Why Avoiding the Traditional Path of University Education Will Help, Yes HELP, Your Children Survive the Next Five Years

smartknowledgeu's picture

The proper decision now regarding your child's education may
be the difference in whether you set your child up for a life of failure or a
life of success. Yes I really do believe that the decision on whether to send
your child to university now or to forgo that traditional route  is a “make or break your child’s
life" type of decision. So in that regard, the pathway you choose for your child
right now may very well be one of the most important investment decisions of
your life .


But first a little background. Whether you like it or not, the political and social
upheaval that has afflicted Portugal, Spain, Greece, Mozambique, and is now afflicting
Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt will be coming to your country sometime in the next
3 years. Just visit this link to witness the angry mob violence in Tunisia that arose in response to massive unemployment coupled with soaring food prices that the people can no
longer afford. I know what you're thinking, "But that is Tunisia, and that
will never happen in MY COUNTRY."
But this is precisely what everyone
thinks until it happens in THEIR country.


What is the absolute worst thing that can happen during a
crisis? Being unprepared for it, right? So rather than just blindly saying that
what is happening in Tunisia and Egypt will never happen in your country, it
is a much more intelligent approach to look at the triggers of that violence in
these countries and discover if these same triggers exist in your own country.


In every country that has ever suffered from circumstances
that rapidly devolved into outrage and violence, it is likely that the citizens
of that country never saw the violence coming until it was already upon them.
When economies and families' livelihoods are hanging by a thread, a small spark
can trigger a massive fire. So what are these circumstances and what does
education and your child's future have to do with the situation in Algeria,
Tunisia, and Egypt?  Everything, as I'll soon explain.


Violence and mass protests are occurring in many countries
because of massive unemployment and soaring food and energy prices that in some
instances have risen by 80% in a matter of weeks and/or months. Soaring food prices and
massive rates of unemployment are the direct result of Central Bank policies
of "quantitative easing", a euphemism for the destruction of purchasing power of
all fiat currencies around the world.  Distortions in pricing caused by
Central Banks' deliberate devaluation of currencies cause massive
inefficiencies in markets, create massive bubbles and instability, and destroy, rather than create sustainable
economic growth. This pattern repeats itself over and over in every country in the world with Central Bankers blaming everyone for these catastrophes except the reponsible parties - themselves.


Do you live in a country that has huge levels of
unemployment (in terms of REAL unemployment numbers, not the bogus "official" unemployment
numbers reported by your government)? Do you live in a country where you
have noticed significant increases in the price of food and energy, even if the
price increases have not been as steep as increases in other parts of the word and
even if these increases are hidden by smart packaging designs that give you less product for the same
price as last year? If the answer to those two questions are yes and yes, then
your country qualifies as not only eligible, but ripe, for riots and civil unrest at some point in
the next 2-3 years because Central Banks have all but ensured that these two
situations will become worse with every passing month.


If soaring food prices haven't happened in your country yet,
they will. The only reason it hasn't happened yet is because your government,
in collusion with bankers, have kicked the can down the road along with efforts
to sell the populace wild fables of economic recovery while the banks in their
nation (i.e, the US) are literally bankrupt but for false reporting standards that allow them to practice alchemy and magically turn losses into earnings.  There have been no solutions implemented,
only concerted, organized efforts between politicians and bankers of hiding the truth from citizens. Thus, the same
nightmarish destruction in the quality of life that governments and Central
Bankers have heaped upon India, Algiers, Tunisia will come to your doorstep at
some point within the next three years. Even Western leaders that typically
fill newspapers and TV with utter nonsense are warning their citizens to take


Recently, Bank of England governor Mervyn King stated that
British families will see their disposable income disappear as they, in his own
words, pay "the inevitable price" for the ongoing monetary crisis and
begin to suffer the fastest decline in living standards since the 1920's. King
continued to state that savers and "those who behaved prudently" will
pay the largest price as this crisis unfolds.  No, because those who behaved prudently would have stopped listening to bankers like King a long, long time ago and would have long since converted their pounds into gold and silver,  instead of saving pounds. Then they would be okay to deal with this crisis. However, being the
despicable snake (and those are probably much too sweet words with which to
bestow upon him) that he is, King further declared that the Bank of England,
"neither can, nor should try to, prevent the squeeze in living
" What he should have disclosed is that he, along with the Bank
of England, the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve are directly
responsible for the greatest decline in living standards since the 1920's that
will afflict all Brits over the next several years.  King amazingly declared that rising inflation in the UK had
been caused largely by increases in global oil and commodity prices, which is
comparable to saying that the egg laid the chicken instead of the chicken
laying the egg. Commodity prices have risen significantly (despite King and his cronies' best efforts to knock down the price of gold and silver in a bogus paper futures market) and inflation is increasing
because Central Bankers such as himself have been destroying the fiat currencies in
which they are priced and people are losing their CONFIDENCE in these fiat currencies that will at some point, no longer even be worth the price of the digital chip in which they are stored. King further blamed tax rises such as the increase in
VAT introduced in 2011 for the coming massive destruction in living standards for British citizens and promptly
exonerated the Bank of England for this tax increase.  However, anyone that truly understands that bankers rule
governments know that bankers always have a hand in government legislation that raises taxes upon the people.  Without increased taxes, where else is the money to bail out banks again in the future going to come from?


