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NIA On Why America's College Bubble Is Next To Burst

Tyler Durden's picture


For those of you hunting for bubbles, and wondering why the Federal government is the biggest source of credit in each and every G.19 release, here is a hint of what's coming next from an NIA press release:

America's College Bubble Next to Burst

The National Inflation Association (NIA) is pleased to officially announce that it will soon be releasing its hour long documentary 'College Conspiracy', which will expose the U.S. college education system as the largest scam in U.S. history. NIA has been producing 'College Conspiracy' for the past six months and plans to release the movie on May 15th. NIA members will be given the first opportunity to watch this must see documentary, which we hope will change the college education industry for the better.

NIA expects 'College Conspiracy' to take college education by storm and expose the facts and truth about tuition inflation to prospective college students. Almost everybody applying to college has heard the oft-repeated statistic that Americans with college degrees earn $1 million more in lifetime income than high school graduates without a degree. This is one of those statistics that gets repeated so many times that just about everybody accepts it as fact, but nobody actually does the research to confirm whether or not it is true. 'College Conspiracy' will prove once and for all if indeed this so-called statistic is true or just a myth.

If 70.1% of high school graduates enroll in a college or university, how does a college degree give you an advantage over the rest of the population? Back in the early 1960s, Americans didn't need to go to college. We were a creditor nation with a strong manufacturing base. With an unemployment rate of only 5%, jobs were available to almost everybody. Less than 50% of American high school graduates enrolled into college. For those who did attend college and graduate with a degree, it was actually something special that made you stand out from the rest of the field, because not everybody had one.

American college tuition inflation has been out of control for the past decade. During the financial crisis of late-2008/early-2009, almost all goods and services in America at least temporarily declined in price. The only service in America that continued to rise in price throughout the financial crisis, besides health care, was college education. Despite real unemployment in America reaching 22%, students were brainwashed into believing that if they were lucky enough to be blessed with the privilege to get half a million dollars into debt to obtain a college degree, they will be on a path to riches and have a guaranteed successful career; whereas those who don't attend college are destined to be failures in life.

The current college education bubble is one of the largest bubbles in U.S. history. The college bubble has been fueled by the U.S. government's willingness to give out cheap and easy student loans to anybody who applied for them, regardless of if they will ever have the ability to pay the loans back. Student loan debt in America is now larger than credit card debt, but unlike credit card debt, student loan debt can't be discharged in bankruptcy.

During the 1970s, college students were able to afford their own college tuition without getting into any debt, simply by working a part-time job year round or by working a full-time job during the summer. Not only that, but most college students were also able to afford their own car and a small apartment. However, since 1970, Americans have experienced a 50% decline in their standard of living due to the Federal Reserve's dangerous and destructive monetary policies. You never heard of parents setting up college savings accounts for their children 40 years ago, but thanks to the Federal Reserve, this has become the norm.

The biggest competitive threat to Wal-Mart today in terms of market cap ($192 billion) is not Target ($35 billion) like you might think, but is actually ($89 billion). Wal-Mart is able to offer the lowest prices out of all brick and mortar retailers, because of the size and scope of the company, which allows them to be profitable even at extremely low gross margins. However, while Wal-Mart's stock price is only up 16% from where it was exactly 5 years ago,'s stock price is up 470% during this same time period.'s stock price has risen by a 29 times higher percentage than Wal-Mart due to the fact that they sell their products over the Internet with substantially less overhead costs. NIA believes that the future of college education is over the Internet and that Americans in the future will be able to receive a better quality education from the best professors from all around the world at only a fraction of the cost of a traditional brick and mortar college education.

For the vast majority of college courses, there is absolutely nothing that students can learn in a huge multi-million dollar lecture hall with hundreds of other students that they can't learn at home listening to that same professor on a computer. The only reason online colleges haven't taken off yet in America and still have less than a 1% market share of U.S. higher education is because America has a college-industrial complex that cares only about profits and not educating students. The people who control the system simply don't want the system to change, because they are making way too much money by turning American students into indentured servants.

Back in the 1980s when Americans graduated high school, they would get hundreds of thousands of dollars into debt to buy a house. Today, millions of Americans have mortgage-sized debts, but still live with their parents. All they have is a piece of paper called a college degree, that is rapidly declining in value even faster than tuitions are skyrocketing in price.

'College Conspiracy' was made possible by the personal stories that were submitted to us by thousands of NIA members. NIA's staff spent the past six months traveling across the country, interviewing our country's top expert guests in nine different states. Please tell all of you family members and friends to become members of NIA for free immediately so that they along with you can be among the first to see 'College Conspiracy'.


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Sun, 05/08/2011 - 12:17 | 1252961 TexDenim
TexDenim's picture

So true. Half the warm bodies in college right now are much too dumb to be there. Who among us believes that everybody was meant to get 16 years of education before starting life? What a crock! What happened to plumbers and carpenters and ditch diggers? They're busy getting Russian Lit degrees so they can do their jobs? I don't think so.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 12:45 | 1253049 natty light
natty light's picture

"Looks like I might not have enough money to go to college."

"Well, the world needs ditch-diggers, too!"

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 12:55 | 1253066 66Sexy
66Sexy's picture

Pity that education is worthlesss today. With respect to an economic solution: it provides NONE.

