A lot of parents, unfortunately, maybe when they saw a lot of manufacturing being offshored, told their kids you don't want to go into the trades, you don't want to go into manufacturing because you'll lose your job. Well, the problem is that what happened — a lot of young people no longer see the trades and skilled manufacturing as a viable career. But I promise you, folks can make a lot more, potentially, with skilled manufacturing or the trades than they might with an art history degree. Now, nothing wrong with an art history degree — I love art history. (Laughter.) So I don't want to get a bunch of emails from everybody. (Laughter.) I'm just saying you can make a really good living and have a great career without getting a four-year college education as long as you get the skills and the training that you need. (Applause.)Oh, you'll be getting emails. You'll be getting emails and letters and all forms of expression of hurt from the art history sector of the education economy. And let me play the gender card, because if this were not a President with gender immunity — that is to say, if this were a Republican President — the coded sexism would be translated and bruited about everywhere.
Linda A. Downs, executive director and chief executive of the College Art Association, says:
I was very disappointed... Critical thinking, an understanding of different cultures, a tolerance for diversity, understanding and thinking through values—all of these things are considered extremely valuable in the workplace, whether you’re a tradesperson or you’re a corporate head. Over and over again, you see where corporations have hired humanities graduates because of the various problem-solving skills they have and their knowledge of the world. If all the emphasis is going to be put on specific job skills, we’re creating future citizens that are only half educated.Do you hear the gender? The President was talking about trades and skilled manufacturing and the voices of women come back at him praising the workers with interpersonal skills in handling matters like diversity, skills somehow honed by spending the college years gazing upon and contemplating art.
Flashback to candidate Obama in the summer of '07, when he got the idea of stimulating the economy with money for infrastructure jobs that would fit with the way "guys... define themselves as men." Shovel-ready jobs, restoring masculine pride. And then the women pushed back. You'd better see to our needs.