Thus, as the global monetary crisis accelerates in 2011,
this year will be the year we move from the eye of the financial hurricane back
into the hurricane.  Given that the modern educational system 
teaches students absolutely nothing they need to know about surviving the
, after four years most students will only graduate with a mountain of
debt and face a bleak economic landscape. Thus, I firmly believe that setting
aside the money targeted for tuition, books, room and board and investing that
money in gold and silver today (and take advantage of this banker created pullback in gold and silver prices now!) will leave any young adult a thousand times
better prepared to face this crisis in two to four years time than the choice
to enter university or graduate school today.  But I'm not the only one that believes this. The National
Inflation Association also believes this. At the very least, if you have a
child you are sending to college or graduate school next term, do yourself a
favor and finish reading this article. Whether you agree or disagree with me,
at least you will have the information as well as my perspective AND the
perspective of the National Inflation Association to make a proper


In a recent US study called “Academically Adrift: Limited
Learning on College Campuses
”, researchers studied more than 2,300 students that
attended 29 different US universities. Here is what they concluded:


(1) 45% of the students showed no gains in learning the first
two years of college, and

(2) 36% gained little learning even after four years of
college level courses

even though the average GPA was 3.2 among the sample of


Richard Arum, the author of the study, discovered that
students [were] able to navigate through [college] quite well with little
”. Furthermore, he discovered that many faculty were focused on their own
research with a disdain for teaching many of the introductory freshmen and
sophomore level courses that colleges required of them. The gains in
learning were ascertained by tests that 
measured critical thinking, complex reasoning and writing skills in a
standardized manner.


Of course, other factors outside of the enormous failures of
the US educational system are also responsible for the failures of students to
gain any critical thinking or complex reasoning skills during their years spent
inside institutional academics. There is a plethora of mass entertainment
designed to prevent young adults from noticing that bankers are ruining their
lives and ignoring all the topics that affect their quality of life while
keeping them fixated on events that will eventually have no consequence on
their quality of life. The Jersey Shore, American Idol, the Bachelor, an
18-game NFL season that will extend the nation’s fixation on football for
several more weeks…shall I continue? Arum’s study found that students spend
less time studying today and more time socializing as compared to their peers
from a decade ago and blamed students for deliberately seeking easy courses
full of fluff for their lack of learning in addition to professors and universities
that valued research and money more than teaching. Of course, the question
still persists of "Why do universities even waste students’ time by offering
students courses full of fluff?" And if students really go to college to
socialize, do students really need to waste $30,000 of their parent’s money every
year for the privilege of playing Xbox in thier dorm rooms with their friends?


Though the value derived from institutional academia seems
to be little, this hasn’t prevented the owners of these institutions from
raising tuition prices by 29% over the last four years from $84,940 to $109,172
for a four-year private university degree (Source: the National Inflation
Association). In fact, if people were to view institutional academia as the
money-making business it really is instead of a business of "education and learning", one would likely conclude that in terms of
value for money spent, this business would rank as one of the greatest all
time-scams next to the fractional reserve banking system.


Supporters of the institutional academic system frequently
quote studies that illustrate that a job seeker without a college degree will
earn substantially less than someone with a college degree or that someone without a high
school diploma has a much greater probability of ending up inside the US penal
system than someone that possesses one. Yet, these arguments and conclusions are highly
flawed. The control group in these studies that end up having lower paying jobs
or that end up in prison are those that chose not to pursue education at all.
But what if such studies used a control group of home-schooled children or
children that attended “alternate” institutions of education where they really
learned how money is created and how banking really works instead of the utter
lies that are taught in business school classrooms today? I would fathom to
think that this control group would test much higher in terms of critical
thinking, complex reasoning AND illustrate higher earnings potential after
graduation with the benefit of having little or no debt as compared to their
institutionalized peers (those that attended traditional academic institutions).


Last year I wrote a series entitled the “Astounding Failure
of the US Education System
” regarding the very above topics. You may find these
three articles here along with one by the National Inflation Association.


October 21, 2010: JS Kim discusses "The Astounding Failure of the US
Educational System"

October 28, 2010: JS Kim discusses "The Astounding Failure of the US
Educational System, Part 2"

October 29, 2010: JS Kim discusses "The Astounding Failure of the US
Educational System, Part 3 (And Why Entrepreneurship Can Save America)

January 12, 2011: The NIA discusses the "College Bubble Set to Burst in 2011"


In those above articles, though I concentrated on the
failures of the US education system from a students’ perspective, I also
discussed the astounding successes of the US education system from the
perspective of the very small elite communities that control governments and
countries around the world. The purpose of the educational system as it has
been constructed and implemented in developed countries by elite financiers,
(aka bankers), has never been to foster learning and to promote critical
thinking. It has always been to implement factory like conditions in schools
that kills creativity, intelligence, and critical thinking while promoting
apathy out of boredom, a sheep-herd like mentality that acquiesces to authority,
and an inability to discern reality from fiction.  Today, after revelations of fraud and theft time and time
again as the modus operandi, and not the exception, at the largest banks in the
world, disdain for bankers is at an all time high and very well-deserved. Still,
many Westerners cannot shake themselves from the banker created propaganda
about gold being a “barbarous relic” even as world leaders in Tunisia and Egypt
abscond with massive amounts of gold after their leadership created economic
breakdown in their respective countries.


