and so we have a scarcity of skilled blue collar people. In this
area, you can wait up to 6 months for stump grinding, asphalt paving,
spot welding, masonry repair, painting, etc. More often than not,
messages requesting estimates are ignored. You gotta damn near beg
people to work for you.
I know a few plumbers, electricians, etc. The good ones make a good living
and have no lack of work. I know plenty of white collar workers that are
laid off. If you want to learn a trade, you have a living for life.
How hard is it to get into these fields? Do you have to work as an
apprentice or journeyperson or something like that for x number of years for
some of them (isn't plumbing and electrician and masonry like that)?
What's the educational requirement for something like electrician or
Assuming that 'protection' statement is true; which it might very well be,
it testifies to why doing you own home repairs/renovations can be so
satisfying, economical and popular. There is a British (do it yourself) news
group < uk.d-i-y > which discusses much the same areas as here and
constantly bemoans the increasing amount of control, registration of craft
people required (all in the interests of 'protection of the consumer' and
safety of the general populace of course!).
I hope this is less so in "The land of the free"? Too much 'control' limits
enterprise, growth and prosperity IMHO!
Of course there is always litigation! In other words if you manage, for
example, to burn down your own house and it is deemed it was because you
used a 30 amp breaker on 20 amp wiring, your house insurance company may
decline to recompense you?
In this part of Canada I think we are somewhere in between the two extremes
of a lot of government legislated regulation/control and rampant, unsafe and
in some societies construction which takes place only with graft and
corruption. (For example; places where buildings fall down because extra
stories were added unsafely, schools with combustible roofs that catch fire
without exits to reasonable standards, nearly 100 children are killed!).
Here common sense 'generally' prevails and while there are most definitely
botched jobs (and/or some incompetent does not clear a heavy snow load off
the roof of a shopping mall or supermarket, it collapses and someone is
killed), there is a general level of competence or knowing someone who will
help, do it for you, or knows how to do it correctly. For example a person
who is rough carpenter knows someone (or relative) who is a welder. They in
turn know where to get a deal on plumbing fixtures and have a buddy/mate
who is a plumber and does a bit of work 'on weekends'! And so on. Also a
general willingness if you are practical helpful person oneself to share the
information and/or occasionally help out, works wonders. My neighbour
doesn't understand electricity at all (he wouldn't mind me saying it either)
so I help him fix anything electrical on his tractor trailer rig and his
house electrical repairs.
I have always been puzzled and annoyed, by this attitude that because
someone has several initials (degrees) after their name i.e. not blue
collar, they are more knowledgeable and therefore are superior in attitude
and get paid more than those of us who 'Don't mind getting our hands dirty',
either as professionals or doing our own work. Great people the degree
holders probably, but sometimes in limited fields of expertise.
Anyway got to go and finish fixing our 20 year old dishwasher, a small
faulty microswitch in the water inlet circuit btw, so avoiding buying a new
d.washer or an expensive house visit (they only come to this area on
Tuesdays) by Sears!
Rant over. Have fun.
You can blame the government schools that have largely been run by
liberals. Voc. Tech used to be a mainstream part of our education
system but it's been slashed in recent years.
firstname.lastname@example.org (BroJack) wrote in message
ALL education in the USA has been slashed.
Despite my being in the computer/engineering field and having been
in the "academic" tract in high school, I wholeheartedly support diversity in
I wanted to take more shop classes but the academic schedule conflicted with that.
A friend told me how his high school principal DESTROYED many shop areas
such as the metal foundry, all to clear space for more computers.
But the funding dried up so there's plenty of nothing now.
I'm embarassed at the fraud being perpertated on schools in the name of
"computer education": overpriced systems, sub-standard software,
maintenance contracts, etc. but is anyone really learning anything?
I wish I could see a reversal of this trend.
There are organizations that help school students build their own computer
systems (for in school use), really cheap. That is, the students themselves
BUILD the computers. It's tough to get ripped off if you build it yourself.
Oh, and if you learn to build it yourself, that is a real education right
As most readers here know, home repair is not rocket science-but code
and state law treats it as such. For example where I live, to become
a contractor, I would have to work as an employee of a contrator for
two years. Requirements are much worse for general contrator plumbing
and electrical. Now I can build a house a year for 3 out of the next 5
years "for my own use" and repair my own house, but doing anything
else is illegal.
Do you realize that code allows you to change a light bulb and plug
something in without getting a permit? Yep, that's it. For anything
else, you need a permit. Where I live, it took a state law to
establish that merely carring supplies to the site does not have to be
done by an electrician.
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