Rick Santorum says a few ridiculous things every week, and it scares me that he gets to do so and remain a serious candidate for president. But one of his latest comments made me wonder out loud whether or not he had a point.

In a speech to the Americans For Prosperity Michigan Forum, Santorum said “President Obama once said he wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob,” and continued with a near-religious diatribe against Obama’s assertion that a college education should be accessible for everyone.

“There are good decent men and women, who go out everyday to put their skills to test that aren’t taught by some liberal college professor trying to indoctrinate them. I understand why he wants you to go to college — he wants to remake you in his image. I want to create jobs so people can remake their children into their image, not his.”

Blah, blah, blah. It’s important to note that Rick Santorum not only went to college but he also has an MBA and a JD that have kept him swaddled in economic opportunity and prosperity for most of his life — his MBA actually makes him more educated than Barack Obama, so I have to call political nonsense on Santorum’s comments on a very basic level, especially the part about “liberal college professors.”

However, in an effort to connect with the blue collar worker who is threatened by the liberal elite, Santorum hits on something that America has been afraid to admit: maybe college is not for everyone and maybe we shouldn’t be pushing folks to go. Don’t get me wrong, it’s clear that everyone should have the opportunity to attend college if they want to do so, but as the economy has changed there is a lot of evidence that a college degree does not pay off financially anymore — for many, trade school is a better route, for example. I consider education a good with value in itself, but shouldn’t we focus making sure that a public high school education is strong enough to churn out well-educated Americans without depending on college? My family never gave me the option of not going to college, but isn’t there room for other formulas for success?

What do you think?

  • L.A. Dreaming86

    The idea that college isn’t for everyone is very true. I am still working on getting my degree, but I have no incentive to finish it. Being in those classes were so boring and the campus environment wasn’t very exciting. I’d rather be working and learning how to do a job on the job and making money as opposed to sitting in a classroom and learning things that will not be utilized and acquiring debt.

  • Samantha

    I think that everyone should go to college. I feel that if we are at a point where the cons outweigh the pros for higher education, the system clearly needs to be revamped. Secondaryeducation serves its purpose in preparing students with necessary information to simply survive in society and trade schools prepare students with skills to work. Higher education should not only teach students but should also create well rounded individuals who are prepared not to just have a 9-5 but to also view societal issues through a critical eye and knowledge on what role they can play in making a change. I think that I learned just as much from ogranizational involvment, attending various events and conferences, and hearing a variety of speakers while in college as I did in the classroom. College provides individuals an opportunity to learn about themselves, mature, and develop into socially engaged citizens. While a traditional college isn’t for everyone, there are way too many institutions of higher education with thier own unqiue traditions and ways of doing things for me to believe that every person could not have a positive expereince if they found the right college for them.

  • Natalie

    It’s not about being snobby, it’s about using that degree to get a job. However, in this state, so many people are in debt for a degree but can’t get a job. Santorum and the rest of these circus clowns continue to find some other point to derail the idiotic followers they have. First it was jobs, then it was the economy, then it was birth control, and now it’s college? Please. I’m hip to the tricks.

  • Greg

    I prefer home-schooling and it’s picking up alot of steam. Why anyone would choose to let incompetent liberals educate their children is beyond me. However Black Parents are catching on to these racist. The “Higher Education Bubble” is indeed happening and has been the talk of conservative media the last 5 yrs. It’s quickly approaching and snobby Obama is trying to head it off w/ more tax-payer aid which in turn makes Universities RAISE TUITIONS. that’s why Obama and Acadenia truly “have feelings for one another” outside of his origin in the “Indoctrinate Me” institutions.

    Obama is a slave to Teacher’s Unions and it’s Liberal, SNOBBY incompetent education that relishes in hating boys and in particular minority boys that it chooses to DRUG with Ritalin (teachers get kickbacks from the medical establishment) rather than educate our boys. This has been going on for YEARS and they do nothing about it because it’s planned that way. Liberals hate men and boys in preference for Women and girls.

