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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The British Left will brand School Children Racist if their Parents don’t let them go on an Anti-Christian Field Trip

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 30th, 2013

Week in Review

If you’ve ever watched The Five you’ve probably heard Greg Gutfeld (libertarian/quasi conservative) blame all of our woes on liberal college professors.  And heard Bob Beckel (liberal) say Greg Gutfeld is full of excrement.  And that whenever they play a video of a leftist professor saying something anti-capitalist/socialist/communist Beckel (the one liberal in the group of five) yells that they only put on liberal extremists.  Never a conservative extremist.  Which he said there are just as many as liberal extremists teaching our kids in college.

Of course he’s full of excrement.  Because conservatives aren’t in control of the curriculum.  Liberals are.  In the United States.  And in the United Kingdom.  And it’s because they control the curriculum that things like this happen (see ‘Refusal will result in a Racial Discrimination note being attached to your child’s educational record…’ by Daniel Hannan posted 11/22/2013 on The Telegraph).

As part of the National Religious Curriculum together with the multicultural community in which we live, it is a statutory requirement for Primary School aged children to experience and learn about different cultures.

The workshop is at Staffordshire University and will give your child the opportunity to explore other religions.  Children will be looking at religious artifacts, similar to those that would be on display in a museum.  They will not be partaking in any religious practices.

Refusal to allow your child to attend this trip will result in a Racial Discrimination note being attached to your child’s education record, which will remain on this file throughout their school career.

England has an official religion.  The Church of England.  Which is Protestant.  That is, Christian.  And it has a long history of being Christian.  Which makes this school action rather remarkable.  For it basically is telling British children to forget their culture and tradition.  And observe the greatness of people who are not British.

When an American high school choir wants to sing a Christmas carol referencing Jesus of Nazareth, who the Christmas holiday celebrates, the school authorities shut it down.  But they make a trip to expose students to other religions mandatory.  Why?  Because liberals hate Christianity.  And love anything that disparages Christianity.  Which is why they will brand any student who doesn’t attend a field trip that enshrines other religions (while banning high school choirs from singing Christmas carols referencing Jesus of Nazareth) as a racist.  Even though religion transcends race.

Liberals will say a cross submerged in urine is art.  But children not learning the glory of Islam and other non-Christian religions is showing an extreme lack of respect to those religions.  And is worthy of branding those children as racist.  Even though religion transcends race.

Bob Beckel is a Christian.  And is a vocal opponent of the anti-Christian acts of militant Islam.  Even condemning the whole Islamic faith as no one in that faith condemns these heinous acts.  Yet he fails to see the anti-Christian element in our public schools and universities.  Or refuses to see it.  For although Beckel is a Christian liberals in general don’t like Christian morals that frown upon premarital sex and abortion.  Things liberals are all for.  As are our public schools and universities.  As is evidenced by their handing out of free birth control.  And providing access to abortion services.  Even without parental consent wherever they can.  And this while one of those religions they want to expose our kids to, Islam, won’t let their women out of the house unless they’re covered from head to toe and in the company of a male family member.  There’s no premarital sex or abortion for them.  But this is a religion we must show tolerance to.  While showing no tolerance to Jesus of Nazareth during the holiday celebrating His birth.  Is that because conservatives are in control of the school curriculum?  No.  It’s because liberals are.  So Gutfeld is right.  And Beckel is wrong.

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The Cost of Higher Education rose Twice as Much as Health Care Costs

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 31st, 2013

Week in Review

It’s bad enough that higher education is programming our kids to become good liberals.  But their getting rich in the process is just rubbing salt into the wound (see College Costs Surge 500% in U.S. Since 1985: Chart of the Day by Michelle Jamrisko & Ilan Kolet posted 8/26/2013 on Bloomberg).

The cost of higher education has surged more than 500 percent since 1985, illustrating why there have been renewed calls for change from both political parties.

The CHART OF THE DAY shows that tuition expenses have increased 538 percent in the 28-year period, compared with a 286 percent jump in medical costs and a 121 percent gain in the consumer price index. The ballooning charges have generated swelling demand for educational loans while threatening to make college unaffordable for domestic and international students.

What expenses does a college have?  There are shelters (i.e., buildings) where students sit and learn.  But shelter costs rose nowhere near the amount going to college did.  So it’s not the buildings.  So what else do colleges have?  That tuition pays for?  Excluding books and living expenses that are above and beyond tuition expenses?  Well, the only other thing they really have are people.

