Ranger Rick: What must students do to get tomorrow’s jobs?

The state of California reported the most recent statistics for educational expenditures from both state and federal funds for 2014-15 was $76.6 billion. What are they getting for those hard-earned tax dollars?

It was recently reported the third grade reading comprehension in California schools for African-American children displayed a failure rate of 75%. This means three of every four children cannot read and/or comprehend what they read at the third grade level. And I suspect, being behind in the third grade, the future remains bleak for those children to ever catch up to their classmates. Since the only information given was about African-American third graders, I have no statistics about children of any other race classification from the radio report (WOOD morning news).

Think about if you were a student who could not read nor comprehend what you were reading – what future do you have? For those who cannot pass reading, writing, basic math – what type of job is in your future? Jobs where you show up in a factory and work hard every day with your hands in the making of a product, like those in the auto, steel, furniture, and energy industry no longer exist. Those “sweat equity” jobs where you could make a living are disappearing or more likely have completely disappeared. Or moved off-shore to Mexico, Taiwan, China, India, etc. for lower labor costs. Do you wonder why crime statistics grow every year and senseless killings, rapes, assaults happen by mostly young men who are habitual offenders? Look at the education statistics from 15 to 20 years ago and those offenders most undoubtedly fall within the poor school performers and eventually get discouraged and drop out.

Even farming is going high tech with computers and applications for energy efficiency and best use of farm land in plowing, planting, fertilizing, cultivating and harvesting crops. The days of having a tractor and a few farm implements to help in crop production are over. Multi-thousand/million dollar machines are now the norm. Go big or stay home is agriculture now.

Another avenue to work is learning a trade – such as electrician, plumber, painter, carpenter, heavy construction, machine operator (bulldozer, crane, etc.) and many others. Many of these jobs can be learned in the armed services. If you have no desire to go to college, but want to learn a trade where you can make good wages, look at the armed services – great place to learn, earn and mature.

Those students going to college, they have one place to get loans now – Uncle Sam. President Obama took the college loan program from banks and placed it on the federal government to administer. Now I ask you, seriously, what federal budget or program was ever within what was originally budgeted – all overrun costs are absorbed by the taxpayers and the world keeps turning. Do you have any idea the debt level of the federal college loan program?

It recently surpassed the total credit card debt carried by Americans. Does that make you see the magnitude of the problem? The federal college loan debt as of early 2016 was $1.2 TRILLION, second only behind mortgage debt! You, the taxpayers, are on the hook to pay off the debt if the students default.

Of almost 5.3 million college students with loans, nearly 560,000 default. And the default numbers are growing as students cannot find jobs or determine the jobs offered are not up to their expectations. I have a bit of advice for these snowflakes who feel sitting on their bums all day instead of taking a “lesser” job – the more you are out of the workforce, the harder it is to find a job, let alone a job you don’t want. Showing up for work, doing a good job, getting along with others in completing tasks – all are traits those hiring look for. If you have a long period of not working, your chances of getting a better job are very small.

Employers are looking for intelligence, fortitude, determination, persistence, loyalty and cooperation in a candidate. Why should they offer you a job if you don’t have those traits? I’d take someone who wants to work over someone who feels compelled to work but doesn’t show any enthusiasm while working. Attitude is everything, and if you don’t believe me, look at those who are successful. Ask someone like that to mentor you, get insight, get an education from somebody who’s “been there”. Your college professors are book learning heavy, not usually “students” of real life working experiences.

One college professor (his name was Calvin (Cal)) I had years ago worked in the oil fields around Mt. Pleasant as a “roughneck” during the summer – handling drilling pipe and working on oil rigs. He had to make money in the summer while off and he could earn more than half of what he earned as a professor for three month’s work. He learned the oil work while going to college. Now that is fortitude, effort, and determination to make do with the skills he had. He paid for his college – never had loans. I never saw him in a bad mood and always had a smile on his face and a kind word when we met. He was an optimist of the extreme kind.

Be like Cal – love life, love working, and do the best job possible. You will be noticed and be given opportunities if you show you are willing to seek them out.




  • This is absurdly dumb. There is not a coherent thought being communicated here. It’s as if our anonymous author is intentionally trying to portray himself as an out-of-touch fuddy-duddy. Try harder, Ranger Rick.

    • Mr. Gless,
      If you can not attack the content attack the author. ” It was recently reported the third grade reading comprehension in California schools for African-American children displayed a failure rate of 75%.” For over 40 years the ability to read at grade level in third grade has been an indicator of future success, sure sounds coherent to me.

      • Content? That quote you’ve highlighted came from a WOOD radio bit, which was clearly shared (with carefully limited context) to incite the rancor of old white conservatives. As for in-depth analysis, I’m gonna double down and say there’s none of that taking place here.

        • Mr. Gless,
          Much of our tax money goes to educate children in public school. If they fail, we fail as a society. I certainly don’t want that to happen and only wish the best for those trying to learn and succeed.
          This has nothing to do with one race, age group, or any other classification you care to use and disparage. Maybe Mr. Young could add you as a columnist and you could share your vast knowledge of life with the rest of us?

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