We were “five” at church last night for the first time in quite a while. Which was nice. We have all three Female Offspring Units at home for a brief season. In a few weeks FOU #2 heads back to Norman to start a job. Meanwhile #1 is searching for meaningful employment with a freshly signed Baylor University sheepskin under her arm.
She is limiting her search to the Dallas-Fort Worth market so she can live at home and get some student loans paid off before launching out on her own. Of course, the DFW market is a pretty good one to be limited to. It’s the fourth largest metropolitan area in the nation. And the Texas economy is much less anemic than in most other areas of the nation.
Nevertheless, her efforts so far in finding a job commensurate with the extraordinary time, effort and especially, expense involved in obtaining a degree from a prestigious university have not produced a breakthrough. She is not alone.
A recent survey revealed that about 72% of recent college graduates are currently working in the service sector. (Translation: They’re waiting tables and working at The Gap.) Another study showed that fewer than half of recent college graduates are finding jobs that actually require a college degree.
And to piggyback on my previous post about the current economic “recovery,” a news item last week pointed out that roughly half of the new jobs created last month are directly attributable to McDonalds.
There’s nothing wrong with working in fast food. It’s honest work and, for the diligent and enterprising, will invariably lead to bigger better things. But for those emerging from college with $50k-$100k in student loans, it’s a prescription for a decades of indentured servitude.
All of this is causing a long-overdue reevaluation as to whether the expense of college is worth it. (See here for example.)
Graduates with degrees in engineering or science are doing just fine. Liberal arts majors, not so much. As with many of our current troubles, the roots of this problem can be traced to a progressive article of faith that, when enacted into policy produces ugly unintended consequences.
In this case it’s the dual presuppositions that every person who wishes to “succeed” should go to college and that every person who wants to attend college should be able to do so (either at taxpayer expense or with taxpayer subsidized debt).
These twin articles of faith resulted in flooding college campuses with students over the last several decades. Then the immutable laws of supply and demand kicked in. Increased demand for admission slots sent costs soaring. And in a simultaneous double whammy, the glut of graduates flooding the labor markets diluted the value of those ever-more-expensive diplomas.
Why is this? Because flooding a market with something cannot help but dilute the value of that something. Put another way when everyone is special–nobody is.
The “everyone has a right to to go into debt for a college education” paradigm is similar to the “everyone has a right to go into debt so they can own a house” article of faith among progressives.
The latter paradigm, and the policies that flowed from it, produced both the housing bubble and the sub-prime loan debacle that produced the current crisis.
Right now searching the phrase “higher education bubble” produces more than 123,000 results. The top result is this excellent op-ed by Michael Barone: “The Higher Education Bubble Poised to Burst”
Of course, we know God is going to open up a great door for our girl. She’s bright, articulate, is an outstanding written and verbal communicator, and walks in great favor. All that trumps the averages and trends.
It’s been an fascinating week for me and my fellow students of Palin Derangement Syndrome.
As I write, powerful left-wing media institutions like the New York Times, The Washington Post, MSNBC, and Mother Jones magazine have rallied several small armies of zealous volunteers to pour over a recently released cache of Palin’s private emails from her abbreviated tenure as governor of Alaska.
It’s an amazing precedent that liberal Palin-haters have won in the court ruling that the state of Alaska must release 24,000 pages of Palin’s private emails because she discussed state business in some of them. I promise you, it is a precedent that will come back to bite them in the hinder parts.
Meanwhile, the great search for dirt or mockery fodder among the emails has thus far produced nada. Zilch. On the contrary, the whole thing seems to be in the midst of backfiring on the vicious pack of snarling, sneering elites.
What has emerged from the emails is the not-too-surprising news that Palin received numerous death threats from deranged haters during he tenure as governor.
And if there is a bombshell, it this one that just blew up in the faces of all those who have fed bizarre conspiracy theories about Sarah Palin’s youngest son, Trig.
For the first time, we now have the full text of an email Palin sent to her extended family sharing the news that she is pregnant and that the child she is carrying as been determined to have Down’s Syndrome. Palin chose to write the message as if it was written by God, to her and her husband. Here it is:
To the Sisters, Brother, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, and Friends of Trig Paxson Van Palin (or whatever you end up naming him!):
I am blessing you with this surprise baby because I only want the best for you. I’ve heard your prayers that this baby will be happy and healthy, and I’ve answered them because Ionly want the best for you!
