ALL BLOG POSTS AND COMMENTS COPYRIGHT (C) 2003-2019 VOX DAY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION IS EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

The college experience isn't worth it

Not if you're going to be paying for it for the rest of your life:
Stats from the Department of Education show outstanding student loans total more than $1 trillion. A report from The Institute for College Access in late 2013 revealed the average new graduate starts his or her life with $29,400 in student loan debt. College as we know it is clearly unaffordable.

So my question is: Why do people keep embarking on the “traditional college experience” when they know it’s going to put them tens — sometimes hundreds — of thousands of dollars in debt?

And while some people say these 18-year-old kids don’t know what they’re getting themselves into, let’s not pretend we don’t know better. I distinctly remember asking my friend how he would pay off the roughly $70,000 debt he would incur to obtain a major in Ancient Greek and Latin at a liberal arts college in the Midwest. His answer? A simple shrug and flippant “It’s not something I have to worry about right now — hopefully they’ll be forgiven by the government.” Now that he’s still waiting tables four years after graduation, I’d say it’s well past time to start worrying.

I can’t pretend I completely understand how these people feel after the fun is over and the repayments begin, but I can say that I really don’t feel bad for them.

Why not? Because I worked hard to avoid taking out loans. My wonderful parents and grandmother helped me pay for my education, but in the end, it was a few decisions I made that saved me the burden of borrowing money I would never have been able to pay back. Unlike the majority of my friends who went to schools less than an hour from their parents’ homes and chose to live on campus rather than commute, my college roommates were named Mom and Dad. I chose state schools that were half, sometimes one-quarter, of the cost of the schools my friends were attending and worked a part-time on-campus scholarship job in addition to full-time hours at my retail job.
In fairness, it should be pointed out that there is an entire predatory industry, aided and abetted by the federal government, the public school system, and far too many parents, encouraging graduating seniors to make stupid and short-sighted decisions.  This doesn't excuse the terrible decisions they are making, but it does help explain them.

I'm a little curious about what I can only presume is a new editor at TIME. They've been running some surprisingly good columns of late.

Labels: ,

105 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous October 05, 2014 4:07 PM  

Somone whose higher education was paid for by mommy, daddy, grandma and grandpa really ins't in position to lecture, or even understand, those of us from the working and lower middle class who weren't provided for past age 18.

Also, while this certainly is a prob....WAIT, there is still a Time Magazine?!? LOL

Anonymous pseudotsuga October 05, 2014 4:17 PM  

I paid for most of my Higher Education myself. My family didn't have much money, and there were 6 kids in the family.
I chose to attend a school 800 miles away from my hometown, but it was an affordable school, I had some small scholarships, and I worked part time and three-quarter time all through my BA and MA (both in the Liberal Arts, Humanities). I had to do a couple small student loans, administered by a local credit union--one my parents paid off, and the rest was 6,000 dollars when I graduated in the mid 90s. That was paid off long ago. I borrowed none for MA, but paid for it as I went along. (Same for an unfinished PhD program.)
I wonder if it will be possible for my kids to do what I did...

Anonymous true reactionary October 05, 2014 4:29 PM  

Answer: CHANCE TO GET DRUNK & LAID

Anonymous Homesteader October 05, 2014 4:30 PM  

This topic is big at our home, as our kids are 9 to 11 years old, and I don't foresee paying for a corrosive dip in the Marxist kiddie pool.

My plan right now:
12 years old- Take over household bookkeeping under my supervision.

14 years old- Begin apprenticeships as I can arrange for them. Emphasis on operating a business.

16 years old- Instruction in investing; begin supervised stock trading.

18 yes old- Hopefully ready to begin adult life. College only for specific vocation.

The question is, what is our goal, as parents? What skills are we attempting to impart? Does college offer anything worth the outrageous cost that we are unable to supply?

Teach them 7 things-
1. How to Think
2.Work
3. Love
4. Defend themselves
5. Manage money
6. Get along with others
7. To be Still

If they can do those seven things, they should manage. Do they need 4 years and 50k to do it? I don't think so.

Anonymous Angry October 05, 2014 4:32 PM  

You mean this Jewess had her college largely paid for by others and presumes to lecture those who don't have such resources? I suppose if one chose to forego college completely to avoid such debt she would then not feel sorry for them when they could not find work due to a lack of a degree?

The college scam is a really nice racket. They tell you you will have no possibility of getting a middle class life unless you go to college. They trot out all kinds of "lifetime earning" statistics between those who have degrees and those who don't to sucker the young into going into debt.

Then, when the degree is finally given and payments have to be made, they make all kinds of excuses as to why college did not lead to the middle class job. Gee, you majored in the wrong things. You went to the wrong school. You took too much debt. All things that were encouraged by TPTB.

There is a concept in finance and investment called a "suitability requirement." If you as an investment professional sell a security that is inappropriate to a certain kind of investor, say, commodities futures for a little old lady's retirement account, then you could be on the hook for any losses the client incurs.

The same should apply to universities. Universities who scam students should be on the hook for making all the defrauded parties whole.

Anonymous Angry October 05, 2014 4:37 PM  

Homesteader,

"The question is, what is our goal, as parents? What skills are we attempting to impart? Does college offer anything worth the outrageous cost that we are unable to supply?"

You cannot get a job in this economy unless you have a college degree. Every HR department will screen you out. This is especially true if you are a white male. The kids going to college are not stupid for going because the system will screw them over twice as hard without that degree.

You can't start or run a business because regulations will kill you. Your capital will go to serving government before a single paying customer shows up.

Meritocracy is bs because people who own capital will not favor you over their own children.

Blogger Eric October 05, 2014 4:38 PM  

In fairness, it should be pointed out that there is an entire predatory industry, aided and abetted by the federal government, the public school system, and far too many parents, encouraging graduating seniors to make stupid and short-sighted decisions.

The schools have been able to convince parents by pointing to lifetime earnings data for college graduates. But that's all historical data - I don't think just having any old degree is going to benefit today's students as much as it did previous generations.

College has become high school part II, where the classes aren't any more rigorous and your parents aren't cramping your social life. Employers realize this, too.

Anonymous justmakingitup October 05, 2014 4:49 PM  

Not true. If you're willing to pay your dues, start out making way less than the "average", and learn as you go, it's not that hard.

I've been in the industry for 37 years, started out making just a shade more than minimum wage. Now, I am comfortably in 6 figures. Because I was willing to put in the time, I didn't need the paper.

Would I be making more if I had a degree? Sure. I'd also be four years older, and would have spent the first ten years of my career paying off the debt.

Anonymous The One October 05, 2014 4:50 PM  

@Vox

Do you know if homeschooled children would be eligible to attend Italian State Universities (as Italian citizens of course)

Anonymous Susan October 05, 2014 4:52 PM  

A friend of mine who took out a government loan(sallie mae) was told by a clerk drone that if she misses a payment, or is late with it, the loan clock goes back to square one and you start all over again.

Doesn't matter if you have paid it on time for several years. Miss a payment and the loan starts back from square one.

Quite the little racket they have, and it is ALL legal.

She will have no problem paying it back because she is gainfully employed with a very well paying job. But I feel bad for the folks who aren't.

Anonymous Angry October 05, 2014 4:53 PM  

Homesteader,

The purpose of proper parenting is to fit your kid into the world so that they can prosper and succeed enough to successfully perpetuate their line. This means that you work to raise the status of your children in the world as much as possible. Whether you actually give them money or encourage them to make it on their own is irrelevant. Going into debt to go to college is also no big deal if that successfully raises their status.

This is why New York is filled with kids like that author at Time Magazine. They have their college paid for, their rent paid for, their food paid for, their clothes paid for so that they can focus on their status-enhancing careers instead of focusing on making a living. That is what you need to do to help your kids: position them in the world by raising their status.

Anonymous Homesteader October 05, 2014 4:54 PM  

Angry,
I see it from both sides.

