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Tue Jan 8, 2013, 09:53 PM

Why don't we have more vocational schools and programs in this country?

Many of our students sit in classes all day in high school and have no interest or any hope of reaching college. Sitting through days of the Odyssey, Hamlet or learning about cell organelles is not riveting for certain students. Why aren't there more vocational tracks or schools in the USA where students could be learning more practical things so they can get a job.

Tech, engineering, crafts, plumbing etc. should be available at middle and high school. It could even start in elementary school. They could split the day so that core subjects are taught in the morning and vocational in the afternoon. Internships in companies and government should be provided for students. Other countries especially in Europe have vocational schooling. In this state there aren't many vocational programs n schools.

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Reply Why don't we have more vocational schools and programs in this country? (Original post)
Rosa Luxemburg Jan 2013 OP
elleng Jan 2013 #1
NYC_SKP Jan 2013 #2
RStein Jan 2013 #3
MichiganVote Jan 2013 #4
freshwest Jan 2013 #5
Rosa Luxemburg Jan 2013 #15
Igel Jan 2013 #6
NoOneMan Jan 2013 #7
Rosa Luxemburg Jan 2013 #14
awoke_in_2003 Jan 2013 #21
femmocrat Jan 2013 #8
Smarmie Doofus Jan 2013 #27
YvonneCa Jan 2013 #36
madville Jan 2013 #9
RKP5637 Jan 2013 #10
Ilsa Jan 2013 #11
doc03 Jan 2013 #12
Rosa Luxemburg Jan 2013 #13
pscot Jan 2013 #16
davidpdx Jan 2013 #17
Joe Shlabotnik Jan 2013 #18
TexasBushwhacker Jan 2013 #19
Lugnut Jan 2013 #20
Rosa Luxemburg Jan 2013 #23
whistler162 Jan 2013 #22
Rosa Luxemburg Jan 2013 #24
ChazII Jan 2013 #25
Brigid Jan 2013 #26
exboyfil Jan 2013 #28
ancianita Jan 2013 #29
Smarmie Doofus Jan 2013 #30
Rosa Luxemburg Jan 2013 #34
Sunlei Jan 2013 #31
LeftInTX Jan 2013 #32
Rosa Luxemburg Jan 2013 #33
LeftInTX Jan 2013 #35
Rosa Luxemburg Jan 2013 #41
Recursion Jan 2013 #37
ancianita Jan 2013 #38
Follow The Money Jan 2013 #39
RebelOne Jan 2013 #40
MrSlayer Jan 2013 #42
Rosa Luxemburg Jan 2013 #43
MrSlayer Jan 2013 #44

Response to Rosa Luxemburg (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 09:56 PM

1. Wish I knew. $$$?

We used to have high school classes that presented options to those not headed to college, and I'm afraid many of them are gone (as are art and music.)

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Response to Rosa Luxemburg (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 09:58 PM

2. They are making a comback in California:

Here:

http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/gs/hs/cpagen.asp

BUT, I totally relate to your OP about organelles and Hamlet; too often teachers teach what they LOVE without connecting these topics/novels, etc., to what the students might love. Too often, it fails.

I know more than one great ELA teacher who fail in the sense that they think EVERYONE must love the same literature selections that were moving to them when they were in high school.

That's sad when that happens!

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Response to Rosa Luxemburg (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 09:59 PM

3. Excellent question.

 

When I was in school, eons ago, I was interested in all the subjects that you mention. And I still do.

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Response to Rosa Luxemburg (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:01 PM

4. They sold the US parents on college for all students. As soon as they can make a voc. ed. cost 110K

you'll have all the voc. ed. you can stand.

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Response to Rosa Luxemburg (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:12 PM

5. My WPA built, metropolitan high school had wood, auto and machine shop; beauty school and ROTC.

As well as drafting, pottery, theater and other sorts of vocations. Rural schools had FFA groups (ah, Future Farmers of America) and rural colleges had greenhouses, farm machinery shops, auto shops, and things like that. It was the New Deal mentality when a person who worked with their hands was not looked down upon - I saw that with Reagan. It was either make it to the top or forget about it. I'm amazed at the lack of all around studies in some area. Where I live now it appears that the arts and computers are the only vocational subjects encouraged. But we've lost the ability to build what we need in this country, and it was by design, IMO, to lower our standard of living. That may have been part of the reason for dropping the funding.

