Welders and philosophy majors unite!

Story highlights

  • David Perry: Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush are wrong; philosophy majors make more money than welders
  • We need an America where both white-collar and blue-collar workers can prosper and earn decent wages

David M. Perry is an associate professor of history at Dominican University in Illinois. He writes regularly at his blog: How Did We Get Into This Mess? Follow him on Twitter. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

(CNN)In the GOP presidential debate, Marco Rubio responded to a question about work, wages and college tuition by attacking philosophy majors. He said:

"Here's the best way to raise wages. Make America the best place in the world to start a business or expand an existing business, tax reform and regulatory reform, bring our debt under control, fully utilize our energy resources so we can reinvigorate manufacturing, repeal and replace Obamacare, and make higher education faster and easier to access, especially vocational training. For the life of me, I don't know why we have stigmatized vocational education. Welders make more money than philosophers. We need more welders and less philosophers."
Rubio is hardly the first GOP candidate to snipe at liberal arts degrees. Just a few days ago, Jeb Bush made a similar quip, saying, "Hey, that psych major deal, that philosophy major thing, that's great, it's important to have liberal arts ... but realize, you're going to be working [at] a Chick-fil-A."