    —”Despite giving lip service to education reform, the Obama administration has decided to put an end to the very successful D.C. school voucher program. This despite a United States Department of Education report that found students in the nation’s capital that were provided with vouchers allowing them to attend private school through the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program had made statistically significant gains in reading achievement.

    According to the department’s evaluation of the three-year-old program, “those offered a scholarship were performing at statistically higher levels in reading—equivalent to 3.1 months of additional learning,” something very much in line with previous findings concerning the program’s effectiveness.

    Columnist Juan Williams, who can often be found providing the liberal perspective on the Fox News Channel, called the decision to end the program, “Obama’s outrageous sin against our kids.”

  • Ali

    What the hell are you talking about?

  • Greg

    Don’t SPAM yourself son…,

  • Chocl8child

    And this is the reason China and India will continue to surpass The US…our disregard for education is pathetic. And the fact that a US Presidential candidate would continue to perpetuate such foolishness is beyond me.

    College may not be for everyone, but to assume doing so is ‘snobbish’ is crazy. 21st Century careers will require a form of continuing education…even if that means getting a certification of some sort. i.e., programming, security, plumbing, electronics, etc.

    Oh..and let’s not forget this is coming from the same man who home schools his children. Give me a break!

  • http://beyondblackwhite.com/ Jamila

    I agree with Santorum. College is not for everyone.

    But Barack Obama isn’t the only one pushing the ‘everyone should go to college’ line. I remember Bill Gates (who dropped out of college) also saying the thinks everyone should go to college. The trope that we all need college degrees is actually quite common in certain quarters, and anyone who dares to challenge is accused of having low expectations for poor and minority people.

    I also think that people attending college on-line in lieu of spending 4 years on campus at a university will become a more attractive option for people as time goes on. We need to create alternatives to the traditional route of spending 4 years on a campus (and out of the workforce) to get a degree.

  • LadyT

    @Ali, don’t even bother. greg kicks this nonsense in every comment section of this site. i just hope he’s a rich white man, because that’s the only way i will be able to wrap my head around why he’s drinking the conservative kool-aid. he can’t name five conservatives who give a damn about the issues that plague MOST people in this country, but he’s campaigning hard. lol

  • kidole

    People can do what they want! However you can’t be mad when you’re standing in the unemployment line while a Chinese or Indian is making a living for themselves because you didn’t want to further your education. Although its much more complicated than that, Americans especially the uneducated are losing big time.

  • Greg

    Gee Ali.

    If I knew your were offering pickybacks rides for the cowardly I would of emailed a few other posters here.

  • http://www.nakiahansen.com KiaJD

    He’d have a point if that was what President Obama said but in fact, the President said everyone should have the opportunity to go to college if they want to. Meaning they shouldn’t be precluded because their school is in a low-income neighborhood or because the price of a college education is becoming more unattainable for many Americans. This president has put just as much effort into vocational training programs, community colleges, and other career-readiness initiatives as he has in improving the number of students who are prepared to enter and graduate from college. So yeah, Santorum might have a point if he could start from the correct facts. He might have a point if he wasn’t reaping the benefits of much education and likely to do the same for his children.
    Sorry, but blue-collar folks want their kids to go to college too. Countless stories exist of parents who toiled as janitors, maids, mechanics, etc to send their kids off to become doctors, lawyers and engineers. No one is saying it’s wrong to NOT go to college, but statistics show that you’re more likely to be better off if you do go. Why not offer as many families a chance to have a piece of that if they so choose. And if you want to be a factory worker, carpenter, or hairdresser, more power to you. This is just more of the backlash against intellectualism posing as nostalgia for the “good ol’ days.” Yall remember that those days weren’t that good for the rest of us.

  • http://www.RealTalk123.com AlesiaMichelle

    Amen!
    Real talk, Obama could say that everyone should have a place to call home and the Republicans would twist it…

    Obama can do no right.

