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Ditch College, Get a Real Skill, Live a Good Life by Jeffrey Tucker

Aveda and others show new way to follow your passion.

Scene one: I needed a haircut and someone suggested I go across the street to the Aveda Institute. Fine. My hair was cut by a student who was grateful to be working on a regular person, not a manikin. She had another six months in training to before she could become a certified cosmetologist with a credential to work at any salon, cosmetics counter, or spa in the country. It was my first exposure to this institution that was founded initially as a cosmetics line.

Scene two: I met a brilliant young woman with top scores and a great chance for admission to a top college. Her goal from childhood had been to become a physician. Then one day she realized that this future actually sounded miserable. She didn’t want to hang out in dingy operating rooms, struggling with bureaucracy. What she really loved was hair, makeup, and fashion. Why not follow her dream? Instead of college, she enrolled in the Aveda Institute. She can’t be happier.

Scene three: I’m getting my haircut somewhere else and I ask the lady cutting my hair where she moved from. Washington, D.C., came the answer. How did she end up cutting hair here? It was closest to her house that she bought in Atlanta because she liked the neighborhood and the house was affordable. So she could choose to work anywhere she wanted? Yep. Why? She graduated from Aveda, which is the best credential she can have in this industry.

So I’m thinking about this. Here is a school (there are dozens around the country) at which enrollment lasts about one year and costs between $15-20K to attend. This compares to the four years and $100-400K you will spend on a college degree. Many people who leave college are lost and confused, with few skills, no work experience, and no network to tap into for jobs. Aveda graduates have real skills, can work anywhere, and tap into a vast network.

It was the first I’ve heard of this school. The more I look at it, the more it seems inevitable that such models are going to replace college for many people in the years ahead. It makes no sense to spend all that time and money getting a degree that has marginal benefit in the job marketplace. Yes, it is necessary if you are pursuing a career in medicine, law, accounting, engineering, or academia.

That accounts for a small percentage of people who pay for college degrees. We keep hearing about how a college education is connected with higher earning power but the cause and effect relationship here is complicated at best. Some people argue that it is entirely illusory. Meanwhile, real-life experience in fields outside those requiring college credentials is showing something very different.

Meanwhile, Aveda seems to be thriving, and its students and graduates seem very happy, with as much upward mobility as they desire. The one in Atlanta that I visited was teeming with male and female students, all working very hard to master a trade. There are others in New York, D.C., Chicago, Nashville, and many other parts of the country.

I thought I could easily do some research on when these schools started and how many people attend them. Not so. Not even the Wikipedia entry on Aveda mentions their highly successful training programs. It seems to be flying beneath the radar, growing based on industry reputation alone. I’m sure their products are great, but the schooling is the disruptive innovation here.

Scene four: I was invited to attend a data science meetup in Atlanta. It was held at the headquarters for the General Assembly, which is a training camp for the management of digital properties. The meetup was fun, but what really stood out was the very existence of this institution. General Assembly teaches front-end development, project management, beginner website creation, social media skills, and high-level coding. Their classes range from one evening to three months. The pricing of the service depends on the class. The resulting credential is impressive on the resume, and, like Aveda, you tap into a vast network of people.

Unlike the typical university, General Assembly seeks close connections with the surrounding business community. They host socials a few times per week. They bring in business leaders and technicians to give lectures. Many of the teachers here are actually workers in real world enterprises around town. General Assembly is there to facilitate an exchange of knowledge between practitioners and aspirational workers.

It turns out that there are other such institutions in town, including Iron Yard. And around the country there are Code Camps. The tech industry is the fastest moving and among the most profitable in the country, so it makes sense that the industry would demand actual credentials and skills, none of which are provided by the stodgy old-world institutions of colleges and universities.

The tech industry may have given rise not only to all the wonderful new technologies that have changed our lives so fundamentally but also to a new form of education itself. These camps could point the way toward a new path after high school. Why precisely should a person spend yet another four years sitting in a desk, listening to a lecturer, when he or she could be working while training and getting better at a skill for which there is a real market demand?