If one were to study the history of Western education, one
would realize that bankers and the richest financiers of the time comprised the
very small, elite, select group that devised the modern academic system today. If
you believe that bankers never had the community’s best interests at heart for
the past several decades when they sold their customers zero-down, sub-prime, and negative
interest mortgages that they knew their customers would eventually default upon,
asset backed commercial paper (ABCP) and other derivative products that
eventually would lose 50% or more of its value, and stocks in a market they
were rigging and front-running every day with their HFT algorithmic models,
then why in the world would you believe that this very same group of morally
bankrupt people would devise an academic system that was designed to actually
educate and enlighten people? Specifically, if they designed an academic system that actually taught young adults the truths about business operations in business school, wouldn't they be destroying their own livelihoods by exposing to young adults the secrets about the business methods they use to lie, cheat and steal from people every day?


There are far too many people in this world that do not
critically think as the “Academically Adrift” study proved.  After being bombarded with mantras like
Stay in School” and “Education is Good”, young adults internalize these
mantras and actually believe that they are actually being educated while attending the system that bankers and the elite designed for them. Of course, education
is good, just not the type that you will receive in traditional halls of institutional
. While the modern educational system still performs a fine job in
increasing the aptitude and skill level of students that train for certain specialized vocations such
as medicine, engineering, and architecture, I believe that a very large
percentage of the modern educational system achieves nothing more than wasting
four years of a student’s life and increasing the indebtedness of these
students’ parents or the indebtedness of the students themselves. This is not a
conclusion that I draw from speculation but one that I draw from the annals of
history. In the early 1900’s, the Board of Education’s Director of Charity,
Frederick Gates, stated:


"In our
dream, we have limitless resources, and the people yield themselves with perfect
docility to our molding hand. The present educational conventions fade from our
minds; and, unhampered by tradition, we work our own good will upon a grateful
and responsive folk. We shall not try to make these people or any of their
children into philosophers or men of learning or science."

Who founded the Board of Education? Frederick Gates, and
wait for it…John D. Rockefeller of the Rockefeller banking family. If you
really think that an educational system that was molded by the top banking
families in the world will freely provide to you of their own beneficence the
secrets they utilize to gain enormous amounts of wealth in the classrooms of
colleges and universities, then go ahead and waste the more than USD $200,000
it will now cost you in tuition (including room and board) at Harvard University
for that four year degree. Certainly a student does not need to spend USD
$200,000+ of his parent’s money just for the access that a prestigious degree
provides. Thus, the real question becomes, is the ACTUAL KNOWLEDGE gained through the
achievement of that degree worth USD $200,000?  A young adult would be far better prepared to
handle the fast approaching tumultuous years of this global monetary crisis by
skipping school, and investing the full amount that would have been wasted on tuition
in gold and silver. After four years, as long as the student purchased gold and silver during any of the inevitable dips that occur every year, such a student would literally have a
mountain of money to start his or her own business, even fail in his or her
first venture, start a second business, and succeed – and do so all with zero debt.
Thus the answer to the above question is definitively NO.


And during those four years, I strongly advocate the pursuit of education, just
NOT INSTITUTIONAL EDUCATION. Go to the library and read books. Go online and
take some courses for a fraction of the price of a university education. Make
appointments with business leaders and find a mentor and learn from them. Find
an apprenticeship somewhere. All this will be exponentially more invaluable to a young adult's earning potential and critical thinking skills than becoming indoctrinated
with worthless knowledge that the elite wish to impart to them.


Go to “prestigious” universities like Princeton University
and a young impressionable adult may be so unfortunate as to have Paul Krugman fill his or her brains with
lies like he stated on September 2, 2009: “There was nothing in the prevailing
[economic] models suggesting the possibility of the kind of collapse that
happened last year.”
  If that was
the case, then how did I predict the 2008 economic collapse well before it
happened? And how did a handful of others around the world predict the 2008
crisis before it happened as well? And how do I know that another more serious
crisis is a near certainty that will likely kick off sometime in 2011 and
extend well into 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015? Paul Krugman failed to see the elephant
in the room that existed in 2006 and that rampaged through the room in 2008
because he subscribes to the economic conceptual nonsense that the world’s
“top” universities inject into the minds of young men and women. Men like Krugman,
have as their purpose, to prevent young adults from becoming “philosophers or
men [and women] of learning or science"
because they are richly rewarded by the elite for spreading their disinformation to impressionable minds. To the contrary, those that were able to realize that
most of the economic concepts taught in business schools is utter nonsense were
able to spot the elephant in the room quite clearly, and can still see that the elephant has not left the room today.


