Colleges and Universities take Advantage of Students to keep that Tuition Money flowing into Big Education

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 16th, 2014

Week in Review

Getting a college degree is expensive.  Because the greedy rich people running our colleges and universities keep raising the cost of tuition, forcing students to take out bigger and bigger student loans to satiate their greed.  And to make matters worse they often sell them worthless degrees for the current marketplace.  Often giving students poor advice.  Getting them to commit to those big student loans by hook or crook.  Taking advantage of these young students’ trust in them.  Anything to keep that money flowing into Big Education (see What you wish you’d known about college ahead of time by Caitlin Moran posted 2/14/2014 on The Seattle Times).

We received several thoughtful responses to our most recent reader question, which asked: “What do you wish you had known about college ahead of time..?”

Here are a few examples of what our readers said they wish they had known about college when they were younger. Some responses have been edited for length and grammar.

I wish I had known to do more research about my major and what it would actually do for me job-wise. I don’t use my degree for my job now, and I keep hearing about many people who take out huge school loans and graduate with few job skills. I worked my way through school, which was not fun, but at least I got out of college debt free. With recent tuition hikes, getting out debt free is much harder, and students need to make sure the loans will be worth it…

I wish I’d known I should know more about the world before going to college, so I had some idea why I was going. Had I known more about careers, skills and background for careers, and myself, I would have made different choices in college. I wish I had worked for a year or two, known what it was like, and known more about what I wanted.

Of course Big Education is not all that concerned about giving you the skills and background you need for a successful career.  They just want your money.  And to turn you into Democrat voters.  While keeping you Democrat voters as long as possible.  And being indebted by a degree that doesn’t help you make any more money than you could have without that degree goes a long way of making you dependent on Democrats in government.  Because rich and successful people need no help from the government.  Ergo the selling of so many worthless degrees.  To keep these people from becoming rich and successful.  Where they might do something harmful to Big Education.  Like voting Republican.

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Democrats help Colleges and Universities sell kids Useless Degrees with no Market Value

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 29th, 2013

Week in Review

All you hear from Washington is that we need to spend more on education.  We need to help more kids afford a college education.  To help subsidize the high cost of education.  Though they never question why the cost of education is so high.  Never.  Tuition keeps going up.  And they keep saying we need to spend more on education.

More people than ever are going on to college.  Because it’s a lot of fun.  Drinking and partying.  The drugs.  The sex.  Kids love getting out from underneath their parent’s supervision.  And going to a party college.  Where they can have a good time.  All of the time.  Of course, taking tough majors could get in the way of that fun.  Like math and science majors.  The kind of majors businesses are hiring out of college.  But these majors are hard.  And do intrude on that fun.  So a lot of kids take easier majors.  They still pay a fortune for them.  But their universities and colleges gladly take their money knowing full well that their odds of getting a job with that major are slim (see Duke Grad Student Secretly Lived In a Van to Escape Loan Debt by Mandi Woodruff, Business Insider, posted 12/27/2013 on Yahoo! Finance).

Yahoo editors have selected this article as a favorite of 2013. It first ran on Yahoo Finance on June 10 and was one of the most popular stories of the year. The article details the extreme lengths Ken Ilgunas went to in order to pay back his big student debt bill.

By the time Ken Ilgunas was wrapping up his last year of undergraduate studies at the University of Buffalo in 2005, he had no idea what kind of debt hole he’d dug himself into.

He had majored in the least marketable fields of study possible — English and History — and had zero job prospects after getting turned down for no fewer than 25 paid internships.

“That was a wake-up call,” he told Business Insider. “I had this huge $32,000 student debt and at the time I was pushing carts at Home Depot, making $8 an hour. I was just getting kind of frantic.”

Back then, student loans had yet to become the front page news they are today. Ilgunas could have simply deferred his loans or declared forbearance. He also could have asked his parents (who were more than willing to help) for a leg up. He could have thrown up his hands and gone to grad school until the job market bounced back.

Instead, he moved to Alaska and spent two years paying back every dime. And when he enrolled at Duke University for graduate school later, he lived out of his van to be sure he wouldn’t have to take out loans again.

Ken’s story is a little different as he really wanted to be a writer.  And he took whatever job he could to repay his student loan.  And then earned his master’s without another student loan.  But there are so many kids who are enticed to take on great student loan debt to earn a degree that has little market value in a high-tech economy.  And our colleges and universities sell these degrees to these unsuspecting kids.  They get their money.  Allowing tenured professors and college administrators to live the good life.  While these kids are stuck paying off their debt with their $8/hour jobs that they could have gotten without that expensive college degree.  Or taxpayers end up paying for them.  With taxpayer-subsidies.  Or student loan bailouts.  Which may be coming if Democrats get their way.

