What to do with "dumb" people?

OK, now that I’ve got your attention…

But really, my point is about those who live on the down side of the intelligence bell curve. A good bit down.

There’s a guy at church, and it’s obvious to everyone I know that he isn’t going to invent a new rocket. And he keeps getting fired. That may or may not have something to do with his knee jerk defense of lying about anything that makes him feel threatened.

But… the point is, in times of old, say 50-60 years ago, a greater percentage of the country was living in rural areas, and a greater percentage was able to make a living of some sort with their backs, not their brains.

With America becoming the “brains” of the world, were we supply the designs and engineering, and say, Malaysia provides the labor, how are people that would have lived off feeding the cattle, driving a tractor, mucking out the pens, etc., supposed to survive in an American urban environment, where even the assembly line worker is supposed to be handling invoices and managing just-in-time delivery of parts?

In short, where is Forest Gump really going to work these days, and I’m not hopeful that this guy falls bass ackwards into money like FG.

Any ideas or philosophizing?

Who says the U.S. is the “brains” of the world?

Have you seen the disparity between U.S. high-school test scores and those of Western Europe and Japan?

I’ve got news for you, Dave…we are a nation of Gumps!

I hear McD’s is hiring.

While as a whole, we may be becoming a white collar nation, there are still plenty of spots in our economy for the Forrest Gumps of our nation. While “feeding the cattle, driving a tractor, mucking out the pens, etc.” may not be as common jobs as they were in the past, they still exist.

And as a personal aside, I’ll admit I’ve done all three as a living.

Are you referring to people who lack education or common sense? Those who lack education can do well in the business world (Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, …). Those who lack common sense make good school teachers/professors.

“Those who can do, do. Those who can’t do, teach. Those who can’t teach, teach PE” --Woody Allen

Well, you know what “Bob” Dobbs says:

“You know how dumb the average person is? Well, by definition, half the people out there are even DUMBER.”

I worked for a woman who’s son had an IQ of 70. Big lummox of a kid that grunted all his responses. By the age of 12 they gave up on him in school and did nothing to encourage him at all. Everyone at work figured him to be the next high school shooter or a future postal employee. He is really not that bright and none of us liked him, but we did feel very sorry for him because his parents have written him off already.

I asked him mom one day ( very diplomatically, which is hard for me at times, especially the closer I am to the subject.) if she had considered taking/sending little Johnnie to some kind of vocational schooling because kids that are not good in books are usually pretty good with their hands. The LOOK she gave me was as if I had grown two heads . " I don’t want my son doing blue collar work." I lost my patience with her and said, " Well, he’s failing all his classes and you ignore him all the time. So you better get use to him living on the couch because that is all he going to do until you and your husband die and then he’ll live in a box in the gutter." THAT got her attention and she was cheezed with me …well…she probably still is. But all the coworkers, including her parents (the boy’s grandparents) applauded me for saying what they couldn’t. Last I heard he was 17, a sophomore and failed all her Special Ed classes. When he goes postal, I will be there at the police station stating it was his parents fault.

I also wanted to put my two bits in on how I think this country will be in twenty-50 years with the blue collar field.

Because everything is so high tech and will continue to climb upwards in that department, I see a rapid decline in the blue collar jobs because they are undesirable and hard phsycial work. But in 20 years or so, because you have a generation raised by single mothers who don’t know how to do a thing (repair wise) around the house or by parents who just hired some guy down the street to fix what was broken, and because we are such a disposable society, I see an entire generation in a couple of decades being totally useless in the home fix it department. So few fathers interact with their kids today and passing down how to work with tools and repair things is truly a dying thing. Because most of these fathers never did such things with their dads.

Our son will learn how to use tools. He will learn how to use computers and fix a car (which is more complicated than brain surgery.) My hsuband spent most of his free time with his dad on the construction sight and I am constantly amazed at his ability to fix and repair anything. I will bet you in 20-30 years that those who are good with their hands and can apply practical knowledge and who are not afraid of hard physical labor will never be out of work and they will probably make more money because it will be an in-demand job.

People change not because they see the light but because they feel the heat.

Shirley, I’ve got to agree with you! My dad made sure I knew how to fix the basics on my house and my car. No sense in getting swindled by mechanics or contractors.

