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On Encouraging Entry Into The Trades But Keeping A Constitutional Perspective

05 March 2020 @ 17:43

Sunday instant, I reposted a Facebook post from a website called Grown & Flown entitled: Parents Need to End the Stigma Surrounding Trade School.

I had been struck by that title because I agree with it.

The author, Katie Bingham-Smith, relates:

…When I attended high school in the ‘90s, if you were a student who took vocational classes, everyone thought it meant you couldn’t cut it in regular school.

The cool thing to do was to graduate high school the traditional way and if you didn’t, you were treated as though you were less than.

Maybe this wasn’t the case in all schools, but it certainly was in mine. I admit that I bought into this paradigm. The stigma which came from the adults in our lives trickled down to the students. These days, as a mom to three teens, I’ve seen that kind of stigma not only persist but get even worse and that’s sad.

I was one of those who, back in the 1970’s when I attended high school, felt the same way.  I was part of that White Collar Snobbery that pervaded our age group and our parents.  The latter desired that we outdo themselves and believed only attending collage would achieve that end.  They instilled in many of us that, as Mrs. Smith says, only the dumb kids went to what we called The Voke…and we were too Naive to see that this was wrong.

This attitude in my Blue Collar city was one of the reasons I believe The Voke was eventually shut down.  That Foolish Stigma depleted the ranks of students.

Fortunately, that attitude started to change in the Early Aughts in scattered cities and towns and Regional High Schools, now given the adjective ‘Technical’ started appearing.  Sadly, if Mrs. Smith is correct at least a part of that Foolish Stigma abides [not at all surprising in America given our reach-for-the-better philosophy].

I disagree, however, with the author that the Attitude is worse.

Thanks to people like Mike Rowe, the guys on This Old House [especially Norm Abram], and Mike Holmes, the understanding that The Trades are Respectable has grown significantly.  Granted: part of this change has been driven by the fact that more and more parents understand the financial rewards found by becoming a Tradesman, coupled with the Massive unemployment of those with such Useless degrees in things like ‘Gender Studies’.

More from Mrs. Smith:

No one stops to think that perhaps certain students are exploring other options because having a corporate job just doesn’t suit them. No one considers that these students may not want to spend their life doing something they hate simply because others said it was the right path to take.

My son wants to attend vocational school during his senior year of high school and I’m all for it. He has a mad passion for cars and wants to learn as much as he can, as fast as he can. Learning to repair cars makes him happy in a way that writing papers and chemistry class do not. That’s what enhances his life and makes him feel fulfilled.

Who am I to strip him of his passions, simply because I’m afraid of what others will think? He has an opportunity to start learning about something that excites him now and I think  it’s wonderful that he has that choice.

I couldn’t care less about what others think about my son’s school choice, career choice, or the way he styles his hair. I care that he is happy, and that he chooses what he loves regardless of what it looks like to others.

And if he feels self conscious about his choices, even for a second, it’s my job to set him straight and remind him that his life is his.

If he barters his happiness to appear more prestigious or to impress others, he’s the one who suffers, not the people on the outside judging the future he is building for himself.

You, Mrs. Smith, are there to ‘strip him of his passions’ if you believe they are harmful for him in the long-run.  Non-Natural hair colors are not acceptable and bespeak of an Unserious Person.  Certain Standards must be maintained, just as in the White Collar World, a suit and tie and not dressing like a whore must be Enforced.

In the Comments section of my Facebook post, two dear friends of mine point out that they ‘made it’ without a college degree and, I can attest, they have.  I know of many others who have, with a few rising in the White Collar World when their bosses are smart, in possession of Common Sense [I was one of those who rose and, when I became a boss, I discarded degrees when considering who to employ — successful work experience mattered more].

America was built on Ingenuity and Hard Work, White and Blue Collar.

SIDENOTE: Another commentator, one of my new Friends-In-The-Ether, Bill Hebden, informed us that: ‘Trump Just announced he wants vocational training in all high schools’.