  • Tonton Michel

    I will not call Obama a snob for advocating a college education but I agree college is not for everyone and that the answers to the lack of blue collar work is not “go to college”. What people need to understand that countries like China play it on both side of the fence, they push education while ensuring plenty of blue collar work through manufacturing and construction. They even import their workers to ensure they have jobs where ever they invest their money. Rick Santorum is saying the right thing but what is his plan to create those jobs? More corporate tax breaks? Trickle down economics? His words hold as much weight as Obama’s right about now.

  • Monique

    Agreed.

  • Greg

    “Meaning they shouldn’t be precluded because their school is in a low-income neighborhood or because the price of a college education is becoming more unattainable for many Americans. ”

    Offering more student aid from the government aka MY MONEY, is going to make colleges do which of following:
    a) lower tuition
    b) maintain current levels
    c) raise tuition.

    Simple economics. Government aid for college has been increasing for close to 2 decades last I checked. And tuition has in turn GONE UP as a result. Obama has also attacked for-profit online colleges which of course have much lower, non brick-and-mortar, expenses.

    “Obama administration’s crackdown on for-profit colleges is drawing backlash from conservatives and liberals alike. June 2011

    On Thursday, the Education Department released the final regulations aimed at what are known as career or vocational schools, which train medical technicians, chefs, welders, electricians and the like. The regulations will cut federal aid to programs that don’t lead to gainful employment”

    OOOPS!

    So he attacks DC School Choice for Minority Children AND SCHOOL VOUCHERS (ever see Waiting for Superman?), vocational and career schools and is behind efforts to make colleges more expensive not less and doesn’t support the more inexpensive colleges.

    more…

    “The National Black Chamber of Commerce called for Congress to derail the implementation of the gainful employment rule because it says it unfairly targets only for-profit schools, doesn’t address the excessive cost of higher education and it may be illegal.
    “It is the result of a biased rule-making process that essentially targeted only one sector of post-secondary institutions,” Harry Alford, president chief executive of the chamber, said in a statement. “Moreover, it is beyond the department’s legal authority to regulate in such a broad, new policy-making fashion.”

    “A half dozen Democratic lawmakers blasted the rule — Reps. Alcee Hastings of Florida, Carolyn McCarthy of New York, Donald Payne of New Jersey, Edolphus Towns of New York, Tim Holden of Pennsylvania and Ted Deutch of Florida.
    “It is deeply troubling that an administration supposedly committed to increasing college completion in the United States would propose a regulation that restricts minority access to higher education and limits job opportunities for those who need them most,” Hastings said.
    The Heartland Institute also ripped the rules.
    “Attacking the industry most responsible for popularizing higher education among the disadvantaged seems to be at odds with the Obama administration’s goal of getting more kids into college,” said Marc Oestreich, a legislative education specialist at the institute.
    Sen. Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in Senate, also didn’t give the rule a ringing endorsement.
    “This rule may stop the worst violators among the predatory for-profit schools but it will not protect thousands of young students who are being burdened with debt by many worthless diploma mills,” he said in a written statement. “If we are serious about protecting taxpayers and students, we should view this rule as the starting point.”

    Yet the debt from these for-profits is FAR LESS THAN the amount garnered from the institutions Obama endorses.

    The SNOB!!!

  • Greg

    “His words hold as much weight as Obama’s right about now.”

    See? that I can at least respect. But the bandwagonning of alot of blacks towards whatever this President says while doing no research is beyond me. (even liberals came after him last yr on his education policies. Strangely, black folk don’t even seem to know that)

    “What people need to understand that countries like China play it on both side of the fence, they push education while ensuring plenty of blue collar work through manufacturing and construction.”

    Meanwhile Obama, Clinton and cheap Republicans have been outsourcing and souring on manufacturing for YEAAARS. Unless that is, your in one of his supportive UNIONS looking to build useless trains which are HURTING China as a boondoggle and wanna update bridges (which I’m cool with, NON UNION only though.., cheaper)

  • http://triniqueen-alisworld.blogspot.com/ Ali

    Again Greg you’re talking nonsense! And you’re quoting Fox News?! If it was the New York Times I’ll cut you some slack. While I agree that college is not for everyone, I don’t think you should call the President a snob just because he wants everyone to have access to college education. What about foreigners who come here to take advantage of college education are you going to call them snobs too? If the majority of Americans think like you, God help us!!