Where I live, blue collar workers do well. (Native born Caucasians , no less!) These are self employed skilled tradesman.

And yes, the ghost of Griggs vs. Duke Power haunts us all. But will this last forever? I don't think so. And not necessarily true- I know Google and Microsoft hire talent without degrees, the caveat being, they are very talented people.

(First hand acquaintance in one case, anecdotally in the other.)

As for starting and running a business, I cannot say, having never done so. I'll defer to those with experience. We must still try, though, as despair is as good as defeat.

As for meritocracy, agreed. People get you jobs, skills keep them.

Talent without people skills is a dead end. You need both.

The consolation we have is this-extremes never last.
Thus, we must envision our future, then act to realize it.

There is no other option

Anonymous Angry October 05, 2014 4:57 PM  

justmakingitup,

This is not the 70's. Almost no job will take you without a degree. And those that do have no prospect of upward mobility from working hard.

Anonymous The One October 05, 2014 4:57 PM  

I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.

Psalm 37:25

Trust In G-d and not leaning on your own understanding seems a better plan then most

Anonymous Justice Story October 05, 2014 4:57 PM  

I talked to some kid yesterday, who is enrolled at Drake law school after a few years post-college working specialty sales. He blithely told me he was in his first year and facing $150,000 in debt. I didn't know what to say. One doesn't want to crush the kid's dream, but he clearly is off his nut, particularly with corporations cutting back on the use of outside counsel with the recent downturn. He had no plan in place, where to go, what to study (except--vaguely--intellectual property). At the very least I recommended taking the patent agent's exam and start clerking (doing anything) during the school year. But he seemed to be waiting--vaguely--for something at a law firm to surface next year or the year after. Poor chump. What can one do? Everyone is smiling, chattering, having fun, chasing women, drinking beer, and he hasn't even done the math.

Anonymous Homesteader October 05, 2014 5:03 PM  

"Status" is a null term-"better a ploughman on his feet than a gentleman on his knees". After all, who has more status- the Amish, or your example of NY college kids? But who is more prosperous?

Our job as parents is to give our children the skills they will need to prosper in the manner in which they will choose to do so.

Give them wings, teach them to fly. Where they fly is up to them.

Anonymous The One October 05, 2014 5:06 PM  

Strong argument could be made the Amish are prosperous because they are completely self sufficient.

Blogger bub October 05, 2014 5:10 PM  

Read it and weep

Anonymous Homesteader October 05, 2014 5:11 PM  

We're working on it..

Anonymous The other skeptic October 05, 2014 5:16 PM  

Over at Steve Sailer's, Education Realist is saying that because niggers are getting worthless degrees everyone has to get a degree.

Of course, if you are in an area where niggers can't compete ... (and transmitting vile diseases is not one of them.)

I know of several software engineers who did not attend or complete college. They make out quite well.

Anonymous Rick Johnsmeyer October 05, 2014 5:19 PM  

One aspect of the student loan scam that isn't mentioned much is the effect of suppressing the birth rate among more educated (and disproportionately white) young Americans. "Family formation" among that cohort has sank dramatically over the past several years, and the US birth rate is currently lower than that of the UK or France.

This is the nature of the game. Yet if you mention "student loans," the response on the right is often some kind of preening moralism along the lines of "HURR DURR, PAY YOUR DEBTS YOU DEADBEATS!"

While I think deadbeats SHOULD pay their debts, this thing is systemic, and the inability of so many people to think of it in systemic terms is alarming. I would gladly wipe out student debts and peg the bill to the endowments of the universities themselves who used the students as conduits for loan money.

Anonymous Angry October 05, 2014 5:24 PM  

Homesteader,

1) What is the average age of these skilled tradesmen who are self-employed? Are they in their 50's and 60's with sub-10 employee operations? What's the average age of their employees? I've seen jobs advertised for machinists that pay $15 an hour, in an industry that is competing with Chinese crap.

2) I seriously doubt Google and Microsoft hire without a degree. My suspicion is such people network their way into these companies through someone they know. And the people they know are usually higher-ups at such firms.

3) People don't get you jobs. Status gets you jobs. Don't confuse the two. People skills are not about good manners. They are about projecting the appropriate level of status to the peer group around you, signaling to others they you are a worthy person to give a wide margin of error to.

Status is the reason why Chevy can't sell a Corvette to anyone under 55, despite the Corvette's stellar performance.

Anonymous DT October 05, 2014 5:35 PM  

In fairness, it should be pointed out that there is an entire predatory industry, aided and abetted by the federal government, the public school system, and far too many parents, encouraging graduating seniors to make stupid and short-sighted decisions. This doesn't excuse the terrible decisions they are making, but it does help explain them.

At what point is it an excuse? At what point is the blame shifted from the person who is lied to (their entire life) onto the liars themselves, particularly when the lies and manipulations are for the financial benefit of the liars?

I know if I was in control...

* Educational loans would be fully privatized.
* Existing debtors would be allowed full bankruptcy protection.
* Debt holders would be free to sue the educational institutions which benefited from the loans for up to 50% of the value of any debt lost in bankruptcy. They would be expected to eat the other 50%.

I imagine the market would adjust very quickly with such laws in place, and the scamming would come to a screeching halt. Some colleges might go under as well, but that could only be a good thing at this point.

Blogger YIH October 05, 2014 5:39 PM  

Homesteader:
I know Google and Microsoft hire talent without degrees, the caveat being, they are very talented people.
But not from the US, one of the reasons they love H1bs so much is they can hire 4 or 5 of them for what a US hire would expect.
Then they can treat them like minor league baseball, out of say 10 prospects, they can winnow out nine of them with little trouble.

Anonymous H October 05, 2014 5:49 PM  

Is this just another aspect of the Boomer generation screwing over the next generations?

Anonymous Rick Johnsmeyer October 05, 2014 5:51 PM  

In the sense that college administrators and officials are overwhelmingly Boomers, yes, absolutely.

The notion of larding up a teenager with undischargeable debt always reminds me of Saturn devouring his own son.

Anonymous freestater October 05, 2014 5:51 PM  

Poor bastards need to learn supply and demand. I unfortunately did take out 50,000 in student loans, but such is the way of the accountant suffering under the weight of reaching state requirements to become a CPA. The upside for this degree however is amazing. I have been doing tax work since last year while attempting the CPA exam and the interviews have been rolling in this year. Three years ago I could not get an interview to save my life, it seems things are changing, at least in the accounting profession.

Blogger Outlaw X October 05, 2014 5:54 PM  

Gen Xr's are facing a problem with their childrens education. It will be fascinating to see how the millenials come out of this and what solutions they may brainstorm up or not. But the truth is it aint working they way it's working. Will the parents sit their children down and put the math to it and tell them about non discharged loans and rest of their life. Will the Gen x'rs forgo their retirement fund to put their children through college and be stuck with uncle Sam SSI for retirement supplement or never be able to retire? Will they become like their parents when reality comes knocking?

Life stages and economic anomalies can steer the average person into becoming what he hates, or coming up with new a better solutions. I am banking on then Gen xr's to figure away to crawl out of this hole, but it is going to take some serious out of the box thinking. My shadow is long, but I still care about the future of our children.

Blogger ray October 05, 2014 6:08 PM  

I combined the GI bill with (low paying but steady) jobs during college to avoid loans. And attended a low-cost state college, while my 'betters' went for Status Universities.


College enrollment is now driven by females, often with the financial support of parents, along with the scholarships, endowments, and various aids available only to the Abused Gender. Most are effectively guaranteed employment after graduation, as affirmative action grinds on decade after decade.


There's a reason that entering college and 'going back to school' are constantly being hawked the government/media/academic complex. Necessary to prop us the obvious long-term fail of all these mediocre (and less) people acquiring higher education.

Blogger ray October 05, 2014 6:26 PM  

"In the sense that college administrators and officials are overwhelmingly Boomers, yes, absolutely.