If one really believes that the purpose of institutional
academics is to increase critical thinking, then why do SO MANY PEOPLE TODAY
still believe that the global economy is recovering and that US banks are fine
when the majority of them would be declared bankrupt today but for fake FASB
reporting measures that allow them to misreport and lie about their earnings?  If the majority of people today were
critical thinkers, the US consumer confidence index would be at about 10.5
instead of at an eight-month high of 60.6. This only proves that our “modern”
educational system has killed critical thinking. When I attended the University
of Pennsylvania, one of my roommates was attending the Wharton School of
Business. After the first day of class, he excitedly informed me that his
professor told all students on the first day of class that they would not
receive less than a grade of “B” as long as they just showed up to every class. In fact, my roommate laughed as he
told me this story, probably in disbelief of the easiest “B” he would earn in
his life. What is always among the top two concerns of college students that
desire high-paying jobs after graduation? GPA, right? If one can be assured of
a “B” by doing nothing more than showing up to class and sleeping through every
class, what significance does a GPA have? It is ironic that employers continue
to seek candidates with prestigious degrees with high GPAs because this
nonsense feeds into the desires of young adults to attend prestigious
universities and to seek the achievement of high GPAs, all at the cost of true
learning, true development of critical thinking skills, and a massive mountain
of debt that bankers are quite happy you acquired.  But as long as this cycle of non-learning continues, the
elite and their creation of the modern educational system have achieved their
goals. If you ask why I attended a "prestigious" school, the answer was because I graduated years before I finally figured out the system was a scam.


In the NIA article I referenced above, the National
Inflation Association stated that in the near future, there will be “a boom in
online education where Americans take all of their courses over the Internet
from the comfort of their own home at a fraction of the cost of traditional
  I can only hope that
this prediction becomes a reality as young adults in the Western world will be
bankrupted if they continue committing themselves to massive loads of debt in
pursuit of a prestigious degree that will provide little to zero knowledge
about how to successfully deal with the coming second phase of this global
monetary crisis. If you are not attending school to learn a very specialized
skill, then I believe 100% that attending institutional academia will set you
back in your ability to succeed over the next five years of this global
monetary crisis. Even if you need the structure of a traditional academic
institution because you are entering a specialized profession such as medicine
or engineering, I still believe that delaying your education for the next two
to four years and using the money that would have been spent towards tuition,
books, and room and board to invest in gold and silver and/or buy a farm and
plant crops is a far smarter decision that will result in your ability to lead a
decent life after graduation. Central Bankers have deliberately ensured that food and
energy prices will continue to soar in coming years, so at a minimum, spending your time
wisely instead of attending school will ensure that you can eat over the next
several years when Darwin's Survival of the Fittest theory will be on display
for the entire world to see. From my personal experience, I can state one
thing unequivocally and without reservation: “Everything I learned about
succeeding in business, I learned outside of college and graduate programs.



About the author: JS Kim is the Founder and Managing
Director of SmartKnowledgeU, a fiercely independent research, education and
consulting company that offers online education courses that teach the truth
that traditional business schools refuse to teach their students


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SamuelMaverick's picture

This is a great thread. ColCooper kicks ass!! 

tgatliff's picture

Outsourcing is certainly not a new thing.... It is only that MBA types just started to experiment with it.  Most of our customer base are what I call recovering "outsourcaholics".  The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem with supporting outsourced products.   Any company that outsources high technology development work understands very well the painful support costs it entails....

Odd Ball's picture

Being libertarians, we homeshooled our daughter from day one for philisophical reasons.  We didn't want to condition her to accept arbitrary authority and arbitrary schedules.  We read Daniel Greenberg's "Free At Last" and John Holt's "How Children Fail".  Later we discovered John Taylor Gatto and his many books, the best of which is "The Underground History of American Education".

We didn't ask the state for "permission" because we didn't accept that it was theirs to grant.  We didn't give tests or homework.  We didn't create a miniature classroom in our house.  We "taught" for maybe 1/2 hour a day.  Much of her time was spent daydreaming and playing.  She became the best USTA tennis player in our state and the second best in a 5-state region.  At age 14 she decided to attend high school.  She makes head's list each semester at a competitive private school.  Eight years of missing tests, transcripts, and grades was no liability.

Education is profoundly broken in this country.  Virtually all conventional wisdom on the subject is the opposite of the truth.  Kids are born as learning machines.  You don't need to force them to learn - that is absurd.  Forget about "changing the system" - it will never happen.  But if you care enough and have the guts you can free your own kids.

CH1's picture

God bless you, OB. I did the same thing some years ago and have no regrets.

The educational system is far more about conditioning than it is learning. A Uni diploma is an "approved drone" cert.

But, as others have mentioned above, at least in engineering schools the students do learn real things.

Odd Ball's picture

Agree, CH1, nothing against the hard sciences.  Best is to put them to work in one's own business, thus capturing the value created.

sgorem's picture

On The Spot article. Very, very wise advice. Been there, done that. I have 4 adult children, 2 nurses, 1 in culinary school, and 1 studying/practicing organic farming. I'm retired with gold and silver vaulted on site. I saw this shit coming years ago and couldn't figure out why in the hell everyone didn't see it. Many people I retired with got wiped out when they took their retirement and moved it into their broker/bankers hands. The years ahead are not going to be pleasant for any of us. This article reassured me that I was, AND still am correct. Thanks.

YHC-FTSE's picture

I didn't agree with JSK about the worthlessness of formal education, but he has a good point about value for money. It is crazy to spend/borrow hundreds of thousands of dollars for an extended Summer camp where the focus is on turnover, rather than life skills or passion for the esoteric - which I think is equally important for advancing the human race. If not already, I think the UK is headed in that direction of producing automatons and bean counters whose productive lifecycle consist of clearing debts, breeding, and dying without contributing anything of value to the human experience.


