Here’s a question I’m sure anyone who’s got an advanced degree in this country has asked:
Why isn’t education appreciated in this country?
I mean it. What is it about certain Americans that makes them not only satisfied with being ignorant, but proud of it?
It’s the twenty-first century, and yet we have the most anti-science Congress in history. We have climate-change-deniers in charge of both the House and Senate science committees. Republican senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina even said that restaurant employees shouldn’t be forced to wash their hands before preparing food!
As a science major with a Master’s degree, I don’t just think this is appalling. To me, this is like a nightmare I can’t wake up from. It’s as if a group of the most ignorant, superstitious bigots from the Middle Ages got transported, en masse, into the year 2015 and took over the country.
It’s also personal. My education and accomplishments apparently don’t matter in this society. I’ve gotten only two job offers, and both were for entry-level labor positions. It’s clear: U.S. society doesn’t value intelligence, unless it’s used to help a corporation make more money or a politician dodge his or her responsibility.
I went into the field of science because I thought I would have plenty of opportunities to earn a living with a satisfying career, not to mention do some good in the world.
I was wrong.
I might just as well have gone into music performance for all the good my education has done me. My ultimate fate would have been the same: twenty-seven, unemployed, and living with my parents. Go ahead and laugh at me and say that I’m useless and worthless.
Society has already made that clear in no uncertain terms.