  • http://triniqueen-alisworld.blogspot.com/ Ali

    @LadyT well you know what they say don’t feed the trolls!!

  • Greg

    But you coould of quoted anybody you wanted to…

    Why the FAIL?

    ” What about foreigners who come here to take advantage of college education are you going to call them snobs too? ”

    OHHHHHHH, you called Obama a FOREIGNER. LOL.

    Listen ALI.

    Whenever you ready son. Don’t matter who’s in your corner with jabs like that
    BODY BLOW!!!

  • secret6

    Greg, you really need to get a job, life, etc, because you spend waaayyy too much time ranting and raving about plenty of nothing. Perhaps if you had more to do with your time then you wouldn’t take yoursel so seriously. On to the topic, amazing how now that we have two highly educated Black folks in the White House, education is now being seen by insecure, frightened white folks as unnecessary.

  • http://triniqueen-alisworld.blogspot.com/ Ali

    First of all don’t call me son I’m a woman and I wasn’t referring to President Obama as a foreigner are you really that dumb? Maybe you should go get a college degree because you really can’t read and understand at this point and make sure you take common sense 101 and that’s my last rant for the day! Have a good one!

  • Chica

    To be clear, Obama has never explicitly stated that he wants everyone to go to college. He simply said that he wants everyone to have ACCESS to higher education (meaning you have a choice, but if you CHOOSE to go the college route, you’ll be able to pay for it). There’s a difference, folks.

  • pink

    I don’t want to hear anything Santorum has to say. The man’s ideas are off the charts. He’s borderline lunatic! For the record I’m not referring to this comment along; but all the crazy comments he’s made during this campaign seaon

  • pink

    Thembi: What I think is that more black folks need to learn how to become entrepreneuers. Come up with a service, or product that people want and need. Entrepreneurship is the wave of the future. Because of technology….lots of jobs will no longer be there…rather a person has a college degree, or not. I know lots of people with degress….. BAs, and MBAs that can’t find jobs.

  • SUE

    hate to say this but not only may he have a point but i see no use. i know what the statistics say about college degrees and earning etc but my college degree has literally gotten me NOTHING. since i graduated I have only had jobs as a receptionist or assistant that barely paid my bills and did not allow me to live on my own. I am currently unemployed and have been for 2 years. who knows maybe eventually it will pay off but honestly i doubt it..why? because everyone is getting a college degree now…more people are getting college degrees than ever before…if everyone has a degree the value is diminished..basic supply and demand..so with everyone getting and having degrees the value just keeps dropping adn dropping.i say go to school only if you are going for a trade (i.e. a SPECIFIC skill such as doctor, lawyer or business) and if you want to know my real real opinion in this day and age my best advice would be …get your kid trained in some sports or talent early so they can become famous and make money those seems to be the only professions where you can make a whole lot of money immediately and dont start in debt (doctors, lawyers)

  • pink

    Sue: Hang in there your dream job will come. A couple of months ago I read an article that suggested that more families should take the money they were going to invest in a kid’s education, and instead buy the kid some type of franchise,i.e., Subway, Burger King, etc. Franchises are usually win win situations (if you make the right choice)

  • Tonton Michel

    Yes the unions are a problem but they are a small problem states like Georgia that has banned them and healthcare policies has weaken them and their grip on the economy. The bigger problem is the turning of the blind eye to China’s currency manipulation and increasing debt, and slow grind with infrastructure. The green jobs and trains are not a bad idea, the tech put into them are not cost efficient yet but that is were education steps in.

  • Gina

    Yes because college should have a petting zoo and the professors should wear a clown costume and do back flips to keep the information “interesting.” Young lady you are a prime example of what is wrong with the American mentality towards education..

  • Gina

    + 1

    Black people are leading the trend in the aversion to an education—- of any kind.

