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Neodarwinian's avatar

Could be.

Colleges need to sell more mickey mouse degrees and they lower the admission bar to get people into these classes ( with plenty of remedial course work needed ), so it would be in their best interest to denigrate this type of work. ( speculative )

Cerebral vs muscular work is being won by the former anyway, so blue collar work denigration is probably a natural outcome here. ( also speculation )

We have been drumming into children’s head’s at least since the 60’s that college is the goal for everyone ( even though many really can not make the grade ) so labor, even some skilled labor, will be denigrated naturally.

Aesthetic_Mess's avatar

That was a really great talk.

You mentioned something about tradesmen on my Teacher question. I agree that society has disrespected these “dirty jobs” and has turned the light towards white-collar “drone” jobs. But where would we be without these laborers that do the dirty work?

College in this country is a business more than it is about education and training. And as businesses, they must find ways to make profit, including putting propaganda into students’ minds that it is degrading to have a job where you do skilled labor.

EDIT: I appreciated what he said about skilled laborers (and laborers in general) being the happiest people he has met.
I’ve heard it said that in the U.S., we live to work, rather than work to live. I have seen it firsthand. My sister and brother have white collar jobs and they bring their work home with them constantly. My sister hardly has time for her family and her kids are constantly saying that she’s stressed, and they don’t want to burden her with their problems.

But laborers do their work and leave it there. Electricians, plumbers, mechanics, even cashiers and retail workers usually leave their work at the workplace and come home to live. They are balanced as Rowe said, and because that is not the norm, it is looked down upon that people have time for other things besides work.

ragingloli's avatar

There are solutions to these problems.
But those solutions are “socialism”.

DWW25921's avatar

That was outstanding! It’s true, there is a stigma attached to a lot of necessary jobs and I think he’s exactly right about having a PR campaign of sorts.

drhat77's avatar

I think it was more from a time when you could make a good living at a factory job, then suddenly you’ve got robots or those jobs going overseas, and the workers left behind telling the next generation “Don’t do what I did. Don’t get a blue-collar job you could lose suddenly. Go to college and you’ll always have work.” That advice is probably more of a “grass is greener” view, but I think it’s what got the ball rolling. After that, the only people who would still take blue-collar work are those who could not get into college.

ETpro's avatar

@Neodarwinian Maybe it’s time to stop acting like we’re vastly intelligent and start actually behaving as if we are. I spent most of my career as an engineer but I built garages and houses to work my way through school. As a lead designer, I also did a fairly long stint as a welder making heavy metal parts for street sweepers. I loved that work.

@Aesthetic_Mess White collar jobs are fine. I’m currently a Web developer, which might be white collar if I didn’t own the company and dictate the dress code. But when the toilet won’t flush and shit’s backing up in its bowl, thanks be there are plumbers.

@ragingloli Bring it, then. Scandinavian countries have the happiest citizens anywhere. The US has the happiest 1% anywhere. To get that, we are destroying the middle class.

@DWW25921 Consider this the opening shot in the “DIrty Work is Necessary and Good” PR campaign.

@drhat77 Excellent point. If I am going to lobby for trades and a decent day’s work; I need to know who is opposed to that, and why they oppose.

LostInParadise's avatar

Our college system is elitist. I don’t like agreeing with those on the right, but in this case they have a point. In so many cases, a college degree is an artificial way of restricting the job market. Did you know that all nine members of the Supreme Court have Harvard or Yale degrees? Here is a case where not only having the degree matters, but also where you got it.

I read an article that compared our college system to the old Chinese civil service, which had a grueling set of examinations that one had to pass to get the best civil service jobs. The examinations had nothing to do with the work performed. They were just an artificial way of restricting the labor pool.

The TED talk only focused on those manual labor jobs that pay well. There are still opportunities for people to do what most of would prefer not to do that pay well. Left out were jobs like migrant labor and low end jobs in the retail industry. These people are not happy with the work that they do and certainly not with the money they make. The way that automation is advancing, even many of those with college degrees are having trouble getting decent jobs. The college filtering system has had to up the cost of a degree in an attempt to lower the number of college grads. As for those in the skilled professions, it is just a matter of time before robots start making inroads into their labor as well.

SecondHandStoke's avatar


Romney lost because he offered jobs to a nation that doesn’t want to work.

The moment a country’s citizens realize they can be “supported” with a stroke on a ballot the slide toward national socialism achieves maximum speed.


Would you kindly respond to my comment with memorized, fit all replies filled with statistics and polls.

OMG, Thx!

ETpro's avatar

@ETpro The hillarious thing is that the vast majority of the right-wing PR firm and PAC propagandists who excoriate Ivy League “elitists” are themselves PhD’s with Ivy League graduate degrees.

@SecondHandStoke No. It doesn’t even deserve a response. And with your set-up of what any response would be, none will be forthcoming.

herculies's avatar

@SecondHandStoke Did you mean ‘stoke on a ballot’?

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Let’s say we have an election. We will use the one for the Office of The President as an example.

Typically things narrow down to two contenders.

Logic demands that one of the candidates is going to be more supportive of the Welfare State than the other.

When the public realizes that voting for that candidate increases their chances of receiving a living without having to get dirt under their nails that candidate could receive more votes.

Over the years and after many elections the end result becomes obvious.

ragingloli's avatar

projections, projections.

The real reason is that the majority has actual empathy and compassion and vote for a candidate that does not want to callously let people starve to death in the streets.
I do not blame you for not knowing that, as it requires compassion and empathy to understand such reasoning.

SecondHandStoke's avatar


Of course your perspective and doctrine is claimed to be based on compassion and empathy.

That makes it a lot easier to sell, doesn’t it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I have a feeling that people with that mentality, that just want hand outs and don’t want to work, probably don’t vote. It takes some brains and some effort to vote. Neither of those are their forte.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Regrettably it DOES NOT take brains to vote.

ragingloli's avatar

you should be glad it does not, because otherwise, there would not be a single conservative in office.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Just how much time have you spent in the United States Loli?

Or are you getting all your information about us from the Internet, your media and schools?

ragingloli's avatar

How much time have YOU spent in Nazi Germany?

Dutchess_III's avatar

@SecondHandStoke You left out the effort it takes.

herculies's avatar

@ragingloli You seem to be fixated on nazis.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

^Loli is compensating for the fact he lives in The Former East Germany.

^^There’s little effort to speak of as it should be for anyone that can prove they possess the legal right provided for anyone proved eligible to vote in the US.

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