The notion of larding up a teenager with undischargeable debt always reminds me of Saturn devouring his own son."


College had to be fem-industrialized in order to keep the vastly top-heavy administrators, officials, and other predators making their six-figure salaries for fronting Big Feminism and PC.


Government, NGOs, and education is infested with these massively overpaid nothings, all with fancy titles. Most of them are Boomers and they truly are the rotten heart of New Amerika.


Saturn devouring (somebody else's) son is spot-on. One ring to rule them all.

Anonymous Daniel H October 05, 2014 6:33 PM  

>>I'm a little curious about what I can only presume is a new editor at TIME. They've been running some surprisingly good columns of late

They are desperate. They will try anything. They don't want to go the way of Newsweek.

Anonymous FUBAR Nation Ben October 05, 2014 6:49 PM  

The education industry is in a slow motion collapse. All you need to do is take a look at law schools, which are the most blatant scams. Matriculation at law schools is down substantially from the high water mark of 2010 and is sinking every year, which is starting to result in layoffs and campuses being closed.

Don't worry about saving for college because when the next economic crises hits in the next few years, it's going to be slash and burn time. Over-leveraged colleges are going to be falling left and right.

Just like sub-prime auto loans.

Anonymous Homesteader October 05, 2014 6:58 PM  

Angry,
"Average" age would be 40. In actuality, early 30 to mid 50s.
And they range from lone man operations, to 3 to 4 crews.
I doubt any have more than 15 employees.
(Rural area.)
As for Google and Microsoft,
my knowledge is from the employee in question who was hired without a degree. The other was from someone inside who was telling me about their interview process.
3. And I absolutely disagree about status getting you jobs. People get you jobs. Status helps-I doubt Ivy league grads hurt for offers-but for the vast majority of us, our friends and acquaintances are a huge avenue of employment. (To wit- I can count 4 co-workers I recruited to my workplace. All of them were people I could vouch for.)
And if by status you mean "socioeconomic background", they varied, from blue to middle class.
So I'm not confusing status with manners. I'm saying status doesn't count as much as you think it does.

And what ARE the demographics on corvettes these days? And is that a function of status, or the fact that gen X and under can't afford them because of student loans from status schools?

Anonymous aviendha October 05, 2014 7:02 PM  

angry: I got a contracting (through Volt) interview at Microsoft in the late 90s. I did well in the interview, they made me a blue badge offer and had to pay volt a headhunting fee. My education was left off my resume and it has never come up...and I'm one of those twice the credits to graduate high school but not enough of the required courses (psychology/pe) to actually graduate.

YMMV

Anonymous Homesteader October 05, 2014 7:04 PM  

Interesting point. One man was German, the other Canadian.

Not the H1B cliché, I think, but neither American either.




Anonymous Homesteader October 05, 2014 7:06 PM  

Response to YIH.

Anonymous Homesteader October 05, 2014 7:10 PM  

I've been thinking about Angry's assertion regarding status, and I have a question.

If you are a graduate of a "status" school, do you agree with his assertion in relation to hiring and being hired?

Thanks in advance.

Blogger YIH October 05, 2014 7:19 PM  

Almost 3 years ago Vox did a post about some idiot who got a Master's in puppetry (you think I'm joking, don't you?).
Three years and $35,000 in student loans later, he emerged with degree in hand.
“But sub pay is about 50 percent of a full-time salaried position,” he says, “so I’m working for half as much as I did four years ago, before grad school, and I don’t have health insurance…. It’s the best-paying job I could find.”
Why would a major school even offer such a thing? A local 'college extension' course consisting of a couple hours a week, over the span of 6-12 months with a total cost well under $2000 and a final exam consisting of a 30 minute puppet show at the local Library, sure.
Anything beyond that is ridiculous - and a scam.
On bankruptcy, I'd like to see it changed to this; make student loan debt undischargeable for a limited time - less than 60 months or death of primary debtor, after that Chapter 7/estate settlement wipes it.

Blogger Outlaw X October 05, 2014 7:21 PM  

I never got a job that I didn't know somebody related to that Job. I never got a new Job I applied for, as every job I got someone came to me and asked me to work for them. Everyone I applied for I never got.
Jobs I've had other than self employment.

1) Farm Hand
2) Tractor mechanic
3) Property surveyor (oil & gas)
4) Parts man (Farm equipment)
5) County Tax assessor collector (gopher)
6) Roofer (suckiest job ever)
7) Civil Engineering (USDA) - asked, applying was a required formality.

Blogger Remo October 05, 2014 7:22 PM  

How can young women be properly turned into whores without college? The current majors in drinking and party also feed the abortion clinic tradition so be sure to calculate this valuable life experience in the final tabulation.

Anonymous Lowly Lurker October 05, 2014 7:27 PM  

Youve got a new admirer, Vox. Or maybe an old one.

He’s one of the major players in Gamergate. While most pro-gamer communities forbid attacking Quinn personally or demonizing women in the industry, Vox explicitly encourages these actions. Even if we ignore the ethical issues of harassment as a form of protest, he is still providing fuel to the “gamers are sexist” engine.

In short, he and his personal army are the stereotype gamers are trying to get away from, so it’s important that they avoid this guy.

http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/people/vox-day-theodore-beale

Anonymous Credo in Unum Deum October 05, 2014 7:37 PM  

Hate to admit it... But the porn star "Belle Knox" (Real name Miriam Weeks) made some darn good points when she was being interviewed on TV networks a few months back. Why should she go into thousands of dollars of debt, when she can avoid it?

For a "Woman's Studies" major, she is too smart to be in college.

Anonymous University of Caucasians Lost among Asians October 05, 2014 7:40 PM  

...Observation of trends in individuals or groups is demonic, take note.

Unless you're from the Mainland. Then you have carte blanche. Or whatever the superior Mandarin equivalent is.

Anonymous VD October 05, 2014 7:50 PM  

This comment was deeply amusing, for reasons many readers will understand:

I think you could totally make a gladiatorial game out of who could kill the most bunnies before time ran out. That seems like something that would speak to both the desire for bloodshed that is core to the event….and it would be funny to see powerful men chase small bunnies around.

I could plausibly see that happening both within the original cultural context (heck, give the butchered rabbits to the crowd, since free food is the other pillar of keeping the plebs happy) and within the context of a videogame.

Anonymous kh123 October 05, 2014 7:57 PM  

...On a side note, the commentary on knowyourmammy.com is priceless. Worth every over-leveraged penny if the American Uni system churns out this kind of free entertainment.

Blogger YIH October 05, 2014 8:01 PM  

FUBAR Nation Ben:
Don't worry about saving for college because when the next economic crises hits in the next few years, it's going to be slash and burn time.
Not necessarily.
Over-leveraged colleges are going to be falling left and right.
Like the over-leveraged ''financial industry'' in '08?
But even worse, State governments are directly involved here as well: Such as ___ State and teh University of ___.

Anonymous RJ October 05, 2014 8:07 PM  

For a "Woman's Studies" major, she is too smart to be in college.

No, she's not. She turned down a free ride at Vanderbilt to go to Duke because it "just felt like the place I was meant to be."

Anonymous patrick kelly October 05, 2014 8:08 PM  

The "college experience" is what has a bubble ready to burst. Getting educated thoroughly enough as a prerequisite for some entry level position leading to a professional career is possible by other means.

You don't have to move far away, live in a dorm, and go to school somewhere that has a football team and fraternity houses, and finish a degree in 4 years. It ain't necessary.

A good 1/2 or more of the expense of the traditional "college experience" is the expense of living without income away from mom and dad.

That model is no longer sustainable, if it ever was, for most people.

Anonymous clk October 05, 2014 8:12 PM  

If I was incharge I would make colleges provide a statement on ROR for each degree, payback %, grads with jobs 6 mths after graduation in thier major field.