  • Gina

    Sorry Sue but you sound like a coon. “Yeah we got to get little Ron Ron rapping and then we will be on the come up!” Please…..that is not the answer and people chasing quick easy money is what has black children dropping out of HS (yeah we can’t even complete high school nowadays) at alarming rates. How about pick a good major where you will be in demand or learn an in demand trade. Then there will be less complaints from the likes of people like yourself.

  • Greg

    “Maybe you should go get a college degree because you really can’t read and understand at this point and make sure you take common sense 101 and that’s my last rant for the day! Have a good one!”

    K.O.

    Later,

    SON!!!!

    LOL.

  • Greg

    “The green jobs and trains are not a bad idea, the tech put into them are not cost efficient yet but that is were education steps in.”

    Sorrry, that’s enough debt for me plus,

    according to China, Greece and Portugal, who’ve done this spending
    A BAD IDEA.

  • Greg

    THAT’S IT??!

    That’s all you GOT?

    LOL.
    Go ask Ali for a Ride

  • LADreaming

    Well, for one thing, I am a 26-year old woman, not a ‘young lady’.

    You read one comment from me and suddenly you are an expert on American attitudes toward education. Stop. Just stop.

  • E.M.S.

    It’s just a fact of society that your chances of being more successful in life grow exponentially with a college degree, and at each level of college education (undergrad & graduate school). You are likely to gain more knowledge and more specifically concentrated knowledge than skipping out on higher education.

    Now it’s very true there are those who can do just fine without it, but that’s not the case for everyone who chooses not to go. And you are much more likely to be turned away from a higher paying job if you can’t present some fancy piece of paper that said you went to college, it’s just how things work. Not saying that’s fair, because you might be very well qualified besides that, but education does matter.

    It’s also true that given the economy and all, having that education doesn’t mean you’re automatically better off. Lots of students struggle to find secure jobs after graduation, but once you get in, that degree can serve very well.

  • SUE

    @GINA Clearly people who are the likes of me are already better thank yourself as I am able to articulate myself and give an opinion without calling strangers names. Furthermore if you read my whole comment I said people should choose a trade skill (i.e. a specific usable major) but I wouldnt expect someone like you who resorts to name calling to be able to read text in context anyway. good day mam.

  • KristinaAmira

    College isn’t for everyone. There are a vast amount of good jobs where you do not need a degree. Some people are better off learning a trade than going to school. But think about it, if everyone goes to school and wants to make use of their degree, who will do a lot of labor jobs in the country that don’t require a degree? Pick up the garbage, fix your plumbing, trim the trees at the park, check you out at Wal Mart?
    That’s my opinion. I totally love this blog but it is absolutely liberal and will curse the person who talks about Obama.

  • Melissa

    what i took from Obama’s comment was that everyone should go on to get a higher education. be that a 2 or 4 year degree, a trade school, or a certificate.
    the world has changed and we are falling behind, fast.

    now, i am not one of these people that think American is the best and should always be number one.

    and in this economy, the unemployment rate is ~8%. for college grads its 4%. so yes, it does pay off.

  • Whatever

    Republicans DO NOT want everyone to go to college. Of course not. Who would do the grunt work? He has an ulterior motive and it’s flying above everyone’s head. Don’t fall for it. His kids will most definitely be going to college whether they want to or not.

  • Whatever

    Also, Obama always throws out “feel good” statements that hold NO weight. If everyone went to college, certainly there would be a rise in debt among people in their 20′s and 30′s and with this Sh*tty economy where would all these graduates find jobs?

  • Gina

    Obviously reading is fundamental. I did not call names. I said you sound like a coon, because what you stated about putting our children in entertainment and sports sounds like something a coon or n-word would say. I can’t outright call you a coon because I don’t know you.

    Did you not state this: “my real real opinion in this day and age my best advice would be …get your kid trained in some sports or talent early so they can become famous and make money those seems to be the only professions where you can make a whole lot of money immediately and dont start in debt (doctors, lawyers).”