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Response to freshwest (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 11:21 PM

15. Yes, we have the lost the ability to build

and that's what we need to do in this country. We need to build our manufacturing industry to sell not send jobs overseas.

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Response to Rosa Luxemburg (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:17 PM

6. I know a school that has a lot.

Perhap a dozen "CATE" teachers. Career and technical education. Perhaps more.

They love their jobs. Their class size is small--seldom 20 students. In some cases, under 15.

The problem is that a lot of students love it and a few want to work in the field. A lot of them are taking it like they take "food tech" (formerly known as "cooking class"). It's a fun class without much reading. Food tech has more students because you can eat what you make. Some of the CATE classes advertise to get students.

Don't confuse taking food tech with the young men's desire to be the primary cooks in their households once they grow up and live with somebody else. Nope. It's that or anatomy or psychology. Or welding.

But there's a core of students who want to do their CATE education for the rest of their lives. And some are good enough to make a go of it.


I've been to a couple of European countries. We like to here about the niftier careers. Not cashiering or waiting. The real reason is to keep the quality of the academics high. One teacher I know keep saying, "Remember, half your students are below average." It also provides an escape valve so nobody tries to have millions of unemployable, formally over-educated bachelors holders. It's a handy threat, too. "Study your math or you'll fail the test next year and be put in a cook's program."

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Response to Rosa Luxemburg (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:18 PM

7. We're supposed to be the people that come up with ideas

 

The Asians will make those things and ship em to us, and the Mexicans will do our construction and plumbing. That was the plan, right?

Basically, on the path to becoming the techiest, bestest, awesomest country on the globe, no one questioned how much sense that made completely. We just wanted to score high on global tests.

Frankly, I think everyone has half assed visions of what the future should be and no viable road map to get there. Schools are geared to teach the brightest to take tests well and the not as brightest to quietly put their time in until they get out of school. If you aren't "the brightest", the system would rather have you not taking up our time and lowering our scores

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #7)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 11:12 PM

14. American education seems to be behind the times

I really don't know what the goal is in our education system here?

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Response to Rosa Luxemburg (Reply #14)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 02:07 AM

21. To make cheap workers. nt

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Response to Rosa Luxemburg (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:18 PM

8. Testing. And NCLB.

The almighty standardized test has mandated that all students become "proficient" in math and reading by 2014. The push is on to drill baby drill (facts and figures into their brains, that is!).

Forget classes that students would actually find interesting or useful in later life! Everyone MUST learn to love Trigonometry and ancient English Literature! I'm not saying those subjects are not useful -- but not to EVERY student regardless of aptitude.

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Response to femmocrat (Reply #8)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 12:39 AM

27. +1. For this:

>>>Forget classes that students would actually find interesting or useful in later life! Everyone MUST learn to love Trigonometry and ancient English Literature! I'm not saying those subjects are not useful -- but not to EVERY student regardless of aptitude.>>>

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Response to femmocrat (Reply #8)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 09:34 PM

36. Yep. It changed the focus...

...including where $$$ was given to programs or taken away. I think...in CA at least...we are moving back to sensible thinking on education.

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Response to Rosa Luxemburg (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:31 PM

9. I went to tech school my last year of high school

I just had to go to the high school two days a week for English class the rest of the time I was at the nearby tech school in their welding program.

I ended up joining the military and going through their electronics tech schools.

My son currently attends the same high school and they still offer the same programs, juniors and seniors can attend the tech school or community college instead of sitting around at the high school. My brother did the college route and got his AA and high school diploma the same week. The best thing is the student doesn't have to pay tuition, they do have to pay for books or tools though.

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Response to Rosa Luxemburg (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:36 PM

10. I took all of the shop classes in HS, as well as my college prep classes, I loved them

all. I also took some shop classes at the college level.

I always have liked working with my hands. Sometimes I think I might have done best in the long run in a vocational career.

