kozad - I'm sympathetic with much of what you say, but I'd take umbrage at "my electrician makes more than I (a teacher) do", Grammar aside, you might want to think about how that sounds a bit classist.
p.s. I'm glad you have an electrician.
"I went to college then spend seven years in graduate school and incurred $50k in student loans ($3k/yr in payments, $90k for the life of the loan) so I could make $47k/year (base). Technicians with a two year certification make the same amount.
Occasionally this upsets me. But then again, I am posting to Metafilter while at work, and later I may read a book about language, or start grading a mountain of papers, and the electrician is outside in 30 degree weather. Also, when the housing market collapse reaches my region, I will still be employed."
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