    I don’t think my eyes are deceiving me. Plus a doctor is not a “trade skill.” Trades are trades, professions are professions. If you feel this way you are the problem. SO only doctors and lawyers should go to school? Furthermore, I’m sure we need social workers, teachers, and nurses. All require some sort of degree. Maybe if more Americas explored their options, not only with trades (electrician, plumber, etc) but with mayors they would not be complaining about not having a job. Furthermore, only people in sports, entertainment, or are famous, become rich? I hope you don’t think this??!! Throwing Jawon a ball or handing him a mic is not a guarantee that he will be anything. Again I think that this thinking is part of why we are last in all things regarding formal education. But that is another story.

  • pink

    Sue: I didn’t say anything earlier because I wanted to be encouraging to you. But I agree with Gina regarding the sports/entertainment options you suggested. Your advice is way off base, and not realistic at all. Only one in 400 million make it in sports, or entertainment industries.The chance of someone becoming a world class sportsmen, or entertainer is slim…..to none.

  • Gina

    Ok obviously you do think you should be entertained in school, because you didn’t even address that part of the post. Furthermore, being that you are 26 and still in school I can assume you didn’t have the money to go or you where one of those people procrastinating because you thought it was “boring” and didn’t value a college education in the first place. Well “young lady” (because that is what you are, not a bad thing btw) school is a place to learn something and the professor is there to teach not entertain. And yes that is the problem what with American education, people that have the same feelings as yourself. The more we let children and adults know that the teachers are there to just give info, explain things, and give grades (it is up to you on what you do with the information) the better off we will be.

  • Gina

    Thanks Pink, someone with sense.

  • LA Dreaming86

    Your comment in response to mine was extremely presumptuous and nearly insulting to me. It put me on the defensive and I was very tempted to type out a long response to address you, but I figured that more than likely it would have simply been glanced over. Likewise, I didn’t feel like becoming too personal, because after all, nobody gives a f(u)ck really.
    _______________________________________________________________________

    No, it is not obvious that I think I should be entertained in school. I don’t know where you get the gumption to know what I personally feel and think.

    The reason I am still in school isn’t because I procrastinated, thought school was boring and “didn’t value a college education in the first place.”

    If you must know – Yes, I didn’t have the money to go to school. I started taking classes at the community college part-time two years after I graduated from high school in 2004. I didn’t grow up in a supportive environment. There was no one encouraging me to get a college education. There was no one helping me fill out college applications or financial aid packets. All I had was an abusive mother telling me I NEEDED to do this and NEEDED to do that.

    When I was in high school, I applied for the dual enrollment program (attend college while in Senior year of high school), but then I didn’t move forward with it because I knew I couldn’t pay for the classes and had no idea on where to even begin with financial aid. Sure, I knew about scholarships, but I certainly wouldn’t have qualified for them, as I was an average student.

    Between trying to focus on school and finding a job that could give me a flexible schedule and enough money to actually pay for school, was difficult. Yes, I received financial aid, but it was never enough. Likewise, the age to be considered Independent is 24, so I had to use my mother’s financial information on the FAFSA to obtain aid even though she contributed nothing financially or emotionally to my education.

    A few reasons as to why I am still in school at 26-years-old is because: 1. I have only ever been a part-time student and less than part-time student. 2. I have actually been on break from school since January 2010. 3. Even after I became an Independent, my financial aid (Pell Grant) only increased by like, a $100.00. 4. I don’t have an option as to whether or not I can work. I MUST work full-time and trying to find the right schedule of classes that will allow me to work full-time to actually pay for the damn schooling is tough.
    _______________________________________________________________________

    I very well know that school is a place to “learn something and the professor is there to teach not entertain.” The reason I say the classes were boring is because, simply put, they were. I wasn’t looking for a clown show. I don’t know any other way to explain it. Let’s not pretend that you excelled at any and everything that came your way despite not being interesting to you.

    And as I said before, my personal feelings are not a reflection on Americans and education as a whole.

  • Fox

    EXACTLY! He said trying to make them in his image?? What, like an educated black person?

    I’m so glad someone else saw it the way I did.

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