Many (not all) kids now a days are completely put out if you ask them to do any kind of physical labor. It’s like they expect you to pay them for showing up and looking good. Is this just cause I’m dealing with a new generation (not mine) or is this truly something others have noticed?

By the way, Shirl, love your sig.

…it has never been my way to bother much about things which you can’t cure.

  • A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court-Mark Twain

This question seems vaguely familiar. Didn’t some guy with a toothbrush mustache go over all this stuff back in the 1940’s?

And yet what do those same Europeans, Asians and Indians do after high school? That’s right–they come to the United States to attend our colleges and get jobs here! So our education system is doing something right.

pldennison: except the reason they’re able to get jobs here is because there’s a shortage of Americans qualified for the jobs.

Never regret what seemed like a good idea at the time.

Bill Maher said, and I quote: “The problem is that nowadays, the stupid people aren’t being eaten by bears.”

Makes you think…

But speaking to the employment issues, the U.S. nowadays is in a state of underemployment, meaning that many people hold jobs they are underqualified for, and that traditional bastions of the stupid (fast food jobs, assembly line jobs, etc.) are having to raise wages and benefits to compete.

Jason R Remy

“And it could be safely said that at that moment, in the whole of India, no one, absolutely no one, was f^(king a goat.”
– John Irving A Son of the Circus (1994)

Shirley, I applaud you and your husband for having your son learn practical skills and get an education.

I wonder how many of the self-proclaimed brainiacs who ponder the disposition of “dumb people” have to go to one of them to change their brakes or fix their furnace or install a new electrical outlet or landscape their lawn or . . .

Yes, Nickrz, you hit exactly what I meant. Let’s decide who’s dumb and ship them off to a concentration camp.


Jeeeezzz, Nick, as a moderator, I would expect you to actually respond to what I said and not just what you might have a first impression of from the subject line.

My question was not whether to kill these people off, but what is to be “done” with them in the sense that I worry for them.

This guy I mentioned, he stayed with me and my two roommates, on the couch, for about a month and a half, and he never did much of anything. I had a good talk with another guy in the church who did the same thing for about four months, and also had stuff stolen (Aaarrgghh!), and he had a salient point. He said that J. (the guy) refuses to admit to himself that he’s a bit different than many of the people his age (26) that he tends to hang around, and that he’s not going to get that job that more matches the ones he knows others have.

Because he will not fit into his niche, he continues to have problems keeping a job longer than a month. Although, even jobs that I’d think he could do keep being being beyond his ability to keep. All I can think of is something like putting candy in gift boxes or something. And I feel sorry for him in that respect. But WHEN HE STEALS FROM ME… Whew.

OK, J. in particular has other problems too. but my question is, in a society that seems more and more to demand at least average type intelligence in the workplace, what are those who sadly fall short to do?

Dave - I think you seriously underestimate the need for unskilled labor in this country. Jobs that demand very little skill or inteligence are so plentiful in the USA that hundreds of thousands of unskilled workers illegally enter the country every year! And they come here from places with non-technology based economies.

Come on, everyone here has read the Hitchhiker’s Trilogy and remembers about the people who shipped off their “undesirables” (telephone sanitizers and such) only to eventually die from a disease spread by telephones! I don’t think undesirable jobs are going to go away. I mean, there’s a reason it costs $50 an hour to have someone come unclog your toilet – you don’t know how and no one else wants to!

Re: Dumb people. Who is the comedian who said that all stupid people should have to wear a sign so the rest of us would be forewarned and save a lot of time? His tag line is “Here’s your sign.”

Bill Engvall.

I saw him in Twin Lakes on Saturday.

Luckily, Ameica is still (relatively) a free market. If you have a large group of dumb people or people without other jobskills such as the homeless, newly released criminals, etc. simply cater to that niche as an employment agency and make money as a middle man. Check out www.laborready.com.

I don’t know. Have you seen what painters, plumbers, welders, masons, carpenters, and mechanics make? I’ve got a college degree and I’ve never made close to that kind of money! For that matter, I know a couple of street sweepers who make more than I do now.
(I’m an A&D counselor)

“There is no lifeguard at the gene pool.”