America, the Third-World Country with an Educated Population
About two months ago, my father called me over to his computer one night. “You have to read this article,” he said. “I think you’ll like it, and he’s got some really good points.” The article was entitled “John Ratzenberger: On Why we’re Becoming a Third-World Country” and was featured on AOL News. I sat there and read the article, and as I read I thought, but this is what I’ve been saying! This is what I’ve been complaining about!
That night, I felt as though I had just had an intelligent conversation with Mr.
Ratzenberger. I felt as though someone out there understood what I was saying; someone else had also realized what I had. I felt that he had hit the situation quite on the nail. It was Mr. Ratzenberger’s interview (the article was written by Dan Fastenberg) that ultimately got me thinking about starting a blog. Here I was, thinking that I was the only one who felt that way, and then I read that someone else too believed in the same thing. Well, couldn’t a blog connect those people and their ideas?
For those of you who didn’t read the article (link below), Ratzenberger touched on some very fine points about the U.S. economy as well as American society. Chiefly, his main concern is that America will turn into a Third-World country in the sense that
When we run out of plumbers, or people who maintain the water system, from the reservoir to the faucet in your house, and there’s no one around to fix it, we become a Third World country. That’s all a Third World country really is. You turn the light switch on, and it may or may not work.
In other words, Because Americans have turned blue-collar jobs into undignified symbols of failure and remade college into a business, our country is losing it’s status as a manufacturer and will eventually be unable to take care of itself. A brief overview of three points that I found quite interesting:
” Shaquille O’Neal’s job is not essential. Lady Gaga’s job is not essential,” Ratzenberger insists. These people are not running our country, neither from a top position nor a bottom position. We need people to build houses, fix lights, cook food. No one wants to dirty their hands and preform a “laborious job.” As Americans, we have become so dependent on other people doing our dirty work. If not for the constant influx of immigrants, we probably wouldn’t have anyone to do the jobs that most Americans turn their noses up at. I didn’t realize that America still was a manufacturing giant, probably because this is downplayed; who cares about factory workers? But seriously, we need to keep these jobs here in America. Maybe corporations should care about the future of their country before they outsource their factory work to a nation where they’ll pay the impoverished workers 5 cents a day. There might come a day when impoverished workers living in the United States might want subaverage pay, because they are struggling with their families!
College as a must
This is only lightly touched on by Ratzenberger, but it’s the point which most resounded with me. College today has become a must: every student, whether they were lazy or a C or even D student, now is able to go to college. Why? Because they have the MONEY-or at least, the ability to get a loan. THIS, I repeat, THIS SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED. College is not a business, but it has become one thanks to the Baby Boomers who decided that they didn’t want to be like their hardworking parents who made this country and, spoiled by their parent’s hard work, decided to make college a priority.
The blame has to be put on colleges too, not just parents: they saw an opportunity to make money and, in a capitalist society, ran with it. But not every kid should, nor deserves, to go to college. There are plenty of jobs out there that don’t need a college degree that you can be successful in. There are also plenty of jobs out there that never required “experience” or a “college degree” that nowadays people have turned into much more “complex” positions. Really, do I need to go through an online application, 2 online tests, a phone interview and then a 5-hour long in-person interview and test for a measly $10-an-hour airline clerk position? Anybody could do that job, thank you very much!
Plumbers are dirty
Ratzenberger points out that we should have shows about ordinary people, like plumbers or carpenters, and show them in a positive light to destigmatize these professions. What kid, Ratzenberger argues, wants to follow a profession that appears unglamorous, especially on-screen in the movies? But, reality is reality: we can’t all be movie stars or athletes, so we’re going to have to accept less-admired jobs. And who says that plumbing can’t be glamorous, er, have it’s perks? I live across the street from a plumber, and he has several sports cars, a pool in his landscaped back yard and a boat. I don’t think his life is too bad, materialistic-wise, for getting his hands dirty!
In working the few jobs i have in my life so far, I came to several conclusions, one of which was this: that even though these jobs were not glamorous and would be deemed “lowly,” especially for an adult to preform, they nevertheless have to be done, and that no matter what your job, you should do it with pride and dignity. Because every job, no matter how big or small, is valued. Every job matters.
“John Ratzenberger On Why We are Becoming a Third-World Nation” by Dan Fastenberg, AOL News Oct. 3rd 2011. http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2011/10/03/john-ratzenberger-on-why-were-becoming-a-third-world-country/?icid=acm50exclusive_thirdworld_100311