We all know people in their twenties who look back at their college years and wonder why it all happened. For many of them, the time they took off to get their degree was misspent. Many graduated without any real awareness that jobs actually do require people to bring value to the firm. No one is going to pay for an undergraduate degree. Employers pay for services rendered, not a resume. The only purpose of the resume is to signal the highest likelihood of success at doing a real job.

Stay in School?

For a very long time, young people have been told that the key to success is to “stay in school.” But what happens when life experience begins to tell them the opposite? Or perhaps the definition of what constitutes school needs to change. Work can be school. Education can be combined with work. Education should be structured not just to impart abstract “knowledge,” but actual know-how. And what if it turns out that doing things differently also turns out to be more fun in any case, not to mention more financially rewarding?

By analogy: for generations, Americans were also told that the single greatest and safest investment they could ever make was to buy a house. That illusion blew up in 2008. Now people see houses for what they are: good for some purposes, bad for others, and by no means a guarantee of high future income.

So it is for college. The difference is that most people don’t know it yet. Meanwhile, these many institutions offering real training for the real world are thriving as never before.

Jeffrey A. TuckerJeffrey A. Tucker

Jeffrey Tucker is Director of Digital Development at FEE and CLO of the startup Liberty.me. Author of five books, and many thousands of articles, he speaks at FEE summer seminars and other events. His latest book is Bit by Bit: How P2P Is Freeing the World.  Follow on Twitter and Like on Facebook. Email.

LTC Allen West Reads The Declaration of Independence

The National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) wishes you a happy and meaningful 4th of July, the anniversary of our Declaration of Independence.

LTC Allen West U.S. Army (Retired), President and CEO of NCPA, reads excerpts from the Declaration of Independence.

Happy 239th Independence Day America!

Oklahoma Supreme Court: The Ten Commandments Suck!

635713507058167020-AP-Oklahoma-Capitol-Ten-CommandmentsLook, this ain’t hard. Once a person abandons the solid moral foundation of the Ten Commandments, that person will have complete and continual instability in his life.

Extrapolating from there to a social context indicates that this principal of moral instability follows a society which abandons the solid foundation of the 10 Commandments in exchange for the illusion of a foundation built on the shifting sand of cultural relativism.

On today’s show we illustrate this critical element of humanity by using the 10 Commandment controversy in Oklahoma and how it relates to each American.

Important stuff, tune in.

A Miracle from GOD: We Saved a Baby at 45th Street yesterday during our “America Needs Fatima Rosary Rally”

ck chesterton church quoteLet me see…How do I start this story? Where do I begin? For starters, I could not write anything yesterday because I threw out my back yesterday morning and I could not even sit at the computer to write. I tried three times. Too much pain. No pain, no gain – so, I am at it today…only because there was a lot to gain in what transpired yesterday afternoon at our “America Needs Fatima Rosary Rally” across the street from the infamous abortion clinic on 45th Street in West Palm Beach. It all took place between 12:45-1:15 pm yesterday afternoon and it made me totally forget about my horrific back pain.

Friends: Yesterday (October 11th, 2014), was the big day – the day where over 12,500 “America Needs Fatima Rosary Rallies” were to take place all around our entire country. I spent the past month promoting them – especially the ones that took place in the Diocese of Palm Beach. And, as fate would have it, I threw out my back yesterday morning at my house, about 3 hours before they were to take place, and I honestly did not know how I would be able to even drive to 45th Street, let alone, stand and pray for 90 minutes. I popped 2 advils, iced my back for 40 minutes, put heat on for 40 minutes, put a back brace on, popped 2 more advils, and headed over to the Rosary Rally to meet up with Lisa Sheehan and about 33 others. I prayed the entire way over there and I prayed the entire 90 minutes while I was there. And, I prayed for a miracle to happen…I got one. Not for my back – but, for a precious baby that survived the bloody scalpel of a ruthless abortionist.

