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Bill Gross: "College Is Worthless"

Tyler Durden's picture




 

A few weeks ago we pointed out what may be the most troubling (and Marxist) observation in America's labor arena, namely that the labor's share of national income has dropped to the lowest in history as a record number of Americans now focus on wealth creation through assets (i.e. owners of capital) instead of labor. In his just released latest letter (below) Bill Gross piggybacks on this observation in what is one of the most scathing notes blasting the traditional of higher education, and in essence claiming that college, as means of perpetuating a broken employment status quo whcih redirect labor to a now-expiring Wall Street labor model, is now worthless: "The past
several decades have witnessed an erosion of our manufacturing base in
exchange for a reliance on wealth creation via financial assets. Now,
as that road approaches a dead-end cul-de-sac via interest rates that
can go no lower, we are left untrained, underinvested and overindebted
relative to our global competitors.
The precipitating
cause of our structural employment break is both internal neglect and
external competition. Blame us. Blame them. There’s plenty of blame to
go around." And why college graduates have only a 6 digit loan to look forward to: "American citizens and its universities have experienced an ivy-laden ivory tower for the past half century. Students, however, can no longer assume that a four year degree will be the golden ticket to a good job in a global economy that cares little for their social networking skills and more about what their labor is worth on the global marketplace." And some very bad news for the communists in the White House and the chimpanzees in the San Francisco Fed who continue to believe that unemployment is anything but structural: "The “golden” days are over, and it’s time our school and jobs “daze” comes to an end to be replaced by programs that do more than mimic failed establishment policies favoring Wall as opposed to Main Street."

From Bill Gross of PIMCO

School Daze, School Daze Good Old Golden Rule Days

  • The
    past several decades have witnessed an erosion of our manufacturing
    base in exchange for a reliance on wealth creation via financial assets.
  •  Fiscal balance alone will not likely produce 20 million jobs over
    the next decade. Government must take a leading role in job creation. 
  • A growing number of skeptics wonder whether college is worth the time or the cost.

A mind is a precious thing to waste, so why are millions of America’s
students wasting theirs by going to college? All of us who have been
there know an undergraduate education is primarily a four year vacation
interrupted by periodic bouts of cramming or Google plagiarizing, but at
least it used to serve a purpose. It weeded out underachievers and
proved at a minimum that you could pass an SAT test. For those who made
it to the good schools,
it proved that your parents had enough money to either bribe
administrators or hire SAT tutors to increase your score by 500 points.
And a degree represented that the graduate could “party hearty” for long
stretches of time and establish social networking skills that would
prove invaluable later on at office cocktail parties or interactively
via Facebook. College was great as long as the jobs were there.

Now, however, a growing number of skeptics wonder whether it’s worth the time or
the cost. Peter Thiel, an early investor in Facebook and head of
Clarium Capital, a long-standing hedge fund, has actually established a
foundation to give 20 $100,000 grants to teenagers who would drop out of
school and become not just tech entrepreneurs but world-changing
visionaries. College, in his and the minds of many others, is
stultifying and outdated – overpriced and mismanaged – with very little
value created despite the bump in earnings power that universities use
as their raison d’être in our modern world of money.

Fact: College tuition
has increased at a rate 6% higher than the general rate of inflation for
the past 25 years, making it four times as expensive relative to other
goods and services as it was in 1985. Subjective explanation:
University administrators have a talent for increasing top line
revenues via tuition, but lack the spine necessary to upgrade academic
productivity. Professorial tenure and outdated curricula focusing on
liberal arts instead of a more practical global agenda focusing on math
and science are primary culprits.

Fact: The average
college graduate now leaves school with $24,000 of debt and total
student loans now exceed this nation’s credit card debt at $1.0 trillion
and counting (7% of our national debt). Subjective explanation:
Universities are run for the benefit of the adult establishment, both
politically and financially, not students. To radically change the
system and to question the sanctity of a college education would be to
jeopardize trillions of misdirected investment dollars and financial
obligations.

Conclusion to ponder:
American citizens and its universities have experienced an ivy-laden
ivory tower for the past half century. Students, however, can no longer
assume that a four year degree will be the golden ticket to a good job
in a global economy that cares little for their social networking skills
and more about what their labor is worth on the global marketplace.

Fareed Zakaria, as usual, has a well-thought-out solution. “We need,”
he writes, “a program as ambitious as the GI Bill,” but one that
focuses on retraining existing unemployed workers and redirecting our
future students. Instead of liberal arts, he suggests focusing on
technical education, technical institutes and polytechnics as well as
apprenticeship programs. Our penchant for focusing on high tech
value-added jobs should be modified and redirected, he claims, to mimic
the German path, which allows people with good technical skills but
limited college education to earn a decent living.

One thing college does do is to keep 25 million students off the
unemployment rolls, much like it did for me when I went on my own four
year vacation. The world was a different oyster in 1966, however, and it
behooves America to recognize the reversal and the necessity for
significant changes if it is to compete in the global marketplace of the
21st century.

It is becoming obvious that the 2012 election will be fought on a
battlefield of job creation. A 9.1% official unemployment rate, and a
number nearly double that when discouraged and part-time workers are
included in the rolls, portend an angry and disillusioned electorate,
which will include millions of jobless college graduates ill-trained to
compete in the global marketplace. Over the past 10 years under both
Democratic and Republican administrations, only 1.8 million jobs have
been created while the available labor force has grown by over 15
million. It is clear, however, that neither party has an awareness of the why or the wherefores of how to put America back to work again.
Few economic advisors from either party ever mention structural
long-term disconnects in employment – a recognition that cyclical
influences will no longer dominate the U.S. labor market. Manufacturing
and goods exports have ceded enormous ground to China and other
developing labor markets, as America’s reliance on services and high
tech innovation has exposed gaping holes in an historically successful
model. Almost any industry dominated or significantly connected to
finance and financial leverage has hit the canvas and stayed down in the
aftermath of Lehman 2008. Housing construction, real estate brokerage,
banking and consumer retail employment will likely never come back to
levels dominated by our prior decade’s excessive leverage and its abuse
leading to overconsumption. Because of that focus, a “shovel-ready,”
vigorous manufacturing sector is not there to pick up the slack.

Similarly, the high tech paragons of the 21st century – Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook et al. – never were
employers of high school or B.A. college graduates in significant
numbers. Production of hardware, to the extent that any was needed,
quickly gravitated to foreign ports of call where workers were willing
to produce an excellent product for 1/10th of the U.S. wage. The past
several decades have witnessed an erosion of our manufacturing base in
exchange for a reliance on wealth creation via financial assets. Now,
as that road approaches a dead-end cul-de-sac via interest rates that
can go no lower, we are left untrained, underinvested and overindebted
relative to our global competitors.
The precipitating
cause of our structural employment break is both internal neglect and
external competition. Blame us. Blame them. There’s plenty of blame to
go around.

Solutions from policymakers on the right or left, however, seem
focused almost exclusively on rectifying or reducing our budget deficit
as a panacea. While Democrats favor tax increases and mild adjustments
to entitlements, Republicans pound the table for trillions of dollars of
spending cuts and an axing of Obamacare. Both, however,
somewhat mystifyingly, believe that balancing the budget will magically
produce 20 million jobs over the next 10 years
. President
Obama’s long-term budget makes just such a claim and Republican
alternatives go many steps further. Former Governor Pawlenty of
Minnesota might be the Republicans’ extreme example, but his claim of 5%
real growth based on tax cuts and entitlement reductions comes out of
left field or perhaps the field of dreams. The United States has not had
a sustained period of 5% real growth for nearly 60 years.

Both parties, in fact, are moving to anti-Keynesian policy
orientations, which deny additional stimulus and make rather awkward and
unsubstantiated claims that if you balance the budget, “they will
come.” It is envisioned that corporations or investors will somehow
overnight be attracted to the revived competitiveness of the U.S. labor
market: Politicians feel that fiscal conservatism equates to job growth.
It’s difficult to believe, however, that an American-based corporation,
with profits as its primary focus, can somehow be wooed back to
American soil with a feeble and historically unjustified assurance that
Social Security will be now secure or that medical care inflation will disinflate. Admittedly,
those are long-term requirements for a stable and healthy economy, but
fiscal balance alone will not likely produce 20 million jobs over the
next decade.
The move towards it, in fact, if implemented too quickly, could stultify economic growth. Fed
Chairman Bernanke has said as much, suggesting the urgency of a
congressional medium-term plan to reduce the deficit but that immediate
cuts are self-defeating if they were to undercut the still-fragile
economy.

