Job One for Liberals is to Send More Americans to College
If Liberals want to move the country forward, they need to think beyond short term accomplishments and develop a hundred year plan. The path to liberalization is simple – make college affordable and available to everyone.
Despite the common myth, colleges are not liberal indoctrination camps. Whether one leaves college as a conservative or liberal is fairly evenly split. Those who stop learning after high school, though, are overwhelmingly conservative. Today, nearly three out of four will vote Republican.
America’s middle class is being stratified into a well-educated upper and a less-educated lower. Uppers work primarily in vibrant industries, corporate, government, white-collar and administrative jobs. They’ve weathered the difficult economy fairly well. Roughly one third of working Americans have a college degree. They earn, on average, three and a half times what high school dropouts earn.
Like it or not, a college degree is now the entry level credential for a stable job. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for high school dropouts has been around 15 percent for more than a year. For high school graduates, it’s just over 10 percent. For college graduates it’s less than 5 percent. But it gets worse.
The value of a high-schooled wage earner is also way down. His or her marketability has been ruined by a number of factors including the decline of our industrial base, the defeat of unions and the inability to “change gears” when an old industry dies. Without unionized factory jobs, low-education workers are finding it difficult just to get by. So fear drives the urge to hunker down – to take a conservative approach. Fear may actually be the disease, conservatism just a symptom. Perhaps the most devastating characteristic of this group is the inability to see how all of this happened. As a result, the less-educated middle class is voting themselves downward, recreating the “lower middle class” that was mostly eliminated during the 1980s and ‘90s.
Increasingly, “sweat-collar workers” are willing to accept the fantastical notion that poor people have a powerful political lobby in Washington. Looking for an excuse for failure has made them terminally gullible. Republican strategists are more than willing to stoke the delusion. Back in reality, the notion that the poor pull any levers of power is utterly laughable.
The real conservative goal can be explained in one concept – increase the number of workers to suppress wages. When Republicans talk about cutting Social Security or raising the retirement age (or almost anything else) that’s what they’re really up to. They don’t want to cut spending; they want to expand the worker pool. More competition for jobs means lower wages – for the very people who voted them in.Continued on the next page