And to actually be in debt for a bachelors degree in history or psychology, or a MBA? Waste.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 13:21 | 1253136 Id fight Gandhi
Id fight Gandhi's picture

MBAs are a waste. It's by far cheaper though much harder to get your CFA and actually have some useful knowledge.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 13:34 | 1253157 WeekendAtBernankes
WeekendAtBernankes's picture

Hadn't heard of the CFA.  Thanks for the heads-up.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 14:20 | 1253286 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

CFA??   Goldman only hires guys working the shell game on the boardwalk

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 18:14 | 1253892 Anonymouse
Anonymouse's picture

A coupld of years ago, some guys at Morgan Stanley said they are consciously de-emphasizing MBAs and preferring to promote analysts from within.  This was all pre-GFC though, so not sure if that still is true

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 14:58 | 1253385 Id fight Gandhi
Id fight Gandhi's picture

Some MBA programs are working in material so you can go through the chartered financial analyst program.

In an MBA you can usually coast thru an get a degree. CFA you need a 4 year degree, 4 years of qualified work experience.

There's 3 exams you take can only take 1 once a year and success for passing is less than 40%.

The problem is much of the work you're doing is on your own. The exams and study guides are useful to gain some knowledge even if you're not going to get the CFA.

Best part is it can be all done for a couple grand and you know way more than any MBA.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 18:10 | 1253889 Anonymouse
Anonymouse's picture

I have MBA (Chicago) and CFA.  CFA was like year 1 of B-School.  Year 2 went beyond that.  But it is cheaper and more practical.  But for job changers (like I was), MBA got my foot in the door so I could get the work experience required for CFA.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 21:34 | 1254313 Libertarian777
Libertarian777's picture

interesting that you say this, since my experience (still busy with my CFA studies), is CFA is, as its title states, a 'financial analyst' course.

I find it hard to believe the first year of B-school would equate to the entire CFA curriculum. I haven't done an MBA yet (only have a postgraduate in Accounting/Finance), but the various syallabi I've looked at discuss things like international management, trade, etc. and not as much quantitative analysis as CFA, so not sure how one can compare the two.

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 18:35 | 1280927 Anonymouse
Anonymouse's picture

Well, I went to Chicago which is a quant school.  Also, you design your own curriculum (subject to some topical requirements) so I made mine heavily finance oriented.  So in fairness, mine may not be the typical case

Mon, 05/09/2011 - 09:51 | 1255231 Sausagemaker
Sausagemaker's picture

I have an MBA and it has served me well.

I once had an economics professor who said that an education is the most expensive thing that people are willing to pay for but not actually get. He said you would never go into a Honda dealer, give them $25 grand, and leave without your car, but many students will pay for an education that they don't get.

That lecture changed how I looked at education. I graduated top in my class and have been reasonably successful. However, I can tell you there were many people that graduated with me who didn't learn a damn thing.  

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 05:11 | 1278406 alpha60
alpha60's picture

great story, hansel.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 14:11 | 1253262 Beancounter
Beancounter's picture

Totally agree - a CFA is far more scarce and demanding than any MBA program.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 19:18 | 1254031 downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

Close all business schools:  they're nothing but factories spewing bad math and dumb propaganda for dead ideas that never worked in the first place.

Mon, 05/09/2011 - 00:22 | 1254642 Freddie
Freddie's picture

CFA? So they can tell us how important modern portfolio theory is and how to read balance sheets?  I realize that the CFA program is very good and not easy.  However - do they discuss how it is all manipulated and how to develop a portolio when you have a corporate facist Mussolini state under a usurper?   How did you add alpha under Mugabe II?

Or how does a portfolio manager deal with fat fingers, HFT, insider trading, bear gangs and other manipulation.

Every 5 years or so, out of the blue, I would get a call from a money manager. He mainly managed his own dough. He had come to the same conclusion that I did.  General Electric is a ponzi fraud and is bankrupt.   I am not sure if he was a CFA but he could run circles around most of them.  About 18 months ago the Kenyan backstopped their worthless commercial paper before they were about to be fed to the CDS sharks.

I have seen reports from CFAs,who with a straight face,said GE was a solid company.  The point is most CFAs are whores and liars like everyone else now.  The value of a CFA has also been watered down.

Loads of Democrat idiots here blame Bernake and the not-so-secret banking cartel/Fed while they never mention their golfer, serial liar and most likely CIA cut out.


Sun, 05/08/2011 - 13:08 | 1253103 PolishHammer
PolishHammer's picture

1000 bucks you miss that putt!

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 22:52 | 1254467 Old Poor Richard
Old Poor Richard's picture

Gambling is illegal at Bushwood, sir.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 15:56 | 1253563 chubbar
chubbar's picture

+100 for the Caddyshack reference.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 13:30 | 1253155 WeekendAtBernankes
WeekendAtBernankes's picture

Great insight Tex.  Tyler's "college-industrial complex" is an apt description -- although the "college-government complex" may be more accurate.  They aren't encouraging kids to go to trade-schools.  Trade-schools are for losers and idiots, or so the myth goes.  This myth will likely self-correct as the result of a combination of boomers retiring from the manufacturing sector and young adults with  useless Liberal Arts degrees.

There seems to be a correlation between the establishment of this bubble, the decline in trade-school educations, the decline in quality public K-12 education, monstrous and ever-increasing education budgets with no or negative returns in value, and the establishment of the Federal Dept. of Education in 1979.

