The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘A Lucrative But Risky Decision’

Posted on | December 28, 2012 | 9 Comments

That’s what the New York Times calls it when teenagers get good jobs:

The New York Times seems concerned that teens in the fracking belt of eastern Montana are opting to work in the new oil-field economy right after high school rather than going straight on to college. A front-page story warns: Taking a job is “a lucrative but risky decision for any 18-year-old to make, one that could foreclose on his future if the frenzied pace of oil and gas drilling from here to North Dakota to Texas falters and work dries up.”
Let’s see. Where is a teenager more likely to learn the basic and transferable virtue of showing up every day and on time, not to mention how to get along with a boss and fit into an organization — as a communications and binge-drinking double major at Missoula State University, or as a mechanic fixing broken rig equipment?

(Hat-tip: Instapundit.) My own children — including my 23-year-old daughter, who graduated summa cum laude and is now in her second year of teaching elementary school — have worked their way through college. Speaking of “basic and transferable” virtues, one of my 20-year-old twin sons will report for Army basic training in a couple of weeks, a work experience that will qualify him for higher education benefits, as well as killing terrorists. (Because he hates terrorists.)


  • Charles

    There is no Missoula State University. Missoula is home to the University of Montana, a fine school, but beneath the contempt of the Andover Yale Stanford educated Heather Mac Donald.

    Let’s see, live in your parents basement on a 40k salary, if you save 25k a year you have 100k after 4 years, which is 200k ahead of the kid with the 100k college loans.

  • ReaganiteRepublican

    Washing dishes, changing tires, and delivering auto parts taught me more about reality than 4 years of college did, no doubt about it

  • M. Thompson

    Life without risks is useless.

  • ReaganiteRepublican

    Some top Korean CEO -I think it was Hyundai- said “Men who don’t gamble aren’t worth talking to”

  • Quartermaster

    I *really* hate to hear that your son is going into the Army. I tell young men to give the military a very wide berth these days as it is run by PC morons.

    Still, he does have opportunities he wouldn’t have in any other branch. He could go to flight school. It’s the only service that allows enlisted men that opportunity, although he won’t be an enlisted man, but a Warrant Officer, when he starts flight school. After he’s been in about 18 months, I’d tell him to check it out. 80% of the classes are made up of people from inside (that’s a normal practice, not just a coincidence). Once rated, he could get out and stay in the Army National Guard as a pilot as long as he can pass the physical. Retired officers have things available to them few others have.

  • Evi L. Bloggerlady

    Kids who work hard but challenging jobs often go back to school later on and excel in various professions (engineering, law, etc.) Funny how those life skills transfer well.

  • Delaney Coffer

    “Lucrative but risky.” I somehow doubt the jackass writer at the NYT would use those words to describe any of the disgusting social pathologies championed by the scumbag left.

  • Cube

    Yeah, its risky all right, but not the way you’re supposed to think. A teenager’s first real job tends to make them notice how much of what they earn is taken from them by those who supposedly are “looking out for them”. That reality check undermines years of progressive indoctrination.