25 March, 2006

The Scam Called College

Posted by alex in college, frauds, respectability - the paste jewel at 5:11 am | Permanent Link

[From The Daily Reckoning]

Most of the money spent by most people is spent for reasons of vanity not necessity. Education included.

We made the point over dinner last night.

“But wait,” said Henry, “the more you know, the better off you are. That’s why people with more education earn more money.”

“That’s what all the studies show,” added his mother. “Henry, don’t pay any attention to your father. He’s just making one of his contrarian points. You’re going to college.”

“Post hoc ergo propter hoc,” we replied, delighted to have an opportunity to pull out one of the few Latin maxims we know.

“Dad…you don’t even know Latin. I know Latin…I’ve been studying it in school for the last three years.”

“Well, then you can tell us what that means…”

“It means…something like ‘after the fact…therefore causing the fact’…something like that.”

“Yes, it’s a typical logical error that people make. Just because the people who go to college earn more money, it doesn’t mean they would have earned any less if they had not gone to college. What if I drank a glass of water and then got sick. It doesn’t mean the glass of water made me sick.

“People who go to college tend to be from the middle classes and upper middle classes. People from these classes tend to get white-collar jobs, so they tend to earn more than people who get working-class jobs. As far as I know, no one has ever studied what happened to people with the same backgrounds, I.Q., family connections, ambitions, and so forth, who did not go to college. I’m just talking about liberal arts here…not about science or engineering. If you want to be a doctor, of course you have to go to school.

“But a couple of the smartest and most successful guys I ever met didn’t go to college. Actually, one of them did go and dropped out almost immediately. Of course, they’re both dead. Does that mean that if you don’t go to college you’ll die sooner? I bet the statistics show that too – but it’s nonsense.

“One of my friends started his own business and made a fortune. The other one didn’t make a lot of money, but he didn’t seem to want to. Both of them were very well read. In fact, one of them told me why he had dropped out. He said he stopped because it was interfering with his education. Those are the words he used. He wanted to read books that were important to him and instead he had to go to class and listen to lectures and so forth. Maybe he also felt he would feel compelled to participate in university life – keg parties, football games, campus rallies.”

“But all of that is important in helping to develop a young person, helping them make useful contacts, and helping them learn how to get along in the world, don’t you think?” asked Elizabeth.

We did not really have the last word in last night’s conversation; we rarely do. But at least we will have it in today’s Daily Reckoning:

“No…just the opposite. University life is a false life – massively subsidized by parents, dead alumni, and taxpayers. Real life is off campus, and students know it. That’s why they’re terrified of it. That’s why some never want to leave campus. When you’re in school, they tell you when the tests are coming. In real life, you never know when you’ll be tested…or how.”


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  7. 10 Responses to “The Scam Called College”

    1. Harry Tuttle Says:

      Most excellent.

      I wish they would carve that in 20 foot letters on the side of Harvard :

      “I DIDN’T WANT IT TO INTERFERE WITH MY EDUCATION.”

      Ditto.

    2. alex Says:

      Me three. All I wanted to read was conservative magazine and good books, but almost everything in liberal arts these days traces back to Marx. It’s not only wrong, it’s boring. And for this you pay these people. College has become a scam the middle class is too timid to call.

    3. Tim Says:

      A lot of time, effort and money are wasted in university system. If you want to learn about something, for the most part, you can do it more effectively on your own. One of the most knowledgeable engineers I know never went to college and has owned a couple of small companies. What you know comes down to sweat equity and brainpower and not a piece of paper you can hide behind.

      If you want to attend the public U I attended today, as part of your application, you must submit an essay detailing how diversity is good and how it has enriched your life and that it is worth striving for, etc. PC kills souls. Some day we should sue the university system for reparations.

    4. JC Says:

      30 some years ago, I got a bachelor’s degree from a state university and I’m still struggling to recover from the propaganda administered at a formative time in my development. K-12 was the biggest problem however.

    5. alex Says:

      I think there is value in paying for targeted, technical education. The problem is in the general education arena, which has been taken over by the judeo-left. True liberal education can be had, but not from any institution I’m aware of.

    6. JC Says:

      At an agricultural and mechanical (A & M) land grant college in an agricultural area, you would think there would be little political radicalism. I went through the California State College/University system, when Ronald Reagan was governor, university chancellor, and inventing neo-conservatism. The science and philosophy classes were solid but the English and art departments (which I avoided both instinctively) were filled with Jews and feminists of the worst sort. It was a bizarre time. The so called Free Speech Movement, the Vietnam anti-war movement, MEChA, Aztlan, Chicano student crap was being promoted on campus, complete with destructive riots. Marijuana and Jew rock, e.g., Country Joe McDonald, was de rigeur. Humanistic psychology, sensitivity training, encounter groups, Esalen, and the Haight Ashbury flower scene were “happening.” And of course the Chicago Seven, Jew Abbie Hoffman, the Weather underground, and Patti “Tanya” Hurst were influential with many California “students.” I recall a girlfiend and her more hippy sisters being fascinated by the kibbutz concept and considered spending a summer in Israel (Their father was of Finnish extraction– descended from politically obsequious
      survivors, and an Army officer in the Phoenix program. When Reagan used the California Highway Patrol to regain order on campus, people with more common sense than the student community applauded the swing in what was apparently the other direction, namely statism. Dialectics. Had I been more than an observer, there would have been no time to have learned marketable skills.

    7. Olde Dutch Says:

      I really enjoyed my years at Confederate Methodist University & Former Bible College. They were some of the best years of my life. Looking back there are a few things that I wish I had taken advantage of now. But, there were only 24 hours in a day back then—now there are even fewer!

    8. Carpenter Says:

      The essay says: “I’m just talking about liberal arts here…not about science or engineering. If you want to be a doctor, of course you have to go to school.”

      Exactly. So the name of the essay shouldn’t be The Scam Called College, which is misleading, but The Scam Called Liberal Arts. Doctors, engineers, accountants, lawyers, dentists and others all need a concentrated education that almost noone can obtain without going to college. Maybe you could when teeth were pulled out by the guy who made the town’s horseshoes, but not today.

      Most of the society-oriented stuff is worthless propaganda, that’s the point that should be made. However, that doesn’t mean that some of it isn’t useful, or that in White hands the liberal arts wouldn’t contribute to society. Though through much fewer students, as much fewer than we have today are needed.

    9. enric Says:

      As far as I know, no one has ever studied what happened to people with the same backgrounds, I.Q., family connections, ambitions, and so forth, who did not go to college.
      http://www.Johnbeckland.com/john-beck.html

    10. jemmy Says:

      I don know but why i don find such informative and profitable blogs so often,I suspect

      blogging world is becoming so small that we cant find such lucrative blogs like this one.