Like military spending, the notion of education spending as a sacred cow is a dangerous and unsustainable precedent to set.  The hagiographication of educators and especially the government and union (education) bureaucrats has not helped the situation in the slightest.  The myth that public servants are immune to greed is a dangerous one indeed.  As the bubbles continue to burst and the economy continues to decline, more and more Americans will be forced to awaken to the reality of our situation.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 13:53 | 1253206 oddjob
oddjob's picture

As a ticketed plumber, I laugh at the losers that waste money on a useless education that will end up leaving them in the poverty before they even get a job.


Sun, 05/08/2011 - 14:05 | 1253241 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

All the kids who dont go to the university want to be a mechanic.

I keep telling all of my kid clients to consider plumbing. It can be much more lucrative.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 14:09 | 1253253 oddjob
oddjob's picture

A career as an Electrician or Pipefitter is equally as lucrative.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 14:25 | 1253288 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

Strippers do even better

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 14:32 | 1253315 oddjob
oddjob's picture

That's cuz all the plumbers are there after work!

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 16:09 | 1253588 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

until they marry one!!

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 17:56 | 1253842 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Who says you can't do both?

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 14:53 | 1253358 tickhound
tickhound's picture

"Soon I'll be on fries; then the grill. And pretty soon, I'll make assistant manager, and that's when the big bucks start rolling in."

j/k... But had to do it.

Actually agree, there's nothing impractical about well paying "practical skills"

vs "fancy financial product creation" or jobs servicing it or some off-shoot symptom.

Looking forward to government backed loans for "technical college"... in its continued efforts to "help" 

..could be a trade in there somewhere

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 14:29 | 1253301 Slartebartfast
Slartebartfast's picture

I work for this industry and have been looking for objective evidence of this bubble bursting for years - with no success.  Every year the college loan industry makes it easier and easier, and the boomers are so completely brainwashed into believing they MUST provide a college education for their kids at ANY cost, that more kids show up every year no matter how bad the resulting education and how high the price.  It continues to amaze me.  

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 15:34 | 1253500 litoralkey
litoralkey's picture

Here is your first sign that the college-industrial complex is retrenching:,dc

Washington Post profit down 67 percent

(excerpt) The Post Co. said education division revenue fell 10 percent to $640.6 million on lower student enrollment at its Kaplan schools.


Sun, 05/08/2011 - 15:34 | 1253502 newworldorder
newworldorder's picture

Its not just the parents fault. Most guidance counselors at most High Schools have become shills for the college bound industry. The game starts as early as freshman year in HS. Its one big funnel designed to dump 75%+ percent of HS graduates into college campuses. All endorsed by every politician who ever approved a single dollar for education. This after all is another in a long line of American success stories. Why ruin a good thing by looking too hard at it?

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 18:37 | 1253940 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

Don't forget the game of the teachers, police, etc. (at least here in the people's Commonwealth) where e.g. an elementary school principal who has earned her "Doctorate" (and commands all to be addressed as "Dr. Smithers") has a) contributed to the ponzi while b) done rote work that results in c) an increased number of feathers in her nest.

wrt police viz:

fraud and default widely noted among the "for-profit" "Universities" [that research is left to the motivated student].

But Sallie has to be fed too, because "education" is an "INVESTMENT" that we can't defer.

- Ned

{I almost wish I hadn't read Lackoff's pink elephant book--I retch every time I hear "Investment".}


Mon, 05/09/2011 - 17:03 | 1256897 LaLiLuLeLo
LaLiLuLeLo's picture

My year, the US HS graduating class in 2006 was the largest in history and the universities knew that the gravy train was at its peak. now they are simply trying to get more out of the dwindling reserves of brainwashed kids. Hopefully this report will end this sick SICK cycle.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 14:31 | 1253313 Hulk
Hulk's picture

Agreed TexDenim, 16 years of education before starting life is complete bullshit and THE most boring thing I have ever done...what a fucking waste of a young life...

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 17:27 | 1253787 legal eagle
legal eagle's picture

BUT, today with an effective 20 percent unemployment rate, only 4.5 percent for college grads and less than 1 percent fir folks with advanced degrees.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 18:20 | 1253911 Huckleberry Finn
Huckleberry Finn's picture

I agree. I am currently in college, and I would say 50% of college students should not be in college. Yet, this is partly the high school education system fault too. They push and push students to go to college just so their numbers look good. I remember my high school days, they made it seem if you weren't going to college you were a failure in life. Neither of my parents went to college, and they are doing better than 95% of Americans.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 12:25 | 1252982 JulianTrader
JulianTrader's picture

Fraternity Conspiracy, BitcheZ!


Sun, 05/08/2011 - 12:29 | 1252994 cosmictrainwreck
cosmictrainwreck's picture

yesh.... it's the "college experience" that ish so important in developing a "well-rounded" life. besides, how else ya gonna pay for maintenance on all those old brick buildings and salaries for the prof's & admin? talk about a mo-mo situation... 

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 13:35 | 1253168 WeekendAtBernankes
WeekendAtBernankes's picture

lol ikr

The only reason half the L.A. degrees exist at all is to make the professors employable.  At my University I'm forced to take 3 credits in an "approved" gender-diversity curriculum.  Some would say this is due to political correctness.  I say it's due to a useless department that would collapse under the weight of its own sheer irrelevancy if we weren't forced to pay for their classes.

So yeah, "Economics of Race and Gender" it is, for me.  Whoopie.  Thank goodness I'm learning marketable skills.


Sun, 05/08/2011 - 14:27 | 1253295 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

but what about college football and basketball and cheerleaders??  you all hate america!!

