We realize that everybody and his brother is posting something about Saint Patrick, the Irish, green beer, and corned beef and cabbage today. We’ll leave that to the amateurs. Today we’re going to look at something more truly Irish than having a party once a year to celebrate yet another holiday that would utterly baffle the person it’s named for.
|Product of monkish superstition.|
We’re referring, of course, to advanced education. You can’t get any more Irish than that. At a time when people all over Europe were forgetting that there was such a thing as a book, Irish monks were going out teaching people to read and write. Practically the whole of Ireland was turned into an institution of higher learning. At a time when the British were running around naked and painting themselves blue, students from all over Europe went to Ireland to study.
|Wrong period, but you get the idea.|
One commentator recorded that he saw seven ships in one day sailing up the River Shannon carrying students to one of the great monasteries. Ireland became known as “the Land of Saints and Scholars.” (And they could do it again by being the first country to adopt Capital Homesteading before the Centennial of the 1916 Easter Rebellion . . . but that’s another posting for another day.)
What brought this up was the reposting of a FaceBook comment from March 11 of last year. Somebody made the insightful (sarcasm) remark that (and this is exactly as the comment appeared),
“People just join the military because there too dumb to go to college . . .”
|1899 U.S.M.C. Uniforms|
The first person to comment was someone whose photo indicated either that he had a real great Halloween costume, or he was a United States Marine. He only wrote a single word: “They’re.”
First, of course, there are one or two people who join the various branches of the service who do, in fact, have college degrees. In many cases, the military has paid for their schooling. The idea is that the armed forces of the United States will have an active duty and reserve officer corps of people who have demonstrated the ability to perform complex tasks at some level of competency.
As a military under the control of and subject to the civil power, today’s military leaders have to function under the sometimes mindless restrictions imposed by politicians and government bureaucrats (can you say “Rules of Engagement”?). Politicians and bureaucrats often have as much idea about how to use the military effectively as academics have about the true purpose of an education.
People in the military also have something that a lot of other college graduates don’t have: a job.
|For this I went to college?|
We are not in favor of attending a university as job training. That, frankly, is the way things are (at least for now), but that doesn’t mean we have to like it. Given the accelerating pace at which advancing technology is replacing human labor in the production process, the jobs for which people are presumably being trained often do not even exist by the time they graduate — or even before they apply to college.
We’ve addressed the problem of technology replacing human labor more times than we care to count on this blog. We’ll just give the solution. As Louis Kelso said, “If the machine wants our job, let’s buy it.” Not the job, the machine. That way it doesn’t matter whether you generate income by selling your labor so others can produce, or by selling the goods and services your machine produces. You get the income either way.
No, the issue today is relative dumbness. Are people who go to college and enter the non-military unemployment line, sorry, the job market inherently smarter than people who go into the military right after high school without going to college?
Let's compare in dollar terms. Rock-bottom pay for anyone in the military is $1,417.00 per month, or $17,004.00 per year (the $4.00 is probably a rounding “gimme”). The rock-bottom pay for a college graduate without a job is $-0-. The Too-Dumb-To-Go-To-College military recruit is, evidently, $17,004.00 smarter than an unemployed college graduate.
|Too dumb to go to college.|
Now let’s look at the cost. The military pays you to join and have a guaranteed job for life if you don’t screw up and are halfway competent. You have to pay to go to college, where you can graduate if you learn to take tests and suck up to professors and get good grades by telling them what they want to hear. Exactly how smart are you to go to college, spend $250,000.00, and not have a job?
Relative Financial IQs, prorated over four years:
Dumb military recruit: $ 68,016.00
Smart college graduate: ($250,000.00)
The lowest paid military recruit has a Relative Financial IQ 318,016 points higher than an unemployed college graduate.
Yup. People just join the military because they’re, excuse me, there too dumb to go to college.