Why Did Georgetown University Call Me Out?

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You can’t
make this up. Georgetown University just put out a study called
The
College Payoff
” to explain why going to college pays off.
I’m laughing so hard I can barely type. And then in the middle
of this highly academic report they bashed me personally.

This is not
going to be my usual post. My usual post contains something embarrassing
about me which I turn into a life lesson. Like, “I abandoned
my baby as a child and now am making up for it with increased father
time” (true story).

But none of
that here! Instead, I’m going to specifically make fun of the
hard work and effort put into this magnificent report by (one second
while I look it up)….Anthony Carnevale, Stephen Rose, and Ban
Cheah.

They do a very
thorough study. They divide it up by race, gender, years of education
and I guess they come to the conclusion that highly educated white
men make the most money. I don’t know. I didn’t even read
the whole thing.

First off,
Georgetown University costs $41,000 a year. Why don’t you add
in room and board. Do you think Georgetown is a cheap place to live?
I called up my business partner, Dan, who went to Georgetown and
actually played on their famous basketball team (if you call sitting
on the bench for every single game until Allen Iverson joined the
team, then Allen demanded your specific number, and then you quit,
“played”)

“Are you
kidding me?” he said, “I’d say the average apartment
that you share with five other guys in Georgetown will cost you
$1000 a month. All in, Georgetown is probably $70,000 a year.”
And then there’s books . And don’t forget people need
to eat. Not to mention due to the high amount of senators and representatives
per square foot in the nation’s capital, the cost of high-priced
hookers is through the roof.

So at Georgetown
you’ll be spending about $400,000 pre-taxes, give or take.
The other day I heard about another 47 year old dying of a heart
attack. “The guy ran a marathon every year,” my friend
told me and showed me a picture. The spitting image of health. Two
daughters, just like me. You know why everyone is dying of heart
attacks? Because they feel they have to spend $400,000 on sending
their kids to Georgetown.

Or else their
kids won’t have good lives. Or else their kids will die homeless
and sad. And studies like this Georgetown study are brainwashing
you into believing that. Misinformed studies filled with lies are
basically killing you.

How biased
can you be?

So okay, back
to the report: they did show how the more years of education you
have, the higher you make. Now, we all know college is not about
the money but I have to dispute this one “statistic”.

Any college
Freshman who takes Statistics 101 (and I know I’ve said this
before so I wish these Georgetown people would let me teach their
Statistics classes) will have heard of something called “Selection
bias” which this report is littered with.

In other words,
they did not just select people with many years of education. They
inadvertently also selected “the type of upper middle
class person who is intelligent, ambitious, aggressive” who
chose twenty years ago to go to college. That type of person will
certainly make more money than his peers twenty years later.

But what if
he didn’t go to college? Let’s not forget 20 years ago,
college costs, college debt (student loan debt now at it’s
highest levels ever) were much lower. So now smart, aggressive people
can reasonably choose NOT to go to college. Will their income levels
suffer 20 years later?

Will they be
less happy? Maybe even sad or suicidal?

Read
the rest of the article

March
16, 2012

The
Best of James Altucher

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