Friday, August 31, 2018

Poo-Bah Overrules Vote, Removes Statue of Jefferson’s Grandson

By Professor Doom

     We’re trained as a people to respect the sanctity of the vote. If the people vote a certain way, then that’s the way it should go. I can’t quite break that conditioning, as it does strike me as a decent way to make decisions, at least up to a point (hi Bill of Rights!).

     Trouble is, this process has been corrupted. I’m not simply talking about voter fraud here, although that’s pretty huge and another factor. The problem I have with how it’s done today is, if the people vote the way the leaders want (and the leaders have endless money and other capacity to convince people to vote that way), then it very quickly gets done that way, and the issue is never addressed again.

      For example, I’d love to have another vote on income tax, since it’s clearly gone far beyond what it was promised to be (namely, only a tax on the very wealthy)…but, too bad, my grandfather apparently voted for it, and so we’re stuck with it forever. I’d love to be able to vote to get rid of all the victimless traffic fines—the typical response when people see a highwayman’s car (i.e., “police car”) on the road today is fear because of their primary activity. But, somehow, that vote option never seems to come up again.

      On the other hand, if people vote against what the leaders want…the vote just comes up again next year. If you vote to raise sales tax, for example, it goes up and stays up forever. If the tax fails to get enough votes, well, then, the people have to vote it down again next year, and the year after, and the year after, and so on.

      Even when the vote can’t come up again, the leaders really drag their feet when it comes to enacting “the will of the people” if they can get away with it (Hi Brexit!). Of course, if the leaders are powerful enough to simply overrule the vote and do what they wanted to do in the first place, they’ll do that, and nowhere are leaders more powerful than on campus, leading to today’s topic:

     The Leftist takeover of our campuses is often presented as a student-initiated movement, but I have my doubts. The above campus had a statue of Jefferson’s grandson on it, and somehow the lunatics running the place were offended by the grandson of someone who owned slaves. I guess they had reasons:

the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) chapter at FSU had spearheaded a referendum in 2016 calling for the Eppes statue’s removal on the grounds that he was “especially racist” and “especially pro-slavery.”

--emphasis added.

      For years now, the weapon of “RACIST” has been bashed against the head of every enemy of these guys. Bottom line, it’s been used so much it’s blunted. So now they have to label people “especially” racist for the weapon’s blows to even register. Sheesh.

      And so that statue needed to go. I still suspect this has as much to do with his relationship to Jefferson as with his own, alleged, actions. What has happened to us as a people that we’re remotely capable of holding a grandchild responsible for the actions of a grandparent who died scores of years ago? For what it’s worth, a Leftist hellhole called North Korea does hold grandchildren responsible for the actions of dead grandparents (click the link you don’t believe me)….I only mention this because it really seems like the goal of the Leftists running so many of our campuses may well be to turn them into little North Koreas.

     Much like with Donald Trump’s Hollywood star, it seems the lunatic left is determined to erase even trifling evidence of things they don’t like, such as the liberty Jefferson thought was a good idea. But there needed to be a vote, and the students voted very strongly (70%) to keep the statue. Good for them! If they had voted to remove the statue, I assure the gentle reader it would have been removed overnight, and there would never be a vote to put the statue back.

     Our leaders, oh so eager to extoll the virtues of democracy when it goes their way, have a completely different view when the vote goes against them (hi Hillary!). The Poo Bah of this campus is no different and simply overrules the student vote:

…he will not only remove the Eppes statue, but will also seek legislative approval to erase former Florida Supreme Court Justice B.K. Robert’s name from the main building at the College of Law.

--I won’t bother to address the un-personing of Robert. It’s sick that the dead are being attacked this way for beliefs which were pretty common in their day, however.

      And…that’s that. I’ve said many times the power our campus Poo-Bahs wield is absolute, and I feel this is an unarguable example. The worst case scenario, assuming any fallout from the gross abuse of power, is the Poo-Bah will be removed, and granted a huge golden parachute on the way out. To add insult to injury, he’ll use his fluorescent virtue-signaling here in boldly overruling a vote and bravely having his minions destroy a statue to land another plum position in higher ed in short order.