As one astute person once said it's a class thing, people think one is lower class if they work with their hands and that is such a bunch of crap ... if many in the population think that.

I like your idea and I think it would be excellent. Way too many people finish HS and then think, now, WTF do I do.

The problem in the US, and I think it's an extremely serious problem, is much of a career, jobs, schooling and the like is haphazard and by chance. There is little done to provide a sound career path through schooling to an eventual meaningful job.

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Response to Rosa Luxemburg (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:36 PM

11. ITA. Kids should learn so they'll be able to

support themselves when they become adults. And college will be there when they are ready to change careers.

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Response to Rosa Luxemburg (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:42 PM

12. They don't have them everywhere? I went to high school way back in 60s

we had a college prep program or vocational school in our district. We now have one central county vocational school and a Technical College. I took electronics in high school myself and started at AT&T when I graduated.

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Response to doc03 (Reply #12)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 11:10 PM

13. This administration needs to push vocational (also helps to create jobs)

once trained students can do more apprenticeship and then create their own businesses if they wish. There is money to be made in plumbing, heating etc. The jobs are also in computer science, cybersecurity etc

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Response to Rosa Luxemburg (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 11:57 PM

16. Socialism!

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Response to Rosa Luxemburg (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 12:17 AM

17. Good question

There was a post the other day that said they knew someone who had graduated with a college degree and still didn't have a job. Now personally I believe in college, so I'm not going to knock it, but it's not for everyone. When I was applying for college, I also applied for an apprenticeship at the same time (electrical) and didn't score high enough, so I went the college route. It is interesting to think of what that would have been like.

On the job training is something we should be focusing on in many different areas. I just wrote a paper for a doctoral class about free trade and displaced workers. This is another area in which trade school would be a worthwhile investment.

So I definitely agree with you for the reason you stated and the one that I added.


Ps-Thankfully I've never had to sit through Odyssey, Hamlet or classes about cell organelles. I did get a D- in geography as an undergraduate.

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Response to Rosa Luxemburg (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 12:21 AM

18. Its the Tom Friedman types

that push some vague notion that everyone is a future millionaire entrepreneur just waiting to happen. The reality is 99.9% of us are not latent Einsteins. Beyond that; many of us are wired as hunters, not gatherers, who are ill suited to work in the modern office-scape. Governments (here in Canada too) have done a poor job predicting and allocating funds for education.

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Response to Rosa Luxemburg (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 12:39 AM

19. Someone got it intheir head that every child should be able to go to college

and so every kid has to take a college prep degree plan in high school; 4 years of English, at least 3 years of science, at least 3 years of social studies, at least 3 years of math. The thing is, as noble as the "everybody goes to college" goal may be, it's simply unachievable and unachievable goals are worse than no goals at all. There are kids, through no fault of their own, will take geometry 3 times before passing it with a "D" because it requires abstract reasoning. Guess what? At least 20% of the population will never be capable of abstract reasoning very well if at all, ever. It's not an IQ thing, it's a cognitive development thing. Give them something that requires concrete reasoning and they're fine,but abstract reasoning is like Greek. So suddenly a smart kid feels stupid.

But that's just one example. There are lots of reasons that college directly after high school may not be the best choice. We had lots of voc ed when I was in high school,but that was in the 70's. Even when I was a teacher in the 80's we had it and that's where I saw otherwise good students really struggling with geometry. But vocational ed is expensive. The equipment is costly and class sizes are small. Generally the juniors and seniors have jobs and have a shorter school day. The voc ed teachers have to go out and evaluate students at their jobs, which makes the student to teacher ratio smaller or the teachers have to be paid for working an extra long day. More money.

That doesn't mean it's not worth it. Anything that will keep kids in school instead of dropping out is a good thing. And just because you do voc ed doesn't mean you CAN'T go to college. One of my dorm mates had gotten her beauticians license in high school. The rest of us had part time jobs slinging burgers, but she was making $15/hr cutting hair in 1977.

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Response to Rosa Luxemburg (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 01:17 AM

20. My school district has a vocational school.

We've always had one. Here's a list of courses of study that are offered.

