College for All leads to high wages for none.

It’s a bit of an exaggeration, but only a bit.  What giving about half of all folks under 30 bachelor’s degrees has done is created a situation where many of them want wage compression even though they don’t realize that’s what they are demanding.  But $15-25/hr “minimum wages”  or “living wages” are explicitly requests for a tiered system in which pay is comparatively low overall.

The reason is that when entry-level pay has to be high due to regulations, what you end up with is a system with two unequal tiers.  In the “uneducated” tier, wages are unstable, frequently not paid and employment is also unstable and exploitative.  If you can’t get a degree in the average college graduate Biden-supporter’s desired system, you’re condemned to spotty gig work where you may or may not be paid, depending on how the algorithm feels that day.  And as for recourse, you won’t have any, since there will be technically legal fig leafs for employers analogous to the infamous zero-hour contracts of the EU.

But it’s not so amazing for the educated tier, no matter what they think they’d get.  Because what they’d get is a credential treadmill (we already have signs of this) where you have to gain more and more credentials to get access to jobs that pay more than that “minimum” wage.  And the higher tier wage is just that, a relatively flat wage that would ultimately end up somewhere around twice the “minimum” wage.

Mass college education leads to a preponderance of platformed people with the pretensions of aristocrats– that is to say, wanting the accoutrements of a well-bred life– but without soiling their little soft hands with actual labor for wages.  So they absolutely want a wage scale where PhDs always make more than MAs (and where noncollege people have zero ability to ever make more than any college graduate) and where STEM degrees offer no premium above whiteness studies degrees because all credentials have their premium compressed into a single value.

This is a profound and ongoing failure of non-left political and social folks in America today.  By having no actual alternative to college for smart students, by rejecting so totally any kind of manual labor, this is where we’re already heading.   To a world where only politicians and people who are already multimillionaires/billionaires earn more than 100k or so per year, and where you have to keep going back to school to collect more credentials to retain your ability to interview for and get the high-tier jobs at all.

And where those who can’t do college are barely allowed to work at all because they’ll be swamped by masses of noncollege immigrants for whom unstable daywork in a wealthy third world nation is superior to unstable daywork in a poor third world nation.  We’re also already seeing signs of this.  It doesn’t have to be this way, but it’s going to keep going this way as long as people cling to a social climbing view that their little college degree makes them not still working class, or a hick, or whatever.  You still are, and all the pretensions about organic mac and cheese won’t change it.  Nor will supporting the media and political class eager to bar your very children from access to the upper-pay work (and if they can, shove them down into the intermittent daywork world in a heartbeat) no matter how much you say you hate Trump and are only personally pro-life.

I live among a lot of people watching their kids turn 24, 25, 26, cut off from the well paying jobs despite multiple degrees, and they still mindlessly rant about Rethuglicans eating all the healthcare up and quietly wonder when the kids will get a “real” job, they heard Sandeep’s kid just started at Google, after all.

Promote apprenticeships and certifications rather than college degrees

The fixation on college degrees is endemic among conservatives, for all that they claim to not be like those wacky liberals on the matter.  This is especially true among homeschoolers, who are just as wedded to the SWPL-liberal notion of college as crucial to financial success as any Tiger Mama.  But promoting apprenticeships and certifications is a way to sidestep the entire college cargo cult and provide economic opportunity for even not-bright men to save up and build a life and support a family.

At present in America, about the only groups promoting apprenticeships or certifications successfully are a few old-line heavy trades unions (who remain white-ethnic to a degree that is astonishing in modern America) and a few highly abstract professions like actuaries and accountants.  The key is to have either or both of apprenticeships and certifications be directly relevant to the industry work in question.  IT failed to do this, so those certifications lost value over time and are now not as reliable or useful to acquire.

Conservatives and pro-family people more broadly need to look at developing useful apprenticeships and certifications on a formalized scale for other industries and then hiring based on those.  Will there be disparate impact and legal issues?  Honestly, probably not.  Disparate impact is increasingly determined by what kinds of jobs the professional managerial class (PMC) wants to keep open for their own mostly white adult children.

This is one way to sidestep the college treadmill but still employ the men (and widows, for that matter) so they can support families and offers a robust approach that can last for generations to come.