      I grant that this is petty tyranny, but I assure the gentle reader: if this is the lengths these Leftists will go to over something as piffling as a statue, you can bet they’re more than willing to destroy all of higher education in pursuit of their ideology.

    There is a small protest against this abuse of power, but it’s irrelevant:

The FSU College Republicans vehemently condemned Thrasher’s decision in a statement on its Facebook page, saying the school’s president “has decided to cave in to the whims of the loud lieu of listening to the overwhelming 71.7% majority of FSU students who voted to keep the Eppes statue in place less than two years ago.”

      The gentle reader should understand there is no call to remove statues of Lincoln, or even Martin Luther King, Jr., even though they too were less than perfect. The people who disagree with these historical figures have too much decency to assault the dead, you see, and that’s something the Poo-Bah here, and others of his ilk, simply do not possess.

      In the meantime, any prospective student considering going to college should absolutely avoid this place, as there’s no reason to suspect education will be a priority here. Instead, the priority will be whatever the Poo-Bah wants it to be, namely, plenty of loot for himself and advancement of ideology, as per the tenets of campus edu-fascism.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

California U: We Must Remove Whites From Campus

By Professor Doom

     Identity politics has been an issue on campus for as long as I’ve been in higher ed. It used to be primarily in hiring, where we were “motivated” to hire people with certain genitals or skin color, on the basis that there “weren’t enough” of such in associated positions.

      I confess for some time I at least sipped the Cool-Aid. At first, when I was on the hiring committee, I went along with ruling out certain types of genitals or skin color, or more accurately restricting the hiring options to certain genitals or skin color. I was young and stupid, far too concerned with academics to sit and think through the consequences of going along with administrative directives in this regard.

      After around 20 years in higher ed, and starting to see that I had just reinforced the glass ceiling above my head…I began to ask questions. Admin considered them impertinent and I was punished for asking things like “how do we know that a female will definitely be the best choice for this job?” and “by what metric is a certain minority under-represented?” and “what evidence do we have that diversity in the deans will make a better school?” among other questions.

     I doubt I was the only one expressing such concerns, but my worries were all brushed aside in the name of identity politics. Higher ed has been doing this for decades now, and so I’m not as surprised as most when seeing what is only the natural consequence of making higher education more about identity politics than education.

    Cal Poly University in California is obsessed with race, and a recent report from them highlights their dementedness:

In 2011, the campus was 63 percent Caucasian; in fall of 2017, it was less than 55 percent. Applications from underrepresented minority students doubled between 2008 and 2018, while overall applications during that time increased by just half that much. Progress is being made — and the university is more diverse now than at any time in its 117-year history — but there is still much work to do.

     It doesn’t matter that there’s no evidence that education and research will be improved by more “diversity,” they only want more. Despite their “progress” in that regard, they still only want more. There is no end here, at least no good end for non-Diverse people.

      There are over 100 historically black colleges in the United States today. These schools obviously don’t match the demographics of the United States and…so? They also don’t have any “initiatives” to add white students to their campus. Again, I don’t care, they can do whatever they want.

      It’s the hypocrisy I care about, and these black colleges are rightfully never asked to change. I see only hypocrisy in Cal Poly’s stated goals:

In it, administration details a multi-year effort with dozens of initiatives, including ones to further lower the percentage of white students on campus and increase the number of faculty of color.

     Consider how blatantly racist the above “effort” is. The “increase the number of faculty of color” outrage has been going on with a wink and a nod for years, it’s only recently that this level of racism has been so acceptable that they can now put it in writing.

     “Lower the percentage of white students” is a bit of a problem: California college student populations were soaring in prior decades, so many schools have been at capacity. Granted, that may not be true today (I can’t find recent stats), but the idea that some kid will be denied the chance to go to college because his skin is white sickens me, sickens me just as much as if he were denied because his skin is black.

     Shouldn’t scholarship, or at least demonstrated potential, be part of admissions requirements?

For students, the school plans on recruiting applicants more heavily based on race. For instance, the school has recently implemented several new scholarships “aimed at recruiting more African-American and other underrepresented minorities.”

      How, exactly, is the above not racist?

It’s also working to recruit low-income and first-generation students by partnering with high schools that enroll a high percentage of these students, according to the report.

     By “first-generation students,” they’re referring to students from families who have never sent a child to college. I always find these programs sinister, since many schools do this for the same reason crocodiles prey on the young herd animals coming to a river for the very first time: they make easy victims.

       But back to the identity politics aspect of this:

And the college announced its intention of forcibly increasing diversity in “traditionally male-dominated majors” such as STEM and Architecture and Environmental Design, according to the document.

--emphasis added.

     Is anyone else creeped out by the idea of forcibly increasing diversity? How good could this idea be if you have to force people to do it? At least this is more sexist than racist…or is that not an improvement? Why isn’t anyone on campus standing up to this idea, an idea they know is so atrocious they’re just going to force it?

Some of these initiatives are well known — such as the university creating an Office of University Diversity and Inclusion (OUDI) and hiring its first-ever vice president and chief officer for diversity and inclusion — and others less known, including the recruitment of senior-level administrators in the colleges and divisions to lead diversity and inclusion efforts.

     Oh goody, another huge fiefdom to piss away all that student loan money, extracted from kids who don’t know how they’re being screwed because they’re coming from first generation families, with no parents to warn them they’re getting a fake education.

      Another highlight from another site:
This fall campus leaders will “require a diversity statement from candidates for all faculty and staff searches,” the report states. It adds that search committees will now be made up of diverse membership and Academic Affairs has “set [an] expectation that search committees will be based on best practices regarding diversity.”

     And here comes the chokehold: whites won’t be on the hiring committees if at all possible. All hiring past this point will be identity based, and they’ll literally use the racist and sexist hiring policies which got them on campus as “best practices” to keep using racism and sexism in their hiring policies.

      There are pages and pages of initiatives planned in this report, but one more highlight:

Addition of diversity-related course requirements in many of the majors in CLA

     An education used to be about academic subjects, like mathematics, science, and history. More and more, these requirements are being removed, and instead students are being required to take diversity courses, i.e., indoctrination courses. Again, where is the evidence that removing academics and replacing it with indoctrination will help education and research?

      A decade from now, when we have many thousands of graduates from this college with worthless degrees, deep debt, and no way to pay any of it off, it would be nice if the people who suckered those graduates into coming to this trap of a college were forced to pay off those loans, but I know that’s just crazy talk.

      But considering how much crazy talk is in this report, I hardly feel out of place saying it.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

“Healthy” Students Don’t Benefit From ADHD Drugs…Does Anyone?

By Professor Doom

     It’s the end of summer as I write this, so things are pretty quiet on campus. A recent study touched on a few things I’ve wanted to mention about today’s campus which never seem to make the news much:

     Drug use is pretty heavy on campus, particularly marijuana. I’m not passing judgement here, though I certainly advise against it (my personal experience is minimal), and hate when students stumble into class surrounded by a foul-smelling cloud of stale smoke. Everyone knows about this drug being used by college students, however. There’s another drug very popular on campus I want to get to.

     While marijuana and other recreational chemicals (hi alcohol!) are very popular on campus, many students also desire drugs for treatment of ADHD. Students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder take these drugs, usually Adderall, presumably, to help them focus, in other words to help them study.

     So, quite naturally, “normal” students who intend to study take these drugs in the belief that it will help them. Now, ADHD is a “spectrum” disease, which means, technically, everyone has a little ADHD, some just have it worse than others, so I can understand the thinking that, indeed, these drugs might be helpful for everyone.

     Apparently, most every student on campus agrees with me, as the prices for (illegal) doses of these drugs go up during mid-terms and exams, as the demand spikes (curiously, even students who directly observe this basic economic principle still will adhere to the communist/Keynesian economic doctrine, but I digress…). The pharmacies also tend to run out of Adderall this time of year, but as yet nobody in power has been able to connect the dots between this and the increased demand on the black market.

      But the study says “healthy” students don’t benefit from the drugs, at least no more than a placebo. I know, any reasonable person at this point in civilization understands there’s little reason to accept the results of any study, but I feel the need to address why this particular study might well make some sense.

     When I first started teaching in higher education nigh 30 years ago, I didn’t get students with ADHD in my class. Now, every semester I get a half dozen or more; once when I was teaching a low level course 30% of the class was so diagnosed.

     Direct observation on my part shows that, yes, ADHD students generally don’t do as well as “healthy” students but…I’m not convinced this is a confirmation of ADHD. I’ve tutored many, many, students on a 1 on 1 basis, and the bulk of them had this sort of diagnosis—they get the tutoring because of the diagnosis, you see.

     I know, I’m not a medical professional, but of perhaps 100 such students I’ve worked with on a close basis? One legitimately struck me having a true cognitive issue. The rest? Well, a few had bad teachers, many were suffering from poor course design (I suspect Common Core will succeed in making this a more common problem, hence the name for it), and the majority simply had poor study skills or otherwise were not good students. I helped the bulk of my 1 on 1 students, but I concede I could do little for that one kid: he needed professional help and proper career guidance, and I advised his mother as such after a month of trying and failing a number of techniques with a kid who I honestly believed was not stupid, but could not think straight long enough for a high school level math problem.

      The point of my verbose anecdote is I’m quite confident that ADHD is heavily over-diagnosed, although I can’t say for sure if my personal observation of a factor of 100 is true (much bias in how I get kids to be tutored, after all). It’s really worth noting that unlike “real” diseases, ADHD seems to move along state and school district lines—schools that offer more benefits to ADHD students get markedly more such students.

     (Yet another digression: it’s quite possible that the skyrocketing rates of autism are likewise due to the increasing government benefits of an autism diagnosis, and not entirely due to vaccinations.)

In the double-blind study, in which neither researchers nor participants know who is receiving the placebo and who is receiving the study medication, each student received Adderall in one session and the placebo in the other. This allowed the researchers to see the effects of the medication vs. placebo in individuals and across the group.

     The “double blind” study really is the gold standard for this sort of thing. I reiterate that the results of many published studies can’t seem to be replicated, to the point that trusting any study claiming to have a result more interesting than the above “no result” is foolish.

     So, yes, the study shows no benefits for “healthy” students these ADHD drugs. I strongly suspect there are few, if any, benefits to the ADHD-diagnosed students for using these drugs either, but good luck getting funding for such a study.

     This is just how insidious our “health care” system is today. Not only do we have wide swaths of our children being given drugs of probable no benefit, we have the “healthy” kids paying black market prices to get those drugs, because they supposedly might “help” them, too.

      Meanwhile, the only thing you ever hear about on the news is how much Russia is a threat to everyone. Russia might not be our buddy, but I doubt it rates in the top 10 of serious problems this country, or even the world, really needs to address.


Wednesday, August 22, 2018

$100,000+ Student Debt Stories

 By Professor Doom

     YouTube is such a fine resource for learning things. It’s only drawback (beyond the way how it supports pedophilia and censors counter-narrative views) is the one common to any learning tool: if you don’t know what you should know, you’re unlikely to learn it. Today I’ll highlight a couple stories which strike me as fairly typical.

     A Single Death is a Tragedy; a Million Deaths is a Statistic

--attributed to Stalin.

         Student loan debt in this country is now around $1.5 trillion. When I started this blog 5 years ago, it was under a trillion dollars, but it can only head up, because these loans, in many cases, simply cannot be paid back. Trouble is, numbers this large are just statistics, they don’t register for most people.

      YouTube to the rescue, as it has individual testimonials, “single deaths” of people from student loan debt. I want to highlight a few, because what we’re doing to our next generation with these debts is positively criminal…though in today’s generally lawless society (at least for those at the top), no charges will ever be filed.

     My first story is from an art student who ran up over $100,000 in student loan debt.

     “It was my lack of experience, and my naivety, that put me in this position…”

      In order for a student to qualify for student loans, the student must go to an accredited school. Accredited schools certify, in writing, that they will act with integrity…but many accredited schools regularly exploit lack of experience and naivety in kids as they come out of high school, signing them up for a mountain of debt.

      So, yes, there are those who point and laugh at this art student for foolishly getting so much debt for an art degree…but I find this as unsettling as pointing and laughing at a baby for crying when an adult rips candy from the baby’s hands.

     “…I owe over $100,000, and that number will continue to grow…”

      It didn’t start out this way for her. She graduated with a “mere” $16,000 in debt, and even got a job. So what happened?

      “…in 2009 I went back to school to get an MFA in art so I could be an art professor…”

      The above is how many get smashed by student loans. After they get their bachelor’s and see that there’s not much available, they go back to grad school. Now, yes, at this point perhaps the schools are no longer taking advantage of kids right out of high school but we still have a problem. The schools know full well they’re offering graduate degrees in fields that can’t pay back what they’re charging, as only the schools are hiring those graduate degrees (and moreover the schools flood the market with people for these scarce jobs)...they set the pay, you see. There’s an obvious conflict of interest here as the schools once again knowingly engage in hurtful behavior.

     By 2011, she graduated with over $90,000 in debt, got another job and started making payments. Trouble was, the payments were too much based on what the school was paying her, so she asked for help.

      She got reamed.

     “…I got in an IBR repayment plan…”

     Most student loans are in default, or would be if they were being honestly accounted. One trick is “IBR” repayment, “Income Based Repayment,” which lowers your payments based on your income. There are many variations on IBR, but they all screw you. Even if you’re not being paid much, you’re making payments, so it’s all good, right? Nope:

     “…my loan hadn’t gone down…my loan went up $4,000…I’ve been paying every month…”

     Yes, you’re making payments, but you’re not covering the interest, so your loan goes up, now there’s more principal on the loan, so you owe more interest you can’t pay. It’s a death spiral. She didn’t know what she was signing up for.

     “…you shouldn’t have to get a degree in finance to get a degree…”

     She had no idea how she was being screwed, but she’s not alone, there are 40,000,000 people with student loans now. Many of them are being tricked into this abyss.

      Our schools have millions and millions of dollars to pay the coach of even a badly losing team, and millions more to pay the coach after he leaves the school. But they have no money at all available to stop this, even though these scams have been screwing over their students for years now.

      She’s already figured out her job as a professor will never pay back the system that indebted her to become a professor, and she’s learned, too late, that even though she’ll be effectively bankrupt forever, she can’t clear her student loan through bankruptcy, even though she was taken advantage of every step of the way to her mountain of student loan debt.

      I assure the gentle reader, this particular student is very far from alone. She has some good advice, too late to help herself with it…but I doubt any prospective student will ever hear her words of wisdom freely available on YouTube, because how would they find her?

     My next student accrued over $200,000 in debt, again getting suckered into the “go get a graduate degree” trap.

“…at the community college it was like, here, take this free money…I was not fiscally wise…”

     So many kids are cheated like this in community college, it’s pathetic. Some 28% of students with loan debt don’t even know it. How could that possibly happen in a system acting with integrity? Doing the math that means well over 10,000,000 of our kids with student loan debt had no idea they signed up for it until after school. The vast majority of community colleges should be shut down, plain and simple.

      “…undergrad, I accrued about $45,000 in…debt.”

      She immediately went back to grad school, spending another 6 years getting her Ph.D. She didn’t have to make payments while in grad school, and thought that was great…but once again the interest on that loan simply compounded.

     “…over $200,000 accruing at 5.8% every month…I just don’t think about it.”

     When she finishes paying this off (if she does), she’ll have paid over $750,000 for this loan. The actual cost to the school for educating her was probably around $10,000. How is this not exploitative? She wasn’t dealing with a sketchy fly-by-night loan place, either:

     “…this is Sally Mae. They just got handed billions of dollars!”

     It really is demented how our country’s system creates money from nothing, and uses it to enslave, rather than help, the citizens. I sure look forward to a time when I’m not so alone in wondering why we have such an evil system.

     “…work in a field where I make nothing…”

      I again point out: the schools charging so much for graduate degrees know they’re trapping the students into a deadly system, because they know how much professors will make.

     “…how ridiculous higher education has become…”

      Well, at least she learned something in her ordeal. Too bad finding these types of videos is too tough to expect kids to see them before stumbling onto campus.

“…the thing that makes me the saddest…I wanted to be a parent….the more we make the more we pay in student loans.”

     She’s now heading towards her late 30s, and is doomed. By the time she pays off that debt, assuming she can, she’ll be close to 60. So, theoretically, at the age of 60, she’ll be able to afford to have a child. Higher education didn’t just enslave her, they’ve effectively sterilized a generation, and in many cases they’re taking the most intelligent of our population out of the gene pool.

“…they sell you this dream world with no intention of following up.”

      The schools have a very bloody hand in the carnage they’ve wreaked on a whole generation. I shouldn’t be alone in seeing that higher education has a real problem here.

      More importantly, I shouldn’t be alone in seeing how to fix it: end the student loan scam.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Student Says Rape, Jury Says Rape, Poo-Bah Says “Nope. Case Closed.”

By Professor Doom

     Our campuses are basically kingdoms. I’ve mentioned many times how fiefdoms, almost none of which have anything to do with education, soak up much of the student loan money, but today I want to talk about the immense power the Poo-Bah, the guy who’s running the whole school has, because he is the law on campus, regardless of what any stinkin’ piece of paper says.

       I’ve spoken before of the kangaroo campus court system, and the gentle reader should put very little stock in rulings made there, even if, as the university is prone to announce, the findings in the system are “unanimous.” The system is generally rigged, and is used to cover most everything on campus, from minor policy details to the most grotesque rape.

      Whenever some dispute occurs, a “jury” is convened, a panel of faculty (or possibly purely admin). Regardless of composition, these poor souls generally must do whatever admin tells them to do…if this committee disagrees with what admin wants, the gentle reader can rest assured they’re only making that disagreeable ruling because there’s simply no way to assert anything different. To really hammer this point home, I’ve seen a committee unanimously determine that it’s simply a matter of policy that 12 divided by 5 is 2.35—I’m serious, the five of them (one of them with a Ph.D. in Math Education) put together did that calculation to two decimal places even after I tried to explain it was incorrect.

       I honestly don’t think the committee was as incompetent as they claimed, but I relate the story because that’s generally how far a committee will go to appease admin.

a senior sociology major at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, went to the emergency room to report that she had just been raped by a classmate. Campus police arrived to take her statement, and the nurse examiner found a bruise on her cervix, which often indicates sexual assault. “

      When there’s a campus crime, things go a bit differently than what a citizen might think. The report doesn’t go to the police, it goes to the “campus police,” which basically is about as legit as your typical retail store security: they’re only going to do whatever the store manager (or the Poo-Bah in this case) tells them to do.

      The basic facts are as follows:

She hadn't been drinking. She said she had told her assailant "no" at least seven times. She told a friend she'd been assaulted almost immediately after she got the classmate out of her apartment — and then made a report to law enforcement within hours. And while text messages showed that Reed's classmate tried to text her the next day, she never texted back. Instead, she reported the incident to both campus police and the college's Title IX Office.

     Because sex crimes and sexual discrimination are so common on campus, and because such things are routinely covered up, our Federal government passed a law, “Title IX” in an attempt to stop it.

      Sadly, all the new law has done has created another huge wasteful fiefdom on campus. You really can’t use a law to create integrity, as many campuses have demonstrated.

      She made her report to the Title IX fiefdom, and they leaped into action, as per Federal law. They investigate, and I can respect that takes time. Four months later:

“…the Title IX Office found that Reed's classmate had not violated any university policies. The seven-page report never even mentions the bruise on her cervix. Instead, it dwells at length on the fact that she may have misstated whether she was in the bathroom or in the car when she sent a text message to a friend following the incident — a fact even the report acknowledges was "not in and of itself very significant."

     So we have an obvious whitewash. Federal law allows the student to appeal this finding.  Again, Federal law mandates a committee must be formed and to make a ruling. How’d that go?

“…university's Sexual Harassment Panel overruled the Title IX Office, finding that Reed's alleged rapist had violated SIUE's sexual harassment policy.”

     Great! She won on appeal. I have to admit, I’ve never seen anyone win on appeal—the system is so rigged, I’ve literally seen the same “judges” for the appeal be the same “judges” who made the original ruling, and literally destroy any new evidence presented…if they’re following admin orders the first time, they’ve going to do it again. It’s a stupid system all the way through.

      But, somehow, she won the appeal. Good for her, but it’s pointless. There was obvious whitewashing by the Title IX office, so clearly that’s what admin wanted. What will admin do since the evidence was so overwhelming that this Federally mandated panel had to concede the student’s claim?

“…the university's chancellor, Randall G. Pembrook, overruled the panel...”

     Bam! Game over. The Poo-Bah says “You lose! In Your Face! Hahahahahaha!” Boy, all those written Federal laws really changed things on campus, didn’t they?

     The student is still fighting, but it’s a lost cause even as I wish her luck. You can’t win on campus, they hold all the cards. Maybe she should try the “real” criminal justice system, not that it’s great shakes either.

     There are two points I want to make with this. The first is straightforward: no matter what happens on campus, the Poo-Bah can bury it. This ultimately explains why it’s so common to have sex scandals run on campus for a decade or much more before finally being caught.

     While not as horrific, another important issue is we’ve trusted the rulers of higher ed with hundreds of billions of student loan money, because written policies say they’ll act with integrity. 

     In light of the above, which didn’t even make any national news…why would anyone remotely suspect our Poo-Bahs are treating education (and all that sweet, sweet, student loan money) any more respectfully than they do Federal law or victims of sex crimes?

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Jon Stossel On The College Scam

By Professor Doom

     Jon Stossel is one of the last few remaining investigative reporters, and used to be on television quite often, 20 years ago. His big career-killing problem was he tends to investigate government waste and corruption. It’s painfully obvious today that much (all?) of our mainstream media is just another department of our government, or at least the deep state, and thus has no interest in revealing its own corruption. Stossel found himself off the government-controlled airwaves because he was just too good at his job.

       Thus he’s consigned to “fringe” “alternative” media sites like Reason. He’s recently released a video detailing a scam I write about often:

     The video itself is more evidence of how the world has changed in the last 20 years. We’re in a post-literate society, which is just a fancy way of saying people don’t read much anymore. If you want to disseminate knowledge today, you must use video. I’ve considered doing some videos, but the whole “anonymity” thing might make it tough, and I do lack the technical skill to make much beyond me talking.

     Anyway, the video is short—another sign of the times, as people just can’t focus for very long. It’s one of the (many, admittedly) reasons the film industry is suffering so in theatres, and people just can’t tear themselves away from their phones for a whole hour and a half. Ok, nowadays a movie is usually an hour and a half of SJW posturing against a backdrop of explosions (hi Last Jedi!), but still.

        He says some things in this short video (along with a summary transcript for us dinosaurs who still read), and he misses a mark or two. I’ll cut him some slack because he’s trying to cover this ground fast enough to reach people who are so addled by today’s world they can’t think clearly for much past five minutes, but I’ll make some clarifications all the same.

That's because most people don't learn much in college. Studies find that a third of people haven't learned anythingdetectable after four years in college.
Yet government pours about $80 billion a year into college subsidies.
"Taxpayers ought to know that they're getting ripped off," Caplan tells Stossel.

      For those who don’t have time, the above is basically everything you need to know about higher education in America today: for the vast majority, it’s a big waste of time, and for anyone who pays taxes, it’s a big waste of money.

He says taxpayer money mostly helps more people signal their ability to conform to college expectations.

--emphasis added.

      While the above is true, the clarification needed is a college degree used to be a valid signal the holder was exceptional in some way. Today’s college degrees are mostly meaningless, since the average GPA is close to A-, and many schools mandate that a certain percentage of students pass every course…a degree is more of a rubber stamp of a person having a pulse than any exceptionality. Toss in how most degrees are in subjects of minimal, if any, job value and we’re back in rip-off territory again.

       Stossel merely discusses how giving everyone a degree destroys the usefulness of the degree. While true, he neglects to mention how the student loan scam is destroying the lives of 40,000,000 people and rising. I feel the latter detail is far more important to humanity than the destruction of the value of a piece of paper.

Caplan responds that if students wanted to learn they can just walk on to a campus and attend class. Caplan says professors are happy to let the student attend. But few students do that.

     The above is an odd thing to say. Yes, I don’t have a problem if someone wants to attend class, but I’ve received many warnings from admin not to let unregistered students in my classes. This is merely a minor detail, since the modern world really does allow anyone to read and learn about anything without much effort or expense without setting foot on campus (hi internet!).

Caplan does think college is great for a few people like him—tenured professors. He can never be fired, gets paid well, and only has to teach classes for five hours a week.
"That's a scam," Stossel responds, "we're paying so much money for people like you to teach five hours."
"Yeah. Well, I'm a whistleblower," Caplan quips.

     My blog has shown time and again that “tenure” and “can never be fired” are far from synonymous, and shame on Stossel for not being aware of that fact. That said, yes, “tenured professor at a legitimate school” is a wonderful job to have…but there are very few of those. Most college courses are taught by sub-minimum wage adjuncts, and some schools are trying to get the teaching done for free now, the better to yield money to the plunderers running many of these places.

      Moreover, the professor being interviewed used the time granted by his cushy job to write a book warning people away from college and exposing what a scam so much of it is. Maybe he’ll save a few people from destroying themselves in college. This highlights how professors got these cushy jobs, or used to get them, anyway. The whole reason scholars are given so much free time in their jobs is because writing books to help humanity is a thing they do in their free time.

    I’m just not concerned with the few and dying faculty with cushy jobs, not when admin outnumber faculty by a wide margin, are paid vastly more, and many have jobs just as cushy. I’ve never, ever, seen an admin write a book trying to help humanity, and I’ve seen quite a few actively hurt human beings in many ways.

      All the free money flowing onto campus has warped things, and since the profit margin on “education” today is so large, colleges compete to get people willing to pay for it. Before the student loan scam, this competition was done by getting the best faculty, having the most successful programs, and earning a stellar reputation. What do colleges do now?

     “…many compete by advertising luxury…”

     I know I’m something of a one-note singer, but Stossel only scratches the surface of what the student loan money has done to our campuses. Prospective students are now promised lobster dinners for coming to campus, a campus often decorated with a luxury resort-style pool and other recreational areas. 600 colleges now have rock climbing walls—they do look interesting even if most people have the sense not to use them. No matter, “looks” are what it’s all about now.

  “…used to be reading, writing, and arithmetic. Well now we’re the 4th ‘r,’ recreation.”

     The above quote from the video nicely sums up higher education after years of drowning in student loan money. Please, please, just stop the student loan scam already.