Ben Smith Previews The Week in Politics

Monday, February 27, 2012

Ben Smith, editor in chief of BuzzFeed and political columnist for Politico, sets the week in politics, from Romney's tax plan to tomorrow's primaries in Michigan and Arizona.

Comments [25]

Joe from Bayside

I didn't hear the President's speech, but I bet if he said something along the lines that college should be a goal but it may not be for everyone, and that other labor is just as noble, then Santorum would have taken the opposite tack and said that the President is an elitist for not expecting EVERYONE to go to college. Santorum tries to project honesty and consistency, but like every other Republican, his goal is to take down Mr. Obama in any way he can - even if means distorting his position and the president's position

Feb. 28 2012 07:31 AM

Ugh - Brian - Obama specifically mentioned VOCATIONAL TRAINING in his education speech, not just college. I can't believe you let Ben (and your callers) get away with pretending he didn't.

Feb. 27 2012 08:12 PM
Nick from Queens

This is in referrence to another caller's comment and is a little off topic but it angered me to the point of actually writing in. The caller stated that colleges were a business and there to make a profit. True, but the professors are not, I repeat not making "a buck and change". My wife is a college professor and is 40,000 dollars short of a buck. Her colleagues also fall short of this buck. They don't just "teach six hours a week" as your caller indicated. They teach often 12 hours a week and work 24/7 to grade, prepare, research just for the classes, then they have to research and write to "publish or perish", research and write for conferences to stay professionally relevant, join departmental committees and countless other details which are easiluy overlooked by the general public.

Feb. 27 2012 11:24 AM
Steve from queens NY

Now that the black guy is the smartest guy in the room, the white guys are saying that college is not the way to go for most Americans. Should we guess who Santorum is saying to stay away from higher education? How come every one in the media is not replaying the president’s speech where he also stated people need to good to trade schools not just only college. I worked shoulder to shoulder with a master electrician and I went to a trade HS, best education in electronics/electricity then went on to college (because it was tough to get into the unions) and got a science degree and 2 Masters. Take a walk down Wall Street and you will see which race of people going into the big buildings like Citi Bank, NYSE, Goldman, Deutsche Bank etc. in suits and what race of people are entering the lobby bringing them lunch. This will help to explain why Santorum want to keep people like me from getting a higher education in order to keep me in my place at the bottom.

Feb. 27 2012 10:52 AM
Ken from manhattan

Did anyone else hear a not-so-subtle Christian "dog whistle" in Rick Santorum's comments about kids and college?If Santorum attended a parochial grade school, his nun-teachers almost certainly taught from the Baltimore Catechism. One of the first things he would have learned was that "God created man in his likeness." And what does President Obama want to do? Create America's children in his, Obama's, likeness. Which makes Obama, you guessed it, a kind of Anti-Christ. (which makes him much worst than a Muslim or non-citizen.)

Feb. 27 2012 10:48 AM
Barbara King from Westchester

More students are turning to community colleges after graduating high school. There has been support from the government to retool many of the community colleges to meet the demands of the job market. Many community colleges now have specific classes that will give students skills to enter the job market after two years. Community colleges are also promoting the idea that students can contiune to a four year program (if the college accepts the credits) which is more cost effective.

Feb. 27 2012 10:44 AM
Rebecca Shapiro from Jersey City

The police officer who called shortly before the end of the piece and brought up the tiresome and totally inaccurate statement about how professors receive large salaries for "6 hours of work a week" was so unbelievably ill-informed. That's as ridiculous as me saying that he works for 6 hours a week and spends the rest eating doughnuts. I make $68k a year--not that much for the NYC area. At the least, I spend 16 hours--just on campus--and the rest at home, *working*: writing (I am writing a book and conference papers), grading papers (when does he think that gets done?), preparing for class, reading for class, responding to student emails, etc. Several years ago my college did a study of how much we worked and at what tasks. I was one of two faculty who logged *the fewest* hours--at 60.4 for one week. I'd love for him to follow me for a week to see what I do. But he'd have to move in because I am up at 11 pm at work, on the weekends at work, and at 7 am at work. Only then would he be qualified to say how much work we do and in fact, I invite him to do this.

Feb. 27 2012 10:43 AM
John A.

I remember shopping for a handmade wood chair when I'd normally get one at EG Target. The handmade one was $160 (unfinished), the Target was $24 complete. But now its dawning on me that keeping the money in the US means its more likely to come back to me at some point. A net win for the US economy.