Right at around 12:45 pm, as we were praying the Holy Rosary. a lady walked from the the parking lot at Presidential Women’s Center across the street to where our group was praying the Glorious Mysteries. She saw the photos of Our Blessed Mother and knew that we may be able to help her. She yelled out for help and was hoping for somebody to soothe her worries. She caught me eye. I caught hers. She was asking for help, for Divine intervention. Our entire group responded as we stopped praying for a brief moment. I grabbed the brochures on abortion that Lisa had in her hands and walked across the street to meet this stressed out lady. You can tell that she was in a world of hurt as she told us that her daughter was in the abortion clinic, ready to have an abortion, and was about to have a nervous breakdown. I signaled my dear friends, Jim Kolar and Deacon Les Loh to come over with me to speak to this lady. I leaned over and asked her for her name and she said her name was Emelda. I told her mine and whispered to her that everything was going to be OK and that we are praying for her beloved daughter. I also told her to please go back in and speak to her daughter (whose name is Melody, 20 years old), and beg her not to have the abortion. Emelda went back into the clinic to speak to her distraught daughter while our group continued praying the Rosary…the pressure was on.

Jim Kolar and Deacon Les stayed on that side of the street when a car pulled out of the parking lot on the other side and Jim chased after it, along with another one of our Pro-Lifers, Gabriella. They saw that it was Emelda, Melody and her boyfriend, Robert, along with one of Melody’s sons, as Jim asked them to drive over to Miracle House, across the street. They did so, Jim and Gabriella followed them and as fate would have it once again – Jim, for no known reason, had left the lights and the music on at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel of Holy Innocents and did not turn on the burglar alarm. I guess it was just meant to be. GOD definitely had His hands in this entire ordeal as Emelda and her grandson walked into that beautiful chapel, she fell to her knees in front of the Blessed Sacrament and began to pray, while Melody and Robert stayed in the car outside of Miracle House.

Jim and Gabriella spoke to Emelda but could not really speak to Melody since she was so distraught and on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Emelda left her phone number with Jim Kolar and when I stopped in at Miracle House to speak to Jim to see what finally happened after we finished praying at the Rally, he gave me her number – and since Emelda and I had made that initial connection and knowing that I also speak Spanish, Jim asked me to call her. I thanked Jim for all that he did as we looked at each other and said “This is exactly why we built this Chapel of Holy Innocents over 6 years ago”. I left the Chapel, drove home in serious back pain but had the greatest feeling of hope that we were maybe on the verge of saving a baby on such a significant day…I knew that I had to call Emelda, but I purposely waited until a very significant time.

And, friends, that phone call that I made yesterday afternoon at exactly 3 pm (Divine Mercy hour), to Emelda was one of the most rewarding phone calls I have ever made in my entire life, because that is what it signified – LIFE…the saving of an innocent life.

And, when I told Emelda who I was, she almost broke down crying. She told me that she knew that I was going to call her. We spoke at length all afternoon and night about what transpired yesterday at this incredible Rosary Rally as Emelda told me that she felt GOD speak to her on behalf of her daughter to go and see what us Prayer Warriors were doing across the street from an abortion clinic. Being a former Catholic – but, still a devout Christian – Emelda knew that her hope was in Jesus and she knew that our prayer group was crying out to her and Melody not to go through with the abortion.

This was powerful and what was even more powerful is the mere fact that a Catholic Chapel – Our Lady of Guadalupe – the Chapel of the Holy Innocents – played such a huge role in this entire ordeal. It opened its doors on April 2nd, 2008 and it truly served its purpose yesterday. Reflecting back about 8 years ago when Jim Kolar, myself and several others used to visit this location when it was a closed-down Pizza Hut – and Jim had the vision of building Miracle House, along with a Chapel with the Blessed Sacrament in it for a day like October 11th to come around – it was a prophecy in the making. All those frustrating years paid off and credit goes to all those who fought and toiled and raised funds for several years in order to make this a reality. (GOD Bless the late Dick Caudill). From a closed-down Pizza Hut to a beautiful Catholic Chapel, where over 45 different priests have presided in Masses there on countless Saturdays – including our own Bishop Barbarito – yesterday was one of those ever-rewarding days where us Pro-Lifers saw the fruits of our labor bear “life” right before our very own eyes. And, all of our sacrifices over these past 8 years dealing with Miracle House, finally came to fruition…

To make a long story short, I have been in contact with Emelda for the past two days, talking about how important it is to protect our babies and how hurtful an abortion truly is. We talked about how important it is to abide by GOD’s 5th Commandment and that we had to convince her daughter to keep the baby. She said that Melody was so torn about having an abortion as she is only 20 years old, already has two children, and did not think she could afford to have another baby. Part of her was telling her to have the abortion. Part of her was telling her that it was wrong. She was fighting it the whole way and knew that something was not right. Our Prayer Warriors across the street from the abortion clinic made the difference. I told Emelda all about our vibrant Pro-Life movement here in our Diocese and that we work together as a TEAM praying like she saw us and saving babies’ lives. I also told her that this is what I personally do for a living now, since I no longer work for the diocese. She is now interested in joining our Pro-Life group…The Holy Spirit at work.

