Posted by dave, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Apr 25, 2012 at 3:54 pm
If students go to college and take majors that teach them a useful skill, e.g. engineering, physics, medicine, etc., then it would be worthwhile to get advanced schooling. Piling on student loans to reach an academic dead end has been well documented. Too many take literature, English, social studies, economics, art history, etc., where need is limited, mostly in the teaching professions.
The Joel is right. Learn a useful trade like plumbing, electrical repair, auto mechanics, which require a few years of apprentice training, and you're paid during the learning period! The need for those skills will increase in the future and the pay can be very good.
Posted by Michael, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Apr 25, 2012 at 3:58 pm
"Forget college! Become a paramedic...takes about one year. Then become a Firefighter. With salary and overtime, make $150K+ per year! My brother did."
We need to get firefighter pay down to market level (about 60K per year I suppose with a nice 401K match instead of a ridiculous, unsustainable pension) so that we don't lose the next Google guy to this line of thinking. That and the fact that it's irresponsible to throw our tax dollars away catering to well connected special interests.
Posted by Joel, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Apr 25, 2012 at 4:23 pm
To Micheal from Crescent Park,
My brother-inlaw is a police officer who made over $226k last year with salary and overtime. Throw in a nice pension at the end of 30 years. Micheal, life is not fair...you need to deal with it. Oh, don't worry about the next google guy...not everyone can be a Firefighter or police officer.
Posted by C, a member of the Palo Alto High School community, on Apr 25, 2012 at 8:13 pm
Mary, I agree with Joel on this particular issue. This is not the time to play the race card because anyone can apply to be a firefighter or police officer. In NYC, the percentage of African American officers (in the total force) is going up and has been for the past few years. And all firemen and police officers are subject to the same benefits and gains. Sacramento's fire department chief, Ray Jones (2010), is black (I don't know if he's still the head, however, I'd like to assume he is). Hispanics, many of whom are also low income, make up more (percentage-wise) than their population in the NYC police force (or at least they did in 2009).
Also, I think that Joel said "Life is not fair" in response to Michael's mention of the "ridiculous, unsustainable pension" aka the difference between public and private sectors. The US is not the only country to have a salary difference, just look at Europe. It has little to do with race....
I apologize if this sounds too critical, I just wanted to express my opinion on the subject. I hope it's not too harsh, I didn't mean it to be that way.