Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Return Of The McMonster

A world without the writings of Megan McArdle is a sunnier, happier place, even when it is cool and the rain is non-stop. For weeks I have basked in the warm glow of ignoring Megan McArdle but all good things must come to an end for McMegan is still hard at work, chipping away at anything and everything that might help someone not named Megan Jennifer McArdle Suderman.

Hazmat up. We're going in.

McMiser read that Obama wants to make community college free. This is a problem for her, since people other than McMincing would benefit. These people would be the poorest and most disadvantaged of people, which would make it worse. Those people are not supposed to succeed. They are supposed to stay in their little crime-ridden enclaves due to their lack of superior qualities.  They cannot be helped because of their culture, which tells them to expect others to help them, thereby depriving them of the motivation to help themselves. Of course the only way to succeed is to get married, put off having kids and get an education but McMe-me-me is not here to solve everyone's problems.

And really, isn't it just elitist to think that everyone has to go to college? Sure, everyone says that working hard, going to school and improving yourself is both the American Way and the Free Market Way but just because everyone says that everyone should do it doesn't mean that everyone can do it. Some people just aren't smart enough.

Why are we so obsessed with pushing that group further into the higher education system, rather than asking if we aren't putting too much emphasis on getting a degree?

Asking that question usually raises accusations of elitism, of dividing society into the worthy few and the many Morlocks who aren't good enough for college. I would argue instead that what's elitist is our current fixation on college.  It starts from the supposition that being good at school is some sort of great personal virtue, so that any suggestion that many people aren't good at school must mean that those people are not equal and valuable members of society. And that supposition is triple-distilled balderdash.
Isn't that special? It totally ignores reality but it sure sounds purty.

"Those" people often go to community college to become (well-paid) blue collar workers, developing skills and getting jobs in air condition repair and welding, for example. Many of these students, going by the community college I visited last year, are also new immigrants who manage to make it to America and want to improve themselves. McLady-of-the-Manor just adores having servants, doesn't she want them educated enough to serve her needs?

McMoron has many, many reasons why the poor can't be helped but she also has some handy imaginary solutions for her imaginary reality.

I have some ideas about what those policies might look like: broad deregulation, especially at the state and local level, to ease things for business creators and make it easier to get various sorts of jobs that are currently protected by licensing requirements; more co-op and apprenticeship programs; wage subsidies for entry-level workers, and perhaps a broad system of government internships that could help people gain experience outside of the classroom. I'm sure that there are many more I haven't named. But we won't find them as long as the only politically interesting solution is ever more years in school.

Naturally. End regulation and have the government pick up the tab for corporations' wages.


Skinny Little Boy from Cleveland, Ohio said...

Gievn that she takes pride in having failed upward, why doesn't she apply the same "logic" to the poor.

Mr. Wonderful said...

"It starts from the supposition that being good at school is some sort of great personal virtue..."

No, dear, it starts from the supposition, with which you of all people agree, that there is a "labor market," and that everyone (even Upper West Side princesses who find it necessary to acquire MBA's) is obliged to "make something of themselves" before being able to qualify to earn a living.

Megan, if you agreed with Rick Santorum, whose response to Obama's suggestion that everyone should be able to go to college, with "...what a snob!" then just say so.

nanute said...

@Skinny Little Boy...
Is that you Alex?

tony in san diego said...

She overlooks the reason licencing and regulations exist: these industries and professions injured people when they were unlicensed and unregulated.

fish said...

Heaven forbid that education is valued for anything other than vocational training. If you don't get a good job out of it, why on Earth would you want to go to college?

Kathy said...

I have some ideas about what those policies might look like

Arglebargle never had an idea in her life. She vomits up hastily gobbled talking points from ALEC and other conservative stink-tanks.

Susan of Texas said...

She's perfected her job; she bypasses her brain when writing and probably manages to bang out a post in no time at all.

Jon Rudd said...

Not wanting to be underpaid is just another way of being uppity.
Can't have that.

Anonymous said...

I actually agree with the purty bit you posted first, but it takes me to a different conclusion -- let's get rid of the labor market. If everyone is equally valuable, let's value them equally and pay the same for an hour of work whether you're scrubbing toilets, repairing a car, performing open heart surgery, or learning how to do any of these things.

Anonymous said...

posted = quoted

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

But shirley society will collapse if the likes of Meegan go all Jane Galt, Nonny?

Susan of Texas said...

It's inevitable. If you remove the financial motivation nobody will do anything ever. The people with money must be given more money or they will quit working and take their giant brains and finance start-ups in the valley of the mountains instead.

Likewise, if all the people who work just to get rich go away, the only people left will be those who want to do the job or will accept equitable pay. Since only great people can co-exist in mutual cooperation without ego or greed affecting the balance of society, the rest of us will be left with democracy and equality.

It sounds good, though. If we could isolate authoritarians and let them peck each other to death the rest of us could go back to work.

aimai said...

Surely "co-ops" and "internships" combined with "subsidized entry level wages" means a German system of combining high levels of unionization, corporate agreement to subsidize low skilled workers as they enter training, and some form of subsidized or free university system with a track towards vocational education like, say, a free community college program with an extensive subsidized practicum????

Susan of Texas said...

Aimai, I don't think you care at all about the health and welfare of corporations. We must always have their happiness first and foremost in our minds. If corporations don't directly profit from your ideas they are obviously unsustainable and illogical.