The education system in the UK is a common source of argument amongst my peers, most of whom went to uni for free. The benefits to us were incalculable, believe me. But if we force the next generation to play Russian roulette with their future, where their choices are limited by either debt followed by drudgery, or being trapped in the lowest rung of the socio-economic ladder for life, because any other degree other than accountancy, management, IT, etc, means living with their parents for life - well, it totally negates the main purpose of higher education - to begin on the road to add to the sum total of human knowledge and experiences. And for those reasons: For those who are talented or willing to learn, education should be free. I want my life enriched by literature, poets, artists, and scientists, not shadowed by lawyers, techies, bean counters, all spewing gibberish management-speak without even understanding what the words actually mean, or appreciating the greatest minds of the last two centuries who gave them their economic world.

Fearless Rick's picture

In his SOTU address, Obama urged young people to become teachers!

I wonder why? Could it be that teachers are required to have Master's Degrees in most states, requiring not 4, but 6 years of "higher education?" Or that teachers pay heavily into union coffers with dues taken directly from their paychecks, keeping Wall Street's Ponzi going?

Or could it be that teacher's unions routinely and blindly vote for Democrats and wage and health care increases every year? Or maybe it's because teachers actually produce nothing, but spend well, their wages being paid by taxpayers, gladly, as they are teaching their kids?

Maybe it's because Obama wants to continue to inflate the huge bubble that is the college loan scam, making everybody in America a debt slave?

Whatever the answer, none of it is really good for America.

I dropped out of college back in 1974, bounced from job to job, learned many real life lessons, then started my own own business in 1982. Have only worked occasionally for others since and haven't had a full time job since 1997. I work about 5 hours a day and make more than enough to live well.

The rest of my time is spent reading ZH, laughing at the sheeple in Amerika and partying my ass off.

bunkermeatheadprogeny's picture

Grants and Student loans for all Tommy Boys.

gdogus erectus's picture

Sent my son down the rabbit hole by having him read "The Creature" and introduced him to Austrian economics just when he was entering a private high school.  About 1/4 of his instructors are awake.  The others - not so.  He has learned to stealthily probe people's beliefe systems without pissing them off.

Stuck on Zero's picture

A lot depends on your college major.  If you are majoring in engineering or the sciences the chances are you are picking up something worthwhile.  Also, a lot depends on the student.  If you are there for C's and an easy ride to a degree you will get it and get out with four years lost and a lot of money spent.  If you are there to absorb like a sponge you will get a lot out of the core disciplines. 

Midnight Rambler's picture

Most engineering programs today provide nothing more than job training. I hire engineers, and have been disappointed at the lack of critical thinking and real-world observational powers. Most engineering grads are just technocrats looking for a good paying job.

bunkermeatheadprogeny's picture

Have you ever looke at student loan default rates by major, race, or institution?

Speaks volumes.

Midnight Rambler's picture

I disagree completely. My formal university education (physics) has served me rather well, thank you very much. Having a worldview shaped by the scientific method gave me a useful toolkit for understanding and solving problems that I have found to be quite generalizable. As an added bonus, my education also fostered a love of knowledge and books that will be source of comfort and pleasure as I approach my senior years.


That said, I agree that much of what passes for education these days is useless. Universities were never intended for the masses, and the way that high school guidance counselors steer anyone who can fog a mirror into university-bound academic paths is a shame and does a great disservice to both the students and to society in general. In North America, we should be emphasizing practical trades for the majority of workers, as is done in places like Germany.


For my money, there is nothing better than a classical education that emphasizes critical thinking, observational powers and rigorous analysis. Most of the hard science programs offer this, to a greater or lesser degree (no pun intended). A proper liberal arts program may also offer this, though I have no direct experience. Any program that focuses on job training skills (e.g., computer programming, education, medical) rather than thinking is not going to be worth the time, money or effort. 



Midnight Rambler's picture

First degree in '91, PhD many years later. Now successful entrepreneur and daily reader of ZH, quietly converting my wealth into physical PMs. ;)

bunkermeatheadprogeny's picture

Awesome article btw.


Now can you put it into cartoon form so the masses can understand?

bunkermeatheadprogeny's picture

So I shouldn't cash in my PM's for a prepaid college fund?


My kids have to do it like I did, full ride or curbside.

ejmoosa's picture

Colleges and Universities have just become staging areas for people to wait prior to entering the work force. 


And just which party do you think a college graduate, with 40k in debt, and no job prospects, is going to support?

Here's a hint:  It begins with the letter "D".

orangedrinkandchips's picture

So true. I am in school now because my worthless degree was in finance. finance is great if you are going to GS but if you are not...it's a scam. Therefore Ive gotta turn my back on it and go into IT.

First, going back and doing it yourself is 100% different. You can see the light at the end of the tunnel AND how it relates to making money on the outside. Not only do i pay a fraction of what I paid 21 years ago for a County college but it's all the same stuff. The courses I take are more self-done than classroom.

Now my wife bitches and nags that I study too much. HA! Not enough time with the family...oooh-kay!

In college I was worried about 1.) pussy 2.) more pussy 3.) drugs/booze.

Without a doubt I steered to the easy classes for the grades!

Thing is, college is great in THEORY...in theory it is great, ben bernake's world....

I can TELL you how to drive a car but how would you do getting into for the first time? IT TAKES PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE. Labs, practice etc. to know how to do it.