College administrators and college professors.  If the high tuition costs are not due the costs of the buildings on the college campus then we must be paying the people too much.  In pay and benefits.  So let’s crunch some numbers.

The average annual cost for a 4-year public college is about $18,000 (see The Average Cost of a U.S. College Education posted 8/24/2010 in US News and World Repot).  Based on a typical enrollment of 40,000 students that comes to an annual college revenue of $720,000,000.  If the college has $1.5 billion in debt on its books for capital improvements on average at 6% that comes to an annual interest expense of $90 million.  Let’s assume they retire $50 million in debt every year.  And their operating costs (everything else but pay and benefits for administrators and professors) are, say, $25 million.  Subtracting all this from the annual tuition revenue leaves $555 million for pay and benefits each year.  Assuming a professor/administrator for each 20 students that gives us 900 professors/administrators.  Dividing this into that $555 million gives us about $617,000 per professor/administrator annually.

This is just a rough estimate but it does give you an idea about the amount of money we’re talking about here.  Not all professors are making $617,000 but if you’re tenured you’re living well.  Very well.  And administrators typically live far better than tenured professors.  This is what students are going in debt for.  To give a privileged few a life others can only dream about.  Worse, a lot of these students who graduate have an unmarketable degree.  In an economy where employers are looking for people with math and science skills people with degrees in romantic languages or gender studies will not fare well.  But the people who sold them those degrees will be doing very well.  This is why we have a student loan debt problem.  Students took on enormous debt for a degree they can’t use.

Everyone loves to complain about the high cost of health care.  And demand that government do something about it.  Well, they did.  They gave us Obamacare.  Which promises to squeeze hospitals and doctors.  To make them do more for less.  Obamacare is so bad that it is causing some doctors to retire early.  Just so they don’t have to deal with it.  Yet the cost of college has gone up at twice the rate of health care costs.  But where is the outcry over that?  Where are the people demanding that government do something?   To squeeze those universities, professors and administrators?  Why should they get rich at providing education.  If doctors shouldn’t get rich saving lives why should educators be allowed to get rich selling unmarketable degrees?  Just why is it educators can get away with being the greediest of the greedy and escape government scrutiny?

Because they teach their students to be good liberals, that’s why.  And this is so valuable to Democrats that they are willing to raise the taxes on their constituents as much as it takes.  Because without the programming higher education provides few would vote Democrat.

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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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Student Loan Payments are Overdue because Universities sold Students Costly Degrees with no Market Value

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 26th, 2013

Week in Review

American companies have difficulty in filling positions requiring strong science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) skills.  So they turn to foreigners.  And the H-1B visas (see H-1B Visas and the STEM Shortage by Jonathan Rothwell and Neil G. Ruiz posted 5/10/2013 on Brookings).  Which means our colleges and universities aren’t producing enough of these STEM graduates.  Instead, what they are producing is a lot of people who can’t get a job.  And probably will never be able to repay their student loan (see Overdue Student Loans Reach Record as U.S. Graduates Seek Jobs by John Hechinger posted 5/23/2013 on Bloomberg).

Overdue student loans reached an all-time high as students struggle to find work after college, according to a government report renewing alarms about the rising burden of higher-education debt.

Eleven percent of student loans were seriously delinquent — at least 90 days past due — in the third quarter of 2012, compared with 6 percent in the first quarter of 2003, according to the report by the U.S. Education Department. Almost 30 percent of 20- to 24-year-olds aren’t employed or in school, the study found.

The research is being released amid concern in Congress and President Barack Obama’s administration about rising college costs and $1 trillion in outstanding student loans, the largest category of consumer debt besides mortgages.

So our colleges and universities pocketed a cool $1 trillion in return for giving our kids degrees that have little market value.  At least 30% of those degrees.  A trillion the U.S. taxpayer will probably end up eating.  Just like they had to eat the subprime mortgage mess.  Which begs the question.  Why are our colleges and universities selling our kids degrees that can’t help them land a job?  And don’t say it’s just the economy.  While the bad economy plays a part it doesn’t explain all those H-1B visas.  What these visas tell us is our colleges and universities are screwing us.  By conning our kids to go into great debt for worthless degrees just to bring hundreds of billions into their campuses.

