Every year about this time I hear much the same question floating around. “Why do I need to go to college?” It’s usually followed by something like “my friend is working at Walmart for $12/hr.” If that Walmart is in Cook County, it is now $15/hr thanks to new laws. Yes, I’ve written about the minimum wage before. I’ve even written about Voodoo Economics. There is even an essay in my new book titled The More You Are Paid the Less You Are Worth.
The American dream means you start at a minimum wage job with a path up so you can have the house, dog, white picket fence, and 2.3 kids. For years, decades really, that meant a boy could graduate from high school and the following week start at a factory or trade job. Many of these jobs were unionized which meant they provided both a path up and healthcare. (Wages typically increased with seniority in a union. Senior members got first choice of jobs and could even end up working directly for the union.)
I really hope you can see the featured image of this post and that you are viewing this on a platform that will let you zoom in. I took the picture with my stick phone while out for a walk.
You go to college so you don’t end up with that job
In case you can’t, that black speck at the end of the windmill blade is a dude hanging by one rope painting the blade. The rope ran up to some kind of block and tackle thing and the then came back down to anchor to a vehicle on the ground. There he was hanging by one rope praying:
- The brake on the windmill held so the blades didn’t start turning.
- That drive-up window breakfast didn’t hit bottom all of a sudden.
- The wind didn’t suddenly gust.
- That management didn’t buy cheap knock-off rope just to save a buck.
- The weather report was correct and lightning would not strike.
I’ve seen this crew all spring. A neighbor got a closer look one day and told me it was a Mexican guy in the saddle being raised and lowered by the truck.
If you’ve got a record from too much partying or peer pressure to shoplift, that might be all there is. There are a lot of shit jobs that have to be done and you go to college to avoid getting stuck with one of them. You’ve seen me write about the unemployment myth. This myth that the Trump Nazi party has been pushing about unemployment benefits keeping people from seeking jobs. We pretty much debunked that conspiracy theory with that post series.
Windmills catch on fire when struck by lightning. If the bolt doesn’t kill you, the fire can burn through your rope.