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 16:22 | 1253610 jeffgroove102
jeffgroove102's picture

You have probably heard it a buzzillion times, but that avatar and name is hilarious.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 19:35 | 1254061 AurorusBorealus
AurorusBorealus's picture

These "gender" wars are actually the crux of what goes on in the university.  Many of the women professors on university campuses teach no useable subject.   The only purpose of their "studies" in history, sociology, "gender" studies, anthropology, english, and so forth is to persuade everyone that women have been repressed for 6000 years of human history and therefore the university should hire more women (and pay women more).  In effect, most women professors get paid only to tell everyone that they should get paid. 

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 12:25 | 1252989 raya123
raya123's picture

NIA is a pump and dump scam.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 12:45 | 1253042 Tuco Benedicto ...
Tuco Benedicto Pacifico Juan Maria Ramirez's picture

I can see your lack of edcycation hasn't hurt ya none sock puppet!


Tuco Benedicto Pacifico Juan Ramirez

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 13:40 | 1253172 WeekendAtBernankes
WeekendAtBernankes's picture

Nice alias.  Tuco's the best.  Although having a cord tied to your revolver that could prevent the hammer from striking the cartridge at a critical moment may not be the savviest tactical decision.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 18:21 | 1253914 raya123
raya123's picture

I'm actually an attorney.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 12:56 | 1253078 LowProfile
LowProfile's picture

Unfortunately, your overweening douchebaggery thoroughly negates your asinine allegation.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 18:23 | 1253922 raya123
raya123's picture


Sun, 05/08/2011 - 19:57 | 1254111 OldTrooper
OldTrooper's picture

Is that some kind of legal term?

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 18:49 | 1253973 Bendromeda Strain
Bendromeda Strain's picture

You may think the allegation is asinine, but it isn't baseless. But in case you are Lebed's mother, Happy Mother's Day.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 19:10 | 1254017 Vagabond
Vagabond's picture

It's a completely irrelevant comment.  They do pump and dump.  They also just hit the nail on the head about college education.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 13:38 | 1253174 DrFever
DrFever's picture

They sure are!  They are run by Jonathon Lebed.  Trouble!!  just google lebed.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 15:09 | 1253415 BKbroiler
BKbroiler's picture

nice link, thanks.  props to him anyway for doing that shit at 15...

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 17:31 | 1253799 legal eagle
legal eagle's picture

College fresham girls are the greatest pump and dump invented

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 12:30 | 1252997 apberusdisvet
apberusdisvet's picture

This article leads to the obvious conclusion that the housing crisis will go on for at least another 20 years.  The demographic cohort of those now 15 to 35 are effectively frozen out of the market,  due to carried debt in relation to mortgage qualification ability.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 12:43 | 1253032 lettuce
lettuce's picture

and there you go.... great point. i can't wait until i never get to buy a house. oh and rent rates are rising now, too. perfect.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 14:34 | 1253314 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

i have to laugh...  there have been millions of articles saying how renting is smart and buying is terrible..  like, who are those fools who own stuff?? what a waste!  all those taxes and stuff...


but those costs creep into the rent anyway and the homeowner gets massive breaks on the mortgage interests and a fixed rate.   But hey, slaves don't need much right?  Just enjoy your one room and online life and never wake up

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 16:49 | 1253685 malek
malek's picture

massive breaks on the mortgage interests

Oh, I feel so much better because the money I have to pay to the banksters to become an "owner" isn't taxed!

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 17:08 | 1253736 sun tzu
sun tzu's picture

How many people end up ever owning the house? Many of the foreclosures were on people over 50 years old. If you lose your job and can't sell your house to take a job out of town? Oh well.

Mon, 05/09/2011 - 00:48 | 1254672 Freddie
Freddie's picture

I had a prof who taught real estate.  He was a farmer from the midwest. I still have his notes and his class was probably the best class I ever had.  He did it himself and was loaded.  He drove a used car, brown bagged his lunch and probably had $50 million in real estate back in the mid 1980s.   He gave us all a road map. Get married, make sure the wife is a teacher or had a job that she could not get laid off from. Pay off your house as fast as possible, be frugal, and on and on. 

I am not bashing people over 50 but people need to get their homes paid off by age 50.  Cut expenses, pay extra principal and on and on. My mortgage is just about paid off who neighbors have $650,000 mortgages or more.  I did not buy the toys, vacations, etc.

Hope & Change baby.  Anyone who is a senior or baby boomer and voted for you know who - voted to f*ck the rest of their life.   

Mon, 05/09/2011 - 01:18 | 1254699 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Anyone who is a senior or baby boomer and voted for you know who - voted to f*ck the rest of their life.

It's not all bad for the geezers.  If it weren't for Dubya, there'd be no Medicare Part D.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 17:05 | 1253737 sun tzu
sun tzu's picture

How many people end up ever owning the house? Many of the foreclosures were on people over 50 years old. If you lose your job and can't sell your house to take a job out of town? Oh well.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 13:46 | 1253183 WeekendAtBernankes
WeekendAtBernankes's picture

Excellent connection, hadn't considered it.  Let me throw this out there, though:  Yes, it's a drag if you're underwater on your mortgage but doesn't it seem odd that housing is the one instance where people are complaining about a decline in price?  Frankly, the opportunity to purchase less costly housing may be a boon for this demographic that outweighs the bane you describe.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 14:37 | 1253326 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

They are all being told not to bother... renting gives you ownership of your life they say.. why be tied down and you'll have to pay to fix a roof or worse, mow some grass while you could be spending your savings and time better  at happy hours and overpriced tickets to whatever!!