You go through college then you get out and learn about real life which is so different.

Biggest Bubble Ever! Higher Ed!

(disclaimer: it is fun as hell and for those who didnt take full advantage of it...that sucks. But, the price is too high for that fun imho).

apberusdisvet's picture

Right now a Liberal Arts degree is almost worthless.  Pre-Law programs are probably equally so, as well as any undergraduate degrees in the hard sciences without going for graduate degrees, unless you want to be a HS teacher.  Even medical education has its drawbacks.  Most docs I know are retiring early as their margins are getting squeezed under the black cloud of Obamacare.  Nurse practitioners, however, will be in great demand, and they will easily earn above the norm.  At some point in the next 10 years we will need a ton of tradesmen, AC, plumbing, carpenters, welders, etc as all of those in the trades that are currently laid off or unemployed will retire and need to be replaced.  A good trade school or an apprentice program is not expensive.

In his latest Trends Journal, Celente envisions a great need for cyber security experts, so if your HS kid is a good hacker, point him/her in that direction; college immaterial.

topcallingtroll's picture

Maybe docs are retiring early....but that is because they can! Nice chouce to have!

Mercury's picture

Here's the deal with college kiddies:

If you get into a top school - go

If you get someone else to pay for it - go

Other than that you need to do some math first on what you hope to receive in exchange for cash and debt.

The fact is bullshit disciplines like "global studies" and "[fill in the blank] identity" represent neither a liberal arts or technical/scientific education.

Actually an even simpler winning strategy is: get a government job, any government job.  That will be the LAST shoe to drop.

topcallingtroll's picture

Clearly the traditional educational system is broken. I dont live in an area with quality private schools so i have hired tutors for my kids. However if you wouldnt wrap it in apocalyptic gloom and doom it might be more effective.....wait...I forgot....this is the new zero hedge.....which has now become a dmitry orlov james kunstler life after the oil crash (latoc) doomer site. It has been sad to.see this place change the way it has the last year or so. I suppose just like any nrwspaper there will be a business section, a gossip column, cartoons, and the doomer section. Even tyler has doubled down on conspiracy and i am.seeing less and less good data analysis and more and more red meat thrown out to the alienated crowd. The evolution is sad to me because i came here for the data and value added analysis by tyler and madhedgefundtrader, reggie, et al. Now any data analysis seems geared toward conspiracy issues. The fight for the soul of zero hedge is over once the conspiracy td began writing most of the articlrs recently. Oh well.

ColonelCooper's picture

To roughly quote a post on another thread this morning (I think it was CD): If you are a year ahead of the curve you're a genius.  If you are two years ahead, you are nutcase.

I agree that as ZH has gotten more popular it has definitely changed in favor of doom over analysis.  But I'm not sure it's because it has drawn tin foil hats as much as everyday regular people are waking up, not liking what they see, and are scared.  I'm also not so sure that TD is catering to the doomers as much as we are just getting closer to the beginning of the end and reality is becoming that much more unreal.

RockyRacoon's picture

Interesting that this article is twice as long as CD's last article, but there are no whines of, "It's too long!".     Must be the topic, not the length.   Does not bode well for critical thinking.

ColonelCooper's picture

Good observation.  I am quite often labled a doomer here, when I think loosely it could also be lableled cynical or critical thinker.  My rural lifestyle and blue collar career are also seen as a bunker mentality by people who don't or can't relate to it.  Truth be told, my every day lifestyle would be considered bunker by a large percentage of people here.  The way I spend my liesure time would be considered downright medievil.

Not trying to get OT, but I wonder if ZH hasn't so much attracted doomers as it has created them out of people who are simply searching for a little truth.

RockyRacoon's picture

Prior to my cushy retirement "job" as a stamp and coin dealer I was in the real estate business with remodeling being the main source of income.   I've lugged many a nasty commode down flights of stairs to clean them out with a high-pressure hose.   Most folks would have put 'em in the dumpster, but I saw them as fully recyclable.   Being up under a house in the dead of winter fixing broken water lines is an absolute blast.   Tearing off shingles and falling through rotten decking was my favorite!

Disambiguation's picture

Your citing of recent turmiol in Tunisia and elsewhere and references to NIA prompt me to call attention to a recent article on The Automatic Earth which, while bleak in it's outlook, is juxstaposed in many way to your views. The full article can be found here: http://theautomaticearth.blogspot.com/2011/01/january-14-2011-zombie-mon...

Below is the section regarding FOOD PRICES, but all of it is an interesting read.:

Food prices

Let’s start with the news that the Tunisian president has fled his country, and the military's taken over, according to Al Jazeera. Mass protests are ongoing in Morocco and Algeria. The riots in Tunisia are not all about food prices, but they were certainly a substantial factor. And more, much more, of the same is on the horizon, in many different places. But food prices this time around are not rising because of widespread dramatic shortages, at least not so far. And Lester Brown, much as I like the man, has it completely wrong:

The Great Food Crisis of 2011

[..] whereas in years past, it's been weather that has caused a spike in commodities prices, now it's trends on both sides of the food supply/demand equation that are driving up prices. On the demand side, the culprits are population growth, rising affluence, and the use of grain to fuel cars. On the supply side: soil erosion, aquifer depletion, the loss of cropland to nonfarm uses, the diversion of irrigation water to cities, the plateauing of crop yields in agriculturally advanced countries, and -- due to climate change -- crop-withering heat waves and melting mountain glaciers and ice sheets.

