by James Altucher: Ten
Lessons I Learned From SharkTank
a weird debate happening out there. Apparently Rick Santorum “accused”
Obama of insisting that every child go to college. Other websites
have said that Obama has never said this but instead has encouraged
every kid to seek a higher education. I don’t care about Obama
or Santorum. I don’t care about politics at all. But it’s
interesting to me how this issue has again sparked a debate.
of lies and cutting and stabbing for the next few months until the
election. Santorum clearly lied. Obama lies. Everyone will lie about
everyone else. Which is why I hate politics, why I think Congress
should be abolished, and why I think Nobody should be voted
in as President. (Quick: name the last President that actually improved
your life as a direct result of their policies.)
And now suddenly,
and sadly, “to go or not to go” to college has become
a political issue. Yet another pressure trying to ruin the lives
of our children.
Then a friend
of mine, Kathryn Schulz, the author of the book Being
Wrong suggested that I am the ONLY person who thinks kids
should not go to college. This is clearly not true: Peter Thiel
and Seth Godin being some examples and there are many examples of
successful people in the arts and business who did not go to college.
MY OWN CHILDREN got into the game, quoting me the inane statistic
that people with college educations end up with more money 20 years
make a couple of quick points. Feel free to disagree with me on
any of these:
One of my kids said, “people who go to college have better
jobs 20 years later.”
When my kids
quote me a statistic like that it sounds to me like they are being
coerced into going to college. Someone is trying to make a 12 year
old afraid that something bad will happen to them if they don’t
go to college. So then out of six years of brainwashing and fear
tactics they make their decision.
who takes Statistics 101 in college knows that the stat they quoted
me includes very basic selection bias. A true test is this: take
2000 people who want to go to college. i.e. they have ambition,
drive, intelligence, etc. Divide them in half. Tell one half they
can go to college. Tell the other half they can’t EVER go to
college. THEN see where they are in 20 years.
My guess is
the side that had a 5-year head start (on average it takes 5 years
to complete a 4 year degree) and was not saddled with $100-300k
in debt is far ahead of the side that went to college for five years
(and then perhaps graduate school afterwards).
B) But it’s
not about money? Many people will argue with me and say “it’s
not about money”. I agree 100% on this. however, in the US,
student loan debt is now higher than credit card debt for the first
time ever. So IT HAS BECOME about money.Whose fault is that?
Not only that,
over the past 40 years, college tuitions have gone up 10 times faster
than inflation and three times faster than healthcare costs. Healthcare
costs is an ongoing national debate. Why aren’t tuitions? Why
should we force our 18-year-olds now to take on so much debt. Its
three times as high now as when I graduated college and I graduated
with about $70k in debt that I had to pay back.