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That was then:

John Adams to Abigail Adams, [post 12 May 1780]

Adams Family Correspondence, 3:342

“I must study Politicks and War that my sons may have liberty to study Mathematicks and Philosophy. My sons ought to study Mathematicks and Philosophy, Geography, natural History, Naval Architecture, navigation, Commerce and Agriculture, in order to give their Children a right to study Painting, Poetry, Musick, Architecture, Statuary, Tapestry and Porcelaine.”

This is now:

October 12, 2011 03:38 PM

Scapegoating the Liberal Arts

by Daniel Luzer

Too many students are getting useless degrees, complains the governor of Florida, Rick Scott, who argues that what Florida needs is more students with “practical” majors. This advice seems realistic, but it’s actually based on nothing but a myth stemming from some weird assumptions about the evils of the liberal arts….

….This is a very odd way to look at economics. Encouraging people to study science and engineering is commendable, but when you’re talking about this only in terms of helping people get jobs, this is all just ridiculous. People don’t go to college to get jobs; they go to college to get an education. No one has ever demonstrated that students can’t get jobs because they studied the wrong things. That’s because this isn’t true….

….Most employers say they just want applicants who can work hard and think critically. And that’s exactly what the liberal arts help students do very well.

So that their descendants can dwell in corporate cubicles or work for minimum wage with no benefits at an anti-union national chain store.