I've been saying this for years and every time I state my position I'm subjected to mass ridicule. I've gotten in many an argument with professors, students, and friends over this very subject. The only person to agree with me thus far is one of my business school professors from France who ironically promoted extremely socialistic ideas (at least he was right on the education issue).
There is simply no reason for everyone to go to a 4-year college. The majority of colleges that exist today, are simply there to fill the massive demand that our government-sponsored education subsidies have created.
People that should go to a vocational high school and come out as a highly skilled worker, instead are taking on massive amounts of debt (or we as taxpayers take on this debt on their behalf), to go to a 4-year university -- any university that will take them.
They graduate from a sub-B school with zero experience and are shocked when they find it hard to get a job. What ends up happening is that they take a job in any industry that will give them one, regardless of whether or not they actually enjoy the work, just so that they can pay off their school loans.
If instead they had spent their four years gaining experience in whatever labor market appeals to their natural likes and dislikes, then they would be enjoying life and work, and building up a savings that can then be used in the economy to fund growth projects in new industries. Savings, not debt, provides the long-term capital to be used for economic growth.
Intelligence comes in many shapes and forms that each follow a normal curve like many things in the world. To think that every child has the kind of intelligence required for a "desk job" is absurd. To burden our youth with the notion that they should all go to a 4-year college and get a desk job is just nonsense.
People should take stock of their natural capabilities and follow the path that will lead to them successfully leveraging their own intelligence, skills, and general interest. For some this is college, for others this is skilled labor, and for others this is ... the list goes on.
People are not homogeneous! We don't all fit into one category, and there is no one right solution that is appropriate for everyone. Instead of treating everyone as equal, and trying to make policies that force everyone into the same bin, we should recognize the inherent issue that humans are each different and diverse, and we should promote individuality and personal responsibility over mass equality and social support. For all the talk of "diversity", "acceptance", "tolerance" etc. you'd think that people from all circles would agree on this!
Governments should stop espousing this insane notion that everyone should follow the same educational path. Not only is this a money pit but, as we are seeing, it is also bad for our nations economic growth since it reduces savings and increases debt.
If you agree with what I've said, then express your individuality by voting your position. This is still the America that was built on pursuing one's dreams. Don't be talked into transforming America into a nation where people pursue what the government thinks their dream should be.
Disclosure: short many forms of US government debt