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 17:08 | 1253742 sun tzu
sun tzu's picture

Traveling, biking, reading a book...nah I'd rather paint the house, fix the roof, or rake the leaves

Mon, 05/09/2011 - 01:31 | 1254711 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Back when I used to believe in job stability, I used to dream of owning a house.

That was over a decade ago, natch.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 14:32 | 1253309 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Yep, and that is why I have not sold my rentals and continue to look for more rental properties to purchase.  If you have buying power, now is the time to use some of it.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 16:47 | 1253678 malek
malek's picture

Yes, if nothing else implodes before, your number describes the upper limit.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 12:32 | 1253002 bugs_
bugs_'s picture

Not to mention boatloads of 6 figure administrators locking in sweet pensions while running one of the big immigration machines pouring output into an already saturated market.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 12:37 | 1253020 Jack Burton
Jack Burton's picture

Bingo! You nailed it with "Immigration Machine". Colleges are the gateway institutions for young folks looking to immigrate to America.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 12:43 | 1253033 JulianTrader
JulianTrader's picture

Yep, this is also prevalent in the Australian Tertiary scene. Nailed it. Its a big money-making  enterprise for my country.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 18:40 | 1253948 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

Jack, you must be especially talking about the CA (and skoshi' MA) Junior College system, that requires exponential increases in in-draft "students."

- Ned

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 12:36 | 1253009 Jack Burton
Jack Burton's picture

 College used to be a training ground for professionals and those seeking teaching careers.

Those headed into nursing attending hospital affliated nursing schools. Those headed for carrers in electronics or computer programming attended trade schools, some private some public. And so on and so on.

But now? Well, you can get a college degree in photgraphy and many do. Tons of students are taking classes and degrees of dubious value. And at great expense.


Sun, 05/08/2011 - 13:50 | 1253202 WeekendAtBernankes
WeekendAtBernankes's picture

I know.  I have a neighbor who just graduated with her B.A. in photography.  Don't have the heart to tell her, "What a waste.  You could have spent that time reading, practicing, and spending time around other photographers and probably have a mastery of your trade superior to your current ability."

It's all in the reflexes.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 18:42 | 1253953 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

buy all of Ansel Adams' books for like a $1k, buy a good digital camera for like same, shoot her ass off (photographically speaking), and start selling art.  Branch out.

- Ned

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 23:16 | 1254518 Mec-sick-o
Mec-sick-o's picture

LOL: "...shoot her ass off (photographically speaking)..."

Please send the pics to rate.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 15:48 | 1253535 newworldorder
newworldorder's picture

Jack Burton;

You have not considered the value of these degrees relative to the holders ability to get a government job. Most government professional jobs require a degree. The majority require a Masters, Some a PhD.

This applies to governments from local police, fire, municipal, county, state and finally  The Federal government. Most masters degree as well as membership in a protected employee class can get you in.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 17:15 | 1253751 sun tzu
sun tzu's picture

Very few government jobs require a degree. I worked for a certain federal taxing authority and even many of the agents didn't have a 4 year degree. 

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 16:16 | 1253602 Howard_Beale
Howard_Beale's picture

I have two neices that have just finished up -- one with a masters in architecture has a great job already, the other with a PhD in engineering has about 10 choices at 6 figures.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 16:28 | 1253619 anony
anony's picture

Advanced degrees in certain fields are mandatory and at least highlight somewhat serious students seeking a top notch education.

The same can't be said for the other 95% of the 'students'.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 16:57 | 1253698 malek
malek's picture

It would be pretty shitty if you couldn't get six figures with an PhD in engineering.

But with architecture I suppose she needed a good bit of luck, or connections to land a great job...

Mon, 05/09/2011 - 02:22 | 1254743 OldPhart
OldPhart's picture

Or great big boobs.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 17:18 | 1253758 sun tzu
sun tzu's picture

What percentage of students actually get a useful degree? You have millions graduating each year with degrees in philosophy, ethnic/gender studies, social studies, history, english, psychology. They can't all get government jobs.

Mon, 05/09/2011 - 03:16 | 1254769 nufio
nufio's picture

is the answer to your question about the % of students that take a useful degree.
You can even download the table in an excel sheet.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 12:33 | 1253015 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

Éducation should be free and not à industry.

Nobody should have to leave school with debt.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 12:43 | 1253036 lettuce
lettuce's picture

move to finland

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 12:50 | 1253053 Bam_Man
Bam_Man's picture

Too cold.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 16:58 | 1253701 malek
malek's picture

Move to Germany, almost free there.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 14:14 | 1253268 FeralSerf
FeralSerf's picture

Strange mating rituals.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 12:48 | 1253047 anony
anony's picture

IDiot!  Nothing in this world is Free!!

Someone is paying for these high school students to extend their adolescence by another 4 years, and many, 6 years.

They pretend to learn, the profs pretend to each, and they all pretend that the fantasy of their "education" is worth what was paid by parents, the state, community and whatnot to the fraudsters in the Indoctrination business.

The results are in.  Today's college degree is worthless to most of the students who use the 4 years to avoid ANY kind of labor. 

The last thing 'education' needs is more money thrown at it.  A good start would be to figure out what a student needs to learn to survive in this world, and prosper.  Basketweaving, minority, and feminist studies aren't going to cut it.  The establishment wins again.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 12:50 | 1253062 Azannoth
Azannoth's picture

.. bread, clean watter and a house should be free too, NOT

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 19:25 | 1254049 downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

Privatize everything!  