I heard your heart when you hinted that another boy would fit best in the Palin family, to round it out and complete that starting five line-up. Though another girl would be so nice, you didn’t think you could ask for what you REALLY wanted, but I knew, so I gave you a boy because I only want the best for you!
Then, I put the idea in your hearts that his name should be “Trig”, because it’s so fitting, with two Norse meanings: “True” and “Brave Victory”. You also have a Bristol Bay relative with that name, so I knew it would be best for you!
Then, I let Trig’s mom have an exceptionally comfortable pregnancy so she could enjoy every minute of it, and I even seemed to rush it along so she could wait until near the end to surprise you with the news – that way Piper wouldn’t have so long to wait and count down so many days – just like Christmastime when you have to wait, impatiently, for that special day to finally open your gift? (Or the way the Palins look forward to birthday celebrations that go on for three, four days… you all really like cake .) I know you, I knew you’d be better off with just a short time to wait!
Then, finally, I let Trig’s mom and dad find out before he was born that this little boy will truly be a GIFT. They were told in early tests that Trig may provide more challenges, and more joy, than what they ever may have imagined or ever asked for. At first the news seemed unreal and sad and confusing . But I gave Trig’ s mom and dad lots of time to think about it because they needed lots of time to understand that everything will be OK, in fact, everything will be great, because I only want the best for you!
I’ve given Trig’s mom and dad peace and joy as they wait to meet their new son. I gave them a happy anticipation because they asked me for that. I’ll give all of you the same happy anticipation and strength to deal with Trig’s challenges, but I won’t impose on you…
I just need to know you want to receive my offer to be with all of you and help you everyday to make Trig’s life a great one.
This new person in your life can help everyone put things in perspective and bind us together and get everyone focused on what really matters . The baby will expand your world and let you see and feel things you haven’t experienced yet. He’ll show you what “true, brave victory” really means as those who love him will think less about self and focus less on what the world tells you is “normal” or “perfect”. You will grow and be blessed with greater understanding that will be born along with Trig.
Trig will be his dad’s little buddy and he’ll wear Carhartts while he learns to tinker in the garage. He’ll love to be read to, he’ll want to play goalie, and he’ll steal his mom’s heart just like Track, Bristol, Willow and Piper did. And Trig will be the cuddly, innocent, mischievous, dependent little brother that his siblings have been waiting for in fact Trig will – in some diagnostic ways – always be a mischievous, dependent little brother, because I created him a bit different than a lot of babies born into this world today.
Every child is created special, with awesome purpose and amazing potential. Children are the most precious and promising ingredient in this mixed up world you live in down there on earth. Trig is no different, except he has one extra chromosome. Doctors call it “Down’s Syndrome”, and Downs kids have challenges, but can bring you much delight and more love than you can ever imagine! Just wait and see, let me prove this, because I only want the best for you!
Some of the rest of the world may not want him, but take comfort in that because the world will not compete for him. Take care of him and he will always be yours!
Trig’s mom and dad don’t want people to focus on the baby’s extra chromosome. They’re human, so they haven’t known how to explain this to people who are so caring and are interested in this new little Alaskan. Sarah and Todd want people to share in the joy of this gift I’m giving to the Palin family, and the greater Alaska family. Many people won’t understand… and I understand that. Some will think Trig should not be allowed to be born because they fear a Downs child won’t be considered “perfect” in your world. (But tell me, what do you earthlings consider “perfect” or even “normal” anyway? Have you peeked down any grocery store isle, or school hallway, or into your office lunchroom lately? Or considered the odd celebrities you celebrate as “perfect” on t.v.? Have you noticed I make `em all shapes and sizes? Believe me ,, there is no “perfect”!)
Many people will express sympathy, but you don’t want or need that, because Trig will be a joy. You will have to trust me on this.
I know it will take time to grasp this and come to accept that I only want the best for you, and I only give my best. Remember though: “My ways are not your ways, my thoughts are not your thoughts… for as the heavens are higher than the earth, my ways are higher than yours!”
I wrote that all down for you in the Good Book ! Look it up! You claim that you believe me – now it’s time to live out that belief!
Please look to me as this new challenge and chapter of life unfolds in front of you. I promise to equip you. I won’t give you anything you can’t handle. I am answering your prayers. Trig can’t wait to meet you. I’m giving you ONLY THE BEST!
Trig’s Creator , Your Heavenly Father