Feb. 27 2012 10:38 AM
grateful to be college educated from Manhattan

The purpose of college is EDUCATION, which incidentally leads to greater earning potential. But money is not the primary purpose. We need an educated electorate if we want informed political discussion, an educated workforce if we want to compete globally and have the benefit of the creativity and talent of our entire population, and an entire population who can think and communicate if we want a society not reduced to tweets, corporate call menus, and bumper stickers.

The point of education is that it is a defense AGAINST indoctrination, which is why demagogues always attack it.

Feb. 27 2012 10:36 AM
amalgam from NYC by day, NJ by night

First of all, the US needs to promote all forms of higher education - particularly more opportunities for narrower trade and technological degrees and education, like the dreaded European model. Skills for the 21st Century need to be developed by using a multitude of different methods.

No one is against that and that might be part of what Santorum meant, but that's not what he said. I think _sophia_ addresses the overriding issue that Santorum was raising.

Finally, @Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan - So I have a MA in sociology and am very successful. It seems that the world needs social scientists (sorry to burst your bubble).

Also, it turns out that Charles Murray has a PhD in political science - another social science degree - and writes largely in the field of sociology. Very astute point that you're making...

Feb. 27 2012 10:33 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Christine, if I had to choose between being a skilled carpenter or having a BS liberal arts degree to get a job in this economy, I would choose the latter. Your friend is probably not that good a businessman?

Feb. 27 2012 10:32 AM
John A.

Had a good point and blew it trying to be a firebrand. Forever the thought I return to when hearing about Santorum.

Feb. 27 2012 10:31 AM
lucy from brooklyn from Brooklyn

Vote Santorum if you want this slogan "America, land of the stupid."

By the way, all the trades need to get higher education. No one is born a plumber or firefighter. It may not be called college but it is higher education. Is that alright with Santorum?

Feb. 27 2012 10:30 AM

Nothing going on between Romney and Paul...BS is BS

Feb. 27 2012 10:28 AM

College isn't vo-tech...It's a mistake to compare alternative income from 'roads not taken'. On average the expense of a college education means a higher income - around 10-15K per year - but it certainly makes you more hire-able in that second and third career you are going to have during your work life. That is, if you can convince HR to hire you at your rate of pay with your advancing age.

Feb. 27 2012 10:28 AM
Sunnshar from AZ MI in SW

I heard today that we are at a RECORD of 30% college enrolllment. Hardly 100%, but still 30% "indoctrination."

Feb. 27 2012 10:27 AM
Amy from Manhattan

What about the accuracy of the quote itself? Did Pres. Obama actually say every American should *go* to college, or should have the *chance* to go to college?

Feb. 27 2012 10:25 AM

Yes, being a carpenter is an honorable profession. But when was the last time you bought a cabinet from your local neighborhood carpenter? I know a brilliant carpenter, and he's had to close his shop and switch professions to the restaurant business.

Feb. 27 2012 10:25 AM

Have to rain on caller who is railing against college education:

1. (The caller is hinting at this) As a greater percentage of people go to college, the value of a college degree goes down.

2. Since the caller is a cop, let's note that cops have strong unions, excellent benefits and phenomenal retirement packages.

3. The average college professor is paid _less_ than the average cop.

Feb. 27 2012 10:25 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

hmm - yes, college is a scam and one can and should argue for vocational college / alternate high tech skilled labor but what is Santorum thinking, with that tone?

Feb. 27 2012 10:24 AM
benjoya from brooklyn

Flashback: In 2006, Rick Santorum Wanted To Send All Pennsylvanians To College

Feb. 27 2012 10:23 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Charles Murray wrote a great book about too many kids wasting 4 years partying and that our society suffers.
We need skilled workers, not sociology majors.

Feb. 27 2012 10:23 AM

Come on... RETIRED people earn capital gains despite being of meager means. Get guests who understand the issues.

Feb. 27 2012 10:21 AM

That wasn't what Santorum was saying AT ALL.

His point was entirely about indoctrination. College teaches your children to think differently and that is wrong because your children should only think what you want them to think.

It's about blatant authoritarianism not the value of manual labor.

Feb. 27 2012 10:21 AM
Chriss from Montclair, NJ

As a Professor, I agree with Santorum that not everyone should go to college.

Apprentice programs (Electrical, Plumbing, Construction, etc.) for certain jobs are more important and valuable for those professions than a college degree.

So yes, the idea that everyone needs to have a degree in Spanish Civilization to be successful IS arrogant. Just ask those Zuccotti Park kids with no jobs and degrees in Philosophy.

Feb. 27 2012 10:20 AM

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