Hooray for failed economic systems that produce landfills of poison and 50 types of cat litter.

Mon, 05/09/2011 - 09:39 | 1255202 SoNH80
SoNH80's picture

Marx made a huge error in logic by dividing those that work "with their hands" from those that work "with their minds".  Everybody that works, works with both their hands and minds.  Anybody who works for a living is a member of the working class, and the working class is under attack from above (banksters, et. al.), and below (criminals, out-of-control lumpen).  The higher education racket of today is a big machine designed to fool kids into thinking that they're going to leave the working class by going into the quad, but the big joke is that they end up right where they started from, the working class, be it as an engineer or as a waitress.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 12:54 | 1253071 Long-John-Silver
Long-John-Silver's picture

If something is free it's value is zero.

When almost everyone has a (free) college degree the highest paid people will have rare skills such as HVAC mechanic, plumber, or electrician.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 13:26 | 1253146 Id fight Gandhi
Id fight Gandhi's picture

Trade skills are always in demand. Its the closest thing to a livable income, but most kids turn their noses up at it as it being too low class for them.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 13:52 | 1253209 WeekendAtBernankes
WeekendAtBernankes's picture

Their "educators" have carefully fostered this attitude.  And the dangers of a centralized public education apparatus become ever clearer.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 14:12 | 1253257 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

My Nephew turned down a job offer of $110K/yr as a auto dealer repair foreman to go get his MBA.  That was three years ago.  Today he has his MBA and is earning $78K as a product manager.  I guess the job sounds more "prestigious" than the auto job.  A good friend wouldn't take over his Dad's hardwood floor business so that he could get his Art History degree and teach.  He did that for five years earning $37K/yr and hated it.  He's now making a bundle in hardwood floor finishing.  Another friend took eleven years to earn his PhD in Mathematics from a prestigious University and then opened a tropical fish business and breeds and sells aquarium fish.  He's doing what he wanted.  Three female engineers at our company quit and opened a dress shop together.  When asked why (since we like females in engineering), they replied that they had fallen for all the hoopla, liked the people, hated the work, and now were doing something they really wanted to do.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 17:22 | 1253769 sun tzu
sun tzu's picture

I know a couple of guys who got computer sciences degrees and opened upa tropical fisstore. Another one got a CS degree and biology degree and became a realtor. I got a computer undergrad degree and ended up as an accountant.

Mon, 05/09/2011 - 02:27 | 1254744 OldPhart
OldPhart's picture

That's weird, I got an accounting degree and ended up as a Corporate Controller.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 14:23 | 1253282 The Third Man
The Third Man's picture

Exactly. A hard working, mechanically inclined kid out of high school starting in the HVACR trade can be making $50,000/year in the time it takes to get a 4 yr degree. If's he sharper than the average young man, he can learn the back end of the busines and double that income in a couple of more years. And not one penny of debt.

The problem our industry has faced for 20 years is finding quality technicians. The reason? All the high schools push kids into college....where a good majority of them don't belong.



Sun, 05/08/2011 - 20:30 | 1254189 Long-John-Silver
Long-John-Silver's picture

While I was going to high school I also went to trade school in the evenings to become a Machinist. I did so well I sold my machine shop and retired at 47 years of age. That's been 8 years ago. A few years after I retired I got really bored of doing nothing. I built a small machine shop behind my home just to have something to do. I've had to increase my labor rates to ignorant levels because I don't want to hire anyone or work 16 hours a day. My labor rate is 2 ounces Silver per hour. Sense the Silver beat down a couple of my customers complained they can't buy Silver at the local coin shops and could I please accept US Dollars. I capitulated by charging them Silver spot plus 30% if paying in US Dollars. I still have more work than I can do.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 13:39 | 1253175 Fred G Sanford
Fred G Sanford's picture


Sun, 05/08/2011 - 18:38 | 1253709 malek
malek's picture

That assumes that finishing the degree (i.e. passing all tests) is also free. If that is so then I agree.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 17:22 | 1253773 Léonard
Léonard's picture

There are some misconceptions about free education over here.

Not everyone can have a free college degree if you make it difficult to obtain. The key word with free education is selection with only the best graduating. It worked well for Europe for decades until they started to be less demanding and gave the degree to everyone, the good and the bad ones.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 13:11 | 1253107 captain_menace
captain_menace's picture

With the availability of information on the Internet, an "education" could be free.  Or at least it could be no more expensive than the cost of your Internet connection.

We would simply need to teach children at a much younger age how to teach themselves.  And of course having a mentor helps a lot.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 14:25 | 1253289 The Third Man
The Third Man's picture

You want to understand/learn almost any topic, then go here:

This guy is fricking brilliant, and offers it all for free.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 14:43 | 1253339 cxl9
cxl9's picture

That site just made my bookmarks, a rare honor.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 14:19 | 1253275 oddjob
oddjob's picture

I think Groceries should be free as well.Nobody should leave the grocery store owing money.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 15:11 | 1253435 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

I think your sister should be free as well. Nobody should leave her hotel room unsatiated or owing FRNs.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 15:56 | 1253555 oddjob
oddjob's picture

It's called a motel Einstein.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 14:32 | 1253305 NeroAmerika
NeroAmerika's picture

Education is free.  I have been "educating" myself for years now on Economics, mathematics, etc. before I even put my big toe in college.  I am paying for a piece of paper that says "He is smart!" not for an education.  My education comes from my own self-study.  That self-study includes many textbooks, trading, reading, online lectures that are free etc.  Education is free.  The piece of paper, however, costs thousands!