Academics also point to a theory known as Ricardian equivalence, a
notion named after David Ricardo from the early 19th century. His ivory
tower theorem was that consumers would become more and more confident of
their financial future if in fact they believed that their own
government’s exuberance would be held in check. Balance the U.S. or any
government budget, he prophesized, and the private sector would extend
and lever theirs. Well, commonsensically and anecdotally, I know of no
family who, after watching the Republican candidates’ debate in New
Hampshire, went out the next day and bought themselves a flat screen
under the assumption that their Medicare entitlements would be cut in
future years and the U.S. budget balanced. Ricardo and his “equivalence”
belong in the trash bin of theses and research aimed more towards
academics than a practical remedy to America’s job crisis.

What then, shall we do? My preferred solution has long- term elements, which includes the opening language in this Investment Outlook,
concerning the value of a college education as currently structured.
Peter Thiel may be on to something, but all of our kids just can’t up
and quit college à la Bill Gates. Still, if we are to compete globally
while maintaining a higher wage base, we must train for “middle” in
addition to “high” tech. Philosophy, sociology and liberal arts agendas
will no longer suffice. Skill-based education is a must, as is science
and math.

Additionally and immediately, however, government must take a leading
role in job creation. Conservative or even liberal agendas that cede
responsibility for job creation to the private sector over the next few
years are simply dazed or perhaps crazed. The private sector is the
source of long-term job creation but in the short term, no rational
observer can believe that global or even small businesses will invest here when the labor over there
is so much cheaper. That is why trillions of dollars of corporate cash
rest impotently on balance sheets awaiting global – non-U.S. –
investment opportunities. Our labor force is too expensive and poorly
educated for today’s marketplace.

In the near term, then, we should not rely solely on job or
corporate-directed payroll tax credits because corporations may not take
enough of that bait, and they’re sitting pretty as it is. Government
must step up to the plate, as it should have in early 2009. An
infrastructure bank to fund badly needed reconstruction projects is a
commonly accepted idea, despite the limitations of the original
“shovel-ready” stimulus program in 2009. Disparate experts such as GE’s
Jeff Immelt, Fareed Zakaria, Jeffrey Sachs and Paul Krugman believe an
infrastructure bank to be an excellent use of deficit funds: a true investment
in our future. While the current administration admits that the $25
billion in Recovery Act spending on infrastructure only created 150,000
jobs, it also stabilized and improved this nation’s productivity for
years to come. Clean/green energy investments also come to mind, most of
which require government funding and a government thrust in order to
create millions of jobs. China knows this and is off and running. The
U.S. needs to learn from their state-oriented model. In times of
extremis, pushing on the private sector string is ineffective,
especially within the context of a global marketplace that offers
alternative investment locations. Government must temporarily assume a bigger, not a smaller,
role in this economy, if only because other countries are dominating
job creation with kick-start policies that eventually dominate global
markets.

And how about at least an intelligent discussion on “trade policy”
which incorporates more than just a symbolic bashing of Chinese currency
relative to the dollar. Who, from either side of the aisle is willing
to discuss the use of trade measures in order to help balance our $500
billion trade deficit? This is delicate territory, reawakening fears of
Smoot-Hawley in the 1930s, but we are in delicate territory regarding
our unemployment rate as well. Warren Buffett in 2003 advocated an idea
he called “Import Credits” which he claimed would increase exports in
the hundreds of billions and jobs in the hundreds of thousands.
Republicans? Democrats? Discussion please.

In the end, I hearken back to revered economist Hyman Minsky – a
modern-day economic godfather who predicted the subprime crisis. “Big
Government,” he wrote, should become the “employer of last resort” in a
crisis, offering a job to anyone who wants one – for health care, street
cleaning, or slum renovation. FDR had a program for it – the CCC,
Civilian Conservation Corps, and Barack Obama can do the same. Economist
David Rosenberg of Gluskin Sheff sums up my feelings rather well. “I’d
have a shovel in the hands of the long-term unemployed from 8am to noon,
and from 1pm to 5pm I’d have them studying algebra, physics, and
geometry.” Deficits are important, but their immediate reduction can
wait for a stronger economy and lower unemployment. Jobs are today’s and
tomorrow’s immediate problem.

Those who advocate that job creation rests on corporate tax
reform (lower taxes) or a return to deregulation of the private economy
always fail to address dominant structural headwinds which cannot be
dismissed: 1) Labor is much more attractively priced over there than
here, and 2) U.S. employment based on asset price appreciation/finance
as opposed to manufacturing can no longer be sustained.
The
“golden” days are over, and it’s time our school and jobs “daze” comes
to an end to be replaced by programs that do more than mimic failed
establishment policies favoring Wall as opposed to Main Street.

 

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Tue, 06/21/2011 - 08:41 | 1388461 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

Student loans exceed credit card debts.

Someone should be jailed for allowing such a travesty to occur...but of course that won't happen.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 08:56 | 1388504 doesmybuttlookf...
doesmybuttlookfatinthis's picture

I study nuclear science
I love my classes
I got a crazy teacher, he wears dark glasses
Things are going great, and they're only getting better
I'm doing all right, getting good grades
The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades,
I gotta wear shades

I've got a job waiting for my graduation
Fifty thou a year -- buys a lot of beer
Things are going great, and they're only getting better
I'm doing all right, getting good grades
The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades
I gotta wear shades

Well I'm heavenly blessed and worldly wise
I'm a peeping-tom techie with x-ray eyes
Things are going great, and they're only getting better
I'm doing all right, getting good grades
The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades
I gotta wear shades

(instrumental break)

I study nuclear science
I love my classes
I got a crazy teacher, he wears dark glasses
Things are going great, and they're only getting better
I'm doing all right, getting good grades
The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades
I gotta wear shades
I gotta wear shades
I gotta wear shades

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qrriKcwvlY&feature=relmfu

We're fresh out of shades but we are running a special on blindfolds and cigarettes.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 09:05 | 1388533 Ray1968
Ray1968's picture

Ah yes, the mid 1980's. Things did look brighter back then.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 09:20 | 1388612 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

College has been such a bust, it's even getting real in the Whole Foods Parking Lot, lately, dog.

Whole Foods Parking Lot - Music Video [HD]
Tue, 06/21/2011 - 09:36 | 1388672 knukles
knukles's picture

Studying nuclear science!
A bang up bright bloody future.
New need for better obsolete out of warranty reactor design.
New and imporved weaponry.
Kid's got it fucking made and cynical as all hell.
Maybe some real time unemployed dripping with angst and anxiety attacks'll do him some good.

This world is soooooooooooooo screwed.

Have McIlroy hand out golf balls to kids in Haiti.  Fuck yeah, use 'em to hunt buzzards. 

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 09:43 | 1388692 Leopold B. Scotch
Leopold B. Scotch's picture

"If you want to get laid, go to college.  If you want an education, go to a library." 

-- Frank Zappa

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 11:55 | 1389152 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Although I totally agree with Zappa, the issue isn't about an education.  It's about a DEGREE.

Shit, you can't even get a bullshit $9/hr job in this market with a degree at this point.  It's an overstatement to say college is "worthless." 

