Ask any freedom-minded person about the most crooked deal in American history, and it’s likely that Social(ist) Security or the Federal Reserve System will be chosen.
Even though both of those monumental scams are definitely worthy of mention, one other government-controlled shell game may be the biggest ripoff of all. I’m referring to America’s college education system and its undeserved veneer of respectability.
Countless millions of parents have been brainwashed into believing that their offspring will be forced to endure a lifetime of misery and poverty if they don’t pick up at least a four-year degree. Since this is a widely accepted doctrine, then it needs to be held to some serious scrutiny.
Just what do students receive for (in many cases) going tens of thousands of dollars into debt for a college diploma? Forget the hype and look at what actually takes place on campus.
The vast majority of college students endure the grind to improve their career prospects and earning potential. That’s a perfectly logical reason to attend school, but it’s no secret that college classes are long on irrelevant theory and short on practical knowledge.
Look at the typical university business department. How many of the professors have real world experience in a free enterprise position? Have they ever run their own business even a hot dog pushcart? Do they know what it’s like to be a mid-level functionary in the corporate world?
It’s safe to say that the average small shop owner or office worker has a far better grasp of how business really functions than Dr. Stuckup with his Ph.D. So why are these clueless statists anointed as “experts” in a subject when they lack practical knowledge of even the basic facts of life?
The same analogy also applies to marketing, journalism, broadcasting, the sciences, and other career-oriented courses. Why should those whose only “experience” comes from classroom lectures by fellow know-nothing blowhards be given cushy, tenured positions to perpetuate their ignorance? As the saying goes, those who can, do and those who can’t, teach.
When asked about their most memorable and interesting classes, students often point to the course taught by the part-time instructor with decades of practical experience or the professor who first learned his trade in the real world before going into teaching. Anyone who has endured some of the droning monologues of smug “educators” surely understands the difference between true learning and killing time.
This bit of consumer fraud is just part of the ripoff, as there’s much more to the scheme mislabeled as education. The typical college curriculum is larded with time-wasting (but revenue producing) mandatory classes and electives.
Why should students and parents pay full retail for required core classes of several hundred freshmen taught by graduate assistants? Does anyone really believe that one-on-one learning takes place in this cattle car environment, especially when the alleged professor is even less experienced in practical life skills (if such a thing is possible) than the average classroom pontificator?
What is especially irritating to freedom lovers is how supposedly “vital” classes are nothing more than mandatory brainwashing sessions. How does gay and lesbian studies, dreary, narcissistic feminist poetry, monologues on the glories of socialism, globalism and gun control and evolution-only science courses increase a student’s career skills and ability to think logically?
When the educrats are asked to justify their leech-like existence and to verify their real world credentials, the answers tend to be the same.
“I have a Ph.D.!” Translation: I sat in class for years, quite often to avoid the competitive atmosphere of free enterprise. People who think just like me eventually gave me a piece of paper just like theirs.
“I have 17 years of experience!” Translation: Where else am I going to get a guaranteed paycheck, summers off, and impose my opinions on students whom I could flunk if they disagree too vehemently with my brilliant ideas?
“I have been published in academic journals!” Translation: I wrote a turgid, long-winded piece of indecipherable jargon for my fellow statists. None of us reads these obscure, often taxpayer-subsidized fishwraps, but we all use them to enhance our rsums. Check out the Journal of the Songbirds of Southern Rhode Island for my latest paper.
“My colleagues speak highly of me!”: Translation: We’ve got a good thing going, so you cover my butt, and I’ll cover yours. This is the academic world’s equivalent of Al Capone getting a character reference from Lucky Luciano.
Here’s the most diabolical part of the deal: Taxpayers lavishly subsidize higher education even while students go into debt slavery for their own reprogramming! Maybe those eggheads aren’t as stupid as they act, as they have built a giant, lucrative make-work program for themselves.
As with any other aspect of life, government interference in the market exacerbates the problem. When students walk into the financial aid office and say they are dropping out because of the cost of college, the “financial aid officer” often sings a one-note tune.
“You can apply for student loans!”, is the reflexive solution offered to potential dropouts. The basic concept of running a leaner, more efficient (and more affordable) campus is completely foreign to these addicts to state funding.
Here’s some advice to students: NEVER ask anyone associated with a college financial aid office if taking a loan is a good idea. Find advisors with at least an ounce of objectivity if you are considering a debt obligation that could take decades to pay off.
So what is the solution to flushing the sewer of American academia? Pay professors what they are truly worth. Since that would violate minimum wage laws in many cases, I may have created a whole ‘nother problem.
May 31, 2005