Rantings and tirades of a frustrated economist.
I was in an office the other day, and there was really cute young girl working as the receptionist. We were chatting a bit as I waited for my meeting. She said she had just started there, so I asked her what she did before this job. "I was in school", she replied. She then went on to say "I am really proud to be among the 15% of college graduates to find a job."My mouth just dropped, only 15% of college graduates are getting jobs?? What is the point of college??Any way you can verify that Stat? That is a staggering stat!
Eh, it could all depend on her major, where she went to college, something she heard at a party. It would not surprise me however.
At least the first student knew exactly what he was getting into and dual majored in mathimatics. The rest are just foolish.Too bad we heavily subsidize the tuition for these worthless "hobby" degrees and then bail them out with socialism when they can't earn a living.The best solution for this problem is a true free market in education. No taxpayer subsidies (Pell grants, subsidized loans, in state tuition, etc.) that make these hobby degrees affordable. Make the students bear the full cost of their hobby degrees. Even those who want worthy degrees will benefit because it will force Big Education to cut the fat and waste so the worthy degrees are still affordable.
Pretty interesting observation on my part.Across the board, each and every one of them say their degree will not result in income. Yet, not a single one would have done anything different given the opportunity to do it over.And, therein lies the problem. The youth of today do not see anything wrong with spending money they do not have on something they do not need. And, somehow they consider it an investment.I see nothing wrong with trying to improve your understanding of the human condition, through psychology, literature, religion, whatever. I have a problem when you spend a boatload of money that you do not have doing so, then get upset at the very society that you claim to have studied because they are not paying you for you wisdom. (Oh, and let's not forget, expecting them to pay off your student loans as well.)
Those individuals will probably have a better chance coming from Stanford, instead of Chico State, with their respective degrees.20-30 years ago if you had a Stanford degree it did not matter what you majored in. Maybe not so true today.
About a year ago, when I had a job, I was talking to a customer who was looking for a Stanford hat (we sold hats, lots of hats). I asked him what he studied at Stanford, and he told me Political Science.What did he do now? He was a plumber. Making decent money, but there was no need to spend 150,000 dollars on a degree to be a plumber, obviously. Me? I studied philosophy. Sigh.
Well, 5 years or so of State-sponsored daycare for adults, complete with partying and whoring doesn't sound like a bad deal.Oh, wait, you will be enslaved for the rest of your life for it.Even education majors are smart enough to know what doesn't lead to a "Would you like fries with that" job.
These kids are not really representative of those affected by the "higher education bubble." First, I will bet that not a single one will owe a penny in student loans. Most the students at a top-5 school like Stanford come from affluent families who can afford to pay for their kids' education, while the ones from poor families get a full ride in need-based aid. Second, being Stanford students, they will all be able to find gainful employment that keeps them off of government benefits, even if it doens't make them rich. This is not because of the value of their Stanford degrees; it is because of what their Stanford acceptance letters say about them. People who can get into Stanford are extremely intelligent, dedicated, and versatile. They will be able to make enough money to support themselves and their families no matter what they majored in. These kids were offered a chance to study whatever they wanted at one of the best universities in the world at little or no cost to themselves. If they decide to choose a field of study that doesn't translate immediately into a lucrative career, as long as they know what they are getting into, I have no problem with that. I do have a problem with the kids of average intelligence and lackluster motivation who are talked into taking on $50,000 or more in student loan debt to go to a mediocre state school or low-end private school where they major in sociology or English or political science and come out in worse shape than they went in. Many colleges, with the help of the student loan industry and the federal government, are putting the next generation into modern-day debt peonage.
For people who don't need to go to university because they need job training, and can afford to do it without going into debt, go for it. I applaud you for doing it. I suspect that the people in this article fit that bill. What I object to is what I call educational inflation. This is what leads to situations like in the first comment where you need a university degree to get a job as a receptionist. - Minuteman
I am struck by the intense narcissism of the student replies, as well as their vapidity. Two of them speak in an uninformed way about the sciences, or about their fellow students in science.No, these children, and I use the word with deliberation and with contempt, are not educated nor are they thinkers. Nor do they give any signs of becoming useful members of society. They do write better than most graduates, I will give them that.
"Stanford University's Structured Liberal Education program"LMAO, that's all you need to read to know it's worthless horseshit!"I've derived no tangible benefits from my study of comparative literature." -- but I am $100K in debt and have no prospect of a real job, bwahahaha!"When I look at my final transcript in June, I won't be looking at a résumé. I'll be looking at the classes that taught me who to be, what to want, and why it matters." -- then I will practice saying "you want fries with that?""The end point of my study is not clear; no laboratory awaits me after I graduate. That is the inherent challenge of the humanities life: demonstrating the pragmatic, productive value of my work." -- it is demonstrably worthless, so I guess you're fucked, baby!"Most importantly, I know that I have taken the courageous path toward the striving life." -- yeah, a life of striving to pay off huge debt with a puny salary."I have found creative writing to be a sanctuary in the humanities, an observatory of the human conscious." -- too bad you will all very soon be kicked out of your sanctuary and forced to live in the real world."I study the humanities to become a cartographer of histories, a physician of social inequity, and a rocketeer of cultural fluidity." -- yes, yes, all you humanities tools want to pretend the crap you study is as useful, interesting, and difficult as real science, but that's a bunch of shit and we all know it, even you.
I am struck by the intense narcissism of the student replies, as well as their vapidity.You don't talk to a lot of college students, do you?At least the replies were coherent and literate (though who knows, the editor might be responsible for that) which is not the case with many college students.
and of course the comments section on the page turned into a "race" war about who can be the most sensitive to the feelings of minorities
As always when hearing the opinions of college kids, I would like to hear them on the same subject 10 years hence.Further to what JSO said, herewith the first comment on the article,"I guess all the black students were not available for interviews?How predictable in our culture of fake "inclusiveness"Imagine if we weren't so "tolerant" either.P.S. I am not black."26 people "liked" this comment at the time I read it
If some youngster wants to major in basket weaving because they have a passion for it, more power to them. But taxpayers shouldn't subsidize it.
Let's be clear about what "liberal arts" is. It is education for education's sake. It is NOT about finding a career doing it, unless you are one of the few gifted people who go on to get a Ph.D. in the subject.Liberal arts were formed by the children of wealthy people who had private tutors and studied in daddy's library. Or they were the learned scholars supported by some wealthy patron.The liberal arts are useful. Philosophy is helpful to both math and economics. English is good for any major. History is good for any citizen. But as majors, they are nearly worthless. On the other hand, they are probably more qualified to teach our kids than Education majors.There is a time and a place for studying the liberal arts - evenings and weekends at home, and during your bus ride home from work.I just finished reading The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and The Road to Serfdom. I've been reading Nichomachean Ethics on my Kindle during my commute. Next up is Democracy in America and the Art of War. All of the classics are FREE on Amazon and Google Books. The great literature has never been more cheap and accessible.Stanford's undergraduate population is 12% black compared to 3% at Berkeley. They couldn't find one?
I think these students make great arguments for a liberal arts education. Studying philosophy, history, and literature can be immensely rewarding. The problem is paying money for it.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymsHLkB8u3s
OK, let's keep in mind that there are two definitions of liberal arts; more or less Plato's (existed from Plato all the way to this century), and that which exists today. Plato's was the thought patterns of a free man, loosely described as grammar, rhetoric, dialectic, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music. Today's is a "broad based education."Even without Plato's definitions, I think we can see a fairly significant difference between the two. Plato taught a man how to think; Stanford, what to think.
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