Since the days of Ronald Reagan, there has been a strong thread of anti-intellectualism in the Republican party. Thinkers are to be mocked while doers are to be praised, at least if you listen to the rhetoric from GOP candidates, all of whom have college degrees and most of whom have never made a living as someone who produces or fixes things.
The latest case in point was during Tuesday night’s debate when Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) made the claim that “we need more welders than philosophers” because “welders make more money than philosophers.”
He went on Fox News to discuss this with host Brian Kilmeade, who stated that welding is trending on Google.
You said we need welders, that welders get paid more than philosophers,” Kilmeade said. “We’re getting too many people with philosophy degrees. Here’s your tweet. ‘The Google trend, searches for welding classes are spiking 1300%.’ Are you happy to be behind the welders today?
Source: Raw Story
Rubio is quite happy to be behind welders:
For the life of me I don’t know why we stopped teaching Americans to do that kind of work, to work with their hands,” Rubio said. “These are good paying jobs. We can be teaching kids to do that when they’re 16 or 17 years of age, and there’s a shortage of people.
Then Kilmeade accidentally stumbled into some ironic wisdom when he joked that “Plato would have been so much more successful if he had just welded and stopped yapping about his philosophy.”
There are two big problems with Rubio’s premise: philosophers make a lot more money than welders and while we do need welders we also need people who can think.
According to PayScale.com, philosophers make a staggering $97,000, even with only a bachelor’s degree. An associate’s degree in welding yields about $58,500.
Many successful people, including Carly Fiorina, who was on that very stage, have degrees in philosophy. Philosophy teaches people critical thought, a skill that might be mocked by conservatives, but is desperately needed in this age of Fox News and reality TV.
Here’s the video: