CDN: American university endgame: The New Dark Ages?

Career College Central Summary:

  • You never know when you’ll run into some genuine food for thought in this utterly thoughtless age of ours.
  • Case in point: While doing daily research for my regular “Market Maven” column here at CDN, I chanced upon a short piece in the always-cynical, often excellent, frequently paranoid financial blog collectively known as ZeroHedge. In it were a couple of charts and excerpts from a recent piece by a writer who self-identifies as Daniel Drew—“A New Dark Age: When College Doesn’t Pay”—that explores some interesting stats on college grads and their dismal employment prospects before discussing wider social implications.
  • Drew’s opening gambit:

    • “If you’re so smart, why aren’t you rich? One day, as ignorance becomes an ideal to strive for, that question might be replaced with, “If you’re so dumb, why aren’t you rich?“
    • “The possibility that evolution might take a wrong turn and transform us into a society of imbeciles was dramatized in the movie Idiocracy. That process is beginning today as education is no longer rewarded. A look at the labor force participation rate for college graduates shows a steady decline since the data was first tracked. Getting a college degree used to mean a ticket on the upward trajectory of this thing they once called a “career.” Now, your college degree guarantees you a place behind the bar counter in the McJob recovery. As more college graduates become unemployed, the more the federal government picks up the tab.”
  • Next, let’s toss in those two relevant and rather elegant charts. The first, which we’ve posted above this article, is pulled from an ongoing series of little known (to the public) but astonishingly informative FRED charts, aka “Federal Reserve Economic Data,” that are published and explained in surprisingly plain English on a regular basis by the St. Louis Fed. The chart above shows you, on a percentage basis, how many college grads are entering the workforce annually.
  • Genuine stats don’t lie, which is why leftists generally try to game them to paint a different picture. But this pair of charts should give pause to any young person and/or his or her parental units who are considering taking on the $30,000 to $100,000 indebtedness required to get a bachelor’s degree via today’s American University system.
  • Underreported in the media, early in the current president’s first term, the Obama Administration began a three-pronged attack, geared first toward getting private lending institutions like Sallie Mae out of the college loan business in favor of Federalizing the whole process—in other words, making collage loans yet another branch of the growing, increasingly “Blob”-like Federal government leviathan.
  • Step two was the Administration’s vicious and continuing attack against this country’s growing for-profit university system, essentially attacking, suing and fining these institutions one by one in an attempt to put them all out of business. The main thrust of this attack was to use one ruse or another to deprive these for-profit systems of Federal student loan funding, thus removing competition from state and Federal government underwritten support. The object, once again, was Federal control.
  • Third and most in the news right now has been the Administration’s influence in transforming the American higher-learning experience into a dystopian jungle of forced social change as opposed to education’s historic mission of helping its consumers—its students—to learn more about their own cultural heritage (the humanities) while also learning practical skills (science, technical, business) that prospective employers would find valuable and desirable when these students graduated and entered the workforce.

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