I just finished a very interesting book…It’s title is…
Shop Class As Soulcraft
It was written by a PHD and fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies at the Univ. Of Virginia.
In the book the author writes about how Americans no longer want their children doing MANUAL WORK…They would rather have them be KNOWLEDGE WORKERS…Highly specialized experts in very specific fields.
The Problem with this, he contends…is…We are creating a generating that is completely INCAPABLE of doing ANYTHING for themselves.
He mentions that SEARS at one time STOCKED schematics for all the appliances they sold…It was ASSUMED that people would want technical info on their appliances should they ever need repair. Years ago most people were completely capable of replacing a broken switch or belt. Now a days…They don’t even offer the drawings because it’s easier to just DIAL THE PHONE and call a repairmen.
This reminded me of two friends I had in high school…The first one goes to College and gets a technical degree in Mechanical Engineering…He is constantly moved from one State to another as his company sees fit. He eventually losses his job due to the economy and can no longer find work in his career because new college grades don’t bitch about moving, and work for HALF his salary.
The other friend became a mechanic…He went to work for a Porsche dealer right out of high school. He was cross trained in Audi repair also.
This guy went on to earn NO LESS than $100,000+/ year after just 5 years working at this Porsche/Audi dealer. His commute was 10 minutes. He could make his own schedule based on the amount and type of repair work being done at the dealership each day…AND…He built himself an extremely profitable side business repairing OLDER Porsches that the dealership didn’t have time for. This guy owned a custom built home on 10 acres of land with a beautiful fully equiped shop right in his back yard. His house was paid off in 12 years and he continues to repair old Porsches and work at the dealership…He has NEVER been laid off or out of work…His EXPERIENCE is prized by the dealer because there is very little he HASN’T seen over the years.
Another interesting example…
The Plumber that gets $100/hour… was PAID to learn his profession.
The Lawyer that gets paid $250/hour…Had to PAY $150,000 to get his education. He comes out of law school BURIED IN DEBT.
The plumber drives a pickup truck…The Lawyer must drive a luxury car or his clients view him as LESS of a lawyer. The lawyer also must belong to expensive country clubs to maintain business contacts.
The plumber BUILT his own house…The LAWYER had to HIRE the plumber to build his in an UPSCALE “executive” neighborhood.
The plumber can fix almost ANYTHING that breaks in his home or on his boat, or in his VACATION home that he purchased cheap because the plumbing was shot. The lawyer PAYS people to do this for him.
It’s an interesting topic. Obviously there are lawyers that make MILLIONS every year and can afford to pay for ANYTHING they want…
BUT…The MAJORITY are NOT in that league.
We are taking SHOP CLASSES OUT OF SCHOOLS in this country. They are being replaced by COMPUTER CLASSES…(because they can JAM 50 kids in a computer class. while a shop class is considered DANGEROUS and limited to 15 kids)
If we REALLY want to get back to PRODUCING THINGS in THIS COUNTRY…We better start TEACHING our kids HOW TO BUILD THINGS!!!