Our colleges and universities are slinging these useless degrees for the money.  For higher education is a business.  And a profitable one.  The one type of business that the left doesn’t mind making a profit.  Even an obscene profit.

The Democrats help them with cheap student loans, subsidies and the promise of bailouts to keep that money flowing to them.  And in exchange they teach our kids how to be good Democrat voters.  Which they do.  As the vast majority of our young vote Democrat.  Even when they have to repay their student loans with their $8/hour jobs.  But that may change.  As more of them can’t find work with their expensive degrees they may dissuade their friends and younger siblings from making the same mistake.  Especially as they now have to deal with the high cost of the Affordable Care Act.  Which may be the tipping point for the young.  For as much as the Democrats say they are looking out for them their lives just don’t get better when Democrats win elections.

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FT200: “Only force can make people live in a world without choice.” —Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 13th, 2013

Fundamental Truth

College Students and Hippies of Yesteryear have a Soft Spot for their Communist Heroes

The hippies in the Sixties saw a brotherhood of man.  They wanted to link arms and sing Kumbaya.  Live in their communes.  Get high.  Have unprotected sex with multiple partners who bathed infrequently.  While being one with nature.  And poop and pee in the great outdoors.  Like the animals.  Only with less grooming.  For they hated the Man.  And didn’t want anything to do with their parent’s generation.  They protested any figure of authority.  Protested the Vietnam War.  And protested against their government.  Speaking truth to power.  And yearned to bring the Marxist-Leninist revolution to America.

The hippies were rabid anti-capitalists.  Which is why they loved communism.  Where there were no possessions.  No religion.  Or greed or hunger.  Just imagine all the people sharing all the world.  Words from John Lennon’s song Imagine).  Former Beatle.  And one of the leaders of the counterrevolution.  Not to be confused with the other Lenin.  Vladimir Ilich Lenin.  Of Soviet Marxism-Leninism fame.  Or, rather, infamy.  One of many icons of the counterrevolution.  Along with Mao Zedong.  Ho Chi Minh.  Fidel Castro.  And, of course, Che Guevara.  Whose bearded and beret-wearing image adorns many a university dorm room wall and student t-shirt to this day.

College students today, just as the hippies of yesteryear, still have a soft spot for their communist heroes.  Thanks to many of these hippies of yesteryear having joined the establishment.  And are now teaching our kids in college the evils of capitalism and the goodness of government.  Despite their one-time fierce opposition to the Man.  Guess things change once you get money.  Like someone in the rock band The Who said when asked if he still hopes to die before he gets old (a line from My Generation-a song about youthful angry rebellion against their parent’s generation).  The reply was that being old wasn’t all that bad when you were rich.  Something the old hippies of the Sixties no doubt discovered.  And best of all they got rich by taking money from the capitalist pigs.  Their students’ rich parents.  Or the taxpayers who worked in that detested capitalist system.

Nations with the Marxist Brotherhood of Man with No Possessions have been the Worst Places to Live

It is ironic that without capitalism these communist-loving parasites could not be parasites.  For if no one was creating economic activity there would be no income to tax.  Or to pay for the one thing growing more expensive than health care.  College tuition.  Interestingly, there is no ‘Obamacare’ for our colleges and universities.  No.  They never label them greedy despite their being the greediest of them all.  But you know who they do label as greedy?  The taxpayers who oppose higher taxes to pay for the ever higher cost of higher education.  They’re the greedy ones.  Not the old hippies of the Sixties.  And their fellow anti-capitalists.

Another interesting thing about these anti-capitalists?  They yearn for one-party rule.  Which is why public education teaches our kids to distrust capitalism and to trust government.  And our colleges and universities teach our kids to be ashamed of their nation’s past.  And the importance of diversity.  Which is code for anything that isn’t American.  For America was founded by rich white slave-owners who stole the land from the Native Americans.  And America’s imperialist aggression is the only source of strife in the world today.  While ignoring the expanding communist revolution that was spreading out from the Soviet Union into the Eastern Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas.  The one ideology that has killed more people than any other.  Through state oppression, wars and famine.

Yes, this brotherhood of man where there are no possessions have been in fact the worst places to live.  The Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, Mao’s Peoples Republic of China, North Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Cuba, etc.  These are all nations that had gulags or reeducation camps for political prisoners.  Those people who spoke—or thought—truth to power.  They all had police states where the people lived in fear of their government.  They suffered for the want of the most basic items (soap, toilet paper, etc.).  There was state censorship.  They persecuted anyone practicing any religion.  The people suffered from constant hunger.  And the occasional famine.  They killed anyone trying to escape their communist utopia.  Or sent them off to hard labor and torture.  If they escaped successfully then the state punished any family remaining behind.  To warn others what would happen if they escaped their communist utopia.