Mon, 05/09/2011 - 09:33 | 1255186 SoNH80
SoNH80's picture

90% of what I learned, I learned on my own, in the library.  The lecture hall (aside from math, physics, and biology) was mostly good for the eye-candy.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 19:23 | 1254040 downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

Well put.  

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 12:45 | 1253019 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture


Do you see whats coming out the California college system? If it's not a private university it's UGLY. You know there's a bubble when people who can't tie their shoe are graduating college (yes, I've seen it) Either that or we have just taken' a plunge off of the deep end.

California is going to be the next Detroit if they don't start correcting their damn selves.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 12:49 | 1253057 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

2/3 of people in THE company i work for is in sales, and it doesn't take a college education to do.
And every year the requirements for THE job go up and jobcontent goes down.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 13:04 | 1253090 in4mayshun
in4mayshun's picture

I 2nd that, SuddenDebt. I know many talented and experienced sales reps that are leaving the industry because their company no longer allows them to use their own talents to do the job at hand. Micro-managing and babysitting is the new coprporate environment. So why do I need a bachelors degreee to be a robot?

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 14:53 | 1253377 Dr. Porkchop
Dr. Porkchop's picture

I'm in middle management, I"m not allowed to do anything. I spend all my time in useless corporate indoctrination seminars they call 'training'. Corporate culture bullshit.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 15:55 | 1253556 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

Been there,and you'll stay there untill you know THE secret arts of backstabbing with a smile :)

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 12:57 | 1253081 MolotovCockhead
MolotovCockhead's picture

You mean kids with Down Syndrome graduating with highly sort after degree?

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 14:35 | 1253319 Rainman
Rainman's picture

The 1980 median California household income purchased 17 Univ. of Calif. bachelor degrees. Today, the median barely purchases ONE !

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 12:38 | 1253022 JulianTrader
JulianTrader's picture

Having worked in the Tertiary education industry, let me say that the rort isn't just limited to the States: Down Under here in Australia, our College (University) insto's are especially squeezing every drop of blood from their overseas students. Annual tuition fees Y-o-Y increases at least 10% like clockwork.

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 10:05 | 1278971 Zoran
Zoran's picture

Agree regarding Australia. The other problem here is the numbers of students forced into substandard or overcrowded accomodation, and the pressure this is placing on house prices and rents. There's no doubt the Australian property bubble has inflated to a large degree because of this. It's been reported extensively by APM (Australian Property Monitors) and several other organisations.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 12:39 | 1253025 Alex Kintner
Alex Kintner's picture

Let's see. If I get a McJob for $8/hour, how many years will it take me to pay down that $120,000 college loan? I wish I paid attention in math class. Well, at least I can speak English good.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 14:02 | 1253221 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

you forgot the /sarc


Sun, 05/08/2011 - 14:33 | 1253320 Alex Kintner
Alex Kintner's picture

Kinda thought the sarc it would be obvious. The economy is clearly wrecked and professional level jobs are exiting the US at incredible speed.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 22:10 | 1254387 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

$120,000 / (52 weeks/year * 40 hours/week * 8 $/hour) = 7.2 years, assuming you paid the entire yearly salary of $16,640 against the loan, no interest, etc.  Surely a large, great white such as yourself has no need to buy food for 7+years? :>D

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 12:41 | 1253030 majia
majia's picture

Tuition was $265 a semester when I started a large public university in 1983. Today the large public university I teach at charges around $4,000 a semester. What is driving these costs:

1. Declining state support for higher education

2. Increased pay for ever more administrators (faculty pay at public universities is not high outside of business and life sciences and most faculty at my univ have not had any kind of a raise in years)

3. Increased technology on campus and for operating campus infrastructure. In 1983 we registered using pencils.

4. Increased support staff for students unable to do anything for themselves. In the 1980s the university I attended had 2 academic advisors for 35,000 students. You figured it out yourself or you did not graduate.

5. Increased funds spent on hiring high priced faculty for research and increased funds on super-expensive labs as universities, forced to raise their own money, are emphasizing "research." Faculty who work in these labs rarely teach and are expected to spend their time bringing in large grants.

6. Today's large public research university is definitely a new breed

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 12:42 | 1253040 lettuce
lettuce's picture

don't place the blame on #3.... #3 is supposed to deprecate the need for having those mentioned in #2 and #4. probably has something to do with the implicit state support for jobs at public institutions. cut the fat like the rest of the world and the students' futures might just be back in business.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 12:56 | 1253077 tmosley
tmosley's picture

#2 and #4 are the largest factors in your list.  You missed the building boom that has been going on at most college campuses for the last 10-20 years.  Even in the middle of a Depression, these fools are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on football stadiums.

And of course, the single factor that is at the root of all of these problems is the cheap debt offered by the government.  Take that away, and most of these bloated colleges would collapse under their own weight.  We would ALL be better off for it.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 13:21 | 1253134 Alcoholic Nativ...
Alcoholic Native American's picture

Yep, my University builds the stupidist shit.  Just built a ew "career center", huge building, I go in to see what it actually does, they give me a flyer with a website on it and tell me they will go over my resume for me.  Whoopty fucken doo.

Also they just built this new pool.  Not a large regular rectangular pool with lanes in it where the students can go and do some laps after classes, they built some kind of retarded fantasy lazy river fake palm tree themed pool.

