Free College!

Academia was never my main gig anyway, and now that I’ve retired I can come clean.  I agree with Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, et al: College should be free.

Not, I hasten to add, that I agree with their “reasons” for wanting “free” college.  Sanders, Lieawatha, etc. are socialists, and stupid (BIRM), so they don’t understand that nothing in this world is free and everything is worth what you pay for it.  Rather, it’s because nothing in the world is free and everything is worth what you pay for it, that I want universal “free” college.

As it stands now, college is the biggest scam ever perpetrated on a public.  If Bernie Madoff had done to Wall Street what Big U. has done to Main Street, the Morgan Stanley boys would’ve had him drawn and quartered in Times Square and broadcast it in place of the Super Bowl.  I exaggerate only a little when I say today’s college kids are going $20K per annum in hock to drink beer at a sleepaway camp.

Putting college on the public tit would do two things, both excellent.  First, we could finally stop pretending that a college degree has anything to do with job qualifications.  Thanks to Griggs v. Duke Power, giving employees IQ tests directly is rayciss.  Thus, employers turned to college, whose entrance requirement — the SAT — was, at the time, a decent stand-in for a good old fashioned IQ test.  But the market responded to incentives, and since “college degree” became the new job requirement, the SAT dumbed itself down to make sure everyone could get into college.  And since everyone got in, everyone had to graduate — the customer is always right (and “graduation percentage” figures into those ludicrous rankings they publish every year).  “Free” college would thus become like “free” high school – since everyone gets the paper regardless, the paper is officially meaningless.

Second, the American public — ALL of it — could see what they’re paying for.  Student loan default rates being what they are, we’re all paying for it anyway, and our taxes are going to go up.  Most of the people in my flyover state are blissfully ignorant of what’s actually taught at Flyover State.  Since they all work with their hands (or something similarly icky) and never went to college themselves, the parents figure their kids are doing….something… intellectual…. among ivy covered walkways and in book-lined offices.  They figure “intersectionality,” “critical race theory,” and the like are the stuff they do at other schools, the hoity-toity East Coast ones, and not — as they are in reality — the very stuff of Humanities 101.  Your English Literature class might have the words “English” and “Literature” in the title, but the content is all rap lyrics and Aztec war chants.  That your precious Suzy Snowflake doesn’t come home with blue hair and a nose ring has everything to do with missed opportunities in the hookup culture, and nothing to do with what’s going on in the classroom.

Parents need to know this, and with “free” college, they will.

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14 thoughts on “Free College!

  1. Anonymous White Male

    I’m about to do my “old-fart-blabbers-on-about-in-his-day” spiel, but when I went to college the tuition cost was actually less than the cost of books for the semester. I went to university in Texas and Texas had one of the lowest cost in the nation because the State owned oil producing properties which subsidized the tuition. And I not only learned a lot but had a blast doing it. However, 40 years later, I don’t think I would have done it, given contemporary college costs. I would have probably been an electrician, something I probably would have enjoyed more than what I did (Pharmacy) and would have lived just as comfortably. Astronomical costs focus your mind on the most important thing you should consider before you make a choice about your future: What do I most enjoy doing and can I make a living out of it? If not, what is my nature and what would I be satisfied doing? Nosce te ipsum, my friends.

    1. Severian

      Agreed. Problem is, thanks to the giant student loan scam, nobody really sees the cost. To the kids, it’s just a number. By the time they figure out what it means, they’re in debt slavery the rest of their lives….

      …either that or their folks still believe that a college degree is a ticket to a middle class life. If you haven’t looked hard at the data recently you wouldn’t know, and if you haven’t been to campus recently you’d have no idea how bad it has gotten. So parents still send their kids, spending the equivalent to a mortgage to let their kids “study” Grief and Protests.

      I will tell any kid — or parent! — that will listen: Unless you are absolutely 2000% sure you are going into a field that requires heavy bench work, of the kind only a university laboratory can provide, DO NOT GO TO COLLEGE. Join the Army. Go to trade school. If for some reason you feel you must get that BA — and I understand that a lot of jobs still say they require one — go to the cheapest junior college or online school you can, part time, while working.

    2. Linda Fox

      Agreed, but additionally because it involves the concept of ‘natural consequences’ – that when you do a dumbass thing, you experience the pain of it, too.
      The parents of those kids should endure the consequence of it – having to support a weaselly little entitled shit for many years to come.