The Great Flaw of Socialism is being unable to Determine What is the Greater Good

Why did these communist states have police states and brutally oppress their people?  Because they had to.  When the communists built the Berlin Wall it wasn’t to keep people from West Berlin out of East Berlin.  It was to stop people escaping from East Berlin to West Berlin.  For the East Germans were suffering a terrific brain drain.  Capitalists believe in liberty.  The freedom to do what they want.  And to get paid for their services.  A highly skilled doctor expects a higher salary than a janitor.  And that just isn’t going to happen in a communist state.  You get what the state gives you.  No more.  Creating a heck of a free rider problem.  When your economic system works based on the Marxist premise from each according to ability to each according to need what you get is a lot of people showing little ability and a lot of need.  For the more ability you had the harder they forced you to work.  While the greater your need the more you got.  Such a system encourages people to do the minimum and not be extraordinary.  Which is why Sony, Samsung, Microsoft, Apple, The Beatles, etc., did not come from communist countries.

A communist state has a planned economy.  Instead of a free market economy.  Communist state planners manage the economy from top down.  Telling the raw material industry what materials to extract.  They tell what factories get these raw materials and what they are to build.  Etc.  Whereas in a free market economy the economy is driven bottom up by the consumers.  When consumers start buying a lot of one thing the price for that one thing rises.  Attracting other businesses into the market to meet that rising demand.  Who place orders with their wholesalers.  Who place orders with their manufacturers.  Who place orders with their industrial processors.  Who place orders with their raw material extractors.  Hundreds of thousands of decisions happen as this consumer demand travels up the stages of production in a free market economy.  Giving the people what they want.  And not what a state planner decides to give to the people.

This is why communist (and socialist) states are oppressive dictatorships.  Because state planners decide for the people.  Which must start with the supreme decision maker.  The Joseph Stalin, the Mao Zedong, the Ho Chi Minh, the Kim Jong Un, the Raul Castro, the Hugo Chávez, etc.  And these people don’t take polls or hold elections.  Well, at least elections that are legitimate.  Kim Jong Un continues the state policy of his predecessors.  No economic reform.  Money goes to the military first (especially for his nuclear toys) and whatever is left over may go to the people.  And anyone who disagrees with him or thinks wrong goes to the gulag.  Or is executed.  Like his uncle.  While the people suffer the want of the most basic things.  Like food.  North Korea to this day still suffers the occasional famine because of its economic policies.  But one problem the North Koreans don’t have?  Deciding where to go for lunch.

“Where do you want to eat?  I don’t know, where do you want to eat?”  This can go on until someone forceful makes the decision for the group.  Often making no one happy.  But it will end the endless “where do you want to eat?”  This is the great flaw of socialism.  Being unable to determine what is the greater good.  Because people rarely agree on what’s best for other people.  Just look at the recent budget agreement that made few people happy.  They were unhappy because they disagreed on what was the greater good.  People are different.  One size does not fit all.  You just can’t please all of the people all of the time.  So you have to force your will on the people.  The only mechanism that makes socialism work.  Force.  Because people can rarely agree on where to go to lunch let alone national policy.  And this is why all communist/socialist states end in brutal dictatorships.  Because only force can make people live in a world without choice.

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FT178: “Birth control and abortion are the greatest threats to liberalism. ” —Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - July 12th, 2013

Fundamental Truth

Liberals seem more Mainstream than they are because they hold Key Positions of Power

Liberals have one very unpleasant fact to deal with.  Theirs is a minority viewpoint.  According to Gallup (see Conservatives Remain the Largest Ideological Group in U.S. by Lydia Saad posted 1/12/2012 on Gallup), the American people identify themselves in 2010 as follows: conservative (40%), moderate (35%) and liberal (21%).  And the above referenced Gallup poll shows that the American people haven’t trended far from these numbers since 1992.

So the liberal cause is an uphill battle to begin with.  As 79% of the American people do not identify themselves with their views.  Which are basically a bigger, activist government.  More rules and regulations in our personal lives.  More fun and less restraint.  More casual sex and less traditional marriage.  Keynesian economic policies where the government plays with interest rates, creating large asset bubbles (such as housing bubbles) which give us very long and painful recessions to undo the damage an activist Keynesian government makes.  Like the subprime mortgage crisis.  Anti-energy policies that increase the cost of energy so they can subsidize more costly green energy.  Free birth control and access to abortion on demand.  And Obamacare.  To name a few.

Some may feel that liberalism is more mainstream than the poll numbers suggest.  But that’s only because though their numbers are small they hold key positions of power.  They control the public schools.  And our colleges and universities.  They control the mainstream media.  And the entertainment industry.  Giving liberals a very powerful bully pulpit.  When late-night television ridicules conservatives millions of impressionable people see it.  And see how cool it is to ridicule conservatives.   Reinforcing everything they’ve learned in our public schools, colleges, universities, mainstream media and, of course, the entertainment industry.  Yet despite all of this the best they can do is to get 21% of the people to think like them.  To want what they want.  And to do as they want them to do.

