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America, the Third-World Country with an Educated Population

November 29, 2011

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.

Interesting photo. From

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:

Essential Workers:

” 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.


12 Comments leave one →
  1. November 30, 2011 1:58 AM

    This is all very well stated, I lived in Utah for a long time and wasted money on a Software engineering degree, when I came to Canada and everyone had a large Motorhome I would ask, “How much debt are you in for that?” They would reply, “None I paid cash.” I asked how in the world that is possible, they say they are trade workers…plumbers, pipe fitters, electricians, and so on, the least making $25/hr to the most making $200/hr for services that no one can go without….awesome!

    • November 30, 2011 11:54 PM

      Exactly! Because the amount of workers skilled in carpentry, plumbing and other trades is dwindling, these people’s time is becoming much more valuable; hence, their increased pay. And, frankly, they deserve it! Personally, would I WANT to be a trade worker? No, but that is simply because I have a passion for other things (and, to be honest, am quite clumsy and maladroit, not to mention bad at math). However, I admire these people for their skills and recognize that we sure need them!

  2. December 2, 2011 8:12 PM

    “Educated”? I’m not so sure…
    Great post!

  3. December 2, 2011 10:55 PM

    Perhaps “Educated in theory” is a better phrase. 😀

  4. December 3, 2011 10:42 PM

    Great post, thanks for stopping by my page 🙂

  5. December 4, 2011 7:23 PM

    This is a great post. Intelligent, thought-provoking, and unfortunately, very true on so many points. Thanks for posting this and for including the link to his article.

    • December 5, 2011 4:39 PM

      Thank you, and yes, very unfortunately true. I didn’t realize that Mr. Ratzenberger had been an actor–proving that sometimes, ‘celebrities’ really do know their causes!

  6. Arpit R permalink
    December 5, 2011 7:59 AM

    Great post…But I would like to say it has more to do with the “lifestyle” then anything else…
    Debt-driven life, lack of solid family institution, carefree lifestyle (americans consume and waste highest amount of food, fuels and consumer products) will be the reasons for the fall of US and US in turn will be the reason the whole world will be in great peril…

    • December 5, 2011 4:45 PM

      Thank you. And while i agree that everything that you noted is damaging to the US, I don’t believe that they will ultimately be the reason’s for the U.S.A.’s downfall. They are simply some of the many factors that work together, and it is up to the ordinary citizen to sit back and take a look at what they are doing and what they believe.

  7. December 18, 2011 8:34 PM

    Love it. Bravo to championing and identifying the people who make the country run.

    • December 23, 2011 3:13 PM

      Thanks! 🙂


  1. When Going to Work Became a Better Idea than Going to College « asingleletter

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