In the same vein, the peak oil crowd fails to see what drives up oil prices today. Yes, long term trends affect prices to some extent. But no, Lester, you can't provide an accurate assessment of what’s happening if you don’t include the very obvious contribution of speculation, especially that which originates with zombie money. Ditto for oil prices.

Food prices are rising partly because, let’s not forget, China, unlike the US, does have inflation, with its money supply going through the roof. But much more than that they're rising because we have elected to kill off the principles of our own western economic systems, which were once supposed to be based on free market ideas, that dictate that success is rewarded and failure punished.

They have since come to resemble some kind of sophomore notion of Darwinianism, where the upper alpha rhino gets all the girls and the rest get none at all. And that in turn is supposed to pose as justice in human societies, whereas in reality it’s nothing but what happened in Bulgaria for decades.

The consequence is that the zombie money is now allowed to drive up food prices to levels which make sure that millions of people around the world will go hungry, and will revolt as a result of that. Blankfein, Dimon et al have long since realized that they can't maintain their velvet “God's work" thrones just by robbing Americans of all they're worth. Their losses are far too great. They need to have access to everyone's wealth all over the world.

And since oil and food are traded on international commodity markets, and they have gotten hold of all the money America is worth, and then some, they can play these markets as much as they want, whether it’s wheat or natural gas or gold. People like to claim that gold will rise as the US dollar becomes worth less, but they forget that it’s zombie money that has been buying gold, and that has thus lifted gold prices. Once daylight comes and the zombies are gone, there's only one way left to go for gold prices too.

So, once again, when will the zombie money see daylight?

This could be caused by any of a myriad of choices. We could force all banks to put foreclosed homes on the market, all at once. Or tell the same banks they have no right to foreclose on homes they have no perfect(ly legal) paper trail on. We could force all derivatives contracts out into the open. Or just the mortgage backed securities; that would do it. Provided we fold Fannie and Freddie, and not let the FHA or any of those guys take over.

As I wrote eons ago, even just closing down Fannie and Freddie for business one or two months would probably do the trick. China could wreck the US economy in 5 minutes simply by demanding to know what their purchases of Fannie and Freddie debt are worth (they have a lot of it). Or it could be a small country, maybe not Iceland, but surely Vietnam, or Belgium, or Denmark, insisting on knowing what that paper their banks and pension funds have so heavily invested in is really worth. MBS, or any other species of derivatives, the whole shebang only has a value attached to it by the grace of nobody trying to figure what that value is.

Is US housing debt, and the securities and derivatives based on that debt, a zombie, or a person? It may certainly seem confusing late at night. But then again, you can't have meaningful relationships with zombies, they're sort of one-dimensional. Funny how that resembles the person-rights US companies enjoy,

And frankly, does it really matter? What we know for sure is that the zombie money we elected to have flow through our financial systems is going to kill a lot of people this year. Want to plead innocence? How long do you think that excuse will be accepted?

Cue Tunisia.

Where our zombie money kills real people. Today.




Crisismode's picture

This guy from the Automatic Earth, Ilargi, is a complete and utter jerk.

He contends there is no inflation at all.

His model of inflation discounts any rise in prices as proving nothing.

He is fixated on the Robert Precter version of deflation, and he has been also totally wrong on investment in Gold and Silver since 2008.

Quoting this dickhead in ZH is like quoting John Maynard Keynes.

Totally discredited, and a complete fool.

And so are you.

pan0p's picture

It's simple: The educational system in place is designed only with "the bottom line" in mind.

God forbid you actually want to learn anything.

And certainly don't ask questions that unravel the mythical foundations laid by the Masons of this pathetic conception of human living.

We don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. (Except for those we're told.)

pan0p's picture

The general public has become so dimwitted after generations of falling victim to this assembly line education that they cannot even conceive of the "fact of the matter."

For anyone who is interested in learning, Ezra Pound is a good one to start with. In particular I'd read carefully his essay titled "How to Read."

RockyRacoon's picture

Going to college and going to prison aren't that different.   Recidivism is a problem as well as the "education in crime" that prisoners receive.   College graduates go back for advanced degrees and receive a mind set in college that ill prepares them for life.   The sense of entitlement is an off curriculum specialty.

There will be a paradigm shift when "University" and "education" stop being synonymous.

web bot's picture

Education has lifted the human race out of poverty. None of like the financial sewer we are in. Yes, there is a ruling class and governments use the educational system to proffer their world views to mobilize their populations. I'd rather have a full stomach and be able to survive in a flawed system, rather than face the alternative. If you are even considering the fact that your children will have student debt, then you have not managed your money well.

If you want to teach your children to think... question things... ask them questions... show them examples of what propaganda is... be somewhat sceptical... but in a constructive manner.

We do however agree on two things - Krugman is a bankrupt ideologue and we need to be putting money into PMs. We will soon be facing hyperinflation... we are just waiting for either the default of the USD or some fringe incident (gold derivative contracts going screwy, creating a run for the physical metal)... then the explosion in PMs is on. Hyperinflation will be great... it will destroy the value of government debt, allow the major world powers to reset in about 18 months with a new financial system linked to PM backing. The only problem is that social unrest issue.


geoffb's picture

Uh, last I checked the world was drowning in poverty despite exponentially growing amounts spent on "education". Coincidentally, another aspect of our civilization is growing exponentially. And when the debt cycle ends, wisdom will come suddenly.