A Liberal Woman uses Birth Control and Abortion to keep her Fertility Rate Lower than a Conservative Woman’s

Why is this?  Because of parents.  Perhaps the greatest obstacle liberals have in transforming the country into the European social democracy they want.  With them sitting atop the power structure.  Much like the aristocracy of the Old World where they were free to tell people to do as they say, not as they do.  For while forcing their highly regulated world upon us they will exempt themselves from the less pleasant things.  Putting themselves above the laws they don’t like but feel are in our best interests.  Which we would understand if only we were as smart as them.

And every time they turn around there is some parent trying to undo all of their work.  For they only have our children for less than a third of a day, 5 days a week.  Worse, they don’t even get our kids into their education camps, I mean, schools, until they’ve lived exclusively with their parents for 5 or 6 years.  If you ever wondered why the Democrats are always pushing for state-funded childcare this is the reason.  To get to our kids sooner.  Before their parents can warp their minds with non-liberal viewpoints.  Like not to fear the coming apocalypse of global warming.  In fact some of these parents are such poor parents that they’ll load their kids into a gas-guzzling, carbon-polluting SUV and take them on a vacation.  Letting a child enjoy being in a big, comfortable and safe vehicle out on the open road.  Before liberals can teach them later that all of those things are bad.  And wrong.  But the real problem liberals have with parents like these is that there are just so many of them.  Ironically, because of liberal policies that have altered fertility rates.  Thanks to birth control and abortion.  And their attacks on the traditional family.

Fertility Liberals vs Conservatives R1

Earlier we discussed replacement birthrates (see Aging Populations and Replacement Birthrate posted 7/8/2013 on Pithocrates).  The current U.S. population is about 314 million.  Using the Gallup numbers we calculated the number of liberals and conservatives in that 314 million and entered them into the beginning populations above.  We assumed a generation lasting 20 years where couples will each bring in 1.5 babies if they’re liberals.  Below the replacement birthrate.  And 2.5 babies if they’re conservatives.  Above the replacement birthrate.  A conservative couple will have on average one more baby than a liberal couple.  Because a conservative woman will live a closer life to the traditional family.  While the liberal woman may pursue a career and not be interested in having children.  Using birth control and abortion to keep her fertility rate lower than the conservative woman.

The Liberals’ Rise to Power was Slow and Steady via Incremental Change all but Unnoticeable to Each Generation

If we add the number of liberals and conservatives together (we’ll call it the L/C Universe) they total approximately 191 million people.  Where liberals make up 34% of the L/C Universe.  While conservatives make up 66% of the L/C Universe.  As we move through 4 generations we see how the population increases.  The liberal population grows 838%.  While the conservative population grows 2,463%.  Because of that extra baby per couple on average the conservative population grows over 5 times more than the liberal population.  Dropping the liberals down to only 16% of the L/C Universe.  While increasing the conservatives to 84% of the L/C Universe.

If you ever wondered why the Democrats are pushing so hard for immigration reform this is why.  The liberal elite know their policies to encourage women to do anything BUT have babies threatens their long-term hold on power.  That’s why they pander to blacks, women, the young, etc.  They shower them with benefits and/or policies that make their lives a lot more fun.  Such as free birth control.  And accessible abortion.  Things that really appeal to the young voter.  Because that’s what they have on the mind most of the time.  Casual and consequence-free sex.  By treating pregnancy as a disease.  To be prevented (birth control).  Or cured (abortion).  But in the wake of these policies is a dearth of new liberal voters.  Which they hope to replace with immigration reform.  Hoping that those they bring into the population vote Democrat.  Grateful for their path to citizenship.  To make up for all the babies that never were.  Thanks to liberal attacks on the traditional family.

Unless the liberals can take our children away from us sooner and keep them longer (to countermand any conservative education their parents give them) their lower fertility rates will push liberalism to extinction.  How ironic indeed that the very policies that liberals and conservatives bitterly fight over the most may lead to their fall from power.  Birth control.  And abortion.  The greatest threats to liberalism.  Their rise to power was slow and steady through incremental change.  Almost unnoticeable to each generation.  As will be their fall.  Unless, of course, they use extralegal tactics to get around the will of the people.  Such as ruling by executive order.  And using the courts to make law the Congress won’t.  But what are the odds of that ever happening?