Its value is in helping you get a soul-crushing, mind-numbing position of wage-slave for a few years here or there until market conditions change and you're displaced and need to find another.  That's a bit tougher with just a high-school diploma.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 11:59 | 1389158 the left behinds
the left behinds's picture

+1 His Dad always said "go and educate yourself"

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 12:02 | 1389166 the left behinds
the left behinds's picture

dup

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 12:02 | 1389169 CPL
CPL's picture

Smartest man I know is also the poorest I know and he lives in the library.  When he's at the pub fights nearly break out for NTN trivia night to partner with him.  So if anyone plays NTN and sees a little blip in the top ten in NTN coming from the Ottawa Valley, that's William. (not Bill or Will, William)

 

other than shaking down the township and surrounding area for around 800 a week for anyone stupid and drunk enough to say they know something, he's the Janitor at the High school and rink on top of his community stuff.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 12:14 | 1389222 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

The evil corrupter of youth is going to take him from Step One, Which is a mere high-school diploma stuffed with a gym sock, To Step Two, Which is a college-degree stuffed with absolutely nothing at all. Smoke that and it'll really get you out there!

 

"Dummy Up" from "Roxy & Elsewhere" - FZ

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 19:42 | 1390761 janus
janus's picture

oh i sincerely miss those heavy-metal bands

we used to go see by the landing in the summer...

she fell in love with the drummer

another and another

she fell in love...

I miss the innocence I've known

rain-kissed colors beautiful and chrome

 

a double-kick drum by the landing in the summer

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 08:56 | 1388514 mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture

They call it higher education

  I call it debt indoctrination (oh yeah)

They feed us pablum extroadonnaire

  Only empty rhetoric on the menu there;

Held hostage in an ivy jail

   "Thou shalt spew thy rhetoric" (or fail);

Tuition must rise five, seven, nine percent!

   As our PhDs are tenured in cement;

Alas, the impenetrable, academia wall...

   Is the greatest ponzi of them all.

 

-in my sopwith camel

 

  

 

 

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 09:15 | 1388550 G-R-U-N-T
G-R-U-N-T's picture

"Fiscal balance alone will not likely produce 20 million jobs over the next decade. Government must take a leading role in job creation."

They will... more Government jobs. Why you may ask? Because their retards!!! Retarding us back to the 3rd world. "He's Brilliant..."

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 12:04 | 1388767 maximin thrax
maximin thrax's picture

In order to keep the college loan bubble going, government must increase in size to create jobs for graduates to keep up "demand" for degrees, as it has been doing for some time.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 10:58 | 1388972 Hedgetard55
Hedgetard55's picture

"Government must take a leading role in job creation."

 

EPIC FAIL, Gross.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 14:42 | 1389715 malek
malek's picture

Precisely.

Gov't has never created productive, sustainable jobs. The best thing they can do is GET OUT OF THE WAY.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 11:11 | 1389007 ElvisDog
ElvisDog's picture

That's what jumped out at me. Classic Keynesism bullshit. So, we spent $25 billion on infrastructure to produce 150,000 jobs. And somehow that utter failure in terms of dollars spent to jobs created equates to the Government must take a leading role in job creation. Bill Gross is a perfect example of how just because you're rich doesn't mean that you're not also a retard.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 09:20 | 1388596 centerline
centerline's picture

I would start by asking who here does not know that money = debt?

The whole college thing is just another damn bubble.  It is a desperate attempt to keep debt creation moving forward to avoid a deflationary collapse of the system.  The money (debt) created here finds its way right back to where you think it goes.

Oh, and this plan is downright fucking evil.  The loans cant be discharged like other debts.  They are saddled on the youngest in the workforce.  And the whole things perpetuated by playing on the fears of the students and parents that without a degree, they will be doomed to a life of poverty.

Every one of these damn bubble plays on some vice or fear.  When will people reallize this and stop getting duped?  This particular bubble is so damn big it is slapping people right in the face and calling them "bitch." Yet, the herd has been programmed to ignore instinct and simply follow.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 09:32 | 1388673 Eternal Student
Eternal Student's picture

I would start by asking how many people Gross has hired recently who don't have a college degree, and who get paid anything decent?

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 09:51 | 1388702 Leopold B. Scotch
Leopold B. Scotch's picture

I think you miss his point: the Ponzi finance economy is coming to a close.  U.S. citizens actually need to produce stuff.... Stuff = wealth. 

Finance for finance sake that enables some businesses to exist is not wealth. It's inflated asset prices. 

Money shuffling by the money shufflers on Wall Street is not wealth creation, it's scalping dollar holders and wealth producers by inflating credit that becomes magically imbued with purchasing power at the expense of the former, who are then correspondingly stunted.

An economy based on selling each other mortgages, financing, legal services, tax compliance, regulatory compliance, etc., doesn't produce shit -- especially when enabled through monetary policy alone.  It merely  parasitically consumes its host (the actual wealth producers constantly giving up pound upon pound of flesh via taxes and inflation) until the host falls to the ground and dies.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 13:21 | 1389451 hbjork1
hbjork1's picture

A favorate little thought experiment from my working days was, when disgrunteled with a job, was to go look in the mirror and think about what I could really do well in a pinch.  Then ask myself; "What would I hire me for."  "What can I actually do that someone else might want to buy."

Works wonders for motivation.

Thu, 06/23/2011 - 20:19 | 1397066 Eternal Student
Eternal Student's picture

While I agree that the Ponzi scheme is coming to a close, my point is that it's rather hypocritical of Gross to be telling others not to pursue a college education as a golden ticket, when that's the only type of person he would hire. Let's see him put his money where his mouth is. Until then, the fact remains that a college education is the only way to have a chance at the golden ticket. You can't win if you don't play.

Even after the Ponzi collapses, the good paying jobs are still going to require a college education. Perhaps I'm wrong, so let me know when Gross stops requiring one in order to be hired at Pimco.

Until then, he's just a hypocrit.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 10:11 | 1388792 Manthong
Manthong's picture

The university system is no different from the banking system.

They both operate with different variants of the same model.

They both indenture the masses to sustain a system of elites.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 11:05 | 1388990 mickeyman
mickeyman's picture

A major reason for the problems with university education is that it is a consumer good rather than a useful good. Middle class parents dream of having their kids have a university education--then are vague on what the kid needs it for. 

In Canada, it is well known that there is a huge impending shortage in skilled labour--but no parents want their kids to be plumbers or carpenters--they send them to universities, and the universities in response expand into useless programs like management or generic environmental science programs using courses with no labs so that the graduates have no actual skills or ability to do anything but be lobbyists.

The second problem is that the universities' principal goal is no longer research or education--it is raising money. As here: http://worldcomplex.blogspot.com/2010/08/universities-whats-wrong-with-them.html

When I first taught university courses (in environmental geology) in the early 90's, the goal of the program was to produce students who could work as geologists, but who enough practical knowledge of environmental issues to do something useful with them (normally clean-up of contaminated sites). Courses were small and all had lab work.

I went off to work in the field for some time, and when I returned to teach some fifteen years later, I found that the program had metastasized into one with enormous (600+ student classes with no lab component or any practical experience. The reason was money--the tuition received by the department for 600 students is enormous, and with no labs and a cheap part-time lecturer in front of the class, was nearly pure profit for the department. Twenty years ago there had only been one such course in the program--whereas five years ago, the entire program (except for a few courses in the final year) was composed of such courses. There are no resources for marking essays, so all students learn how to take multiple choice exams and how to memorize facts from powerpoint presentations, but do not learn how to think critically or write.

From time to time I would talk to some of these students and ask what they wanted to do with this course. Most students were in a program called "management". I had no idea what that was. I asked them why they didn't become engineers or chemists or something useful and then take an MBA, but only got blank looks in response. I left teaching again because it felt dirty teaching as part of a program that leads nowhere.

Back in industry--when hiring, we assume any university graduate knows absolutely nothing.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 13:23 | 1389456 hbjork1
hbjork1's picture

+ 10 mickeyman.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 13:33 | 1389482 Strider52
Strider52's picture

So True MickeyMan! I'm a computer engineer, I couldn't afford college, so I learned it all by getting jobs starting at the bottom - soldering, production, testing, etc. I moved up by reading all of the technical manuals I could get my hands on, which occassionally involved stealing books - again, no money after rent, beer, etc.

  Now I'm a top designer - I developed the storage system for one of the first CAT-scan machine when I was 23. I'm now 53 and I have done it ALL, every language, every processor. No college at all.

  I'm amazed when we hire someone who has a BS in Computer Science, and can't find pin 1 on a chip.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 14:17 | 1389642 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

I build my own computers. But what is the 50 pound dinosaur good for anyway? Anything I can do here except gaming can now be done in one hand with 4G. All built by Chinese workers who are essentially chained to the desk by day and stacked like cordwood by night in anti-suicide protected boxes.

 

Yes Wife and I did go to college, but we did not learn much of anything. Yes Wife got a 4 year, but it is a shit peice of paper added to a mountain out back on the dumpster pad.

That's right, college is BULLSHIT. Real life, Real work will get you educated fast in what matters or not. The rest are killed, maimed or otherwise removed from the work because they did not learn the first time around.

 

And the school we went to? They got bigger in the last ten years... more bling, more this more that and tuition goes even higher. As I type this people are lining up to sign thier life away in the financial aid office. All they are being told is sign here get X dollars, sign these three get much more funding.

And what do these 19 year olds do? Buy a car. The coolest biggest ride they can find.

Then struggle and starve for the next 4 years if they even get past the first year.

You can literally see it in the service jobs that don't pay for shit in this area. The young ones tired and exhausted, sometimes with a baby to deal with.

The biggest thing to cap of my daily rant.... the text books. They re essentailly 120 or so per class. Good for three months. Picked by the teacher giving the class.

Those books were sold back hardly touched. To finance new books for the next three months.

You say OMG Untouched!!!! WHY! I say "Google" knows all.

Just don't copy and paste writing assignments, they check that too.

 

Good luck grasshopper.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 14:41 | 1389712 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

can't find pin 1 on a chip

 

They're numbered?

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 16:31 | 1390065 heloc
heloc's picture

I do have a CS degree and can say it has made a world of difference when I compare my skill set to what I call the hacker self taught group I have worked with overt the last 26 years - sure in a CS degree you are forced to learn compiler construction etc and for one I have found no software development project(software side)  in the business world as difficult as my compiler construction class and I have worked as a software engineer designing and building cellular billing and call rating systems and tax revenue collection(it was a job somebody had  to  do it...) systems etc from the scratch ground up as programmer, team lead and project manager for software development/consulting companies, only 3 different firms in 26 years with  - all I can say is the skills I was forced to  learn as a computer science major have enabled me  to be very productive very fast no matter what the hardware or software environment, I would imagine the same can be said for any engineering degree too – the business skills are the easy ones to learn on the job – I would consider it a waste of time to go back  to school and get an MBA cause  I  doubt that it would teach me much more than what I have learned on the job. 

I guess I could say the same thing about the CS degree if the shoe was on the other foot, but I think we all would agree it’s easier to learn soft business skills on the job compared to technical skills on the job which have no room for error.  But given today’s cost of tuition there is something to be said for the votech and on the job apprentice type training  in the technical areas, it depends on what  you are called on to do  in your job – if you have to think critically and work on your own you better have learned those types of skills before you ever  step foot into a professional position.  Also the breath of skills you bring to the table as a trained engineer is much greater which lends itself to problem solving levels and insight initially far greater than a self taught or limited voteh training would provide, off course this all depends on the individual and  their intellect and aptitude for the job at hand – all things being equal except the education the engineering degree will put you in a different league with more options and more places to work then a hacker, on the job, votech trained individual.   Off course you will have to do an ROI on your degree and tuition costs to know the best path to take – this is what  I am trying to get my teenage kids to realize – its all about the ROI on their education, not just about getting an education…

 

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 11:04 | 1389003 NumberNone
NumberNone's picture

This is another bubble allowed by cheap credit.  Universities have been allowed to become bloated pigs due to the fact that they can shove the students toward easy-to-get student loans.  Why should they give a shit about raising tuition $10,000 a year when the students/parents can go to the Admin office and get the money to pay for it in the form of a loan? 

Also, not their problem if they send the graduates out to the workplace ill-equipped to find a job...they got paid.  Siemen's has 3,200 open jobs in the US right now and is hiring recruiters to scour the country to find qualified candidates because the talent pool in the US sucks.  With a bloated university system and almost 10% unemployment this is a fucking disgrace. 

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 12:52 | 1389348 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Siemen's has 3,200 open jobs in the US right now and is hiring recruiters to scour the country to find qualified candidates because the talent pool in the US sucks.  With a bloated university system and almost 10% unemployment this is a fucking disgrace. 

 

Stop dreaming. It only shows that the recruiters can afford being extremely selective in hiring people.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 14:23 | 1389651 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

That too.

I thought instantly that the Siemen's are cherry picking the least blighted and best looking crop in a Nation rapidly rotting on the couch.

It will take Siemens a little longer to complete the hiring as they do. But they will get it done.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 08:38 | 1388462 writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

Is it troubling because it's Marxist? - or is it troubling because if he's right about this, then he could well be right about everything....and where will we be then?

 

You can criticise Marx all you want about Communism - but he knew Capitalism better than any man - which is why 95% of what he wrote was about Capitalism. Not that you'll find that knowledge in any American text book - Marx is cleverly associated with Communism...and therefore Stalinism. The bogeyman to motivate the American people into order.

...and hasn't it worked well. The grandest robbery in history and not one riot in the USA - except over football of course!

 

BTW "wealth creation via financial assets" - is not true, you cannot create wealth with financial assets, merely extract wealth from wealth producing industries - like manufacturing for example - where the labour force provides the wealth to the industry.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 08:42 | 1388476 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Actually, your narrative is older than Marx and co. It dates back to Smith.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 08:54 | 1388500 writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

True - but Smith could only describe it as 'the invisible hand' - but Marx ellaborated and clarified it - and then the capitalists duly ignored it.

Hey they even invented the FED to get around the problem by devaluing the currency - a 'fix' which has lasted nearly 70 years (except for the times when it didn't)

If people could be bothered to read Marx - they might understand why all their jobs went abroad (surplus value and the tedency of the rate of profit to fall) - instead of just moaning about it and blaming the Government like a 4 year old might blame his Mummy for banging his head.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 09:05 | 1388546 Terminus C
Terminus C's picture

But... reading Marx would be a liberal arts education and therefore of no value.

I get Gross' point about college being a holding area for youth unemployed but to disparage an entire knowledge set diminishes his point.

I also agree that Marx is one of the most misunderstood philosophers/economists out there.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 09:23 | 1388627 Bob
Bob's picture

Agreed.  As for Gross' vision of a brave new world, an education would no longer provide classical tools for meta-critique of larger systems and their assumptions . . . which would seem beyond the appropriate concerns of the new globally competitive labor class and be best left to the informed expertise of the ruling elite.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 17:43 | 1390406 Boop
Boop's picture

Which is why liberal arts education is still important.

Who else is going to lead the riots?

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 09:49 | 1388714 ZakuKommander
ZakuKommander's picture

The better "holding area" for youth unemployed would be a program of national service for one or two years.  Whether it's the armed services, the peace corps, a job corps, or whatever, it would have to be something that, as Gross suggests, builds real world skills, maturity and self-confidence.  

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 10:05 | 1388777 writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

"skills, maturity and self-confidence" - what for - to go and fight wars?

 

Surely human progression is driven by thought and not just labour. We work to produce, but we think to produce better.

Stopping the ability for everyone to 'think' gives you 2 problems.

1) You don't progress and are doomed to a life of manual repetitive labour

2) It allows the fascists in as they find it easy to manipulate the populus - like claiming that 'bailing out banks' is doing us all a favour by throwing around some meaningless acronyms in the MSM making people glorify the king with no clothes.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 11:08 | 1389005 mickeyman
mickeyman's picture

You are advocating slave labour.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 14:20 | 1389656 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

It is a form of slave labor. Think about it. Even the wages are not enough to get you to advance. They don't want the people to turn around and buy the employer out.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 09:52 | 1388726 ZakuKommander
ZakuKommander's picture

The better "holding area" for youth unemployed would be a program of national service for one or two years.  Whether it's the armed services, the peace corps, a job corps, or whatever, it would have to be something that, as Gross suggests, builds real world skills, maturity and self-confidence.  