If anyone bails out this student loan debt it should be those responsible for it.  The ones who sold our kids these worthless degrees.  In fact, in the future, we need to make some kind of eligibility scoring system for student loans.  Based on a survey of who businesses are hiring.  Those they’re hiring most (like those with STEM skills) should be eligible for the greatest student loan amounts at the best interest rates.  Because these graduates are most likely to get a job commensurate with their education.  And will be able to easily repay their student loans.  While those who businesses are hiring least (like those getting degrees in gender studies or drama) should be eligible for the smallest loan amounts and pay the highest interest rates.  Or simply denied any student loans.  Because they will be the least likely to get a job.  And will have the most trouble repaying their loan.

For those who feel they must have these degrees with no current market value to enrich the American tapestry they can still get these degrees.  They just need to pay for them out of pocket.  Or have their parents pay for them.  Which shouldn’t be a problem.  For they can demand colleges and universities lower the tuition costs for these degrees with no current market value.  I mean, why should they be charging so much and put a student into so much debt for a degree that won’t improve his or her economic position.  Which is the ultimate reason we go to college.  So we can earn a bigger paycheck.  Even the drama students dream of going to Hollywood where they can be rich and famous.

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Democrats want to keep Student Loan Interest Rates low so more Students can get Worthless Degrees

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 19th, 2013

Week in Review

A lot of people hate corporations.  Where business people get rich by exploiting the people.  But at least they make something that people willingly buy.  Because it makes them happy.  Like a smartphone.  No.  Corporations are NOT exploiting people to get rich.  But you know who are?  Our universities (see Republicans advance bill to tie student loan rates to markets by Elvina Nawaguna posted 5/16/2013 on Reuters).

Republicans in control of the House Education and the Workforce Committee voted on Thursday to advance legislation tying student loan interest rates to the financial markets, a plan they said would give borrowers a better sense of how much they must repay.

Currently, interest rates on subsidized Stafford loans are set by the government. The rates are due to double on July 1 to 6.8 percent from 3.4 percent, and while lawmakers across the aisle agree that an increase should be averted, they disagree on how to prevent it.

Republicans on the committee rejected amendments by Democrats to maintain the current rates for another two years…

Lawmakers have recently expressed growing concerns about American students’ loan debt, which according to the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau now exceeds $1 trillion. The average student borrower owes about $27,000, and delinquency rates are increasing as new graduates struggle to find jobs…

They’re struggling to get a job because our universities are selling these kids worthless degrees.  “Come to college,” they tell our kids.  “Borrow money.  Don’t worry about that student loan debt.  For you will be able to easily pay it back, buy a house and a new car with your degree in gender studies.”  Or insert any other liberal arts degree that has no market value in a high-tech economy.  An economy so high-tech that these college kids can’t live without their smartphones keeping them connected to Facebook and Twitter.  But these same kids don’t want to learn how to make the next smartphone.  Or write the next ap to run on it.  Because that’s just too hard.  And that’s not what college is about.  College is for having a good time.  Which they can do more often if they’re not burdened down with some complicated math or science degree.

With such high unemployment numbers we shouldn’t be subsidizing anyone to go to college unless they are going to get a degree that has market value in our high-tech economy.  Because a trillion dollars in student loan debt is enough.  Especially when these kids can’t get a job with the worthless degree these universities conned them into buying.  Just to bring more money into the university.  To provide generous pay and benefit packages for their administrators and professors.  While they badmouth the U.S. to their students.  To get them to vote Democrat in the next election.  So they can keep the cheap money spigot open to lure more unsuspecting kids into going deep into debt buying more worthless degrees.

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FT169: “College is more about making Democrat voters than giving students marketable skills.” —Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 10th, 2013

Fundamental Truth

Another Big Reason why College Tuition has been Soaring is because of Public Sector Unions

College tuition is rising.  With increases greater than the rate of inflation.  With some tuition costs growing greater than costs in health care.  There are many reasons for this.  Unlike private sector business colleges cannot produce more with less.  That is, they cannot use productivity gains to educate more students with fewer professors.  Auto manufacturers can use robots to replace people on the assembly line.  Reducing wage, pension and health care costs.  The biggest costs that go into a car.

Universities are big campuses with lots of buildings that basically do one thing.  Sit students down in front of a professor.  This hasn’t change since the first days of higher education.  The only things that have changed are the buildings are a lot nicer.  And university employees all have better pay, pensions and health care than they used to have.  Which is why tuition costs keep rising.  For universities, unlike auto manufacturers, can’t speed up their assembly lines by using robots instead of people.  But it’s not only the auto manufacturers and the universities that have high labor, pension and health care costs.