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As the Liberal Curriculum took over our Public Schools an Educational Decline Began

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 2nd, 2012

Week in Review

Thanks to the recent election in the US we know what’s important to women.  Birth control and abortion.  And we know what’s important to young people.  Thanks to two states decriminalizing marijuana.  So with our young people focusing more on sex and getting high is it any surprise that they’re not studying hard in high school to go on to college?  No.  And it’s no surprise that the United States has fallen from first to fourteenth in graduation rates.  And why Europeans and Asians outperform Americans on tests.  For young Americans just have other things on their mind than school (see Downward mobility haunts US education by Sean Coughlan posted 12/2/2012 on BBC News Business).

Andreas Schleicher, special adviser on education at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), says the US is now the only major economy in the world where the younger generation is not going to be better educated than the older.

“It’s something of great significance because much of today’s economic power of the United States rests on a very high degree of adult skills – and that is now at risk,” says Mr Schleicher.

“These skills are the engine of the US economy and the engine is stuttering,” says Mr Schleicher, one of the world’s most influential experts on international education comparisons…

It’s easy to overlook the dominance of US higher education in the post-war era – or how closely this was linked to its role as an economic, scientific and military superpower…

The spiralling cost of higher education in the United States is often cited as a barrier – and the collective student debt has exceeded a trillion dollars…

The rising cost of higher education is a deterrent. And there is a wider question of finance for higher education at state level.

He also says there is another “dirty little secret” of US higher education – that too many people who enrol at university fail to graduate – which pushes down the graduation rate in international comparisons.

Everyone can agree that the high cost of education is a problem.  But we never seem to blame our schools for the high prices they charge.  We’ll attack health insurance companies.  Hospitals.  Pharmaceutical companies.  We attack and regulate these industries to combat their high prices.  Yet we do nothing to the colleges and universities that charge high prices.  Other than try to help them charge high prices by subsidizing the high cost of tuition.

And those low graduation rates?  That’s pretty sad.  Considering that since many students today are taking the easy degree programs.  So their educational responsibilities don’t intrude on their partying time.  Getting useless degrees in disciplines like gender studies.  Instead of science and engineering.  Degrees that are actually useful in a high-tech economy.

This decline in American education excellence just so happens to coincide with the rise of multiculturalism in our public schools.  Outcomes-based education.  And getting participation ribbons instead of trophies for winning.  When the liberal agenda took over the educational curriculum.  So instead of teaching students reading, writing and arithmetic we’re teaching them about global warming and the evils of capitalism.  And how it’s okay if Heather has two mommies.

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Universities are more Interested in Government Grant Money than Teaching their Pesky Students

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 6th, 2012

Week in Review

Education is sacred.  For in all the budget debates.  In all the class warfare.  One field is exempt from that one most disparaging label.  Greedy.  Everyone is greedy in Western Civilization.  Except the universities and the professors.  Who make more and more while working less and less.  And hand out degrees that have little value in the modern economy.  No.  Their greed is never called out.  These people who add little to our economic wellbeing.  While those who do are called every filthy and vile name in the book.  Because education is sacred.  Apparently.  No matter how substandard it is (see Professors should teach more classes: Experts by Antonella Artuso posted 5/6/2012 on the Toronto Sun).

Ontario’s post-secondary system could improve the quality of students’ education and save money by sending more professors back to class, some experts say.

There is rising concern that hundreds of thousands of Ontario undergraduate students are being short changed by a university system that values research ahead of teaching…

Ontario undergraduate university students learn in ever larger classes and often emerge from their pricey education without the skills they need to find work in a modern economy, he said…

There has long been an informal working ratio for professors — 40% of their time spent on research, 40% on teaching and 20% on administrative duties.

Economist Don Drummond, who chaired the Dalton McGuinty government’s Commission on the Reform of Ontario’s Public Services, concluded universities — and even a few colleges — now aggressively chase provincial and federal research grants with some institutions using undergraduate tuition fees to pursue government funds…

University of Toronto Professor Ian Clark, co-author of Academic Reform, said the Ontario and federal governments have ramped up research grants in the hope — one that’s shared by most developed nations — that the investment will stimulate the economy.

Professors now spend more time on research, teaching an average of two courses a term, down from three courses a term about 20 years ago, Clark said.

At the same time, there’s been a strong public push to increase the number of Ontarians with a post-secondary education, leading to a 50% jump in undergraduate students over a decade.

“You’re getting less than half as much time per student per faculty member as there used to be. Inevitably, it’s leading to bigger classes and more use of teaching assistants,” said Clark, a former president of the Council of Ontario Universities. “That, we assert — and so do many, many others — is leading to a decline in the quality of the undergraduate education that Ontario students receive…”

Constance Adamson, president of the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA), said professors are aware that class sizes are getting larger, but the fault lies not with the focus on research, but with chronic underfunding of the post-secondary system.

Really?  The problem is chronic underfunding?  It has nothing to do with universities running after all that free government money?  The professors are teaching one less course a term.  Why?  Because they’re too busy chasing all of that free government money.  No wonder these kids are graduating lacking the necessary skills to make it in the modern economy.  Their education is only a distraction to these professors.  Who spend as little time involved in it as possible.  Why?  Because that’s why God made graduate students.