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 09:56 | 1388754 ZakuKommander
ZakuKommander's picture

The better "holding area" for youth unemployed would be a program of national service for one or two years.  Whether it's the armed services, the peace corps, a job corps, or whatever, it would have to be something that, as Gross suggests, builds real world skills, maturity and self-confidence.  

The early Marx generated superb thoughts on human nature, and as several have noted, his insights into the darker aspects of capitalism were well conceived.  He has been demonized by TPTB of the capitalist world.  It's amusing to see certain ZHers attack Marx, not understanding that they are falling into the precise mindset that TPTB desire.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 11:45 | 1389111 damage
damage's picture

It's amusing to read what idiots like you type.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 11:53 | 1389122 Bob
Bob's picture

Irony of ironies, being so hyped up on "freedom" and all.  Wait 'til the mother fuckers don't have their money . . . and their new peers recognize them as the guys who helped lay the bricks for the brave new world we all--or mostly all--then share and share alike.     

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 11:55 | 1389155 damage
damage's picture

So ironic d00d. OMG LOL

 

Yeah, those capitalists will be laughing when the marxsexts phase out the money and everyone uses democracy to allocate goods man!

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 15:31 | 1389893 Harmonious_Diss...
Harmonious_Dissonance's picture

DooD! Damage, your a fucktard.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 09:07 | 1388541 Central Bankster
Central Bankster's picture

Marx did not understand capitalism.  He only saw things through the prism of "class" and supposed that capitalism was a system of control of the upper class.  He merely wanted the capital (and its benefits) to be in the control of the masses.  He failed to understand that stealing capital from one group and distributing it to another group would destroy the capital pool.  That was his grand failure, of which his legacy lives on today and has taken the form of modern economic quasi-fascism (the exact things we collectively hate and Tyler criticizes every day!).  Marx has contributed more misery to this planet than you clearly will ever understand.  And to give him undue credit for "understanding" things he did not simply disgusts me.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 09:11 | 1388577 Medea
Medea's picture

Perfect example of ideology at work in this post. Congrats!

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 09:19 | 1388594 Central Bankster
Central Bankster's picture

I suppose if I criticize Hitler, that makes me an ideologist as well? 

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 09:31 | 1388645 Medea
Medea's picture

Clueless.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 09:39 | 1388677 Central Bankster
Central Bankster's picture

You win, brilliant debate.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 10:25 | 1388850 Medea
Medea's picture

Why would you assume a debate was happening? And why assume that my goal was to "win"?

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 09:48 | 1388727 VisualCSharp
VisualCSharp's picture

Idiot.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 09:18 | 1388588 Silver Dreamer
Silver Dreamer's picture

The article's call for more central planning by getting the government to focus on job creation is quite laughable as well.  Haven't we seen how well the government does at that task already?  It is definitely disgusting to read all of these suggestions that all we need is MORE government intervention.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 10:11 | 1388807 writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

Oh of course you're right - I mean all those nationally owned banks collapsing and bringing the world to it's knees....

 

You are falling into the classic capitalist mindset which tells you that Government = State.

 

State in the Marxist terms means 'all' - as it does with the anarchists - despite what history did with Stalinism.

 

What's disgusting is the diversion of needed resources into saving private banks - which I presume you're fine with?

 

makes you a bit foolish - no?

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 11:55 | 1389135 damage
damage's picture

Your writing and assumptions make you very foolish.

I bet you think money should be phased out and we would live in Star Trek land and only barbarous Ferrenghis would use money. Gold pressed latinum baby.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 12:50 | 1389328 Devore
Devore's picture

"what history did with Stalinism"? You have got to be joking.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 11:25 | 1389060 Thisson
Thisson's picture

"Our labor force is too expensive" - Bill should have stopped here.  The rest of the article is nonsense, as it calls for more Central Planning, and thus more market failure.

What we need to do is reduce the cost of our labor force by eliminating the parasitic burden it carries (rents, taxes, debt-service, etc).

 

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 14:00 | 1389579 citta vritti
citta vritti's picture

Agreed. Start by reducing the minimum wage.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 14:17 | 1389629 Rynak
Rynak's picture

Agreed: We need more unemployment, to pay more taxes, debt and printed dollars on unemployment benefits. After all, it's the state's and collective's job to pay for employment, not business.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 14:22 | 1389665 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

Agreed, start by having landlords, real estate agents and all other similar types of necessary services such as Utilities become part of Government so that the expenses on everything except breathing air is zero.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 14:55 | 1389689 Rynak
Rynak's picture

When you try to "top" someone else, it is a good idea to make an argument of higher quality than the one you're replying to. In this case, my response had a direct relation to the person i replied to (When wages go down, people need to work more hours to pay their living costs, thus the total amount of jobs goes DOWN).... while your retort was of the kindergarden pattern: "You're X!" -> "Yeah, well, and you're Y!".

Can we just skip the facade and start throwing sand at each other, retard?

P.S.: Or did you actually mean it the way you said it? Did you actually propose the state to sponsor EVERYTHING for business (sarcastically)? If yes.... then i'm sorry..... i just never would even consider something this ridiculous. If you actually meant this, then you basically mindfucked  me when i wrote the non-PS part of this post.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 12:40 | 1389295 Rynak
Rynak's picture

Not only have current governments done a miserable "job" at job-creation.... the idea alone to create jobs for the sake of creating jobs, is so incredibly stupid, that i lack words to describe it.

The problem of most 1st world countries, especially those playing the consumer-part of the popular dualism, is two-fold:

1. The entire nation is incapable of sustaining itself. It lacks the means of production and jobs to create the stuff it actually needs! Instead, they import it from elsewhere. How the hell should it be possible to selffinance existencial needs, when you don't even have the means of production? And if this weren't ridiculous enough, not only can they not produce the most basic things, they actually cannot even afford to import them, because they do not produce enough to trade without a deficit. In another thread, i metaphorically compared this to the USA as a nation being unemployed and depending on food and cash handouts from other nations. How can there be any chance of fixing this stuff on an individual basis, when the nation as a whole is in the same situation?!?

So, step one: Produce what you existencially need at home. Heck, if need be, even pay the wage difference to the cheap-labour countries from taxes - it's stupid, but it's not as stupid and costly, as financing EVERYTHING from debt and monetization! Or better yet compensate the difference in product prices via customs (there are better ways than this too, but i'm thinking short-term here... so, first steps). This alone will already strongly increase the amount of jobs available.... after all, the least you can do to lower the employment anomaly, is to use the demand and workforce-supply, that is already available!

 

Step two: After this, you will notice that you still will not have full employment. The reason for this is, that via modern production technologies, less workhours in total are needed to satisfy everyone's demand, than there are people working fulltime. In theory, this shouldn't be a problem at all - after all, if less work is neccessary to produce enough for everyone, then this should be good, right?

Well, yes and no. Yes in an optimal economy. No in current variants of capitalism. The first problem is, that people don't survive from nothing, so they need to be employed to get enough cash to pay for their survival, even if their work isn't actually needed. The second problem is provoking class-warfare, via envy: If some need to work, but others do not, then those who need to work will consider it unfair that they need to work, but others do not.

I so far know of two approaches to solve this - an easy but inefficient one, and a hard but efficient one that also offers some additional benefits. The easy one is to keep the economy exclusively a free market, but make wages per hour raise enough, that everyone needs to NOT work fulltime to pay his living costs. So, in the big-picture basically, distributing the available workhours on the population.

The second more thorough but much more disruptive approach, is a hybrid-economy which i proposed a while ago: The services which the state currently provides, would basically be replaced with a giant publicly owned cooperative: People who want benefits because they currently do not find free market employment, would "pay" for their benefits, by working to produce precisely the benefits they require. This not only would make social security mostly selffinanced (instead of mainly relying on taxes), it also would offer workers something revolutionary: The ability to if necessary sustain themselves without a freemarket job. This in turn would strongly change the power-balance between employee and employer, and thus affect wages.... when a worker's life does not depend on a free market job, he can afford to be a chooser, while when his life depends on a freemarket job, he can only be a beggar (one of the problem with the previous "easy solution" is WHY wages should go up.... what reason would employers have to raise wages, when employee's settle for everything, because their life is threatened?)

