Working Man’s PhD

In my Indiana-North Carolina postmortem, I noted my hatred for the term “working class” because “it implies that those putting in 60 hours a week at high paying jobs don’t work.”

Recently promoted full professor Dan Drezner, who is about to enjoy three months off from work (“if you don’t count editing one book, writing part of another book, prepping two grant proposals, drafting two additional articles I’ve committed to writing, and refereeing a few articles and book manuscripts”) is more blunt, calling Hillary Clinton’s linkage of “hard-working Americans” to those “who had not completed college” “complete and utter horses**t.”

He’s reminded of a scene from “Airplane” but, not being a full professor at a fancy pants elite Yankee school, I’m more in mind of an Aaron Tippin song that was popular when I was in grad school. The chorus:

Well, there ain’t no shame in a job well done
From driving a nail to driving a truck
As a matter of fact, I’d like to set things straight
A few more people should be pullin’ their weight
If you want a cram course in reality
You get yourself a working man’s PH.D.

It was funny on a whole lot of levels, not least of which that he was making a whole lot more money for singing that song than any of my professors made in their career.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2008, Economics and Business, Education, , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. DL says:

    The jobs I’ve held since the late 1940’s include the heavy physical, clerical, boilerooms in Gitmo, food prep, driving truck, agriculture, artist, writer, stockbroker, salesman, outdoorsman etc., many of these long days. The hardest work of all of those is – are you ready- teaching.
    Hillary (and a lot of “the grass is always greener types)has no idea!

  2. RHM says:

    Amen. I’m an educator too and (if you do it right) it’s hard work. But it’s also the most fun and rewarding job I’ve had (military or civilian).


  3. William d'Inger says:

    Hillary’s the smart one in this instance. She’s after votes, and there are a lot more self-stlyed armpit Ph.D. voters than bonafide armchair Ph.D. voters.

  4. Al Bee says:

    Yeah, I got my degree from Knocksville U. and it has served me well enough.

  5. Mark says:

    I too hate the term Working Class….. for the same reason… lets expand that list to include phrases such as those who” work for a living” and “working people”…… euphemisms allegedly for low paid or “physical workers. Hey…. I WORK very hard. I am also paid well.I also have a college education. Does that mean I don’t “work for a living”? OF COURSE NOT…. I DO work for a living and strongly take exception to those who suggest I do not because I don’t do physical labor, factory work or make less money….

    Gimmie a break…. How much did your family make last year Hillary with your Wellesley education and law degree…..? Any one that really believes you are a supporter of the union member is sadly mistaken…. oh yeah….

  6. RHM says:

    The Clinton’s made a lot….about $111 million.

  7. floyd says:

    “”(”if you don’t count editing one book, writing part of another book, prepping two grant proposals, drafting two additional articles I’ve committed to writing, and refereeing a few articles and book manuscripts”)””

    I went into a famous name bookstore the other day
    and saw table after table of books marked down to economically viable fireplace fodder.[“Fahrenheit 451″was not among them]
    There were even books about being environmentally responsible on the table! OH!….The Irony!!
    The shelf next to the tables was filled with blank books [no writing inside]sporting a higher price than the books on the table.
    Now this seemed to point out a number of things.
    1]Being published doesn’t mean being sold.
    2]Being sold doesn’t mean being read.
    3]There is sometimes more demand for a book with nothing to say than there is demand for what a published author has to say.

    I imagine that to be quite an ego crusher on par with being thought a “non-working class” member![lol]