This isn’t a problem unique to the Canadians.  Throughout the world a university degree is becoming a birthright.  More and more kids are going to university.  Because we tell them it’s the gateway to success and wealth.  The problem is that not only are we giving them a part-time, half-hearted education, a lot of the degrees we’re giving them are worthless in the modern economy.  Liberal arts.  Social sciences.  Women studies.  Etc.  None of which are in high demand in the modern high-tech economy.

Perhaps these are the reasons those angry unemployed university graduates are protesting capitalism in all of those occupy movements.  They borrowed a fortune for those degrees.   That were supposed to give them success and wealth.  Only to find that they got huge student loan debts.  For a worthless, part-time, half-hearted education.  Worse, these university graduates don’t even understand capitalism.  For it isn’t capitalism that failed them.  It was their leftist universities that failed them.  Who gave them a substandard education.  While charging them a premium for it.  But do these kids protest these universities or their professors?  No.  They’re protesting the businesses that can’t hire these graduates without spending a fortune on them.  To give them a useful education.  That their university was supposed to provide them.

That’s how bad our education systems have become.  Our universities draw these kids in.  These pesky students.  Selling them a useless degree.  That these kids should have known were worthless.  I mean, exactly what kind of high-paying job do these kids think their degrees in the liberal arts, social sciences, women studies, etc., will prepare them for?  Stock analyst?  Investment banker?  Research engineer?  Doctor?  The truth is that many of these degrees these kids are graduating with have very little if any value in the market place.  In fact the only thing they’re qualified for is to teach these worthless degrees to other unsuspecting students. 

And yet they protest capitalism.  Not the people who made them unfit to enter the world of capitalism.  Which is yet another sad commentary on today’s educational standards.

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Chinese Girls can’t Catch a Break from the Womb to University

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 10th, 2012

Week in Review

Chinese girls just can’t get a break.  From the moment of conception it’s an uphill battle for them.  Because of China’s limit on family size and a culture that favors boys a lot of girls don’t make it out of the womb.  Those who do are treated as second class citizens.  In their families.  And in society.  Because Chinese culture just favors boys.  And now this.  Girls face another injustice for just being smarter than boys (see Bars should be lowered for boys in exams, lawmaker says by Gao Changxin and Wang Hongyi posted 3/9/2012 on China Daily USA).

A lawmaker’s proposal to give male students gender-specific education and easier access to college has sparked controversy.

Wang Ronghua, who is also director of the Shanghai Education Development Foundation, said male students are increasingly under-represented in the country’s leading schools and colleges, and are outperformed by female students in college entrance exams.

This under-representation, he claimed, will have a negative impact on the country’s science and technology innovation and international competitiveness…

The reason for that, Wang said, is that male students mature slower than their female counterparts in self-control and language abilities, which are emphasized in the current entrance exams.

Wang recommends that high school education should be more “differentiated” to give male students opportunities to develop their natural advantages in creative and practical skills…

Sun Baohong, a researcher at Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, said boys don’t do so well at school because they are generally spoiled by their families, as Chinese society traditionally has a preference for sons.

Talk about a political hot potato.  How does an American liberal feminist comment on this story?  Who supports affirmative action to increase the underrepresentation of black students in American universities?  Will they agree in an affirmative action program to increase the enrollment of underrepresented boys in Chinese universities?  Or will they oppose it?  While supporting that same policy in America?  A fascinating conundrum for the liberal feminist.  And one that would be equally fascinating to hear one respond to.

This is something that Condoleezza Rice can sympathize with as both a woman and as a black American.  Whose parents taught her she had to work harder than her white peers to get as far in life as they did.  And she did.  Without complaining about the injustice of it.  And look where it took her.  The fourth most powerful position in America in the presidential line of succession.  Secretary of State.  No small achievement.  For a woman.  Or a man. 

So why are the Chinese girls doing better than the boys?  For the same reason Condoleezza Rice had to work harder than her white peers.  Because her white peers were treated like Chinese boys where she grew up.  The deck was stacked against her.  While her white peers were spoiled by their families.  And by society.  But having to work harder made her smarter.  And more successful.  Just like those Chinese girls.  Who are smarter than the Chinese boys.  And these girls can be more successful one day.  If only they had the same opportunities that Condoleezza Rice had in the segregated South.

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The Problem with the Occupy Wall Street People is that they don’t Know the Difference between Capitalism and Crony Capitalism

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 15th, 2011

Bank Tellers have a Job because they didn’t go to College to get a Philosophy or an English Degree

Another proud day for American public education and American colleges (see Protesters arrested in bank march, party in Times Square by Georgett Roberts, Jennifer Bain and Kevin Fasick posted 10/15/2011 on the New York Post).

