Recently my friend Bob published a great article Where is the land of opportunity? that is mainly about his son Aaron’s experiences in the USA. The central focus of the article isn’t about a college degree, but a degree came up, early and often, in the comments and the comments are still coming in. I recommend you go read the article and the comments (if you have the time) because they are both interesting and informative. (Go ahead, I’ll wait).
The article was mainly in response to the question, is there more opportunity for a young man starting his “earning life” in the USA or in the Philippines?
Is There Really a Land of Opportunity?
Now that’s a question that can likely be debated for years and can never be une3quivicabaly answered, mainly because each person is an individual and each of us can only live once.
If we spend 30 or 40 or 50 years becoming a “success” (and that is also something arguable, the definition of “success”), and we live for most of those years in, say, the USA, well then obviously being in the USA was “good for us”,.
But since the same person can’t magically re-live those years in the Philippines, it’s impossible to declare that the person might not have attained even more “success” in the Philippines.
It’s very much the same with failure as well. If someone is near the end of their career in say, the Philippines, and they have not attained much in the way of “success”, then who can say for sure that if they had spent all those years in the USA, they would have achieved the “success” they failed to attain in the Philippines?
Despite the “Fox News” type “USA Number 1” rah rah we are all taught from an early age, thousands of seniors like me flee the USA to live out our remaining years in a better environment. And It’s not all about cists, my wife and I are US citizens and we are blessed with enough income to love in the USA or any other “First World” country. But we choose not to.
Likewise I have quite a few Filipino friends who have been to the “promised land” of the USA and chose to return to the Philippines rather than stay in the USA.
Neither Country is “The Right One” For Everyone
And I’ll tell you right now the exact same thing is true for the “you need a college degree” versus “You don’t need a degree” debate. You can literally find hundreds of thousands of people who have enjoyed “success” in their lives and credit their “success” to the fact they had a college degree.
But the truth is their degree did not make them successful.
You can also find, without looking very hard, hundreds of thousands of degree holders who are unemployed, or very much under-employed. They may be making a living, often even a decent living, but the fact they have a degree has noting at all to do with their degree of “success”.
In My View, “Success” Doe Not Depend On What Country You Live In, Nor On Your Level of Education
Successful people make their own success. Those who don’t succeed sit around finding excuses instead of accomplishing something. Or so this old man opines.
Here’s a very appropriate blog post and podcast from two friends of mine, Spencer and Perrin. Both of them are currently very successful. Both of them do not rely upon that “last century” “buggy whip” of having a J*O*B. And although both if them DID subscribe to the “Ponzi Scheme” of putting themselves in debt for a huge part of their lives in order to “earn” a college degree, they both have some very interesting and well thought out “younger men’s” views on how much you “need” a degree in order to succeed. Recommended.
If you read my last blog post, Does Passive Income Really Exist?, you will want to listen to this follow up podcast. Even though Perrin and I started out discussing passive income, the topic quickly shifted to other areas.
In particular, we spent the first 15 minutes or so discussing the American dream and how going from motivated student in college to full-time employee in the corporate world is not all its cracked up to be. Many of you have likely experienced the severe let down that can come from expecting big things after you graduate when instead you get shuffled to the back of the office in a cubicle.
I certainly felt that way, as did Perrin…you put in years of work to get a degree, and for the most part its useless. All learning is really done on the job for most careers, and the money doesn’t come pouring in for most….
Full podcast here: Well Worth a listen.