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 14:45 | 1389736 Leopold B. Scotch
Leopold B. Scotch's picture

Precisely.  Here he is, on one hand, perfectly criticizing the a quasi-government created creature / almost entirely government-created problem: financing higher education regardless of economic demand for what that education is producing.  On the other, he suggest more intervention to solve the problem.

While I agree education needs to be redefined entirely / reprioritized,  his final conclusions are a complete contradiction.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 09:32 | 1388671 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Oh dear - you're disgusted!

And who gves a shit?

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 09:46 | 1388699 Central Bankster
Central Bankster's picture

Decided to come out from under that rock today?

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 10:02 | 1388778 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Yes.

While dozing under my anarchist's rock this morning, I began to hear shrill voices and the gnashing of  teeth. From under my anarchist's rock, I peered out to look at big government and big business. I couldn't really see a difference, they looked exactly the same! After crawling out on my belly like the snake that I am, I shielded my eyes from the sun and looked again. THEY STILL LOOKED JUST THE SAME.

Contniue your keening, I'm going back to sleep.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 10:18 | 1388817 UGrev
UGrev's picture

one word for you retards who are confusing our current system with true capitalism: PLUTOCRACY

Jackhammer that word into your fucking heads please and NEVER EVER EVER use capitalism, as it is intended to exist, in the same sentence/phrase/paragraph as the current system in which the USA is run under. They are NOT the same and it was INTENTIONALLY associated erroneously, over generations, to make sheeple think that capitalism was evil or something.. but mostly evil. 

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 10:18 | 1388838 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Screeching wanker.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 11:43 | 1389099 magis00
magis00's picture

No no, I'm with UGrev.  Junk for you.

"Playing semantics" is supposedly a weak debate strategy -- except when it's not.

I'm sure that your ideas are lovely and insightful, but it appears that you are not talking about what we're talking about.  Capitalism is the laws of the jungle applied to civilized society.  Win and prosper; lose and lose big.  Corporatism, or "crony capitalism", or plutocracy ... or whatever the fuck co-opted system we have now, this is all bullshit.

So get it straight. Not only does it matter, if we're speaking at cross-purposes there isn't even a point to speaking.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 12:13 | 1389218 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

God saves.

The Collective saves.

The Invisible Hand saves.

Faith is fine, I leave you to yours.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 11:52 | 1389123 UGrev
UGrev's picture

Fine, but I'm keeping your ball and you can still go home.. 

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 13:15 | 1389395 Rynak
Rynak's picture

How do the "anarcho-capitalists" suggest to prevent plutocracy? You know, so that their policies do not actually turn into the opposite of "anarchy"....... WITHOUT either collective conventions (hint: "regulation") or state-controlled conventions (hint: "regulation") ?

.....let me guess: By magic. By magic all those super-sane individuals will be able to drive off the parasites - individually (because mobs are something collectivist, and thus.... evil). Everyone will on his own, with his colt reliably drive off any cartel that may form. Everyone will be an action hero. Cool!

Great story. Worthy of a hollywood movie.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 13:15 | 1389420 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Are you asking me? I wouldn't have the foggiest idea.

Wed, 06/22/2011 - 03:24 | 1391112 ManOfBliss
ManOfBliss's picture

Anarcho-capitalists don't try to "prevent" anything. That would require regulation, which they are opposed to. So you're showing ignorance right off the bat.

Free markets self-organize, and if any group became too powerful, the market could choose to stop funding the organization, or company. Whereas, on the other hand, with the CURRENT plutocracy we have within our democracy, the market cannot choose to stop funding the government.

Plus, there would be no "ocracies" including plutocracy in an anarcho-system. If you're asking how rich people leading the economy would be stopped, then I ask, why try to stop it? Money flows where demand grows. If there are ultra-rich in an anarcho-capitalist society, that's because people are voting for it with their money.

That makes it a good thing.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 09:42 | 1388698 G-R-U-N-T
G-R-U-N-T's picture

Thanks CB. Well put!

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 09:51 | 1388721 Agent 440
Agent 440's picture

 

My problem with capitalism is the insatiable market for Marxism it seems to create... : (

 

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 09:57 | 1388745 Central Bankster
Central Bankster's picture

+1

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 10:02 | 1388761 ZakuKommander
ZakuKommander's picture

Stealing capital from the middle class and distributing it to the top 1% has worked out well in the US.  

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 11:44 | 1389102 magis00
magis00's picture

This, for example.  Not "capitalism"

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 10:07 | 1388794 writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

You have a 'better than thou' complex and a natural distrust of your fellow man.

How do I know? - because you would rather allow the capital to be in the hands of those you feel are better than you - for distribution - rather than the general population.

...and talk of 'destroying the capital pool' is total nonsense and shows a lack of understanding of what capital is.

Capital represents the natural resources on this planet (including labour) - so maybe you can explain how allowing this to be 'shared in ownership' destroys it - and yet leaving it in the hands of a few private ruling class elite doesn't?

...I'd say the sheer amount of waste in society today is testament to the destruction of the capital pool. I mean in some instance under Capitalism - waste is profitable - which should never be the case.

 

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 11:48 | 1389107 magis00
magis00's picture

Not capitalism.

 

In the jungle, if I am a young . . . I don't know . . . mountain goat.  And you are billy big balls ring-leader mountain goat.  And my sexy girlfriend goat catches your eye and you take her from me . . . I would mountain goat headbutt you off a damned cliff, and I would win. Or you would beat me dead, and I would lose.  Cause and effect. Winning and losing.

 

What you describe is not capitalism.  "Sheer amount of waste in society today is a testament to the destruction of the capital pool" -- Disagree:  we would not have 40mm+ US Government check-recipients if the capital pool had not been co-opted by the Government, only to be doled out to its dependents.  "Sheer waste" is in fact an efficiency, disguised as "waste".  Getting high and playing video games is a lot less effort than work.

 

Again, not capitalism.

 

 

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 12:58 | 1389366 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Of course, it could not be capitalism.

So what is capitalism? It has never been? It was during the US 19th century? Before those damned bankers hijacked the exceptional US experience? In an Island people have few historical records on?

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 11:34 | 1389087 karzai_luver
karzai_luver's picture

class is always at play. if you don't understand that or can't even admit that

it plays a part then you are either under 10yo or so deep in the koolaid

as to be beyond hope.

 

It has to be a fervent wish not to see or live.

 

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 12:00 | 1389177 Bob
Bob's picture

Enough of Marx.  It seems to lead nowhere. 

Here's something interesting, in a "popular" way, on the "free markets" so fundamental not only to capitalism, but any human economy whatsoever.  I'd be interested in your critique (sorry that the piece itself is preceded by a short editorial introduction, but even that provides some useful orientation):

http://my.firedoglake.com/iflizwerequeen/2011/06/08/there-is-no-such-thi...

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 14:39 | 1389706 hbjork1
hbjork1's picture

CB, 

But what is "capital"?  In your example, I must assume that capital means an accumulation of "money" or moneys (gold, silver or "precious articles" or properties that have value to others.  that others are willing to exchange their goods and services for.  Is it not true than silver and gold are moneys.  But the value of all these things exists only in the minds of the people who want to use it for exchange of goods and services.  Even land is only valuable if it can be worked to produce things that other people need in the course of their lives. 

So, IMO, there is some basis for argument to support the concept of capital as a derivative.  The essential element in giving capital any value at all is human confidence in the system that begets an input of human cooperation and energy on common goals. 

Complex systems and goods for use in society's of man sometimes require large and complex assemblages of human skills and tools. To exist these will always need  

Individual human differences in talent and energy and hence productivity of what others want will always result in differences in reward within the population.  But if the mechanisms for distribution of rewards are not reality based, the result will always be instability.   

In other words,  your services must be valued fairly.  If you are smart enough to steal too much and get away with it, you will be contributing to the start of instability.   

 

 

 

   

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 09:07 | 1388553 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

Education can mean many different things. It is a collective responsibility for those who feel an obligation to successor generations.