The “Crossroads of the World” were jammed when thousands of anti-greed protesters brought their party to Times Square, capping a day of marches marred by the arrest of more than 20 who stormed a Citibank branch.

And what do they want?  A lot of free stuff.  The greedy little bastards.

Brought their ‘party’?  Yeah, that about sums up these beatniks on Wall Street.  For them life is nothing but a party.  And a protest is an even better party.  I mean, look at them.  They’re having the time of their lives.

Earlier, 24 protesters were arrested when a mob stormed a LaGuardia Place Citibank and shouted slogans as two demonstrators closed their bank accounts in protest just after 2 p.m.

I hope they find a safe place for that money.  There are a lot of desperate people out there who need money.  And it would have been a lot harder for them to get at that money if they had left it locked in a bank.

They were screaming and chanting while they were going in. Security told them to leave, but they didn’t. They stood in a group chanting things to the tellers. There were locked in, and then they were taken away.”

If I’m not mistaken bank tellers aren’t part of that superrich 1%.  No.  They’re probably a part of that 99%.  Like the protesters.  Only they have a job.  Unlike the protestors.  Because they didn’t go to college to get a philosophy or English degree.

“We went into the bank to peacefully protest,” she said. “People were standing in the bank giving testimonials, speaking about their student debt, some of which is held by Citibank and a few undercover police officers came into the bank”

These people partied for 4 years (or more) while going to college getting their worthless degrees.  And learning how to hate America.  And the man.  And now they’re bitching to complete strangers about their own bad decisions?  Taking on debt for some BS degree?  Mom and Dad probably warned them not to do that.  To get a degree in something useful instead.  Like business.  Accounting.  Chemistry.  Something that has value in the economy.  But did they listen?  Apparently not.

He said he paid $559 annually in fees to the bank, including late charges.

“I’ve been wanting to move my money for awhile. But this opened my eyes,” he said of his experiences. “I’m going to use a community-based bank for my funds.”

This is just like someone living in East Berlin at the height of the Cold War waiting for their chance to escape to West Berlin.  To scale the Berlin Wall.  Before the East Germans shot him.  Or her.  Of course, there are some subtle differences.  East Germany was an oppressive police state that killed people trying to escape.  While America is a free county.  With a free market.  Where you can move your money to any bank you wish.  Without the threat of being gunned down by the state.

We call this free market capitalism.  Businesses compete for you business by pleasing you more than their competition.  You don’t need a law to make banks please you.  If you don’t like how a bank is treating you, leave.  All you have to do is open a new account.  Withdraw your money from the old account.  And deposit it into the new account.  It’s that easy.  It sure is a hell of a lot easier than trying to
climb a barbwire wall under withering machine gun fire.

If Government Favoritism Bothers you Perhaps you should Direct your Angst at Washington D.C. at the Next Election

These protestors may hate capitalism.  Because they were taught that on our college campuses.  But they sure love some of its billionaires.  Even though they belong to that 1% (see Protesters should not target entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs by Antony Davies posted 10/12/2011 on The Morning Call).

Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple who died last week at age 56, left the world a better place than he found it — and not just because of the treasure trove of gadgets he shepherded into creation.

Mr. Jobs’ life is a testament to what economists have long been telling us — that wealth and plunder are not the same thing. Plunder is what you get when you take from others. Wealth is what you get when you give to others.

Due to his commercial success, Mr. Jobs accumulated $8 billion of wealth over his life. But you won’t see Occupy Wall Street protesters coming after Jobs or Apple because it is so obvious that we freely gave our money to him in exchange for his products. We don’t view Jobs’ wealth as plunder, but as one-half of a transaction. We gave him $8 billion and he gave us the world that science fiction authors promised.

We voluntarily gave our money to billionaire like Steve Jobs.  The Occupy Wall Street mob is trying to take money from others.  The Steve Jobs of the world create wealth because they please us.  People like those on Wall Street threaten us for plunder or else.  Steve Jobs good.  Plunderers bad.

The young protesters currently occupying Wall Street should be careful where they direct their ire. People like Steve Jobs who gained their wealth by providing value to others — including the protesters using iPhones to call their friends — shouldn’t be the subject of protest. The protesters should focus their ire on those who use the political process to gain plunder by forcing the rest of us to subsidize their losing business models.

Some of these pirates can be found on Wall Street. They benefited when the government forced taxpayers to underwrite Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s largesse, and they benefited when the government forced taxpayers to bail out the companies that bet on that largesse.

But they’re not just in New York City.

Let us not forget that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are Government Sponsored Enterprises.  With close ties to the government.  Executing government policy.  And being under the official oversight of the government.  In particular, at the time of the subprime mortgage crisis, Barney Frank and Chris Dodd.  Who kept saying there’s nothing wrong with Freddie or Fannie.  That they were both as sound as a pound.  All the way up to the Great Recession.  Which they caused.