AUTOMOTIVE TECHNOLOGY
BROADCAST COMMUNICATIONS
CHILD CARE
COLLISION REPAIR TECHNOLOGY
COMPUTER AIDED DRAFTING
CONSTRUCTION TECHNOLOGY
COSMETOLOGY
CULINARY ARTS
DIESEL TECHNOLOGY
ELECTRICAL TECHNOLOGY
GRAPHIC COMMUNICATIONS
HEALTH CAREERS
HVAC/PLUMBING
LAW ENFORCEMENT
MICROSOFT OFFICE SPECIALIST
NURSE ASSISTANT
PRECISION MACHINE TECHNOLOGY
WELDING TECHNOLOGY

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Response to Lugnut (Reply #20)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 07:44 PM

23. Excellent!

I wish that other areas would have this

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Response to Rosa Luxemburg (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 06:33 AM

22. New York state has BOCES.....

"In 1948 the New York State legislature created Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) to provide shared educational programs and services to school districts within the state. Today there are 37 BOCES, incorporating all but nine of the state’s 721 school districts. BOCES partner with districts to provide a broad range of services that help meet the evolving educational needs of students."

http://www.boces.org/wps/portal/BOCESofNYS

http://www.ocmboces.org/teacherpage.cfm?teacher=1262 - this is the link to the BOCES I work for, technical support in school districts.

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Response to whistler162 (Reply #22)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 07:44 PM

24. NY is a leader

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Response to Rosa Luxemburg (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 11:32 PM

25. EVIT

East Valley Institute of Technology is located in Mesa, Arizona and serves five school districts. From autos to radio broadcasting, culinary classes to computers and more. Students spend part of the day at their home high school and the other part at the EVIT campus. Having the five districts work together cuts expenses for each district and helps to serve more students for voc. ed.

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Response to Rosa Luxemburg (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 12:31 AM

26. There is an old saying:

Last edited Thu Jan 10, 2013, 02:26 AM - Edit history (1)

"Don't try to teach a mule calculus. You will only waste your time and annoy the mule."

Some people just are not college material. It is as simple as that. That doesn't make them stupid; it just means their interests and abilities don't point in that direction. It's a reality we continue to ignore in this country.

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Response to Rosa Luxemburg (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 02:06 AM

28. My daughter is a High School Junior

who has completed her first semester of engineering. She should have most of her second semester of engineering done this second semester. I had to pay about $4K for classes to get her to this point, but the school will start paying for classes now. She has had Introduction to Engineering at the High School this year (corresponds to the freshman CAD course in engineering).

I am hoping that, in addition to three-four college classes each semester next year, she takes Computer Integrated Manufacturing, Metal Technology 1 and 2, Consumer Auto Mechanics, and Advanced Auto Mechanics. States that have PSEO will allow students to take college technology classes. We have several at the high school, and the local community college has many more.

Friends of ours have a wonderful son who is challenged by traditional book knowledge, but he is an extremely hard worker and did very well in the Technology classes. His interest lies in going into law enforcement, but his parents think that he would do really well continuing to pursue the Technology path (such as CNC machining, welding, assembly/mechanics etc.). I agree with them, and I think he would have a good job with my employer, but he has to follow his own dream.

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Response to Rosa Luxemburg (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:24 AM

29. First, to certify for the 1%'s kids their entitled slots in any university they choose to afford.

Moving the goalposts, changing "the rules," and rigging the game are what the 1% do to the public's schools. It's not subject to public discussion. It just got done the way ALEC slid under the legislative door. If I could name the major culprits, I would -- it was probably members of the Business Roundtable, The National Chamber of Commerce and The American Manufacturers Association and their legal and professional legions who have had disproportionate influence on ivy league, private and public university boards' decisions to end teacher training programs. Next came their defunding pressures at state levels on school districts' vocation track schools and programs in the 1970's.

It happened within a generation. It can be brought back within a generation.

There are already good models like Americorps food development programs out there, and there are still union vocational training schools. As far as I'm concerned, unions should be welcome to bring real world expertise into high school programs and fire up real world applications of kids' science, math and PE skills.

