"The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants" - Albert Camus

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Reich Gets It About Higher Ed Ideals

Even a blind squirrel can find a nut sometimes, and even a broken clock is right twice a day!

I recently read an article by the prominent pseudo economist, Robert Reich, on student loans being the next bubble waiting to burst.  At about a trillion dollars, outstanding student loans are not necessarily huge (compared to mortgages or credit card debt for example) but the impact of widespread defaults would nevertheless be felt throughout the economy.  Reich concludes that college is not right for everyone.  He is right, as amazing as that is!

For decades now, progressive elitists have been encouraging college as a must if one has lofty caeer/financial goals.  As such, the government has made it easy, in fact enticing to some, to attend college.  The soaring demand for colleges has naturally caused tuition inflation that more than holds itself against rising healthcare, housing, and energy costs.  It is simple supply-demand relationship where increased demand and a relatively steady supply of the providers have resulted in tuition inflation. 

Yes, There Is a Student Loan Bubble

At the same time, the quality of education received at these colleges has arguably declined as more and more students are crammed in to classes.  So, now the problem is not only socialist/Marxist sympathizing professors continuing the brainwashing of public schools, but thoroughly unprepared students being crammed in to classes like cans of sardines where they learn nothing substantive. And how could they? 

Almost all people are born with the ability to critically analyze issues, but this ability remains dormant unless the mind is unleashed by proper training during formative years.  In the classical sense, education is a three stage process. There is a learning stage (called the grammar stage) when children are thought how to learn. Then, there is the logic stage when we are supposed to learn cause and affect relationships (how things relate in a logical framework). Finally, in the rhetoric stage, we sharpen our eloquence in conveying ideas. The shortcoming of many modern day school systems is that they do not effectively go past stage one – quite on purpose for those who have read my articles on cultural Marxism.  Had they done this, we would not be reading about studies that show that substantial portions of college students enter college sorely uninformed and graduate not much better off.

In contrast to the U.S., countries like Germany place great emphasis on technical vocational schools.  Not everyone is meant to become a scientist or an economist due to a variety of reasons.  These reasons can be intellectual in nature or as simple as lacking genuine interest in such fields.  After all, a society has just as legitimate needs for plumbers, electricians, and mechanics as it does for scientists or engineers.  Besides, what is better: getting a degree in art history at a cost of $200,000 and end up driving a truck or working as a retail clerk, or getting vocational training in, say, plumbing and making $30-$40 per hour (or more if one is enterprising in nature)?
Student loans are also a symptom of bigger problems:

1. The US spends twice as much per student as any other industrialized nation.
2. There are 1.2 support personnel for every teacher in the US
3. Support personnel account for 70% of discretionary education expenditures
4. 50% of degree plans have no value added component in the free market

Spending more money simply raises the cost further. It was Laffer who pointed out that no matter how much money is spent on a government entity that is not held accountable on a cost/benefit construct will always spend more than resources applied warrant.

Education is top heavy with people who have political agendas that are irrelevant to educating students. Billions of dollars is wasted on these positions to promote such that have no economic or social value.

It is abhorrent that student loans are granted for the self actualization degrees that have no economic value such as art history. If you want to "find" yourself, fine. Just don't stick us with the tab for your search for your inner self... and end up unemployable.

1 comment:

Gunny G said...

Indeed. Whatever happened to "putting yourself through college?"

My uncle did after Vietnam with the GI Bill AND working in a funeral home!