Why Did Georgetown University Call Me Out?

Recently by James Altucher: About the Time I Went Deaf

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).

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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.

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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.

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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?