Anonymous Overlord Lebowski, Professor Emeritus at El Duque U. October 05, 2014 8:31 PM  

If I was incharge I would make colleges provide a statement on ROR for each degree, payback %, grads with jobs 6 mths after graduation in thier major field.

...But see, see... Nevermind the fact that I'm in charge... sir. But, like... It's just like Global Wa... what... Climate Change. And that TE(p)NS deal. The variable are just so great that, like, really man, there's no way you can responsibly nail down the data like that to make a... [*sips*]... definitive statement or, you know,... what's it called... a prediction. You just have to trust that life's a game, right; and you got to pay for the ticket at some point.

And yeah, yeah, I'll have next month's rent...... Yeah; yeah. Dance quintet... I'll be there.

Anonymous FUBAR Nation Ben October 05, 2014 9:05 PM  

YIH, you think the government is going to backstop the law schools and colleges? I don't think so unless Good ol' Uncle Buffett and the fine folks at Goldman Sucks can find a way to profit off of it. Shouldn't be too hard considering Janet Yellen is committed, just like the bernank, of making sure the banks survive.

Take a look at the law school stats. A collapse in the law school system can't be avoided, though it would be amusing to have another TARP program targeted at buying up college debt to "stimulate" lending. I can hear it now: We need to bail out the schools for the childrrreeeennn.

Anonymous Carlotta October 05, 2014 9:12 PM  

@Homesteader

Angry is a moron without a single shred of evidence to back anything they have said up while ignoring reality.

Ignore.

Blogger pyrrhus October 05, 2014 9:14 PM  

"If you are a graduate of a "status" school, do you agree with his assertion in relation to hiring and being hired?"

My undergrad degree, with honors, was from one of the most famous schools on the planet. Without any connections, the job market was very tough (Nixon recession). Others in my class had similar experiences.

Anonymous Stg58/Animal Mother October 05, 2014 9:23 PM  

Angry,

You are wrong about needing a degree. The Oil & Gas industrt is growing so quickly they will take just about anyone. I am the sales director of an oil and gas tech startup in Austin and I am working on my first degree, an associate's degree.

I started as a technician in the military and worked my way up.

Anonymous A Visitor October 05, 2014 9:24 PM  

My two bachelor's and master's were in semi-decent majors. Ergo, I have a wide variety of marketable skills and am on the cusp of being full time employed again.

I've started noting things I think my parents could have done better (they did a great job, regardless!) that'll I'll be sure to emphasize to my children (once I am married and have them). On what I believe to be several key issues they have inadvertently thrown us to the wolves, mainly because they either didn't know how to do it or didn't deem it worthy to pass it on to my siblings and me.

I'll say this: college still is mandatory for an MD. As in, you must have a BA or BS with the required med school pre-reqs done in order to get into med school. I don't foresee that changing in the future.

Anonymous The other skeptic October 05, 2014 9:24 PM  

Meanwhile, White House sends aide to deliver personal message of appreciation to graduate of Oklahoma Mosque.

Anonymous Carlotta October 05, 2014 9:28 PM  

@Angry

1. You claiming to see a listing is not evidence. Try looking up salaries for machinists, welders, plumbers, masons, oil rig workers etc. You are wrong.

2. You are wrong. Tech companies do hire people without degrees all the time. So does the government. So do businesses.

3. SKILLS get you jobs. And people with them enjoy hiring MBAs to wait tables.

Enjoy your status while cleaning my car so you can scrape together enough to pay off your school loans and afford Ramen noodles for the next 30 years.

Anonymous crazy coyote October 05, 2014 9:43 PM  

the charade will only end with the collapse of it all. bring it on, please, before all us really stoopid boomers who studied for the the zombie apocalypse die off . who will inherit all the skills (infrared night scopes, ghilly suits, e.g.) learned in the nam...? our southron and other vets from the recent raghead rodeos can help (please?).

Anonymous Bobo October 05, 2014 9:57 PM  

"I'll say this: college still is mandatory for an MD"

You have noticed that being an MD in the United State (no S, thanks Lincoln) is about to become as handsomely paid as being a pre-k teacher.
A lot of commentors seem to have naive future vision of the education/employment landscape, but hey, being a wage serf may be ultra cool in the coming age.

My oldest is 9, college as I knew it won't be there in 9 years, and even if it was, I don't think Christians should send there kids into demonic snake-pits.
I work for myself, I make more money than I can spend, and I can teach my clever children how business works, what an opportunity looks like, and give them the benefit of my hard-won experience. That's what dads used to do.
I get at least one good business idea a week that would make any switched-on 20 year-old a nice 6 figure income...but where are they? Fartin' around in college, rolling fat chicks home...

Almost by definition, kids stoopid enough to get a BA in some liberal arts curriculum and pay $80k+ for it, in the current stage of decline worldwide, is too lacking in intellectual horse-power to be part of the club. And that's sad.

"The world needs ditch-diggers too!" - Judge Smales

Anonymous ThirdMonkey October 05, 2014 10:00 PM  

Got my degree in 4 years, debt-free, by working full-time and going full-time, including a couple of summer sessions. I had a job waiting for me before I even started my senior year. Most 18yr olds don't have a clue, much less a plan to finish. The only thing worse than having a degree and debt is not finishing and having student loan debt. A good friend of mine dropped out of high school to become an electrician. He now owns his own business, with multiple crews. His son and my son spent most of the day yesterday in his indoor batting cage while we sat by the pool. Marketable skills + hard work = success.

Anonymous Jack Amok October 05, 2014 10:06 PM  

You cannot get a job in this economy unless you have a college degree. Every HR department will screen you out. This is especially true if you are a white male....
You can't start or run a business because regulations will kill you. Your capital will go to serving government before a single paying customer shows up.


Yep, it's hopeless. Best to just stick your head in an oven and get it over with. The world isn't making it easy for you to succeed, so everything sucks. Stupid world...

I know Google and Microsoft hire talent without degrees, the caveat being, they are very talented people.
But not from the US, one of the reasons they love H1bs so much is they can hire 4 or 5 of them for what a US hire would expect.


I'm not a fan of the H1b crap either, but let's not exaggerate to the point of looking foolish. H1b hires are in the US making entry-level US wages and at best you can hire 2 for the price of 1 US-born engineer with 10+ years experience. You have to outsource to India or China to get the 4 or 5x margin, and as incompetent as the H1b hires are, the outsourcing firms are far, far worse.

Plus, every single one of those H1b hires have college degess, usually graduate degrees. Worthless degrees from Squallorabad Technical Institute, but graduate degrees none-the-less. H1b's do not go to people without credentials. Twenty years ago a white cis-male with no particular EEOC advantages could be hired without a CompSci degree at MSFT. Ten years ago, maybe at best. Now? Unlikely. Best chance would be to start a company, build a product they want, and be acquired.

But, all that aside, do not look to corporate America as your meal ticket unless you were morally bankrupt enough to get a fucking law degree. Defy commenter Angry and start your own company. Comply with whatever regulations you deem necessary, but don't expect someone else to grease the skids for you. And sometime in the near future, people who can get shit done will be very, very valuable again.

Anonymous Feelings, Nothing More Than Feelings October 05, 2014 10:44 PM  

Kind of remarkable to see an article with even half of the facts in Time.
I wonder if one of the boomer editors retired or dropped dead or something, and was replaced with an Xr?

I mean, there's facts in there, it's not just feelings about how wunnerful college is because Bluto.

Blogger CarpeOro October 05, 2014 11:23 PM  

Before my niece started school I mentioned to my sister the idea of doing the first two years at a Community College. The class sizes are generally smaller and you are more likely to get face time with a teacher if necessary. Not to mention the eternal bane of a significant number of students - changing majors. Sure, you don't get to the meat of any path of study in a Community College, but you can get your feet wet. At a small portion of the credit hour cost of even a State university. I don't regret going that route and saving the money charged for student dorms, tuition etc. It is actually cheaper for my niece to live in a sorority house than student housing. My niece is fortunate in the fact her step father is willing to foot the bill (her biological father who is fairly wealthy hasn't chipped in a cent).