ColonelCooper's picture

"If you are even considering the fact that your children will have student debt, then you have not managed your money well."

If I had the means to pay for every last cent of my childrens education I WOULD NOT.  I will help them if needed as long as they are busting their asses, and I am willing to finance them in order to keep them out of the system, but hand them a diploma debt free?  No.

topcallingtroll's picture

Your view is a typical working class view and may be why working class blue collar folk remain that way thru generations rather than move up the SES scale. True, you shouldnt waste the money on a lazy kid and a worthless degree, but asians put every penny.they have into their kids education in general. They may start as shopkeepers.and blue collar workers but they do not intend their progeny to stay there.

topcallingtroll's picture

Your view is a typical working class view and may be why working class blue collar folk remain that way thru generations rather than move up the SES scale. True, you shouldnt waste the money on a lazy kid and a worthless degree, but asians put every penny.they have into their kids education in general. They may start as shopkeepers.and blue collar workers but they do not intend their progeny to stay there.

ColonelCooper's picture

Actually I am one of the most hardass parents I know about my kids education.  Both my parents are educated professionals; despite my success, I remain a bit of a black sheep in my family because I walked away from college. 

I cannot stress how strongly I encourage my children to continue their education.  They have just known from very early on that it's their responsibility.  As I said in my post, I will help them and finance them.  I just won't hand it to them.  My argument is with the comment that they shouldn't have debt when they are finished.  

If my view seems working class typical to you, so be it.  That view has worked out quite well for me, and while I hope for my children to do better than I have, it will happen because of their work ethic not what's handed to them.   

topcallingtroll's picture

An ambitious guy with work ethic who also has a few advantages handed him may go further. People who are loaded down with.college debt must take a job rather than take the risk of setting up a business. I hope to keep my kids education debt free but i wont pay for it until they are ready.

ColonelCooper's picture

Agreed.  That's why I find value in my being the financier, rather than them going through a traditional route. 

I don't really disagree with anything you say, just don't be like my parents: disappointed if one of your children decides to take a less "prestigious" route. 

Orly's picture

The other problem I have with the snide remark was the insinuation that if my child has college debt, then I am a bad parent who blew all her money on McMansions and handbags.

Working class or not, some of us have extenuating circumstances that may not allow us to "properly" save for our kids' college, such as caring for an elder parent, a special needs child, or both.

Yeah, why don't you get off your high horse here and help me push?  I hope you learn that not everyone was born as "fortunate" as you, web bot.

ColonelCooper's picture

Children of people like Web Bot will be the worse for wear WHEN the U.S. falls from it's horse. 

My parents brought me up kind of hard because they wanted me to have skills to "fall back on".  They just never really anticipated that I would jump instead of fall.

I have a son who is a musical genius of sorts.  His entire focus in higher education is on music.  Even though I personally am not thrilled with his choice of direction, I support him fully because he is dedicated as Hell, and really has a gift.  One thing I promise you is that by the time he's ready to move out of my house he will have a skill set and a work ethic that he will be able to "fall back on".  At fourteen he is already handier than most white collar guys I know.

When I listen to guys like Web Bot, I wonder how his children will fare if their dreams don't pan out.  If the U.S. does tank, I'll wager a bet that they'll be working for my kid.

web bot's picture

Education is what the system provides. Insight is what you are to provide.

Orly's picture

It was good to talk with you, Colonel.  It is good to know that people are still down to earth.  Seems like you're from Oklahoma, Arkansas or north Texas, if you don't mind- and certainly no insult to you.

So what's your roll?  Trade 4X, stocks, what?

ColonelCooper's picture

You too Orly.  I have always found your comments to be thoughtful.  Am actually from the way up north 'bout coldest damn part of the lower 48.

I have never been a trader.  Aside from my pension, I just put as much money into IRA's as possible every year, you know, whatever the Edward Jones dude said I should do.  After '08, when the DOW got back to 10K, I sold everything off and went PMs and picked up a little bit of land in a place my wife and I had had our eye on for a long time.  Now I just watch and try to learn. 

How about you, Trader or student?  From the Midwest by any chance?


Orly's picture

I trade 4X.  Just started out on my own, not working for the man any more.  Wish me luck!

I am originally from western Kentucky and I look to go back.  I live in Texas now.  It is a great place to raise kids but now they are at the point where we have to start thinking of college/career, so we'll see.

Best of luck to you and your family.  I hope your wife likes her new place!

ColonelCooper's picture

We probably won't move there full time for a few more years until the kids are done with H.S.  It is only a few (30) miles from where we live now, so all of our spare time is spent there working on sheds, buildings, fruits and trees, etc..  Everything we do now is getting ready to simply pick up our toys and quit playing the stupid Ponzi game. 

If TSHTF we will be set up as well as we could hope.  If it doesn't, I'll have an adequate pension to draw off of early in a really pretty spot while I feed chickens and split wood.  It really doesn't take much $$ to live if you aren't buying Ipads and Applebees.

Good luck to you and your family too.