do? Without them, our country would come to a standstill. If everyone was a scientist doing “cool” stuff, we would all die and our world would become uninhabitable. Look around your home, car, and businesses you frequent. Imagine what things would look like without factory workers (or other workers lacking college educations).

Polly, along with our oldest and youngest sons, works for a large local manufacturing concern. Both Polly and Jason have worked for the company for over twenty-five years. Jason started in groundskeeping and is now a mid-level manager. Polly is a shift manager for auxiliary services. Both are paid well and have good benefits. None of them works “mindless” jobs. Can factory work be monotonous? Sure, but don’t think for a moment that manufacturing jobs require employees to check their brains at the door. If factory work isn’t your cup of tea, fine. But, don’t demean people who play an essential part in the building and progress of our country.

One interesting side note is the fact that way too many people follow the scientist’s advice. They go to college, graduate with tens of thousands of dollars of debt, and enter the workforce, thinking they will easily find a job in their chosen profession. And when they don’t, what do they do? They end up working the very jobs the aforementioned scientist disparaged. Scores of people with associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees work factory jobs. Why? They quickly find out that they can make more money working in a factory than they can working in their chosen professions. This is especially true for people with social science or education degrees. Polly went back to college, thinking she might want to work in a different field. She quickly learned that the jobs that would be available to her upon graduation would pay $6-$8 less an hour than what she was making in the factory at the time.

I see this same kind of thinking when society belittles rural people. We are just a bunch of low-life, uneducated hillbillies. Yet without us — and I gladly own my tribe — those deprecating us would starve. By all means, city folks, grow your own crops, raise your own livestock. 🙂 Let me know how that works out for you. You need us even if you don’t like us.

When you feel that people look down on you and view you as less than, what do you do? You look for people and groups that accept and respect you (even if they do so for political reasons as Trump and the Republicans are doing). Yes, rural people tend to vote against their own interests. What is never asked is WHY? Why has the Democratic Party lost rural America? Perhaps one of the reasons is that rural folks have been listening to what Democratic leaders say about them. “Oh they want our votes, but they think we are stupid hicks, deplorables, or dangerous gun owners.” None of us like to be talked down to, to be demeaned for who and what we are. We have now reached a point where rural people are outraged over how the government in general mistreats them. Sure, some of their outrage is misinformed, but much of it is not. Until Democrats shut the hell up and LISTEN, they will continue to suffer election losses.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Christians Say the Darnedest Things: Men Want Debt-Free, Tattoo-Free Virgins

lori alexander

Do you know how much more attractive debt-free virgins (without tattoos) are to young men? Unfortunately, there are so few of these types of young women anymore because of the high costs of college (debt) and sexual promiscuity even within those in the church. As believers in Jesus Christ, we need to live in a way that is pleasing to Him because His ways are the best. He calls debt a burden and urges us to live lives of sexual purity.

There are many more reasons why Christian young women should carefully consider whether or not they go to college, especially if they want to be wives and mothers someday. Secular universities teach against the God of the Bible and His ways. It’s far from what God calls women to be and do: it teaches them to be independent, loud, and immodest instead of having meek and quiet spirits.

— lori Alexander, The Transformed Wife, Men Prefer Debt-Free Virgins Without Tattoos, July 16, 2018

A supporter of Alexander’s had this to say:

“Men don’t want to marry a women with debt. Most of this debt comes from college. They would also prefer a woman who still lives at her parent’s house that has not had other relationships. Do those two things and you will be highly sought after.”

“If they go to college, they are unlikely to stay home raising their children to pay off the debt and use the degree they spent years on.”

“The husband will need to take years teaching his wife the correct way to act, think, and live since college taught them every possible way that is wrong.”

“They will start having babies later in life. That is if they can still conceive naturally.”

“They lost a handful of years of experience learning to cook large meals and learning how to work in the garden. College kids don’t cook. If they do, it’s typically for themselves.”

“The list goes on. Churches don’t talk about it. They support the college kids (really adults) and the ‘working’ mothers.”

“It’s very rare to find an 18 year old woman that continues to work and live at her parent’s house until she meets her husband. It’s pretty much a joke to all who do that.”

Bruce Gerencser