Thursday, July 28, 2016

How Long Does It Take To Become An Electrical Engineer?

It takes about 23 years.

A friend of mine was on a talk show yesterday and the conversation wandered around to immigration. In this case, it was immigration laws for "extraordinary people" like Justin Bieber. It turns out that if you have a unique talent or skill, you come into the country through a different door than the poor, tired, unwashed, huddled masses with their goats. Something on the order of 84,000 of those are granted each year*.

The talk show host wondered why we were importing extraordinary people when we had so many here at home who only lacked an opportunity. The assertion was that with a little money and some schooling, there were plenty of Americans who could do the jobs those 84,000 were being brought in to do.

They can't, not most of them, no matter how much talent they've got. It's not about schooling or money, it's about parenting. Most of the underclass comes from broken homes. Without a father in the house, things go sideways for most children right from the start.

You can't fix a lousy foundation on your house with $5,000 of paint, wallpaper and new flowers in the garden. If the base is rotten, you're in for a long, expensive renovation process.

Houses are easier to fix than people. Houses don't fight you as you repair them. If a house is in a bad neighborhood, it makes no difference. Houses aren't subject to peer pressure. Even if every other house on the block is a mess, you can take one of them and restore it, given enough concentrated time and effort.

It's a fixer-upper!
The amount of concentrated time and effort to take a child who has been raised in a broken home and get them to the point where they are equipped to take advantage of opportunities is sizable. If they come from a neighborhood where there are almost no intact families, it's much harder. If they come from communities where there is almost no living memory of an intact family, you might as well give up and seek to get them to re-enter civilization by restoring traditional marriage and punting on the "extraordinary" part, hoping the next generation can reach that goal.

See also: Oakland.

* - My numbers may be muddled, that's just what I remember hearing them say and i don't feel like looking it up right now.

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