Another big reason why university tuition has been soaring is because of public sector unions.  Who have negotiated some extremely generous union contracts.  Cities and states everywhere are drowning under the costs of their labor, pension and health care costs.  Forcing them to cut back spending elsewhere to pay for those generous public sector union contracts.  So they’re cutting back on their subsidies for higher education.  And what the state cuts the universities just tack on to the student’s tuition bill.

Universities lure High School Kids into College with Promises of a Big Paycheck for an Easy Degree

Today’s tuition costs will saddle a student with the kind of debt that can pay for a house.  A very big house.  One of those McMansions.  Depending on where you go to college.  Which is all well and fine if a student gets a high-paying job after graduating.  Sadly, though, a lot aren’t.  A lot are taking jobs that they could have gotten out of high school.  Without that massive student loan debt.  Debt they will be paying for a long, long time.  Making it very difficult for them to buy a house and start a family.  And the reason for this is too many students are taking degrees with no market value in a high-tech economy.

Today’s businesses are looking for people with a strong science and math background.  For this is what businesses in a high-tech economy need.  Not people with degrees in anthropology.  Philosophy.  Women’s studies.  Art history.  Comparative literature.  Communication.  Or a myriad of other degrees that a business just can’t use.  Yet our universities are selling these degrees.  Telling their prospective students who don’t want the heavy math load a science and engineering degree requires that these other degrees are just as good.  And that they, too, can have that big paycheck.  Just like engineers and chemists and doctors and physicists.  All they need is a student loan.  And the world can be their oyster.

So these kids starting their adult lives start that life by making one of the worst decisions of their lives.  Because they really want to go to college.  For the fun.  Universities lure these high school kids into higher education.  Appealing to them as adults.  Who can live away from home out from under the judgmental eyes of their parents.  For on a college campus there is a lot of fun to be had.  Sex.  Drugs.  Alcohol.  And health services.  Such as birth control and access to abortion services.  For all the consequence-free fun a high school graduate could ever ask for.  This is the bait.  And all they have to do to have all of that grownup fun is to borrow enormous sums of money that they will probably never be able to pay back.

Liberals say You should Never Rush to Judgment, Especially if we can’t Blame Conservatives

For the universities, though, it’s not just the money.  For their curriculum is the product of those Sixties’ radicals.  Who tried to overthrow capitalism.  And replace it with communism.  As they were never able to incite the workers’ revolt in the United States they changed tack.  And continued their revolution from the inside.  By becoming college professors.  Who eventually got tenure.  And went on to write the curriculum.  Basically an anti-capitalist, America is responsible for all the world’s problems and an anti-religious/anti-tradition curriculum.  Hence the socially liberal campus where anything goes.  And those college degrees that have no market value.  That advanced a relentless attack on capitalism and business.  And made their students eschew American greatness.

This curriculum has helped President Obama win reelection despite a horrific economic record.  And a brutal attack on the American mission in Benghazi.  The result of a failed foreign policy that tried to make nice with America’s enemies.  Who have been trying—and at times succeeding—to kill Americans.  The Fort Hood shooting by a radical Islamist.  The underwear bomber (failed Islamist plot).  The Times Square bomber (failed Islamist plot).  As well as other smaller and lesser known incidents.  Both successful and failed Islamist plots.  Then Benghazi.  And the death of 4 Americans.  Despite earlier witnessing an increase of anti-Western violence in the city.  A resurgent al Qaeda.  And an anniversary date holy to radical Islam.  9/11.  The U.S. mission in Benghazi requested additional security.  The Obama administration denied it as it would not fit the 2012 campaign meme.  ‘Osama bin Laden is dead.  And General Motors is alive.’  President Obama had won the War on Terror with the killing of bin Laden.  Therefore, they couldn’t have a terrorist attack in Benghazi before the 2012 election.  So the Obama administration made up the story about an anti-Islamic YouTube video that led to a spontaneous protest in front of the U.S. mission.  A protest that naturally got out of hand when the people pulled RPGs and mortars out of their pockets and started a military assault on the American compound.

