“Somebody’s Gotta Do It” host Mike Rowe on Thursday slammed the country’s massive student loan debt as “nuts,” arguing that children are learning poor behavior by borrowing money they most likely won’t pay back.
“We have unintendedly maligned an entire section of our workforce by promoting one form of education, in my opinion, at the expense of all of the other forms,” the former “Dirty Jobs” host answered.
“Forty years ago, colleges needed a PR campaign,” he continued. “We needed more people to get into higher education, but when we gave the big push for college back the in ‘70s, we did it at the expense of alternative education. In other words, we told people, ‘If you don’t get your degree, you’re going to wind up turning a wrench.’”
Mr. Rowe argued that the removal of shop classes in schools has led to a massive skills gap in which people are no longer trained to fill the millions of vacant jobs needed today.
“The skills gap today, in my opinion, is a result of the removal of shop class and the repeated message that the best path for the most people happens to be the most expensive path,” he said.
“This is why, in my opinion, we have $1.6 trillion of student loans on the books and 7.3 million open positions, most of which don’t require a four-year degree,” he added. “We’re just disconnected. We’re rewarding behavior we should be discouraging. We’re lending money we don’t have to kids who are never going to be able to pay it back to train them for jobs that don’t exist anymore. That’s nuts.”
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