People pushing the “worthless degree” narrative so popular nowadays might like to know that this is a rightwing meme.
Rightwingers absolutely hate university education period (or at least want to make it all private or nonprofit so only the rich could get a university education) and beyond that, they hate more than anything else the schools of Humanities which they regard as hotbeds of liberalism, Leftism, and Communism who brainwash the young.
Just pointing out that the liberals taking this point of view are pushing a rightwing meme. Not that that means it’s invalid, but to me it implies that it needs looking at.
I mentioned earlier that Japan was thinking of phasing out all Humanities degrees. Japanese are natural-born STEM nerds anyway, so I can see why they feel this way. This was actually a directive that was issued by the government in 2015.
Perhaps due to criticism, the government subsequently withdrew this policy and issued a statement that said in our modern era, Humanities degrees were absolutely beneficial, but not before ~25% of Japanese universities had gone along with the recommendation, which I suppose means that they eliminated Humanities degrees at their schools.
5 thoughts on “Alt Left: The “Worthless Degree” Narrative Is a Rightwing Meme”
I’ve addressed the “worthless degree” narrative here, and I’m fully aware that a lot of rightwing people push this narrative. What I’ve been trying to do is explain why people feel that way.
As I said earlier, I respect the humanities, having a liberal arts degree myself. If I had a kid in college, I’d want him or her to get a basic liberal arts education – including social sciences – no matter what his major is. So you won’t hear me saying that English, art, sociology, psychology, etc., are worthless subjects or a waste of time.
Studying the social sciences is different, however, from trying to get a degree in the social sciences. The fact is, a lot of people don’t feel they can earn the kind of money they want with a degree in the social sciences. Also, some of the people being asked to foot the bill don’t want to pay for an art degree or a sociology degree or a peace studies degree. Are all of these people rightwing?
“What I’ve been trying to do is explain why people feel that way.”
Well that’s fine. We can always discuss on here why people believe whatever rightwing stuff they believe.
“The fact is, a lot of people don’t feel they can earn the kind of money they want with a degree in the social sciences.”
That’s fine. Then they shouldn’t try to get one. I would also add that if the parents are footing the bill for their child’s education, they have a right to say they won’t pay for what they regard as a worthless degree. I mean it’s their money.
Also, some of the people being asked to foot the bill don’t want to pay for an art degree or a sociology degree or a peace studies degree.
Now that’s rightwing! You can do a lot of things with a sociology degree. And most of my friends with art degrees went on to become freelance artists. One then went on to work for a movie studio, where he remains to this day. Do Peace Studies degrees even exist?
They may not be rightwing but that is a rightwing position: I don’t want muh hard earned tax dollars going for some worthless degree. In a lot of countries in the world, education is completely free through the graduate level. In fact, it’s the norm. It’s the case in Mexico, the Philippines, Cuba, Venezuela and Germany in Europe.
Actually it is probably the case in many other cases and probably in most countries in the world. Paid public university is the exception, not the norm. It doesn’t cost that much money to put someone through college.
Anyway, college used to be pretty damn cheap. Why has the cost of college gone through the roof? I don’t have a lot of sympathy for the poor suffering taxpayer.
These kids who are getting these degrees are getting nuked by the cost of getting a degree. My brother got some graphic arts degree, then a BA in Political Science and then a Masters in Education Technology. That set him back $100,000. That’s ridiculous. I got a BA and a teaching credential and I owed $7,000 when I got out. I got an MA for $6,000.
When I talk about the people footing the bill, I’m talking about parents. I’m not sure how the taxpaying public feels about social science degrees.
You don’t have to be rightwing to think that social science degrees aren’t as valuable as STEM, business, or trades. And I’m sure you realize that there’s no such thing as “free” in this world. There is no such thing as “something for nothing.”
Well ok we agree then. Of course the parents might not pay for what they consider to be worthless degrees, as is their right. And of course most people realize that a Humanities degree statistically is not worth as much as the other degrees, although I would love to see the studies.
Well there is free university education through the graduate level in most of the world. It’s paid either in taxes or out of state revenues. When it’s paid out of state revenues, it’s pretty much free in every way though.
Well, not all professors are fascists or rednecks. In fact, I had at least one professor who seemed to be more centrist. Anyway, you can have a more balanced approach – without seeming like a dick.