  2. Wamphyr

    One thing to note about the cost of college is that many of them are ‘capping’ the number of student applicants they accept from in-state, and choosing to instead bring in out-of-state and out-of-country students where the tuition is doubled and more – we left California when my daughter was just starting High School; and when she went to apply for college, a number of her friends still living in CA were not accepted to a UC based school, whereas she was (with a lower SAT score to boot). Had a chat with some admissions counselors in the colleges both my kids have applied to and they’ve basically stated outright “We’ll take an out-of-state over an in-state applicant.”

    1. Severian Post author

      Yup. The newest trend in academia is importing the People’s Republic of China. They despise the Round-eye, but the names of our schools still have cachet over there, so the Party officials send their sons and daughters here… and we are happy to have them, because they “pass” the Engrish proficiency test and pay 5x the tuition. Many schools have entire outreach offices that do nothing but send deans to Shandong on recruiting drives…

      … and when I say Flyover State, I mean it — one of the nondescript, cookie-cutter cow colleges in one of the states most Americans probably can’t find on a map. What possible appeal this has to the Chinese is proof that Orientals are indeed still inscrutable, but our admin — and lots of others — have sold their souls to the CCP. Watch what happens if the yuan drops in value; half the state U’s in middle America will go bust.

  3. Jay Carter

    For the past 45 years as a homeowner, I’ve been picking up the tab for all the K-12 schools in my district. (School taxes)

    Mind you, I have no children.

    Is someone now suggesting that I also pick up the tab for the colleges in my state?

    Did I hear someone say the word “foreclosures”?

    1. Severian Post author

      I am indeed suggesting this. A) you will anyway, thanks to student loan defaults, and B) the first step to a cure is admitting you have a problem. I want every single person in America’s rapidly vanishing middle class to demand a course catalog and a class syllabus from their nearest citadel of higher learning. The collective coffee-spray and shouts of “we’re paying for WHAT?!?!” could put out a California wildfire…. and then we can start cutting the hell out of their budgets. It’s a win-win.

  4. Jay Carter

    Who Pays the Most in Property and School Tax combined. 
    Homeowners in the below costliest counties, shelled out more than FOUR times the national average.

    1. Hunterdon County, N.J. 

    2. Nassau County, N.Y. 

    3. Westchester County, N.Y. 

    4. Bergen County, N.J. 

    5. Rockland County, N.Y. 

     I live in #2.

    I currently pay $20,000+ a year in property taxes!

    If  I’m forced to pick up the cost of putting some imbeciles through college, then Tensas Parish, Louisiana, (#2918on the list) is really gonna start looking good to me.

     Who Pays the Least in Taxes 
    2922. Bethel, Alaska 

    2920. Northwest Arctic, Alaska 

    2920. (tied) Aleutians East Borough, Alaska 

    2918. Tensas Parish, Louisiana 

    2918 (tied) Southeast Fairbanks, Alaska 

     

  5. WOPR

    I would recommend a different approach. Any college which receives gov’t funds has to cap their tuition based on the Federal minimum wage. Current minimum wage is $7.25/hr.

    – Assume a 30 hour week during summer break with 14 weeks. $3,045
    – Take 10 hour week during school session with 34 weeks. $2,465

    College tuition would be capped at $5,510 for two semesters or three quarters. Fees would be included in tuition costs.
    You can charge a 20% surcharge for out-of-state.
    Gouge foreign students all you want but they cannot make up more than 1% of any college.
    Books and supplies would be capped at 20% of tuition cost.
    Schools could charge what they want for dorm living but they would be banned from requiring students to live on campus.

    1. Severian

      This is an excellent plan, with a very important objective, and I support it completely — AFTER the university system as it currently exists is torn down and the earth salted. When the rot goes this deep, reform simply isn’t possible. My (half) tongue-in-cheek suggestion to make it “free” was made entirely to hasten the current system’s demise.

      Once we’re able to have a rational education policy in this country, then yes, I’m all in on this plan.

  6. Al from da Nort

    Sev;

    I must chide you despite your excellent Swiftian exposition. The plan now must be to see that Big U remains intact until the currency collapses. At that point they will all be seized and their assets used as backing for the new currency just like the French Revolutionaries did with the Church lands right after their revolution: U Bucks, better than Starbucks.

    Alternatively their assets should be sold to Russian mafia for free oil + protection and the Chinese for free stuff + fripperies. Now that summer’s almost over, the pigs must be fattened up for when it turns cold enough to convert them into ham.

  7. moscanarius

    I think you’re being too hopeful. In my country the best universities are free of charge (that’s right, students don’t pay a nickel directly – and you even get scholarships if you tick the right Affirmative Action boxes), and are also the main focus for importing and spreading SJW nonsense.

    Parents are even more oblivious to what’s being taught in public universities, as they have prestige and – well, they are for free ; you can’t complain about the gibs.

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