Armstrong Williams

In this economy, many college educated people, facing chronic unemployment, are faced with a stark choice; to remain on the dole, or take a job that’s below their pay grade. For some, this will be a difficult transition, because they believe their college degree entitles them to an occupation with a certain amount of status. Such is the dream that has been sold by the media and the government.

It used to be that college a college degree meant something. That was before the days of grade inflation, government-subsidized loans, and lowered admissions standards. Now almost anyone with a high school diploma can obtain a college degree of some sort. Whether through the abundance of scholarships, affordable community colleges, or even the dubious option of online universities, it’s easier than ever to get a piece of paper with the words “bachelors” emblazoned in official-looking block print.

The consequence for this profusion of degrees is that their value has sunk, and is now underwater. These days, because the market is so glutted with college diplomas, it’s hard to even get a job as a secretary…eh, excuse, me, ‘administrative assistant’ without a four year degree. Like many other measures of value in our economy, including the risk ratings of mortgage-backed securities, and the value of the U.S. dol lar, the college degree has become next to worthless.

This is not only true at the bottom of the spectrum, but also at the top. It is widely known at many of the nation’s top employers that an Ivy League degree no longer means that the recipient has earned it through intelligence and hard work. We know they can game the system – whether by family connections, grade inflation, or cheating on entrance exams, and the list goes on and on.

But there’s one thing that’s impossible to fake, and that’s the results of hard work. I can remember the days growing up on my family farm in South Carolina, working from before the sun rose until well after dark on one difficult task or another. Whether it was milking the cows, plowing the fields, or picking and stacking tobacco for market, there was always something difficult or tedious to be done around the farm.. My siblings and I hated it so much that we could not wait until the school year started so we could sit at a desk all day instead of bust our guts in the fields.&n bsp;

Armstrong Williams

Armstrong Williams is a widely-syndicated columnist, CEO of the Graham Williams Group, and hosts the Armstrong Williams Show. He is the author of Reawakening Virtues.
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