Ratzenberger: Go to Vocational School and Become ‘Essential’ to Civilization

Or just major in gender studies and waste good money.

Most people put a lot of importance on getting a college education. But with the average American campus turning into an aimless progressive utopia, most will graduate with a pointless degree, a mountain of student loan debt, and move back in with their parents until they sort out life. Becoming a skilled tradesman was never an option for them as vocational schools are generally looked down upon as less prestigious institutions.

But that’s too bad, says actor and skilled carpenter John Ratzenberger (Cheers, Toy Story). 

In an appearance on Varney & Co. on FOX Business, Ratzenberger shared his inspirational thoughts on why more young people should ditch the liberal arts and become “essential” to civilization. The actor has been a fierce proponent, much like Mike Rowe, for blue collar industries. And in the wake of President Trump’s visit to Snap-On tools this week to sign his “Buy American, Hire American” executive order, Ratzenberger had this to say about the negative view of people who work with their hands:

“A lot of parents are against it, because they think if their child goes on to be a brick layer, or a welder, that somehow they’re not as intelligent as the kid that went on to a four-year liberal arts college. But in fact, if you’re an apprentice plumber, or an electrician, or a carpenter, your road for the next four years is much more difficult than a four-year college. And at the end of the day, your going to be making a lot more money, too.”

Ratzenberger went on to say he has always “bristled” at the term “blue collar worker” and has a better name for what they do:

“It’s ‘essential worker.’

"If every actor, or everybody in the media -- sports, celebrities -- disappeared tomorrow, our families would be sad but that’s about it. The world would carry on just fine. But if all the electricians, welders, carpenters, truck drivers decided not to go to work for one day, civilization would grind to a halt. So, I always use the term ‘essential worker.’ These people are essential to our civilization. Without them we don’t exist, frankly.”

In a hilarious contrast, noting how the Democratic Party has shifted and lost a large chunk of its blue collar base, Ratzenberger said it’s not hard to imagine former Democratic speaker of the house Tip O’Neill working on his lawn mower on a Saturday afternoon.

“Well, try to imagine Nancy Pelosi doing the same thing,” Ratzenberger said. 

Ratzenberger also noted how that same shift is seen in schools with the cancelation of shop classes and home economics to make room for arts classes. Not that there’s anything wrong with acting, Ratenberger said, he loves it, but it’s always nice to be able to fall back on a trade. If you're a skilled carpenter, you can go work anywhere.

Watch the full interview above.