No matter what the item, product, or service is, the more people that have it, the less valuable it becomes individually.
Collectibles are only really valuable when there is a limited quantity of them. Some years back, baseball trading cards and Beanie Babies were all the rage, but once the market got flooded with them, values plunged and some investors lost thousands of dollars.
The same is true with items like computers and cell phones. In the early days, they were expensive and often a sign of prestige to own one. Then more and more people found ways to afford them and costs of producing them dropped until now they are worth less than half of what they originally were.
The same is true with educational degrees. A century ago, it was quite prestigious in many areas of the country to have obtained a high school diploma. It virtually guaranteed that person a decent job and wages. After World War II and the G.I. Bill, college became the rage. Enrollments shot up across the nation and suddenly, the high school diploma wasn’t the hot ticket any longer as employers wanted someone with a college education. After several decades and millions of Americans obtaining college degrees, they also lost their luster and post-graduate or technical school degrees became the sought after prize.
Today, especially with our economy in the tanks and jobs being as scarce as an honest politician, there are thousands of young people graduating from college with no real employment future ahead of them. A fortunate few will find a job in their trained profession, but the majority end up in some other field like retail, manufacturing and construction, if they can even find these jobs. There is no doubt that there is a glut of college graduates in our country that can’t find jobs related to their degrees.
So why would U.S Secretary of Education Arne Duncan challenge governors across America to increase the number of people obtaining a college degree? What’s more ridiculous is that he wants every state to strive to get a minimum of 60% of their citizens to obtain a college degree.
He says that the U.S. has fallen to 16th in the world for the number of people with college degrees and he wants to see us rise to the top and lead the world in this statistic. He faults part of our 16th world standings to the fact that 40 states cut funding to colleges and universities and he wants to see that trend reversed.
In just the state of Ohio, 537,219 or only 38% of young adults earned an associates or bachelor’s degree. To increase that number to 60% would mean increasing the number of people with a college degree to a staggering 905,000. As it is, there aren’t enough jobs in Ohio for the number of college graduates they have now, so what does Duncan expect the state to do with an additional 368,000 college graduates?
Secretary Duncan’s plans will only serve to de-value a college degree and make it harder for all college graduates to find a job. It will also force millions of students nationwide to take out college loans and start their professional lives with mountains of debt weighing them down. It may also force many young people to go further into debt in pursuit of Master’s and Doctorate degrees in their quest for a good job in their field.
What will happen is that Johnny will graduate from college with thousands of dollars in student loan debt and end up having to take a low paying job in some other field because he couldn’t compete with the thousands of others holding the same degree. The stress of not being able to make enough money will more than likely lead to failed relationships and marriages, possibly to alcohol or drug abuse, and eventually bankruptcy, foreclosure, unemployment, poverty and government aid. If you don’t believe me, take a look at the real world out there because it’s already happening and flooding the nation with millions more young people in the same situation will only make matters worse, not better.