I also started seeing commercials with a number of students saying "they say most people don't get a monetary benefit from attending college, but I'm not most people". The people voicing these sentiments and similar snowflake assertions were a black male and female, and a white female if I recall. Suddenly I feel so much more hopeful about the utility of a college edumaction, I'm investing in a unicorn bridle manufacturer.

Anonymous NateM October 05, 2014 11:30 PM  

This comment was deeply amusing, for reasons many readers will understand


Space Bunnies Must Die?

Anonymous Anonymous October 05, 2014 11:37 PM  

I have a degree in physics, and work at a grocery store and as a physics tutor. Why, you ask? Because I'm an aspiring musician and author (how cute)! Good news- I had a scholarship, so no debt. Bad news- my parents and fiance think I'm something of a degenerate. Being a heavy drinker doesn't help. Apparently, reading and playing music all day isn't a worthwhile way to spend ones life.

Anonymous dh October 06, 2014 12:00 AM  

But, all that aside, do not look to corporate America as your meal ticket unless you were morally bankrupt enough to get a fucking law degree. Defy commenter Angry and start your own company.

Yes, this is really good advice. Corporate america is a very weird place. In large companies that make money, they have found the mix of uselessness and advantage that allows them to profit. Everyone who is a "do-er" at a big corporation knows their ranks are filled with endless ranks of wasters and defaulters. In a company of, say, 10,000 employees - a medium sized outfit - you'll have about 100-150 people who generate the profit, about a 1000 people are solid workers doing the tasks that support the business with some integrity and zeal, and the rest are simply overhead necessitated by some b.s. reason. If you find a "do-er", and make yourself useful, you'll be in that 10% in no time, and you can have a decent career, with our without a career. But, if your "do-er" gets done-in, by misconduct, or a realignment, or moves on to a better company, you are screwed. Time to start over. If you are lucky you might become one of the 1% - 2% who are actually making the company money, driving profits.

The business cycle is such that people who are "do-er" orientated go out and start their own thing, and in half-a-generation, it has the same pattern. I personally think it's because our culture is sick, but who knows why.

If you keep a company small enough, and I have seen this, you can have a company that is overwhelmingly orientated towards "do-ers". 20 people in the right field, and you can have at least 15 who are really good, or borderline great, workers and employees. That's a fairly good ratio. Figure you need to have some support players in their - an office clerk who answers phone and buys bathroom supplies and files the contracts and the like. A bookkeeper who handles AR and AP and does the light banking. Probably an HR person who handles government reporting, and payroll, and the 401k plan. And then a few pity hires, or affirmative action hires, or whatever other bad decisions you make that you can't quite fire for whatever reason. But after 20 employees, it gets harder and harder. As a principal, you start to lose control of the employee on-boarding process. You start letting your managers have "their own team". And you have bigger deals to worry about, so junior staff, well, you let that one go to discretion of your managers. Then next thing you know, you have 200 employees, and you only know about 30 by name or sight. And problems no longer start and end with managers, but filter down into the depths of "the team". Like, "well, we have a security problem, my team is working on it it".

The nice thing is in a company of about 20 people, you can each generate, say, $500k in revenue, and have a nice strong company with $10M a year in revenue. If you have health margins, everyone can make a nice salary, and you keep a chunk for yourself, distribute a chunk in bonuses, and put a chunk back into the company.

My personal advice, if you are young and ambitious and not saddled with a lot of debt, is to look around your area for companies with 12-15 employees, with revenues in the $5M range, and owners or principals who are at the most in the early 50's, preferably late 40's. This is a prime situation to orient yourself to. The boss will never be more motivated - he needs this business to work so he can retire a bit down the road. Chances are he won't have kids that are eyeing the company yet. If he's hiring, (and let's be honest, the boss will be a man), latch onto anything you can, and work yourself to the bone. Don't be a suck ass, but learn every job you can, and especially, learn about how the company makes money. Know the top 5 customers by heart, and not necessarily what they do the most of, but what makes the company the most money.

Anonymous H October 06, 2014 12:09 AM  

OT: H/T Steve Sailer for an article titled There's No Such Thing as Judeo-Christian Values.

Anonymous Carlotta October 06, 2014 12:11 AM  

@dh

Wow. Advice from someone who actually knows what they are talking about!
Hopefully the 3 percent who would actually take it read it.

Blogger Eric October 06, 2014 12:21 AM  

My personal advice, if you are young and ambitious and not saddled with a lot of debt, is to look around your area for companies with 12-15 employees, with revenues in the $5M range, and owners or principals who are at the most in the early 50's, preferably late 40's.

That's good advice. Small companies don't pay as well as larger companies, but especially for your first job or two the experience is worth the differential. There were 40 people at my first job. The CEO knew all of us and saw us every day. In the four years I was there I think I attended maybe ten meetings (major announcements, like when we got a big contract or there was a layoff). I could see my individual contribution to the success of the company, and they didn't suffer goldbrickers.

I work at a huge company now. Half my coworkers spend their days accomplishing nothing in particular, but it's so much trouble to get rid of them the managers look the other way. If you started your career here you'd be ruined forever.

Anonymous John in Highland Park October 06, 2014 12:28 AM  

"You cannot get a job in this economy unless you have a college degree. Every HR department will screen you out. This is especially true if you are a white male. The kids going to college are not stupid for going because the system will screw them over twice as hard without that degree."

Bullshit. I went from lowest operator in a power plant to running over $1billion in capital projects for the largest utility in the US in 14 years. Constantly look to provide value and take every hard job that comes up and knock it out of the park. You have to outwork everyone else, even if you have degree.

Blogger rycamor October 06, 2014 12:28 AM  

@Angry,

Listen to Jack Amok and dh. Don't listen to some "career counselor" who has never run a business and probably never even had a job the *produces* anything in his life.

Blogger Outlaw X October 06, 2014 12:31 AM  

I have a degree in physics, and work at a grocery store and as a physics tutor.

I don't understand that. Become an engineer, I picked civil engineering. There is nothing more satisfying as to create something and watch it being built and when it is done you can stand back and look at it and say, that came from my brain and is my creation and it will stand there for years longer than I shall live it will live on. I created some of the most beautiful recreational lakes that will be there for a long time after me. Beer just kinda goes out that tubular weir between your legs in a couple hours. Do Something!

Blogger rycamor October 06, 2014 12:42 AM  

dh October 06, 2014 12:00 AM

In a company of, say, 10,000 employees - a medium sized outfit - you'll have about 100-150 people who generate the profit, about a 1000 people are solid workers doing the tasks that support the business with some integrity and zeal, and the rest are simply overhead necessitated by some b.s. reason.


This really is the case, and all too often the b.s. reason is that this person has a degree and knows someone in H.R.

I kid you not... in one very very large well-known company I worked for, I knew a guy with several degrees, including a couple masters', and I was told he was a "content management specialist". I thought that meant he would know something about Information Theory and be in charge of making sense of the humongous pile of documents and web pages generated by large companies. But no. I finally discovered that his job was to copy and paste data out of the old content management system into the new Sharepoint system. Because everyone actually doing useful work was still using the old system and didn't want to be bothered, so it fell to this guy to copy their entries into the new system, where *no one ever looked at it*.

Now... lest some layabout Millenial here starts thinking "maybe I could get one of those cush useless jobs, where there is just about zero accountability"--yeah, that the sort of soul-killing existence can be awarded to those who mortgage their future and enter the belly of the corporate beast. This guy was also depressed, morbidly obese, single and without a social life, and I'm sure laden with more debt than he would ever work off. But, he had his degrees!

