Ungar And Reich's The New Liberal Arts And Robert Reich

1424 Words 6 Pages
In the conventional American ideology, all people have an equal opportunity to pursue and invest in their personal aspirations. To some, success in these endeavors is only perceivable through a learned and educated mind; others, however, argue that college is no longer worth its expense, whereas work has an immediate reward and payoff. Sanford J. Ungar and Robert Reich explore both of these subjective values in their essays “The New Liberal Arts” and “College is a Ludicrous Waste of Money.” Ungar discusses why a liberal arts education should be pursued; doing so by introducing common misconceptions about liberal arts and, using argumentative persuasion, proves their insignificance. On the other hand, Reich argues against the conventional belief …show more content…
In order to analyze the value of liberal arts, one should define value as something objectively important, such as work. Both Ungar and Reich correlate the value of liberal arts with the job market. For example, Ungar explains why employers seek to hire liberal arts students for their abilities to think deeply, critically, and creatively compared to other students. Furthermore, because this topic is often discussed, Ungar includes logos to solidify his argument. He emphasizes, “A 2009 survey for the Association Colleges and Universities actually found that more than three-quarters of our nation’s employers recommend that collegebound students pursue a ‘liberal education’” (192). Simply, Ungar disproves the misconception that liberal arts students cannot find jobs after they graduate; he does so by presenting statistics as well as direct quotes from employers. On Reich’s position, attending any four-year college with the intention of reaching the middle class is a “ludicrous” idea. Instead, Reich explains how acquiring a two-year degree allows more efficient pathways to work and a middle class salary. Using technician jobs as an example, Reich explains that “they don’t require a four-year degree. But they do require mastery over a domain of technical knowledge, which can usually be obtained in two years.” In this sentence, Reich bases the value of technical education on its economic benefit. Generally, this summarizes Reich’s position on liberal arts; also, it introduces arguments made later in the article. As was previously hinted, analyzing the positions discussing the efficiency and value of a liberal arts education does not fully describe each article; therefore, in the end, comparing and contrasting the conclusions of each essay will tie in a

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