The Obama administration then started to disseminate the lie.  They sent Secretary Rice to the Sunday morning television shows with severely edited talking points to downplay any role of radical Islam.  Then President Obama and Secretary Clinton made numerous public statements denouncing that YouTube video.  Even made a video to air in Pakistan.  And the mainstream media, the product of that anti-capitalist, America is responsible for all the world’s problems and anti-religious/anti-tradition curriculum never questioned anything.  They just dutifully carried the administration’s water.  And now that signs of a cover-up are coming out the administration is saying the only reason why they made any edits to those talking points was to prevent anyone from rushing to judgment.  Something they say we should never do.  Especially if we can’t blame conservatives.  Or Christians.  Like they did with the YouTube video that proved to be a red herring.  And as they—and their friends in the mainstream media—have rushed to judgment in the past.  By quickly blaming radical conservatives for every other massacre.  Only to see it turn out to be someone who wasn’t a conservative.  But a radical Islamist(s) instead.  Or someone suffering from mental illness.

Of course this wouldn’t be possible without higher education.  Where college is more about making Democrat voters than giving students marketable skills.  One could even blame those deaths in Benghazi on that anti-capitalist, America is responsible for all the world’s problems and anti-religious/anti-tradition curriculum.  (As well as being the reason why these kids can’t find any high-paying jobs; the vote for anti-business Democrat candidates whose policies discourage economic growth.)  Because protecting Americans in Benghazi would have been bad for the Democrats in 2012.  So perhaps we should be addressing the high cost of higher education.  And follow the example of the automotive industry.  By producing more graduates with fewer professors.  And put an end to the liberal Shangri la of the college campus.  By replacing the bulk of higher education with online studies.  For if a 15-year old girl can make medical decisions about the morning after pill by reading the contents of the packaging without consulting a doctor or parent then she can get her higher education online.  Without all the fun.  Or student loan debt.

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Foolish Majors and Bad Economic Policies lead to High Unemployment among Recent College Graduates

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 9th, 2013

Week in Review

Going to college is very expensive.  In fact, tuition costs seem to rise as much as health care cost yet no one blames the colleges and universities for being profit whores.  Odd.  No one ever complains about the high cost of education.  Unless they’re attacking Republicans for not approving more spending to help subsidize what these profit whores at our colleges and universities are charging our students.  Worse, these profit whores are selling a lot of worthless degrees to these unsuspecting students (see Four Foolish Majors To Avoid by Terence Loose posted 2/7/2013 on Yahoo! Education).

Opportunity Killer #1: Liberal Arts

Unemployment Rate for Recent College Graduates: 9.2 percent*

“I don’t think the majority of [liberal arts grads] are going to be employable because they don’t come out of those degrees with any marketable skills,” says Heathfield. “But even worse than that, they spend the money to go four years to college and then get a job that pays $30,000 a year with no upward prospects.”

Opportunity Killer #2: Philosophy and Religious Studies

Unemployment Rate for Recent College Graduates: 10.8 percent*

Can you remember the last time you saw a “Wanted” ad that said: “Looking for a really smart person who can solve why I exist”? Neither can we – and we’re guessing even Plato could recognize the need for practical skills. It seems like today’s employers certainly do, too.

Opportunity Killer #3: Information Systems

Unemployment Rate for Recent College Graduates: 11.7 percent*

Quick, what exactly do information systems majors study? Not sure? Neither are most employers, says Heathfield. That’s not to say this degree doesn’t build good skills; it’s just that if you’re interested in computer technology, it’s best to earn a degree that is easily understood, like a bachelor’s in computer science or computer engineering, says Heathfield.

Opportunity Killer #4: Architecture

Unemployment Rate for Recent College Graduates: 13.9 percent*

There are few things as inspirational as a beautiful building or home. That said, thanks to the massive hit the housing and commercial real estate industries took in the past decade, this degree may not lead to a good job outlook.

Apart from architecture what do these degrees have in common?  They don’t have a lot of math or science in them.  That is, they’re easier than, say, degrees in electrical engineering or theoretical physics.  Could this play a part in why students choose these degrees?  These kids who are going away from home for the first time.  To a raucous college campus.  Where there is booze, drugs and sex.  You know, they even rate colleges by their party index.  So, yes, kids choose easy degrees so they can go to college and party.  Where they can enjoy booze, drugs and sex away from the disapproving glare of their parents.  Even earn a starring role in a Girls Gone Wild video when they take the partying up a notch on spring break.

So when students protest in an Occupy Wall Street movement because they can’t get a job this is why.  A lot of them have degrees in these foolish majors.  Which on top of President Obama’s economic policies is not a recipe for gainful employment.  But these kids will have those great college memories.  Which they will be reminded of.  Every time they can’t make a payment on that colossal student loan debt that those good times cost them.

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