Proximate ABQ Journal stories highlight trades vs. academia

This newspaper is from a few weeks ago, but has an extremely interesting juxtaposition right on its front page. One story highlighted the demand for workers in the trades while the other features a unionized employee of UNM who works for $1,565 on a 9 month contract at UNM. Over the span of a full year the second-year English doctoral student is making just $14,085 annually.

On the other hand, the hourly pay for a skilled tradesperson in New Mexico is $21.81 an hour. Assuming a full year of work that’s more than triple what the UNM doctoral student is making without a college degree.

We’re not arguing on behalf of the unionized UNM graduate assistants. We’re not even saying that you shouldn’t attend college. Simply put, subsidized or “free” college as Gov. Lujan Grisham has embraced here in New Mexico is wasteful and is largely a waste of money.