MY WORD: The price of success

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This is from an article in the Wall St. Journal on July 19 entitled “This Way Up” featuring 18-year-old Dakota Blazier who will forgo a college degree in favor of a blue-collar career. He will join the 70 percent of Americans 25-and-older without college degrees.

Mr. Blazier has carefully considered his career path, which he started as a high school junior. This summer, now 18, he begins work at Gaylord Electric at $10.00 per hour plus credits he can apply to ABC Training Center where he will begin a 4-year apprenticeship. He is as excited as if he had just been accepted at Yale.

His main concern is economic mobility, especially upward.

There are a lot of professional economists predicting success for those willing to learn from the inside up.

Listen up educators. Are we steering youngsters on the right career paths? Are we putting too much emphasis on earning a piece of paper that says you are educated in a particular subject?

I have a degree from Duke that says I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree. It doesn’t mention that my course of study was Economics. I have come to refute all the Keynesian nonsense they tried to feed me. For this my dad paid over $20,000 – today it would be over $200,000.

This article goes on to say that 65 percent of McDonald’s regional managers started as an hourly employee. Sharon Gonzales started as a cashier at Taco Bell. She now owns 4 franchises. I know auto mechanics earning $100,000 a year, and auto sales people making over $200,000. The key is knowing the business from the inside and the path to the top.

What I believe about economics is that it does not need regulation. I know in my soul there is not a bureaucrat living who believes this, but if they do they hope nobody else finds out.  That’s one of the things Mr. and Mrs. Freidman meant in their book “Free to Choose.”

There is at least one thing I know for certain: the worst possible thing you can do for a person or business you believe has not treated you fairly is to withhold your business.

If you firmly believe that, write a letter to Customer Relations, the general manager, owner or CEO. If they don’t make it right, tell all your friends and relatives and laugh when they go broke.

If none of this works talk to an attorney. If they don’t think you have a viable action, see if they’ll take it on a free contingency basis, which means the worst you and your attorney can do is wind up with some egg on your face.

Stay tuned.


Bob Pearce is a retired business owner who lives in Shelbyville.