The travesty is that we hAve settled on a model that imposes excessive debts on those who are struggling to start a life.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 09:26 | 1388622 Central Bankster
Central Bankster's picture

I agree and would also add that we (collectively as a society) also "steer" young adults into getting expensive educations that may not lead to more gainful employment.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 09:26 | 1388623 centerline
centerline's picture

It is a dying system, desperate for fuel (debt).  It is turning to eat it's young.  And parent's, fearful of thier children not being able to "live the dream," are unknowningly sacrificing thier kids on its alter and feeding them to the beast.

I completely support higher education... so dont get me wrong.  But I know when the game has gone bad.  ROI has to be a consideration - as does competition and how one fits into the marketplace using forward looking perspective rather than historical data which exists entirely in a long-term social bull market for middle-class Americans.

 

 

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 11:15 | 1389020 ElvisDog
ElvisDog's picture

And yet the hold of the college ideal is strong on the middle class. I went to my son's honor society induction a few weeks ago. As part of the ceremony, they mentioned where each senior was going to school. The biggest cheers, oohs, and aahs were reserved for the kids going to the most expensive schools - Harvard, Stanford, Duke, etc.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 11:47 | 1389119 magis00
magis00's picture

Well, in our "this is not capitalism" system, those with fancy pants degrees do get the best ROI.

 

. . .Even though some dude who takes 2 courses in accounting at DeVry then starts his own gutter cleaning business is "producing" more than the Ivy grad who goes to run numbers on Wall Street.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 12:54 | 1389354 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

This isn't true at all.  A very tiny percentage of fancypants degree holders see enormous ROI, but for each one of those people, there are thousands scraping by on bullshit despite all the scrollwork on their degrees.

As a group, the graduate-degree median ROI is far eclipsed by those of the folks who earn technical "blue-collar" certificates like HVAC repair and welding.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 14:28 | 1389668 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

A friend of mine went to a school for a month and half. One that costed about 40K a year Turition.

He came home crying because the community college in the next state over is MUCH cheaper and possibly no better than a railroad cattle car.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 09:56 | 1388744 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

If you want to truly understand the incoherence that is Marx, you need to read Schumpeter.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 10:18 | 1388840 writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

Already read him....and he agreed with Marx that Capitalism will fail - and be replaced by Socialism - and good old Schumpter (whilst adding meat to the bones of capitalism developing into Corporatism - which we have now) - he did have nearly 50 years on Marx.

In those terms it's like a 4 year old telling a 50 year old about life.

I would also point out that he taught Alan Greenspan - so he clearly wasn't the best teacher in the world!

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 11:36 | 1389091 karzai_luver
karzai_luver's picture

Why do you hate 'merica so?

 

:)

 

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 14:53 | 1389753 malek
malek's picture

And you believe that shit?

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 13:11 | 1389403 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Yeah, but you don't understand any of it without reading the Marx first.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 12:48 | 1389324 Hot Piece of Bass
Hot Piece of Bass's picture

Aw... the voice of knowledge appears.

I tend to agree that few people analyzed capitalism as well as Marx did.  His conclusions on what was "wrong" with Capitalism were spot on.

His solutions... not so much.

Just the same, Marx's conclusions are definitely worthy of study and the fact that so much effort has been put into propagandizing leftist thought is evidence of just how accurate it often is. I have no problem with leftist analysis in general and often find it quite illuminating, it's their solutions to the problems that often stinks.

I have more of a problem with the predictable and corrupted education system that does everything it can from kindergarten to college to pound corporate and "patriotic" propaganda into kid's minds.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 08:42 | 1388463 Catullus
Catullus's picture

Economics Estabilishment who benefitted the most from the inflationary debt bomb from student loans attacking Bill Gross in 5, 4, 3, 2....

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 09:32 | 1388649 Bob
Bob's picture

Eat it, bitchez. 

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 08:42 | 1388464 IBelieveInMagic
IBelieveInMagic's picture

So will Bill Gross be setting an example by leaving the financial industry. No you say, this advise is for others -- great!

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 09:11 | 1388568 dwdollar
dwdollar's picture

Exactly what I was wondering.

I grew up on a farm.  I have seen how the 'wealth-creation class' feeds off the 'production class' first hand.  It continues today, and it's accelerating.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 09:11 | 1388578 TumblingDice
TumblingDice's picture

Define "financial industry" and then we can discuss whether it is possible for anyone to ever leave it.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 08:38 | 1388466 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Dont know if the golden days are over.

 

But for sure, the betterment of the general environment as drawn by Smithian economics leads in all cases to some activities (hence labour/jobs) to be moved outside an area because no longer enough valued to afford living in the bettered environment.

The whole US landscape on national scale has been shaped by this fact and nothing is written somewhere to tell it should not happen on a global scale.

If you work that type of jobs, you no longer belong to the US but to places where the environment fits that kind of activities.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 08:41 | 1388471 mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture

Educashun on line...cheeper, beddah than droppin $200k to be brainwashed in some asbestos-laden brick & ivy "institution."

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 14:29 | 1389675 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

No need. We have Google.

If I had Google in Elementary School 40 years ago, I would have learned everything I would ever need in life including mechanism for reproduction etc and what have you within a month.

Public schools are useless now because funding today is based on test scores. Today's class work only "Prepares" them for the big test several times a year, nothing else.

A

B

C or

D -none of the above.

 

Colleges also wail and MOAN because the crappy crop of High school graduations cannot even do writing, math or thinking skills. So they are sent to Remediation classes which fill auditoriums by the hundreds before they are deemed ready for more crap in thier first year. The rest are simply disposed of and asked for the loan money back or placed onto a payment schedule.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 08:41 | 1388472 writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

I would also point out that 'college education' is not all about profitable skills. I mean we have 200,000 builders in the country - but how many Michealangelo's?

 

The value of considered thought is priceless in these terms - I mean for starters what is the 'value' of a college graduate who comes up with the alternative economic system just as Capitalism collapses?

 

Bill Gross is of course wearing dollar tinted spectacles - that's why he doesn't want educated people - he wants mindless robots to do manual work as that is most profitable.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 08:59 | 1388506 TheAkashicRecord
TheAkashicRecord's picture

//Bill Gross is of course wearing dollar tinted spectacles - that's why he doesn't want educated people - he wants mindless robots to do manual work as that is most profitable//

Hm, did you read what he said or are just projecting your preconceived notions about the guy because he is in finance?

What he is advocating is more science, math, and "skill-based" education.  Notice that he does not say finance, management, marketing, MBA, etc.  He seems to be saying he does NOT want mindless robots, rather, he wants engineers, lab jobs, techies, R&D - these things are not mindless, sitting in front of Excel or a Bloomberg terminal at a financial institution are.

You mention "the value of considered thought" and I agee with you.  But those that truly have a love for knowledge and learning will pursue reading in philosophy, create art, and come up with alternative mechanisms for the underpinnings of society with or without those things being institutionalized.  On the other hand, the same cannot be said for engineering, or protein synthesis.

 

 

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 09:07 | 1388556 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Bravo.  Spot on.  Moreover, those scientists and engineers should be able to work their way through college and not owe some financial institution excessive interest and usury for the rest of their productive lives.

It all comes down to this, one way or another, the productive people (those that actually create things of real value) will tell the useless fucks to piss off.  The financial sector of the economy is a cancer for all those adding real value.  To say this situation is not sustainable is an understatement.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 09:43 | 1388693 Bob
Bob's picture

Understatement indeed. 

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 10:11 | 1388810 subqtaneous
subqtaneous's picture

A+

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 11:26 | 1389072 Thisson
Thisson's picture

Bah, we already have a surplus of science and math majors.  THEY CANT FIND JOBS EITHER.  It's the system, stupid!  The odious debt we take on, because society tells us it's the way to a bright future, has enslaved 99% of us.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 11:40 | 1389100 karzai_luver
karzai_luver's picture

math and science majors at 10bucks an hour may be able to find jobs.

sadly China has a couple of millions , doesn't look good.

 

What does the avg chineese have in the way of debt anyway?

 

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 11:53 | 1389132 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

"What he is advocating is more science, math, and "skill-based" education."

Sounds good so far.  But what if most of the kids cannot handle technical subjects?