Blogger Bosefus October 06, 2014 1:44 AM  

I think God has already dealt with Democrat Students and mocks them so who cares. Everything they know is wrong and everything they do fails. I was a beach boy in blue tennis shoes forever so don't bother knockin...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGp1a4O29oI

Ok, maybe that failed then I was a beatle boy...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bj4CZIJSuuU

Ok, maybe that failed and I too was mocked...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqRHr5pEIFU

Turn up the speakers...I'm self mocking. So far no debts.

Anonymous Angry October 06, 2014 1:56 AM  

Homesteader, Carlotta, Others,

Look, I am actually trying to help people here and not be a dick by pretending contrarianism. If you must know, I have economics and math degrees from the University of Chicago and have had a pretty prestigious career path along the way. I have also had the pleasure and frustration of watching others accelerate ahead of me and seeing others dismally fail. My observations are based on those experiences.

While I agree that the returns to a college degree have grown pretty dismal over time, I find it very alarming that suggestions like starting a business are treated seriously here. Businesses fail at an alarming rate. Your credit can be destroyed, and such destroyed credit can impact everything from finding a job to getting an apartment. Furthermore, in case you have to get a job after a business failure, most companies would not consider that to be real experience so it counts for nothing on a resume. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

There is a severe misunderstanding about status in this forum. Status is an ordinal, not a cardinal, measure. The whole idea of status concerns is for parents to raise their children to at least match up to the average of the peer group and the community they find themselves in. This includes how your kids look, act, dress, and the various toys and gadgets and activities around which social activities gravitate. This is the basic kernel of networking that we all value.

For example, if you live in a blue collar community then you certainly want to orient your kid to at about the average of the neighborhood you are in and about the average of your child's peer group. If you can afford it, then do better than average. But do not go below. That is critical.

The problem with blue collar communities is that those are ecosystems that are dying so you will need to move upmarket or else you will move downmarket.

You can talk about skills all you want and you are right, but he is the problem: how are you going to get any face-time with decision-makers to demonstrate your skills? Who is going to give you the time of day? Again, college is a component because status and credibility matter. Hell, I've been on consulting projects where the company used recent chemical engineering majors to maintain a COBOL program instead of simply hiring COBOL programmers. They figure the Chem.E was smart enough to re-purpose across different areas. These are the kind of decisions made in the real world.

I've worked for small businesses and they mostly suck. Don't think that irrationality disappears just because you're under 200 employees.

I've been in start-ups and they are usually for the birds. Failing because you could not get customers or mishandled the ones you have is bad enough. Failing because of government regs and other forms of hidden nonsense corporations lobbied for is profoundly demoralizing.

The best thing you can do for your kids is set them up financially to be independent, raise their status as much as possible, and go to as prestigious a school as they can get into. If you want to build skills, that's fine, too. If you have the money to send your kids to Harvard debt-free, then you send them to Harvard. There are too many first-mover disadvantages to rejecting college.

Blogger LP 999/Eliza October 06, 2014 2:15 AM  

Rip up the degree, debt and all the fraud along with it!

OT: Medicaid is paying my fathers stay at a local nursing home. I visit daily or every other day to ensure he eats. He lost part of his sight over the last few months and lost his appetite for boring foods but overall eats well. (as we age our taste buds change.)

The answer we were given was oxygen overdose, I called my attys and filed docs in the county the hospital resides along in the state that we reside. 2 issues; when dad dad go blind, when did the overdose occur and what emergency care was my dad given upon diagnosis or freak out. We are requesting to settle out of court, any monies gained go towards dads nursing home stay.

Anyways, WRE, a cfo type lady at the nursing home doing very well, nice new car, husband, etc. She told me that I am living off my dads money. She doesn't know me or my life. I gazed at her wedding band and and smiled at the irony, gesturing we should return to what exactly can dad expect in terms of care here.

I am being pressured to pay the nursing home - now - in cash. In July they wanted $1,000 per month, a unknown figure pulled outta the wind! I rec'ed the nursing home bills ($55,000 for 4 months) along with the medicaid form stating we will owe the nursing home 525 per mo even though medicaid pays into the care as well. I wrote medicaid and explained to them the situation. The nursing home was so, um, uncouth that they said well, we will pack his things, prep the discharge papers and....I said, "stop, I have an apartment ready next to mine with full home health care via medicaid." A few days later, "I asked dad if he wants to stay in the home or come back with me, he said he is fine at the home. I told him when he wants to be at home I will take you."

Dad is not well enough to manage financial issues that is why I am POA.

So what is the best thing to do? begin to pay the home 100 to 200 per mo? we do not have the 525.

Any advice/questions, things that I am leaving out or not thinking about is very appreciated.

I have accepted or am working on accepting that I will never live with mom and dad again, it may be skilled care units or nursing homes. I dont know. I was sick the last 4 days, mostly rested. So dad and I had our morning/evening good nite call.

All I can do for the gambler is give up my work for her sell in a depression. If one painting moves, I'll be surprised!

Blogger LibertyPortraits October 06, 2014 2:18 AM  

In another 10 to 20 years the sheer amount of millennials unable to save or build capital will become more apparent. The U.S. isn't a growing powerhouse of production and our current economic model is predicated on the assumption GDP will continue to grow exponentially. Half the population already isn't productive, I just can't picture this ending very well but maybe human ingenuity and innovation will prevail. Heck, if some millennial ran a presidential ticket on the sole promise to forgive student loan debt he'd practically be a shoo-in.

Anonymous Angry October 06, 2014 2:24 AM  

LP 999/Eliza,

If you have attorneys involved in suing the nursing home for negligence, then any such changes in your father's care, including costs, can be construed as retaliatory. They should not be increasing costs to you in response to any interrogatories into oxygen deprivation.

Ask to have all of his costs itemized and why the cost to you is going up. Record any conversations with this cfo surreptitiously just in case.

Check to see if your father has any bed sores or other indicators of negligence.

You will need to get lawyers involved.

Blogger rycamor October 06, 2014 3:07 AM  

@Angry, that's fine, but really, your experience or degrees are nothing special here. You would be surprised how many in this blog community have advanced degrees or illustrious careers.

I myself happen to have merely a degree in English Education at a lesser-known state university. These days I do database consulting for some of the biggest companies in the world. It's freelance... I take the jobs I want when I want, and do small tech projects on the side for fun.

During the course of my (varied) tech career, the number of times I have been asked about my degree, or even had my degree referred to in an way... is zero. In fact, if I brought it up at all, it would most likely work against me.

I have worked for every size company, from the 1-man show (me) to the handful of guys (startup) to the small/medium size company (the backbone of America) to the huge megacorp (more of a mixed bag than I would have expected).

In the history of my life, the only times the degree has ever come up were back when I was young and desperate and applying for horrid lower-middle-class paper-pushing jobs such as "administrative assistant" and other such mostly useless jobs. I have also held jobs from manual labor on up. So I've pretty much seen it all.

Yes, there are jobs for which degrees are a absolute requirement. If those are not for specific professions like science, law, or medicine, then they are pretty much jobs that are useless and counterproductive to America's economy and social welfare. Maybe a broad statement but for the most part true.

As for the fear of starting a small business... please. There are as many small business possibilities as there are job opportunities. I did alright for myself just painting houses. Life doesn't have to be that complicated.

Anonymous dh October 06, 2014 3:07 AM  

"There were 40 people at my first job. The CEO knew all of us and saw us every day. In the four years I was there I think I attended maybe ten meetings (major announcements, like when we got a big contract or there was a layoff). I could see my individual contribution to the success of the company, and they didn't suffer goldbrickers."

Yup, this is the perfect size to go into, learn something real, make a strong contribution, and walk away with a good reputation, 20 friends who will go to bat for you professionally, 2 friends you might like to go into business with down the line, and 1 owner/president/CEO who knows your name and thinks of it fondly. It probably won't be your last job, but you can get in, work there for 3, 4 or 5 years, learn 10 jobs, learn an industry, maybe a skill or a trade, and become valuable.