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Response to Rosa Luxemburg (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 07:31 AM

30. Good question. I wish I knew. Kick for exposure. n/t

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Response to Smarmie Doofus (Reply #30)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 08:09 PM

34. It's about time the admin. changed it's policies on education

this country is going on the wrong track regarding education. It would make senses to lengthen the school day to include an outside internship. How do we make change?

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Response to Rosa Luxemburg (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 08:07 AM

31. some districts have vocational classes, other spend their money on whatever else their BODs wants.

I've seen high school age apprentices along with the master plumbers around here. Guess it has to do with how a school budgets their money and how much they get per student from their state and the limited federal funds.

I would think many High school sports programs use a huge amount of that limited money for just a few students.

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Response to Rosa Luxemburg (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 02:49 PM

32. Funding is the main reason

In the 1980s they began to cut back on voc/tech programs. In our school district, 2 out of 10 high schools offer a full voc/tech curriculum, while the other schools offer a few courses.

It was disappointing when they began to cut back on voc/tech programs.



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Response to LeftInTX (Reply #32)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 08:07 PM

33. We are supposed to be investing in jobs and creating small businesses

so why isn't the investment there?

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Response to Rosa Luxemburg (Reply #33)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 08:45 PM

35. Tell that to the Republicans

They control the house and they also control the filibuster in the senate. So, the odds of increasing funding for programs is very small.

Many Republicans would prefer to do away with public education. (I'm not kidding)
They just don't care.

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Response to LeftInTX (Reply #35)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 09:42 PM

41. that's true Republicans want private education

however, many private schools went under

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Response to Rosa Luxemburg (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 01:23 AM

37. Because for all our talk we don't as a country actually value labor (nt)

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Response to Recursion (Reply #37)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 02:49 AM

38. Do you mean that most people wouldn't "labor" if they didn't have to? Or do you mean that they

don't value an outworn definition of labor? By the old definition, they're lazy. But by newer definitions of "work," labor is transforming itself under the noses of those who espouse authoritarian views of work. Newer kinds of work are being done all the time.

I'm watching the Millennial Generation. Remember they're bigger in number than the Boomers. Millennials don't care to live the fossil fueled existence of their elders. They don't care for creating big carbon footprints, either, through meat eating, Big Ag food marketing or individual car ownership. They eat and travel by alternative means. They live cooperatively in service. Sure the 1%-ers live as their parents have. Wealth has its trappings.

But the meaning of work is becoming more meaningful to much of the rest, middle class degree earners or working class kids. For them, capitalism is not the only game in town. When consumption isn't the goal, salary isn't important. They -- university degreed alongside working class youth -- build union skills, technical skills, work on short projects, network further project plans, community organizing, raise money, get grants, help each other in service banking, bartering, skill building and even couch surfing. Americorps, Burning Man events across the country, and Occupy work come to mind, as well. Those who live at home are still very in touch with the values of the rest. Bitter, maybe, but hanging in with their peers.

They're liberal. They know that liberation from old authoritarian models of capital and work can make countries become better.

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Response to Rosa Luxemburg (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 10:55 AM

39. this should be available in every community

 

great lists from lucky posters above, will save for presenting to my community

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Response to Rosa Luxemburg (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:54 PM

40. Yes, I agree.

I attended a vocational high school. I learned office skills, bookkeeping, typing, etc. It is a good thing that I did attend that vocational school. I quit school in my 11th year because like an idiot, I married at 16. Fortunately, I retained all the skills that I learned in school because I was divorced when I was 25 and was able to get fairly decent office jobs. I then learned typesetting and worked for two publishing companies and was promoted to copy editor at my last job and was there until I was laid off in 2010. But that was OK because I was already at retirement age.

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Response to Rosa Luxemburg (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 10:19 PM

42. For what? We don't make or build anything anymore.

 

We don't even fix the old, broken down stuff.

I'm a master construction electrician and haven't had work in 18 monthis. Where are these guys going to get a gig?

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Response to MrSlayer (Reply #42)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 11:01 PM

43. We need to start building

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Response to Rosa Luxemburg (Reply #43)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 11:05 PM

44. I agree.

 

I just don't see it happening. We need to spend money to do that and these guys are not about to give the President any success by spending and getting people back to work.

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