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 08:56 | 1388515 knowless
knowless's picture

sorry dude, but i just can't believe, both from many discussions I had during my brief time at a university, and at basically every time past that, that a college education is necessarry to create genius.

 

michelangelo did not go to an american university in the early '00s.. just sayin.

 

the amount of pure inanity and pointless circlejerkery which i experiance from college age(early-mid twenties) leads me to beleive that college is infact the creator of robots already, just of a different sort than you describe.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 08:58 | 1388527 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

MIchelangelo went to college to learn his skills?

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 09:11 | 1388554 Terminus C
Terminus C's picture

Perhaps you would like to re-institute decades long apprentiship programs where your 'career' is chosen for you in childhood.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 09:10 | 1388573 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Hey numbnuts, look around the real economy.  This is already happening.  Many small businesses already grooming their children to take over.  Why?  Because despite being the backbone of America, they can not afford to send their kids to college.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 09:32 | 1388651 Terminus C
Terminus C's picture

'numbnuts'...

Ok, we shall play ad hominem douchenugget.

It is interesting that this site is full of closet collectivists when they usually spout for a 'return to individual freedom'.

Were you forced into your career?  Would you have been happy doing what your father did?  If you would have been why didn't you choose to be?

I have respect for people who take over their parent's business, but this is nothing new (certainly not a new phenomena of the current economic crisis).

I am also, not defending colleges and their bloated system and I would have been happy to inform you of this in a polite manner if you weren't such a fuckwad.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 10:04 | 1388773 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

"I have respect for people who take over their parent's business, but this is nothing new"

So this completely contradicts your initial statement.  Polite or not, it certainly is hard to get anywhere when you are moving in circles.  How about you simply get back to work and be productive.  Polite enough for you?

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 09:19 | 1388592 -Michelle-
-Michelle-'s picture

How is the current system any different?  My high school guidance counselor started in on us choosing a career when we were in 9th grade.  I was 13.  Had to make sure I picked the right AP course track for the rest of my time there. No backing out!

Not only is the current college system just about useless outside of skilled professional degrees, the current Prussian-model school system is useless as well.

 

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 09:31 | 1388663 Terminus C
Terminus C's picture

I agree Michelle, I don't think making kids choose their career at a young age is a good thing.  I had no idea what I would want to do, or even be good at.  As a boy I wanted to play hockey in the NHL... haha that would not have worked out well for me.

You are actually making the same point as I am, though perhaps I was not clear on my original statement.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 10:14 | 1388821 maximin thrax
maximin thrax's picture

"Perhaps you would like to re-institute decades long apprentiship programs where your 'career' is chosen for you in childhood."

The alternatives, to leave college and be worthless to employers in the real world because you have knowledge without marketable skills, or to find out you really don't want to work in the field you got your degree in because you never worked it prior to school, haven't worked very well either.

In my field, college was a legal requirement for licensure but typically produces people who are in need of a couple of years working in the real world to rise to the level of the ability their degrees profess. Most graduates end up in related fields and many find other careers altogether.

Graduates would have been better off working in their field or related fileds prior to school to learn if they had the ability and desire to persue that career, and then have gone to college to learn design or business or marketing to augment their skills for further advancement.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 13:50 | 1389555 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

How about an education/apprenticeship system in which the children are given the option to choose their own focus of interest and gradually adapt into the "adult" career path decisions?

One of our biggest problems with education in the USA is that we imprison kids for the first 16-18 years of life in a system which doesn't align with more than 25% of their INTERESTS.

When I was in school, I was one of the academic masters.  I could take any course and kill the curves and all that shit.  Most of the guys who hated me weren't stupid--they were rebuilding engines and spending their free periods in metal shop.  The way the educational system is designed, they got AT BEST one-quarter of the opportunity to study whatever they cared about that I had to pay attention in chemistry or math.

What's worse, that complete failure to engage so many kids results in many of them becoming actively hostile to any form of intellectual education, rather than understanding of the differences between people.  This same hostility is engendered in many of the academically successful kids too, who hang around with each other and call the kids in shop idiots because they're not showing much aptitude for describing metaphor in 19th century poetry.

But hey--if the system were about education in the first place, we'd git-er-done.  It's not, and probably never has been.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 08:41 | 1388473 THE DORK OF CORK
THE DORK OF CORK's picture

The genesis of this economic & social experiment started a long time ago in a not so distant country.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zXiGQU64SY

Its a economic heat death.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 08:45 | 1388475 Medea
Medea's picture

the communists in the White House

Please explain the "communist" tag. It seems simplistic at best.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 08:47 | 1388478 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Capitalists: good.

Socialists:bad

Communists:bad

 

Anything happening that is bad is done by socialists or communists.

US world order.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 08:46 | 1388487 cossack55
cossack55's picture

I find the difference between socialists and communists is that you can trust a commie.  You know what they are thinking and won't hestitate to tell you. Socialists are gutless commies.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 08:47 | 1388489 Medea
Medea's picture

Right on cue: Nonsense.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 08:46 | 1388488 Medea
Medea's picture

I know that's not necessarily the reading Tyler et al intend, but it is certainly the reading they'll get from many. Nuanced and subtle thinking is needed more than ever.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 08:49 | 1388486 writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

I agree - it seems the word 'communist' stands for 'anything I don't like'.

 

I put it down to the obsession with religion in America where everything has to be good or evil, God or the devil, black or white - simple ying and yang concepts for the brainwashed.

 

If there were communists in the whitehouse then there wouldn't be a criminal banking racket carrying on right now. In China they executed a man for poisoning milk - whereas in America they only execute people for being black - well in Texas anyway.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 08:50 | 1388499 Medea
Medea's picture

Not sure I'm on board with your last paragraph, but I agree that Americans of all stripes seem to live in a world of binaries. Disheartening.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 08:52 | 1388505 writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

Nah - I'm just sayin'.

At least in China you know you're getting screwed by the state (they come round and tell you when they kick your door off) - in the west we get screwed by the banks and everyone turns on each other (public v private sectors, workers v unemployed etc.)

 

It's a brilliant system - devisive and deceptive.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 09:03 | 1388528 Medea
Medea's picture

America, where it's not me, it's you. And if you don't like it, pop a Prozac and STFU. Lovely, isn't it?

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 10:00 | 1388756 Agent 440
Agent 440's picture

If you like, you can skip the prozac and we'll pretend it's China. I'll kick your door in and beat you with a rubber hose, since that seems to be your preference. I won't even charge for the service. : )

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 10:03 | 1388765 Medea
Medea's picture

It's not about either/or, Johnny Binary. I never stated a "preference."

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 10:05 | 1388788 Agent 440
Agent 440's picture

You are a tough negotiator. OK, Beating with prozac. But interrogations are extra. Final offer.

 : )

 

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 10:12 | 1388812 Medea
Medea's picture

C'mon. What good is a beating without the accompanying interrogation?

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 12:26 | 1389249 Bob
Bob's picture

Props for elegance!

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 09:24 | 1388583 DeltaDawn
DeltaDawn's picture

Those with communist views in this country know they cannot pursue their ends overtly. They need to ripen the populace by collapsing the economy and influencing the culture and education system, according to KGB defector Yuri Bezmenov. It is documentable that Obama is of that bent as are his closest associates, such as Bill Ayers. Why do you think Obama is overextending us into more warfare?

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 09:53 | 1388720 Bob
Bob's picture

On the other hand, there's Occam's Razor.  Should we really bet it all on that farfetched position you're taking?

It's complicated enough to follow the bankster game as it is. 

I really don't think a "workers' paradise" is in their plans. 

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 12:13 | 1389211 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

We also know that Obama, his parents and grandparents have close ties to the CIA. So the CIA has gone to a lot of trouble to put a Communist in power.

Yet the CIA's whole existence is supposedly devoted to fighting Communism around the world.

Puzzling.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 12:29 | 1389259 Bob
Bob's picture

Puzzling indeed.  Is the CIA now going to impose a worker's paradise upon the world?  I'm very confused.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 09:26 | 1388618 Silver Dreamer
Silver Dreamer's picture

Call it what you want, but central planners, by any name, are the enemy of liberty.  Stop trying to control me.

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