Honestly I think this type of business is about the only honest thing going on in the economy. All big business is terminally rigged, noncompetitive, and in the bag with government. Nothing over $1B in revenue exists without government contracts. Nothing. I am fairly certain this is a literally true statement - I don't think one company in the country has $1B in revenue without government playing some part in it. Every billionaire you see, all of them, are at the teet of government in some form or another.

LP- you are right that the country is losing productivity fast, a big part of it is human capital misallocation. I hate the big tech companies trying to inject low-wage foreign labor, and it's almost always a scam to simply lower prices but it's also a matter of labor fluidity or liquidity. In our current economic and regulatory environment, the desire is to be able to avoid long-term planning and simply move nimbly. This means being able to churn employees at a fast rate. So you get foreign schools to produce a flood of marginally skilled workers, in a hundred disciplines, and then you churn through them quickly. Need something new? Fine, churn out the old, churn in the new. It destroys the ability for the US to re-train and re-purpose workers from one discipline to another in short order. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Anonymous dh October 06, 2014 3:12 AM  

rycamor-- Heh, boy am I with you. I dropped out of community college after less than 3 semesters. I never regret it. I had a rocky childhood, but my middle and high schooling where excellent - Jesuit prepratory schools, I graduated being classically educated - I could read and write and speak Latin as fluently as any, could read and write ancient Greek. Same boat as you probably career wise. I hire and place a lot of people for various contracts that I run point on. And until the end I don't even ask if they have a degree. (At the very end I ask about college and military service because of some tax incentives, otherwise, I wouldn't even ask at all). I think on 100 point scale I give 2 points for a relevant degree and 1 point for a non-relevant degree. For point of reference, providing a literate and knowledge response to "what is recursion" is worth 5 points. And the set of people earning points for the question is quite often opposed to set earning credential points.

Anonymous Greg October 06, 2014 3:40 AM  

What do you make of Germany getting rid of tuition fees?

Anonymous Angry October 06, 2014 3:54 AM  

rycamor,

I am not listing my degrees to brag or to trump anyone here. I am simply pointing out that college is an angle, an optimization point that you need to work and not to simply reject out of hand.

Anonymous VD October 06, 2014 4:48 AM  

I am simply pointing out that college is an angle, an optimization point that you need to work and not to simply reject out of hand.

No one is saying college should be rejected out of hand. We are saying that it should be subjected to a serious cost-benefit analysis rather than accepted as an automatic optimal path.

One of the biggest mistakes I ever made was not blowing off what everyone else thought was the right thing to do, including my parents, and dropping out of college after my sophomore year to start a company selling my sound board.

After all, you can always do it after you graduate, right? Well, no, as it happens, windows of opportunity tend to close over time.

Blogger LP 999/Eliza October 06, 2014 5:48 AM  

The costs outweighed the first 5 years of working, I was better off doing my hobbies and going without a paycheck. The stress isn't worth it.

The labor farce reminds me of the once promoted, like a cheap trick, americant dream. That dream is a struggle, almost like a grand deception. Upward mobility appears to be complex. However, opportunities avail themselves.

Angry, nah, the nursing home is not under fire the negligence with additional details. The nursing home and I are fine. In back of mind I wonder if some nutcase is there working would abuse patients but that isn't in reality. The matter of negligence is with the HOS. I dont care to do this but as we all know, no matter what HOS we accuse or file grievance, might the same place one would have to go if one is ill. The problem for the attys and their attys, is an unanswered problem of when the oxygen OD happen, who noted it, who and when did the HOS try any emergency treatments to stop the blindness. pray.

Anonymous dh October 06, 2014 9:12 AM  

After all, you can always do it after you graduate, right? Well, no, as it happens, windows of opportunity tend to close over time.

The only people I've heard regret not going to college and finishing have been people who would be failures with or without paper. I'm sure they are out there...

Anonymous The other skeptic October 06, 2014 9:16 AM  

It was for this guy who gets a $560K a year pension after some 50 years at CUNY.

He wrote A History of Negro Slavery in New York where he states:

Bondage was the common lot of most of the early settlers [in America], for indentured servitude for whites and slavery for Negroes were integral parts of the colonial labor system.

Anonymous dh October 06, 2014 10:13 AM  

T.O.S. - I read that article, and did the basic maths, and although it sounds very egregious, I can't quite fault the system. The guy retired at age 89 after 61 years in service. He's already past life expectancy.

The professor who retires at $100k pension at age 60, and lives to 90 collects $3 million over his retirement. This guy would have to live 96 to collect the equivalent.

Blogger Brandon Francis October 06, 2014 10:24 AM  

4 years of partying and useless classes isn't worth 100K in debt if you ask me.

Anonymous Jack Amok October 06, 2014 12:20 PM  



If you must know, I have economics and math degrees from the University of Chicago and have had a pretty prestigious career path along the way...I find it very alarming that suggestions like starting a business are treated seriously here. Businesses fail at an alarming rate...There is a severe misunderstanding about status in this forum

You advocate mortgaging everything in order to buy your way into a system that won't last another twenty years. You don't seem to realize that the sheer incompetence of corporate and government America has caused both to squander nearly all of their capital (financial, moral, human, etc.) reserves, and leaves them incapable of fixing their myriad problems. A twenty year old who takes your advice will find himself utterly SOL by the age of forty.

The future belongs to people who can get things done. Real things, not committee meetings, symposiums and white papers. If your college degree and corporate experience helps you gain knowledge about getting things done (like, for example, the Chem Es who had to learn COBOL), then great. But if you get a degree that's good for pushing paper (Econ) or is really just a credentialed hobby (Math), than you'll be in trouble. Our society isn't going to be able to support non-productive vocations like those much longer.

Here's why I (and I think dh and rycamor too) advocate small business and start-ups. Corporate work almost never gives you training in being nimble, focused, and productive. It emphasizes a great deal of busywork, and it almost always divorces the people making the products from the people selling the products and even the people managing the products, leaving all three groups isolated from and unfamiliar with critical parts of the business. They become siloed, and either come to expect the other functions just get done, or else come to simply gripe about how the people in the other functions are idiots. There's rarely a sense of urgency, and by the time there is, it's usually far too late to actually fix the problem because it takes too long to turn and the burn rate is too high. Plus failure is always easy to assign to other people.

I've been part of four start-ups. One failed, two semi-failed, one successful. I learned critical things in all four (two as an employee, two as a principal). I realized mistakes I made that damaged productivity. In the eighteen or so years I spent in corporations, I learned mostly political maneuvering. You learn what impacts your paycheck.

Anonymous Jack Amok October 06, 2014 12:26 PM  

If you find a "do-er", and make yourself useful, you'll be in that 10% in no time, and you can have a decent career, with our without a career. But, if your "do-er" gets done-in, by misconduct, or a realignment, or moves on to a better company, you are screwed. Time to start over.

I see you read my autobiography. That happened to me at Microsoft. As you said, things are weird. We had a feudal sort of system where you got rewarded by your liege lord if you helped him win. Originally, it was helping him win in battles against the outside world, but as the company's market share grew, increasingly the nobles started fighting among themselves. Turf battles... My "liege" decided he had enough money and didn't need the bullshit, so he did his best to find us all landing places and retired. Set me back three years, and by the time I'd recovered, the window was really closing on being a do'er there.

Blogger wahsatchmo October 06, 2014 12:51 PM  

It's unfortunate, but some organizations that control professional certification appear to be colluding with colleges to pump up the cost of a professional degree.

When I got licensed as a CPA, I was required to have 120 credit hours, an accounting degree, and 2 years experience in the field (plus recommendation letters from peers and at least 1 CPA). That requirement has been changed in my state to 150 credit hours, a certain number of which must be in upper division accounting courses. Some of those courses are only available in a Masters program, so most accounting students wishing to become CPAs choose a Masters path.

But there were ways around the Masters path if you chose certain elective accounting courses, and then took other courses at other local colleges. The state accounting board has put a stop to that, though, forcing future CPAs into a Masters path most likely at one of the state colleges.