We have actually become friends over the weekend and she is as happy and thankful as any mom could be that Melody decided to walk away from that ruthless abortion clinic. She says that yesterday’s events were life-changing for her, Melody, Robert and the 8-week old baby whose life was spared yesterday. I left a couple of voice mails for Melody as well, thanking her for not aborting her precious baby yesterday and to let her know that our entire group is here praying for her. I left her a few prayers on her cell phone. After all our conversations and text messages yesterday and last night, the last text that Emelda sent me late last night, read:

“Mr. Willy, sorry to text you this late but I would like to thank you and your friends 4 ur concern and prayers. My daughter, Melody, decided to have the already blessed baby! Let our divine Father be with us always!”

Friends: That is what I woke up to this morning – this powerful text message from a loving mom who witnessed for herself how powerful prayer is and how powerful it is to pray across the street from an abortion clinic. They have collectively decided to keep the baby as Emelda was so relieved and the entire family feels like they have made the right decision. This is what Pro-Lifers live for. Miracles like yesterday do not happen every day, but it is what we pray for. And, yesterday was a perfect example of what TEAM EFFORT is all about. All “33” of us made a difference! Every single person that was praying at 45th Street yesterday at our Rosary Rally played a huge part in this miracle – the saving of another human being’s life. And, like I always like to remind everybody, “We are all in this Two-Gether” and it’s “one baby at a time”.

In closing, I have asked Emelda and Melody to keep in touch with us and when the time is right, to maybe come over to speak to our “40 Days for Life” group, to let us know how this incredible day has transformed their lives. They said they would love to. I have also asked them to let us know how the baby is progressing and when Melody has the baby – if it is a girl – I have even suggested to her to name her Fatima. Now, that would be an unbelievable story and quite appropriate. (I know our good friends at America Needs Fatima – the Ritchie Family – would be thrilled). The entire story of Fatima is about miracles and when we celebrate on Monday, October 13th, the “Feast Day of Our Lady of Fatima – the Miracle of the Sun” – I will think about this one incredible day that unfolded right here at 45th Street “under the sun” – as I will make one small correction with this Feast Day’s name and call it the “Miracle of the SON”, instead of the sun…as Jesus was the very first miracle worker and part of yesterday’s powerful miracle just happened to take place in a building we call Miracle House.

Planned Parenthood’s War on Women: Counselor Tells Teen to Let Her Boyfriend Beat Her

LifeNews.com reports:

Abortion activists claim pro-lifers are engaging in a “war on women:” by passing legislation to protect women and unborn children from abortion. But a new expose’ video catches a Planned Parenthood staffer engaging in her own war on women.

The pro-life group Live Action released the third installment today in its “SexEd” investigative series, showing a Planned Parenthood staffer in Portland, Oregon offering disturbing sex counseling to someone she thinks is a fifteen-year-old girl. The video clearly shows the counselor encouraging the young girl to allow herself to be victimized in violent sexual encounters with her partner.

The staffer tells the investigator that “it’s very common to experiment with different things,” including “being tied up” and “whipped” and “the baby thing, where they will put on diapers[.]”

Some girls like being “spanked,” “hit,” or “whipped,” said the counselor.

Watch the video interview with a Planned Parenthood counselor (WARING: This material is not suitable for children. Viewer discretion is advised):

Read more.

The Portland video is the third in a series. Previous SexEd installments showed Planned Parenthood locations in Indianapolis and Denver offering similarly disturbing advice to investigators posing as minor girls. Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, under whose jurisdiction the Denver facilities lie, is now being sued for sending a 13-year-old abuse victim back to her abuser after aborting her baby.