Plus the good ol boy network purchases new sod grass every fucken year.

Plus all the construction workers are fucken mexicans.

The list goes on.




Sun, 05/08/2011 - 13:57 | 1253213 WeekendAtBernankes
WeekendAtBernankes's picture

ikr Sounds just like my school.  It's easy to budget when you don't have to worry about a bottom line.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 13:12 | 1253108 dnarby
dnarby's picture

Let me break this down for you:

#1?  Fuck that unless you are not-for-profit, and pay all your staff accordingly.

#2?  That should be paid by #5.  If #5 + tuitions don't cover costs, then you cut costs.

#3?  The author of the article suggests that this could be used to DRAMATICALLY cut costs (tele-education).  Sorry.  Brick and mortar is dead except for that which absolutely needs to be hands-on (medical schools, physics, etc.).

#4?  Fuck that.  Let them fail.  Not everybody is cut out for higher education.

#5 needs to be changed to developing marketable IP to support #2.


And the quick way to fix all of this? 

Get the gov't out of loans for education, and make student loan debt dischargeable. 

If it's a poor risk, lenders won't lend for it.

Problem solved.  Aren't you glad you asked?

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 13:19 | 1253131 GreenSideUp
GreenSideUp's picture

Get the gov't out of loans for education, and make student loan debt dischargeable. 


Ding, ding, ding!  We have a winner!

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 13:32 | 1253159 Id fight Gandhi
Id fight Gandhi's picture

The solution is NOT to throw more money at it, especially public/government money.

Much of this problem as been easy to get (but not dischargeable) loans and a mindless mantra of a college degree is needed or youre a failure and will never have a job.

Now all the taxpayers have to back these dead beats who got shitty degrees and have no jobs.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 15:13 | 1253441 Dr. Porkchop
Dr. Porkchop's picture

They nickel and dime you with countless administrative fees.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 12:43 | 1253034 Doode
Doode's picture

The page has an ad for Full Sail University - online Bachelor degree. An explosion of online education and 3rd and 4th tier schools certainly skewed the statistics. I would be curious to see the outcome broken down by school tiers. That could be more revealing - I still believe a degree from a top school goes a long way.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 12:46 | 1253044 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

Big Education is all about keeping Liberals who would otherwise only be marginally employable in the real economy on a gravy train that makes them substantially wealthier than the vast majority of the public.  They can only continually jack up the prices if the cheap credit is there and the system is biased to push the willing lemmings into punching the right tickets in the hopes of jumping on the bandwagon.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 13:10 | 1253111 dnarby
dnarby's picture

...And the truth shall get you junked.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 13:19 | 1253133 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

And the junk will set you free.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 15:29 | 1253479 BKbroiler
BKbroiler's picture

and liberals are always to blame. for everything. Yee-haw.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 15:57 | 1253558 nmewn
nmewn's picture

No, socialists, disguised as liberals are.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 16:50 | 1253687 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

Just to be clear, the "Socialists" (the animals who are more equal than other animals in the barnyard) are running the show, and the lesser socialists and hapless, koolaid-drinking liberals trying to assuage their bourgoise guilt by feeling better through the willingness to give away the wealth of the truly productive are along for the ride.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 17:15 | 1253755 BKbroiler
BKbroiler's picture

give away the wealth of the truly productive

A bunch of metaphors don't adequately disguise your Randian nonsense.  Again, Yee-haw.

Mon, 05/09/2011 - 22:47 | 1257660 WeekendAtBernankes
WeekendAtBernankes's picture

Explain how this is not happening?  Oh, okay.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 21:03 | 1254262 nmewn
nmewn's picture

"Just to be clear, the "Socialists" (the animals who think they are more equal than other animals in the barnyard) are running the show, and the lesser socialists and hapless, koolaid-drinking liberals trying to assuage their bourgoise guilt by feeling better through the willingness to give away the wealth of the truly productive are along for the ride."

That is correct ;-)

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 12:44 | 1253046 Mozzer
Mozzer's picture

jonathan lebed = pump and dump ;) just saying

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 13:07 | 1253100 Michael Victory
Michael Victory's picture

tru dat.

join nia's mailing list and see what you get.

i used to think a bit more of them.


Sun, 05/08/2011 - 12:51 | 1253064 LRC Fan
LRC Fan's picture

So how do we make money on this?  Buy stock?  Short the Texas endowment's portfolio?  Beat up some kids from Harvard? 

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 12:55 | 1253076 AG BCN
AG BCN's picture

c) Beat up some kids from Harvard.

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 13:19 | 1253124 sschu
sschu's picture

So how do we make money on this?

You are correct, the education system offers a good opportunity to get rich when the restructuring starts.  This is true of all levels, it makes zero sense that the average annual cost to educate a 4th grader is over $10K in some states.  Check out the numbers from Detroit, over half that graduate from HS are illiterate.

Now it is not all the teachers fault, there are social issues that contribute, but who really believes the massive amount spent on education is a good deal these days?  Why are Kumon and Sylvan doing well?

Clearly to cost of delivering education has to be dramatically reduced, the Internet offers the best alternative to deliver content to students without the massive infrastructure cost.  States are near bankrupt, education is a huge pot of money that over promises and under delivers, but has political power.  At some point, states will have no choice but to reduce this cost as the tax revenues are not sufficient to support the education establishment.

Go long education delivery systems that are Internet based.



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