This is not a good thing.

Nowhere in The Constitution is the national government given the Power And Control over Education.

As I wrote back in December regarding another action of Trumpicus Pompey Maximus Sulla and our Roman Empire-style Congress:

Where in The Constitution does it say the Chief Executive can do this?  Where does that Sacred Document say that the Congress can pass such a law?

The answer is that The Constitution does not Delegate such a Power to the national government.

But that doesn’t stop our elected officials from passing such laws every Session.

The First Question that must ALWAYS be asked when passing a Law or promulgating a Regulation is: Is this Constitutional?

If not, than this is a matter that should be left to The Several States [see: Tenth Amendment, The].

And, if their Constitutions do not Delegate such Powers to them, then we next go to County and Local level governments to see if their Charters allow them to impose such Laws and Regulations.

When we do not ask this First Question, we show our Contempt for The Constitutions and Charters of our govenments.  Passing such Laws and Regulations and Executive Orders is Repugnant…

Yes, I want to see Vocational Training encouraged and more Trade Schools opened, but not at the cost of Delegitimizing and Destroying further The Sovereignty Of The People.


3 Comments leave one →
  1. 06 March 2020 @ 19:28 19:28

    I went to Jr high school and high school in California back in the early 70’s. We had shop and graphic arts. We also had an auto shop where students would bring their own POVs to work on the motors, fix dents, ect.

    Moved to WNC for my senior year of high school and we had a woodworking shop that would have been the envy of many cabinet shops.

    Girls…and guys also had to do at least one semester of Home Economics, which included cooking, planning menus and basic sewing, as well as how to balance a checkbook, ect.

    Fast forward to about 1999 and I ran into a guy who refurbished shop equipment that he had bought at auctions of school shop tools. Guy made a heck of a living selling this equipment to cabinet shops and local woodworkers.

    I personally tried college and only made one semester. Then went to a technical college and made it through two semesters before dropping out. But I did find out I liked construction and have been in the biz for 41 years now. I make a damn good living doing it and can point to projects all over the country that I have built or worked on.

    Now, a student who goes to a two yr tech school can be working after graduation and be making a salary above what many students who go to University will make upon their graduation.

    I know electricians who make almost a hundred grand salary with five or six yrs experience.

    • Adobe_Walls permalink
      07 March 2020 @ 18:53 18:53

      Yeah, I neglected to attend my senior year of high school and went to work as a laborer for
      $3.50 an hour in concrete construction 1973. I had to do that because beer and marijuana weren’t free. Was put on the carpenter crew as a helper that year, became a carpenter, then a foreman and was made superintendent in 98. Made good money most of that time and can’t imagine going to work in an office. I’ve done big projects and small. Work for a small local concrete company here in NC that hasn’t been infected with political correctness and has no HR department. 47 years after I started I can’t say I’d do any different.

  2. 08 March 2020 @ 23:13 23:13

    I didn’t do the Vo-Tech route in school. I did it after school to make money. I worked my way through college as an electrician and when I graduated with a BS in engineering (1972) I was faced with a choice. I could pursue engineering that was paying about $7.00 per hour to start. After about 3 years I would be able to take the PE exam and then start to make about $15-$20 per hour. Option 2 was to go full time as an electrician and start at $20.00 per hour on day one. The company did specialty work in hazardous areas and complicated industrial jobs. I am retired now and have never, ever used my degree for anything. Worked for all my 47 years in electrical work and have not one regret. Made tons of money. Spent tons of money. Owed no one for anything. I am concerned that there is a shortage of qualified tradesmen, especially electricians, and it will take years to train new ones. If there are any to be found.
    Another skill being quickly lost is that of machinist and tool and die maker. Nothing can replace the machinist. There is no machine that can replace the machinist. And without people to make the machines that make the machines, there will be nothing moving.

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