Pirates can be found on Main Street, where businessmen ask the government to create an unfair licensing system that will hamstring their competitors. They can be found in the public sector, where public unions ask the government to maintain a system that forces us to use the U.S. Postal Service to send first-class mail. Some can even be found on the farm, when they fight to maintain government requirements to put ethanol in our gas tanks and pay huge tariffs on imported sugar.

Here’s my point. Pirates can be found in all cities, and in all sectors, but their power to plunder has its source in one city: Washington, D.C. The federal government and the businesses that use political ties to force their products on consumers aren’t creating value — they’re enriching themselves at our expense. If protesters want to stop the plunder, then they are protesting in the wrong place.

That’s right, it takes two to tango.  And to plunder.  Lobbyists can’t lobby politicians unless they’re for sale.  Corporations can’t plunder unless they have cronies in Washington letting them.  By restricting competition.  And this is the key difference between capitalism (such as Steve Jobs used) and crony capitalism (such as what everyone is pissed off about).  It’s is crony capitalism that gets special favors from government.  In exchange for campaign contributions.

So if this kind of government favoritism bothers you, perhaps you should direct your angst to those who make the rules.  Washington D.C.  And by that I mean at the voting booth at the next election.  The way real democracy works.

The Occupy Wall Street Protestors have no Idea about Capital, Labor, Regulatory, Distribution, Insurance or Piracy Costs

And speaking of piracy, let’s talk about that a little.  And I’m not talking about bootlegging music or movies.  I’m not about literal pirates on the high seas (see Prepare to repel boarders posted 10/13/2011 on The Economist).

SOMALI pirates can be persistent. They have attacked the Maersk Alabama, a container ship owned by an American subsidiary of Denmark’s Maersk Line, no fewer than five times, most recently in May. In the first attack, in 2009, the captain was held hostage until the US Navy rescued him. Then Maersk put private armed guards on the ship. Since then, it has successfully repelled all boarders.

Maersk says it is only arming a few ships plying the pirate-infested waters off East Africa. But the practice is spreading rapidly among shipping firms despite the cost, which can run to $100,000 per voyage for a four-man team. That is because the number of attacks, off Somalia and elsewhere, has kept growing despite the strengthening of naval patrols (see chart). The European Union’s NAVFOR task-force, NATO warships and other navies patrol the waters off Somalia, but this has only pushed the pirates out into the open ocean, extending their attack zone towards India’s coast and as far south as Mozambique’s. This has forced the shipping industry, its insurers, and the national and international authorities that oversee them to accept that private armed guards are a necessity.

American ships plying these waters are bringing American-made goods to overseas markets.  Which everyone agrees is vital to our economy.  A positive balance of trade.  More exports.  Less imports.  And here we are trying to deliver our exports.  And having our ships hijacked by pirates.

Protestors hate corporations.  Because that’s where rich people sit back with their feet up on their desk puffing away on their fat cigars.  While counting their money.  At least, that’s what the protestors think.  They have no idea about the capital costs for plant and equipment.  Labor costs.  Regulatory costs.  Distribution (container ships ain’t cheap).  Insurance.  And, of course, piracy on the high seas and ransom demands.

Protestors are no fans of military spending, either.  They think the military is used just to invade other countries so we can steal their oil.  Well, they can’t blame this Somali piracy on America.  For the Somalis are stealing from anyone.  And nations everywhere have banded together to try and protect their trade routes.  But can’t.  Which is pretty sad.  Because during World War II we eventually defeated the U-Boat menace in the North Atlantic.  Of course, back then, we spent what was necessary on the military to win.  Unlike today.  Where the military budget is just a source of funds the Wall Street protestors want to plunder.

The Occupy Wall Street protestors are Acting like Spoiled Children, Like a Bunch of Eric Cartmans

The Occupy Wall Street protestors hate banks.  Capital formation.  Corporations.  That is, capitalism.  How do we know this?  Because they have told us.  Via Twitter.  Blogs.  YouTube.  Which they wrote and/or recorded on their Apple products.  And uploaded it to the Internet.  That we then downloaded on our Apple products.  Or other devices.  All of which made possible by banks, capital formation and corporations.  That is, capitalism.

These kids love capitalism.  They love the toys capitalism offers.  They just hate not being born into privilege.  Where they can afford to satisfy every want and urge as soon as they have it.  Without having to work hard or wait until they can afford to pay for these things.  They’re acting like spoiled children.  Like a bunch of Eric Cartmans.  Except for that part about being a bunch of filthy, stinking hippies.  For everyone knows that hippies are the bane of Cartman’s existence.  But apart from that one difference, these protestors are Eric Cartman.

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