Based on the people we've hired straight out of the Masters programs, we still have to "unlearn" them of nearly everything that they've been taught before we can build them into a decent accountant. We don't get a better candidate as a result of the extra courses they've taken, and they start off with higher debt and higher expectations.

I conclude that this effort was a waste of time and money for students, much like the MBA became a waste of time and money for an otherwise meaningless credential.

Blogger James Dixon October 06, 2014 1:27 PM  

> The best thing you can do for your kids is set them up financially to be independent,

Well, you got one thing right, anyway.

Anonymous freestater October 06, 2014 2:25 PM  

"When I got licensed as a CPA, I was required to have 120 credit hours, an accounting degree, and 2 years experience in the field (plus recommendation letters from peers and at least 1 CPA). That requirement has been changed in my state to 150 credit hours, a certain number of which must be in upper division accounting courses. Some of those courses are only available in a Masters program, so most accounting students wishing to become CPAs choose a Masters path."

THIS a thousand times! I am currently trying to get my CPA is the wall I ran into. I had an Economics degree and worked several low paying jobs before I decided I wanted to switch to accounting and go all the way for the CPA, but as soon as i jumped into the accounting degree my state changed all the requirements, so basically I have to take the Masters in accounting anyway just to meet the specific classes they want a CPA to have taken!

Anonymous Carlotta October 06, 2014 4:56 PM  

Angry,

You are missing the entire point. Your experiences are worthlesd. Things have changed. The Emperor hasn't been wearing clothes for a long time and those who have a brain aren't pretending anymore.

What you advocate simply will not exist very soon.

Anonymous Angry October 06, 2014 5:33 PM  

VD,

"No one is saying college should be rejected out of hand. We are saying that it should be subjected to a serious cost-benefit analysis rather than accepted as an automatic optimal path."

That is not what I am reading on this board. Yes, college should be subject to a cost-benefit analysis. So should not going. The benefits of not going are being over-estimated while the costs are being under-estimated.

Most here do not have the option of having a high-tech business to start, or the brains and parents as a backstop if the business goes wrong. I had a roommate who started a business out of a dorm and did very well. Of course, he was a trust-funder whose worst case scenario was making $100,000 a year from his investments. He did not have to plan for any contingencies. He could just put all of his eggs in that one basket.

Anonymous dh October 06, 2014 5:55 PM  

Jack--

Yes, Ranked Choice rating for teams cost Microsoft, I don't know, probably $50B in actual profits and triple that in market valuation.

For those who don't know, at Microsoft until just maybe a year or two ago, you can have a team of rock-stars, who work great together, and yet the manager still has to rank people top to bottom, and the bottom person gets a bad mark, and a few of those you're gone. The problem is that this creates perverse incentives that are not related to software or programming or shipping good products. Many great engineers were let go under this policy, including many that went to Apple, Google, HP, and dozens of others. Just so stupid.

Anonymous Angry October 06, 2014 9:02 PM  

Carlotta,

I know things have changed. The problem is that they have not changed enough. Again, there is a huge first-mover disadvantage to skipping college at this time. That may change in the near future.

Anonymous Discard October 07, 2014 1:08 AM  

Whatever you do, avoid my mistake. When I grew up, the expectation was that I'd learn a skill and go to work and make more after I got some experience and then buy a house, etc. Most college today is like trade school yesterday: training you for the past. I'd recommend that any smart young person use their time to pick up a few skills, learn to play an instrument or how to draw, get some book learning, including a foreign language, and wait until you're 21 to decide on college.

Anonymous Jack Amok October 07, 2014 1:29 AM  

Yes, Ranked Choice rating for teams cost Microsoft, I don't know, probably $50B in actual profits and triple that in market valuation.

We called it "Stack Ranking" and it was an abomination. It was taken from Jack Welch's "Vitality Curve" only MSFT got it badly wrong in at least two ways. One, Welch used his Vitality Curve when he took over a bloated, floundering GE. I'm not sure he ever advocated it as something you did year in and year out. As a formulaic way of dealing with an underperforming organization, it's not automatically terrible. But as a way of running a business that's actually doing okay, it's insane. The second thing that was different is Welch applied the Vitality Curve even more harshly to senior management ranks. MSFT mostly just used it for the rank and file and first or second line managers.

I'm sure no one wants the gory details, but if anyone does (perhaps you're writing a sci-fi story about a dysfunctional company and need some background detail), just let me know, I'll be happy to vent my spleen a bit.

Anonymous Jack Amok October 07, 2014 1:40 AM  

know things have changed. The problem is that they have not changed enough. Again, there is a huge first-mover disadvantage to skipping college at this time. That may change in the near future.

Angry, what you're missing is that outside of a few "vocational" degrees (mostly various forms of engineering, medical fields and accounting), a college degree is already less than worthless. If you have an art degree, you're going to be scraping the barrel to get a minimum wage job waiting tables or making coffee, plus you have hundreds a month in loan payments to make.

A generic college degree doesn't open doors to well-paid jobs anymore. But it's still priced as if it did. Since you have an economic degree, you certainly understand the concept of negative ROI, and that's what a non-engineering, non-medical, non-accounting degree has for the majority of students.

Not in the near future. Right now.

Anonymous Luke October 07, 2014 3:16 AM  

Jack Amok is exactly correct. Few non-STEM college majors are worth pursuing even if they were free in every sense but time. (Even science majors such as Oceanography, Marine Biology, Astronomy, and straight Biology often turn out to be poor choices.) If a science doesn't involve multiple Calculus course requirements AND most of its jobs aren't in government, keep looking. Necessary but not sufficient, and all that.

Term for a young woman who graduated with a bachelor's degree in Psychology, Communications, Sociology, Women's Studies, or such? She graduated summa cum latte. That is, all she can do is go back to her minimum-wage counter job at Starbucks, just 4-5 years older and with a school loan debt whose interest at least equals her gross income. Oh, and she'll probably have a 5x higher sexual-history N and/or to-her-bones Alpha Widowhood firmly established, that along with her debt (also called "a negative dowry") makes her effectively unmarriageable to any perceptive man who wants sex after the first year of marriage, or to live with his children after the 5th year.

Anonymous Angry October 07, 2014 3:20 AM  

Jack Amok,

"A generic college degree doesn't open doors to well-paid jobs anymore. But it's still priced as if it did. Since you have an economic degree, you certainly understand the concept of negative ROI, and that's what a non-engineering, non-medical, non-accounting degree has for the majority of students."

This is true.

Blogger RC October 07, 2014 8:05 AM  

Find a successful entrepreneur when you're young and bust it for him. There is no tuition charge and you'll actually get paid. In five years you'll think you know enough to start your own place. Go for it; fight the battles; reproduce yourself; become financially independent; and raise your boys to do the same. Prepare your daughters to support such a man and then help them find him. The new rebel is an entreprenuer who teaches his kids about the reality of life.

Second thread, technology is a force multiplier. As I sit here today, banks of servers across three data centers are making me money helping others run their businesses. Eighty+ percent of technical people are introverts, smart, but many lacking business skills. They need a good leader to genuinely put their skills to work. Lead them well, keeping their strengths and weaknesses in mind, and their efforts will pay off for them and you.

VERY few people can make a market, come up with an idea and really put it to work, then grow it. If you find a guy like that, he's gold to your busness. If you're that guy, you don't need to read this note.

Blogger Eric October 07, 2014 7:20 PM  

Bondage was the common lot of most of the early settlers [in America], for indentured servitude for whites and slavery for Negroes were integral parts of the colonial labor system.

Seems reasonable. Who else would brave storms, disease, and Indians to move away from his family permanently? You'd have to be a pretty big black sheep where you are or be in some sort of bondage.

Post a Comment

Rules of the blog
Please do not comment as "Anonymous". Comments by "Anonymous" will be spammed.

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts