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Guest Post: The US Education Bubble

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Doug Hornig and Alex Daley of Casey Research

The US Education Bubble

In the world of finance, there is always talk of bubbles – mortgage bubbles, tech stock bubbles, junk bond bubbles. But bubbles don’t develop only in financial markets. In recent years, there's been another one quietly inflating, not capturing the attention of most observers.

It's an education bubble – just not the one of student debt that has graced the pages of the New York Times and so many other publications in recent months.

The problem is not that we are overeducating ourselves as many would have you believe. Rather, it’s that we are spending a fortune to undereducate ourselves.

The United States has always been a very educated country. But it is becoming less and less so, especially in the areas that matter to our individual and collective economic futures. Our undereducation begins with a stubbornly high dropout rate among secondary education students. About a quarter of those who begin high school don't finish.

In an educational system where graduation from high school at a minimum level often means no grasp of mathematics beyond basic arithmetic, no training in basic personal finance, and no marketable professional skills, this is an obvious problem We can and should do more to prepare high school graduates for the world they now live in.

The big problems aren't rooted in high school education, however, but with the decisions we as a nation are making in the education we get beyond the compulsory level.

Of those students who do make it through high school, 30% will not go on to any further education. That means 70% enroll immediately in a two- or four-year degree program, a major increase from the about 49% three decades ago. Despite rising college entry rates, we are not graduating any additional college students. That's largely because among those who immediately enroll in college post high school, some 40% are not expected to get their degrees within six years.

The result: our overall college-educated cohort has flatlined over the past 30 years. The number of American citizens aged 25-34 who have attained a college education – including either a two- or four-year degree program – is exactly the same as the percentage among 55-64-year-olds, at 41%. (The US is also the only developed nation where a higher percentage of 55- to 64-year-olds than 25- to 34-year-olds has graduated from high school.)

Thirty years ago that 41% figure led the world in college grads; now we're 16th and trending lower.

Many have suggested that it's because we have a less than stellar college education system. But nothing could be further from the truth. While it has some problems for sure, the US remains a leader in post-secondary educational quality. One need look no further than the increasing number of foreign students pursuing advanced degrees in the US. For the 2009-10 school year, about 690,000 non-US citizens were enrolled at colleges in the US – the highest level in the world and up 26% from a decade ago.

Not only are foreigners attending our schools in record numbers, they are far more apt to pursue high-level degrees than US students. Foreign students constitute 2.5% of bachelor's degree students, 10% of graduate students, and 33% of doctoral candidates.

Despite a top-notch educational system in the US, we're failing to take full advantage of the opportunities it provides. But the bad news doesn't end there.

In the 21st century, intellectual capital is what truly differentiates in the job market and what helps a country grow its economy. Investments in biosciences, computers and electronics, engineering, and other growing high-tech industries have been the major differentiator in recent decades. In order to be competitive in those fields, however, a nation must invest in so-called "STEM" studies (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).

During the latter half of the 20th century, as more and more US high-schoolers opted to at least start college and were able to afford to go, their choice of academic pursuits have tended away from STEM subjects and toward the less-rigorous liberal arts.

When fewer students attended college and even fewer jobs required technical skills, private employers, and especially government, could soak up the overflow, putting people to work provided they had a degree, any degree... for a while. English literature, sociology, psychology, communications, fine arts, gender studies, and the like were majors that led, inadvertently, to nontechnical jobs – the blue-collar work of an information economy, marketing, and business, and of course to teaching the increasing numbers of new college students.

However, more careers than ever now require technical skills. Economic growth has slowed and unemployment rates have spiked, making employers much pickier about qualifications to hire. Plus, boomers have chosen or been forced to work longer in those professorships and other jobs.

There is now a glut of liberal arts majors. A classic bubble, born of unrealistic expectations that the investment of a hundred grand (or more) must result in a cascade of job offers. Or at least one.

It's not happening. A study from Georgetown University listed the five college majors with the highest unemployment rates (crossed against popularity): clinical psychology, 19.5%; miscellaneous fine arts, 16.2%; United States history, 15.1%; library science, 15.0%; and military technologies and educational psychology are tied at 10.9%.

Unemployment rates for STEM subjects? Astrophysics/astronomy, just about 0%; geological and geophysics engineering, 0% as well; physical science, 2.5%; geosciences, 3.2%; and math/computer science, 3.5%.

STEM jobs also pay more. The list of the 20 highest mid-career median salaries, by college degree, features no careers from the liberal arts. Instead, according to a survey from, at the top we find: petroleum engineering, $155,000/yr.; chemical engineering, $109,000; electrical engineering, $103,000; material science & engineering, $103,000; aerospace engineering, $102,000; physics, $101,000; applied mathematics, $98,600; computer engineering, $101,000; and nuclear engineering, $97,800.

Liberal arts degrees provide few prospects for graduates. Yet the bubble continues to inflate.

In 2009, 1,601,368 bachelor's degrees were conferred in the US, a 30% increase from 2000, which should be a good thing. But of these, a large plurality, 590,678, or 36.9%, was awarded in one or another of the liberal arts. That's higher than 2000's 36.1%.

Moreover, the next most popular major was business, with 347,985 degrees, or 21.7% of the total (up from 20.7% in 2000). And it was followed by health professions at 120,488 (7.5% vs. 6.5% in 2000); and education at 101,708 (6.4% vs. 8.8% in 2000). The business bulge would be okay if students were trained in how to start their own businesses. But it's more likely that they dream of a lavish Wall Street job, one few will ever attain. In fact, that PayScale survey listed business as only the 59th best-paying college degree.

At the other end, these are the bachelor's degrees earned in STEM subjects, as a percentage of 2009's total, compared with 2000: engineering, 6.4% (down from 8.8%); biological and biomedical sciences , 5.0% (down from  5.1%); computer and information sciences, 2.4% (down from 3.1%); physical sciences and science technologies, 1.4% (down from 1.5%); and at bottom, math and statistics, 1.0% (up from 0.9%).

Americans don't get it. Foreigners studying here do. True, the highest concentration of foreigners is the 21% in business and management. After that, though, comes engineering  at 18%, nearly triple the level of US students; physical and life sciences (9%), and math and computer science (9%).

More than one in three foreign students at US colleges are entering these fields. Compare that to to fewer than one in six US collegians. Fine and applied arts, English, and humanities collectively account for only 12% of the foreigners' total.

There are any number of reasons for the emergence of the US's liberal-arts bubble. One is easy money. Students have been encouraged to attend college by the availability of loans, both governmental and private sector, and the disproportionate wealth of their baby boomer parents' generation.

In addition, many companies began requiring a degree – any degree – for entry-level jobs that could adequately be filled by a bright high-schooler.

Institutions of higher learning bear some measure of blame as well. Liberal arts programs are much more profitable than hard sciences – professor salaries are lower as their non-academic options are lower, less equipment is required, and of course, recruiting is easier.

Other factors might include the stigmatization of "nerds" who take on more challenging studies; the lack of quality math and science education in secondary schools (where are they going to get great teachers when there's so much money to be made with the relevant degrees elsewhere?); and the widespread misperception that any college degree will punch one's ticket to an easier life.

As more philosophy B.A.s wait tables, it'd be nice if we could wave a magic wand that populated high school science and math classes with teachers who inspire students and students who want to be inspired. But, alas, this a generational bubble.

Lacking that, high school counselors should begin warning students of the perils of spending four years pursuing an interest for which there is no market and advising their charges where the real opportunities lie.

Would-be liberal arts majors must face the reality that one of their few hopes for a future job is to teach the same subject to the next generation, and that competition for the few such specialized positions is going to be intense.

Furthermore, there remains a wide gap between males and females with regard to math and science. Since three females are now attending college for every two males, this is a vast untapped resource. If females currently are discouraged from becoming interested in STEM subjects from an early age, as much research indicates, that's reversible. If they can actively be guided toward those fields, that's doable, too.

The US has led the planet in scientific research and technological innovation for a long time. But that is changing. Other nations, especially in the developing world, are minting new scientists and engineers faster than we are. Without major changes to our cultural attitude towards math and science, and some pretty serious changes to the educational system to support it, we risk becoming second-class citizens in a techno-society that we largely invented.


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Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:04 | 1949081 SilverIsKing
SilverIsKing's picture

This one's going to be interesting to watch when it pops.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:06 | 1949085 CPL
CPL's picture

You mean the fact no one is allowed to declare bankruptcy on student loans anymore?

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:13 | 1949118 Barry Freed
Barry Freed's picture

More like the fact that these worthless student loans have been securitized into SLABS (Student Loan Asset Backed Securities) much like sub-prime mortgages were.

Unlike mortgages, which were based on homes which have actual value (albeit much lower then their declared value), the worthless pieces of paper (some) students receive has absolutely no value.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:23 | 1949163 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

SHhhhhh.....don't give away the secret sauce.....

  1. Create BS bubble underwritten by "prestigious" US "investment" banks (when they are just making shit up)
  2. Bundle it up to obfuscate contents (aka. securitization)
  3. Let US hedge funds, universities, pension funds have the first flip
  4. Use this "proof" to sell to other goods/energy producing countries and greedy foreign overlords
  5. Use capital inflow to buy real goods (US dollar for home construction material or oil)
  6. When bubble pops, backstop it with US Dollar
  7. Fed printing to cover banks (US elites' assets) and export inflation to the same goods/energy producing countries
  8. This allows US to move on to the next victim (target of democracy and free market) while the previous victim is economically paralyzed from losses they got dumped on.

See Japan, China, etc.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:55 | 1949283 philipat
philipat's picture

And isn't education the only industry not to have adopted technology? I suppose because of the self-interest of bloated staff under a system of tenure. In fact, most, if not all lectures are a complete waste of time, the contents of which could be more clearly studied online. A dedicated hard-working student should be able to complete a Bachelor's degree programme within one year with minimal access to minimal "Teaching" staff.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 23:45 | 1949646 Not For Reuse
Not For Reuse's picture

this is all just more hackneyed rehashing of the future promises compounding scenario.

College put people on track until that track was no longer viable.

Idiotic to dwell on education as if it were some sort of unique and special snowflake

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 01:04 | 1949844 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Why are they called universities?


Everyone comes out singing the same song. One verse.

Wish I'd known that going in.



Tue, 12/06/2011 - 01:21 | 1949886 Not For Reuse
Not For Reuse's picture

Sure, but as a self-avowed collegiate you must realize that deconstructing latinate etymologies is the height of solipsistic onanism, n'est-ce pas?

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 04:12 | 1950148 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Would you like fries with that?

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 07:54 | 1950302 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Thanks for the laugh. Indeed. The one class I wish I had taken for credit was Ghanian Drumming. ;-)


Tue, 12/06/2011 - 16:04 | 1952219 I did it by Occident
I did it by Occident's picture

sheesh, I'm glad I went the engineering route, I didn't have to endure too many nonsense "collectivism is good" indoctrination that the lib-arts folks have to take.   and my piece of paper (or rather what I learned) is worth something to boot!  From a state-school so wasn't too much tuition either compared with Ivy league.   I would pity those who paid for "presigious" lib-arts degrees.  All that money and not much to show for it. 

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 00:17 | 1949729 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

that's why the elites view education institutions as "gatekeepers"....just a hoop to jump through to gain credibility.

universities are just outsourced research farms for corporations now with foreign labor mostly. because research dollars still dictate what gets researched, developed, and published.

  • STEM is for DARPA's military tech advances to keep US dollars circulating.
  • Humanities is for social control. how is affirmative action and humanities good for poor white farmers kids?
  • Education industry is politicians' vote buying to those who are not smart enough to get hired by competitive corporations.

But education alone does not make one an elite....into wage slavery middle class, but not an elite......most of whom inherite their position in society.


However, only in America do you have a bubble in education and her citizens are ever more so stupid. Creationism, christianity politics, financially illterate, etc.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 02:05 | 1949856 Not For Reuse
Not For Reuse's picture

There is no bubble in education, there is a bubble in EXPECTATION which has imposed itself upon the historical conduit of generationally distilled knowledge.

If there's a bubble in education, why are most people who graduate from ivy league schools complete idiots?

This "bubble" has nothing to do with education, and everything to do with incorrigible idiots and their deluded and/ or influential families

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 06:08 | 1950236 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

ivy league was always full of idiots. that's the secret...that it appears prestigious and smart but most are without real merit.

Mayeb a quarter of them are genius types, the rest are affirmative action, jocks, alumni's kids, wealthy donor's kids, famous executives, etc.


It is elite's way to social engineering next batch of elites.


the bubble has all to do with the PRICE of education which drives EXPECTATIONS. 

If college was free, we'd hear less complaints on its value.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 10:23 | 1950640 tarsubil
tarsubil's picture

Thanks for the article. It applies to most PhDs probably. In my field, you used to get a prof job right out of grad school after 3-4 years of study. Then it took 5 years to get the PhD. Then you needed another 2 years as a post doc. Then you needed another 2 years for two post docs. Now, you probably need three or more and you aren't a prof until your late 30s if you are lucky enough or dumb enough to have lasted that long. Good luck finding a job outside the university too. Total joke like just about everything in this dark world we've constructed.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 12:44 | 1951155 Not For Reuse
Not For Reuse's picture

No, it's the other way around. Expectations drive the price.

If students/ parents in the aggregate didn't expect a positive ROI on their tuition costs, they wouldn't pay to play.

Price is nominal.

Also, you are being far too generous with your estimate of "a quarter"

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 02:55 | 1950043 Sokhmate
Sokhmate's picture

Philipat, I'd like to give you 1000 green arrows.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 04:21 | 1950158 dolly madison
dolly madison's picture

I agree that most lectures are a waste of time.  I hope that education starts using technology much more before my kids go to college.  I do not agree that a hard working student should be able to complete a bachelors degree within a year.  I cannot imagine having learned all the science and math for my engineering degree in a year.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 10:39 | 1950687 rune420
rune420's picture

Don't know about you, but I sure wouldn't want to be the first person to drive across a bridge built by a construction engineer with a "teach yourself in 60 days" bachelor e-degree.

Wed, 12/07/2011 - 10:08 | 1954501 Barry Freed
Barry Freed's picture

Unfortunately our primary educational system has failed as well.  Most college Freshman lack even basic and critical thinking skills.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:56 | 1949291 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Its even deeper than that.

Public education (read government education) was constructed in this country to provide a good employee for corporations and a docile citizen for the state.

Nothing more.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 22:59 | 1949494 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

And so that rich families can meet and marry each other.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 23:31 | 1949601 nmewn
nmewn's picture become the mutant ogres they are.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 06:09 | 1950239 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

rich value money over everything....even the attractiveness of their spouse. Marrying for money pretty much on both sides.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 00:28 | 1949755 YBNguy
YBNguy's picture

School IS for fools. I left college a few years ago amid my Jr. year after the professor in a mandatory Philosophy class rambled about how dissent was UNAmerican.


Took Micro and Macro Econ prior to that. Funny how I learned more on my own by reading books I chose (and did not spend $125 on them like the textbooks, oh yeah on texts: I had to buy one WRITTEN by said Phil. prof), and reading websites like this...


So thanks everyone here, I learn a lot from these blogs and also your comments (and laugh my ass off).

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 02:34 | 1949987 Not For Reuse
Not For Reuse's picture

Earning a degree right now has nothing whatsoever to do with smarts, book smarts, or even street smarts.

If you have a competent thesis advisor, he will advise you to gtfo of academia asap and do something useful.

Mine did, over a decade ago.

My life goal as a student was to live in a cardboard box in Europe, and fuck bitches. Piece of advice: do the latter in college, realize that 90%+ who graduate from ivy league schools are idiots, and forego the former in favor of sensual pleasures.

If you live in the US, no one has it better than you RIGHT NOW in terms of value exput vs value input.

This is not something to cry about, this is something to EXPLOIT

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 03:27 | 1950091 Sokhmate
Sokhmate's picture

I always thought of upper edjubication is a va gina fest.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 10:27 | 1950664 tarsubil
tarsubil's picture

If you can make it, being a prof is a total v fest. It seems it is part of the spoils of making it that far. You'll get older and your students will stay the same age while varying in looks. Best of all, it is the same regardless of which foot you kick with.

Wed, 12/07/2011 - 10:09 | 1954505 Barry Freed
Barry Freed's picture

This is the 21st century.  We have plastic boxes now.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 04:09 | 1950144 piceridu
piceridu's picture

My wife and I read The Underground History of American Education I believe 15 years ago as we started on our quest as parents of 4. We home schooled them all.  So far the experiment has been nothing but a wonderful journey with much fun and success...BTW, and a whole lot of freedom. The oldest soon will recieve PHD in CS Engineering, 2 pro athletes and the youngest just got his AA degree at 18. 

If reading that book doesn't change/save your life(and the lives of your children), nothing will.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 04:11 | 1950147 piceridu
piceridu's picture

....and without one dollar of debt.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:56 | 1949290 Matt
Matt's picture

So if I understand correctly, a SLAB is where a bunch of student loans are bundled then securities are sold on the pool of loans? If this is correct, are there STEM SLABS that only hold the debts of graduates with a bachelor or better in hard science?

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 16:12 | 1952271 I did it by Occident
I did it by Occident's picture

If not, I'd be willing to bet that a greater than expected proportion of the AAA-rated SLAB tranches would have a greater proportion of STEM representation, as one would expect people with jobs would be able to keep paying the loans.  And those with low unemployment are the STEM folks. 

Wed, 12/07/2011 - 05:29 | 1954111 shanelee
shanelee's picture

I don't have any words to appreciate this post. I am really impressed. The person who created this post surely knew the subject well. Thanks for sharing this with us. non surgical face lift

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:13 | 1949119 Barry Freed
Barry Freed's picture

More like the fact that these worthless student loans have been securitized into SLABS (Student Loan Asset Backed Securities) much like sub-prime mortgages were.

Unlike mortgages, which were based on homes which have actual value (albeit much lower then their declared value), the worthless pieces of paper (some) students receive has absolutely no value.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:41 | 1949225 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

India and China churning out "college grads" by billions



supply and demand says college degree is going to be worth less than some farmer who inherited good piece of farm land.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 16:25 | 1952360 I did it by Occident
I did it by Occident's picture

No, you're not buying a piece of paper, you are buying a person, or rather the ability of that person to service his debt.  So, since a person can't renege through bankruptcy on student loans, you are buying debt-serfs.  Kind of like back in Russia serfdom days, the nobles would buy and sell land, but the serfs would be part of the title to the land.  The serfs would be property of the land.  A slight distiction with the old US slave trade where the slaves themselves were "Sold down the river (Mississippi)" and moved around, families split up, etc.  Not much of a difference as both types of serf-slave still had minimal rights.  In any case, please welcome your new overlords, make them feel at home.  :)

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:37 | 1949218 navy62802
navy62802's picture

This is the policy known as bleed them until they die. College tuitions will continue to rise until only the select few can afford to attend. We're already to the point where the entire American family must sacrifice something in order to send a child to college.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:48 | 1949250 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

yearly tuition is comparable to expected salary so just inflation


The loss of value comes from the fact that inflated salary is going to put you into a higher bracket almsot as soon as you start working. Thus the higher income gained from college degree is negated.


Judging from OWS, police jobs are going to attract the next best and  the brightest. lifetime job security as necessary to protect oligarchy, get to beat the shit out of others, six figure pension, retirement at 52 with handicap parking for life due to "disability". Plus, most of them spend last 5 years trolling around the airports to ramp up overtime. You get some easy job afterwards and you get to double dip into social security as well.


Fuck private corporate work. That's for suckers in China and India.


Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:55 | 1949276 Taint Boil
Taint Boil's picture

Rock on bro .... me make money drinking coffee and reading Zero Hedge all day. Work, hard work, is for suckers.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 00:45 | 1949792 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

Tyler is Martin Luther of capitalism.


Turns out free market, capitalism, globalism, is all bull to keep elites in power and society under control via debt just like the teachings of the Church.


401k = after life "rewards"

central bank = Roman Catholic Church

central bank chairman = Pope

war in middle east = crusade to secure access

capitalism = divine right of kings

NYC = Vatican

wall street tax = your local church collecting 10% as tithe

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 05:43 | 1950218 Janestool
Janestool's picture

Reformist Theology Sucks....

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 05:57 | 1950233 Incubus
Incubus's picture

Same type of parasite and system, with different names.


The next system will be the same thing. 



Tue, 12/06/2011 - 06:20 | 1950245 Janestool
Janestool's picture


Tue, 12/06/2011 - 08:40 | 1950353 Bob
Bob's picture


Tue, 12/06/2011 - 16:34 | 1952434 I did it by Occident
I did it by Occident's picture


Who is the devil, hell, demons, angels, saints, Christ, Anti-christ in your theological system? 

Just wondering for my own curiosity.  It seems to be an interesting perspective.


Mon, 12/05/2011 - 23:54 | 1949680 olo - that's th...
olo - that's the bird's picture

Still doesn't mean they collect. my mother's got over 100k in student loans. When she dies the loans default.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 00:49 | 1949804 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

life insurance?

her husband won't get social security spouse benefits unless the debts are paid first

any assets won't transfer to you unless debts are paid off first.


you thought banks were loan sharks? wait until you don't pay government the money back......

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 01:27 | 1949906 au_bayitch
au_bayitch's picture

Thank you for your input. But is anyone still counting on social security? Any other future promise? Hell... is my 401k safe?

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 08:45 | 1950367 Bob
Bob's picture

Of course your 401k is safe--it's not the social security "ponzi scheme" is it?  A 401k is an investment in the genius of capitalism itself! 

By all means, send your money to Wall Street . . . they're the guys who know what to do with it. 

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 12:16 | 1951026 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Not to give any legal or other advice, but it is not uncommon for heirs/descendants to make agreement among themselves as to a decedent's estate and to procede with distribution outside of court involvement...  practically speaking, the only way creditors are aware of a decedent's estate is through public record, either via recording or through the court via probate or small estate procedures.  For example, if decedent has $100k in student loan debt, but has a gold/silver collection, stamp collection, priceless artwork, etc., then creditors have never been privy to these assets and the only practical way they could find out would be for the heirs to tell on themselves.

Often times people just go by the decedent's will and just agree amonst themselves to abide by the will, outside of the court...  obviously this creates problems with the land records, for example, but by and large it all works out...

Needless to say, the decedent's personal property will be vultured immediately upon the decedent's death and any creditors are going to get flipped the bird.

Again, I'm not advocating to do this...  just saying it happens...

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 16:48 | 1952522 Bob
Bob's picture


That's for the insight, MM!

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 20:12 | 1953138 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

I should make an additional note, if it wasn't clear above, that obviously any assets that have recorded liens against them are going to be auctioned if the creditors have any sense...  and they'll probably petition a court to create an estate if the number is big enough... 

However, I strongly suspect the trend moving forward will be for all potential heirs to vulture the assets under the cover of darkness and in secrecy...  there will be increasing impetus to salvage whatever wealth is available...

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:06 | 1949088 trav7777
trav7777's picture

how about the bubbleheaded IN education these days?

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:38 | 1949220 Fred Hayek
Fred Hayek's picture

It must be 10 years old now, but read a book called "Ed School Follies" by Rita Kramer to get some more idea of how bad it is. She looks at how things are amongst those getting degrees in education. Education majors had the lowest SAT scores (hardly a foolproof metric looking at any one child but meaningful when considering large groups) of any major. The indifference to rigor in studying pretty much anything that Kramer recounts is both scary and predictable.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 01:45 | 1949934 au_bayitch
au_bayitch's picture

Taught 12 years in secondary edu and 5 years post-sec in STEM field. Went into edu though backdoor of engineering but can attest that nothing is dumber than an elementary edu major followed closely by special edu then a criminal justice major. If you read any works by John Taylor Gatto you will have a fairly accurate view of public edu. But understand, imo, that if the minorities were factored out of the individual state statistics, public edu would not be getting the bad rap. GIGO

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:10 | 1949105 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

When it pops.

It hasn't?  Look at SLM.  And no one is paying their bills.  How can they when the youth unemployment is sky high.  Also, the debt issuance is mind boggling.  I dropped a friend off at a CC the other day and all the parking lots were full, and it was 6PM.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:57 | 1949292 RmcAZ
RmcAZ's picture

Since three females are now attending college for every two males, this is a vast untapped resource.

Oh yes, I completely agree... Wait, what were we talking about?

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 23:19 | 1949567 akak
akak's picture

If they're in community colleges, chances are they've been tapped at least once.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 22:14 | 1949340 economics1996
economics1996's picture

I fucking hate teaching these morons who should not be in college.  Way too many idiots in college.  If they had to pay for it themselves, like I did, there would be a huge decrease in the unmotivated slugs.

As always the idiot welfare/student aid slugs ruin it for the rest of the students.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 22:19 | 1949356 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

Your university wants that student loan money. You best not fail too many of the morons. That would mean you were not an effective teacher and it would damage your career.

Successful teachers never have failing students/ sarc.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 01:53 | 1949941 au_bayitch
au_bayitch's picture

Topcallingtroll, that is NOT sarcasm, its the fucking truth. Retention and graduation rates matter, who cares if students have blown the GA's for the course finals answers.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 12:19 | 1951046 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Someone has to pay for those fixed and infrastructure costs...  fire up the degree presses.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 23:40 | 1949628 jmc8888
jmc8888's picture

Wow, so it's only the welfare student aid slug that ruins it? Not anyone else?


You also seem to forget the professors teach sophistry as fact.  Thus even getting an A, means you learned a bunch of useless economics for instance.


So much of what college teaches is bullshit.  Maybe that's also a problem with the motivation?  Or is it that the kids have no jobs once they get out and they know it?


But yeah, it's all the welfare student aid slugs, huh. What a moron.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 00:00 | 1949688 defencev
defencev's picture

Read the article, motherfuckers. It is very rare on this fucking website to have an objective article about education in US. Note almost zero unemployment in categories like engineering and Science college graduates. (and by the way actuary science too). Notice huge amount of foreigners coming here to get college degree. Notice high quality of education in Math and science. You, motherfuckers just lazy , worthless jerks, wasting all the time over here doing nothing and envying tenured professors. Just go and get tenure, motherfucker. It is much more difficult than spew your garbage over here. College degrees in math and science worth every penny spend. Of course, you need to work  hard , motherfucker. Something, you are incapable of...

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 05:47 | 1950223 Janestool
Janestool's picture

Tenure is an excuse to hold up old theory and double dip by collecting social security checks with your pay check....

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 00:36 | 1949772 economics1996
economics1996's picture

I teach Austrian economics.  My class is very useful.  

What I am saying is there are a lot of students consuming financial aid going simply to get a check for a semester or two that should not be there.  Take away the financial aid and the price of education would drop and the remaining students would be, generally, more motivated and emotionally ready for college.  This would be a better allocation of resources. 

The biggest drag in the classroom is students who think college is high school part II.  They are not emotionally or intellectually ready for college and are their simply because they cannot find employment suitable to their liking.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 12:27 | 1951084 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Educational institutions are not capable of doing that though.  Like all government organizations (and private for that matter), they levered the shit out of themselves.  All those buildings, equipment, advertising, etc., all costs a lot of money...  let's issue some more bonds!  lol...

As it stands, they've placed themselves in a position to have to devalue their currencies (degrees) in order to keep up with the payments...  there is no deleveraging possible...

The gap will be filled by educating foreign students (many of whom get a sweetheart deal on the exchange rate) by the millions...  or attempted anyway.  My guess is that this won't sit well with the tax paying public...  watching their institutions educate foreigners when the jobs at home are non-existent and the locals can't afford education any longer...  but get to keep paying taxes to subsidize others.  Good luck with that plan.

PS, college IS highschool II...  it's another necessary hurdle in the workforce (along with a graduate degree or two)...  laughably, the first couple years of many people at my undergrad is spent in remedial courses...  they can't even fucking read or do basic math coming out of high school...

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 05:44 | 1950221 Janestool
Janestool's picture

Lots of morons teaching in college attracts like....

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 17:04 | 1952602 I did it by Occident
I did it by Occident's picture

Moral (educational) hazard, BITCHEZ!

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 22:19 | 1949355 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

Once again I give you an oldie but a goodie. Here is Mike Rowe, from Dirty jobs, discussing the war on work

Watch all the way through before judging what Rowe has to say.

Snippets from the transcript

So I started to wonder what would happen if we challenged some of these sacred cows. Follow your passion — we’ve been talking about it here for the last 36 hours. Follow your passion — what could possibly be wrong with that? Probably the worst advice I ever got. (Laughter) You know, follow your dreams and go broke, right? I mean, that’s all I heard growing up. I didn’t know what to do with my life, but I was told if you follow your passion, it’s going to work out.

… We’ve declared war on work, as a society, all of us. It’s a civil war.  It’s a cold war, really. We didn’t set out to do it  and we didn’t twist our mustache in some Machiavellian way,  but we’ve done it.  And we’ve waged this war on at least four fronts, certainly in Hollywood. The way we portray working people on TV,  it’s laughable. If there’s a plumber, he’s 300 pounds and he’s got a giant buttcrack, admit it.  You see him all the time.  That’s what plumbers look like, right? We turn them into heroes, or we turn them into punchlines.  That’s what TV does. We try hard on Dirty Jobs not to do that, which is why I do the work and I don’t cheat.

We’ve waged this war on Madison Avenue. So many of the commercials that come out there in the way of a message, what’s really being said? Life would be better if you could work a little less. If you didn’t have to work so hard. If you could get home a little earlier, if you could retire a little faster, if you could punch out a little sooner. It’s all in there, over and over, again and again.

Washington? I can’t even begin to talk about the deals and policies in place that affect the bottom-line reality of the available jobs ’cause I don’t really know. I just know that that’s a front in this war.

And right here, guys; Silicon Valley. How many people have an iPhone on ‘em right now? How many people have their Blackberries? We’re plugged in, we’re connected. I would never suggest for a second that something bad has come out of the tech revolution. Good grief, not to this crowd. But I would suggest that innovation without imitation is a complete waste of time. And nobody celebrates imitation the way Dirty Jobs guys know it has to be done. Your iPhone without those people making the same interface, the same circuitry, the same board over and over – all that, that’s what makes it equally as possible as the genius that goes inside of it.

And so we’ve got this new tool box. Our tools today don’t look like shovels and picks, they look like the stuff we walk around with. And so the collective effect of all of that has been this marginalization of lots and lots of jobs.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 09:38 | 1950490 StateofFraud
StateofFraud's picture

Blogger and law professor Glenn Reynolds writing in the Washington Examiner, Dec. 3:

The reason why a bachelor's degree on its own no longer conveys intelligence and capability is that the government decided that as many people as possible should have bachelor's degrees.

There's something of a pattern here. The government decides to try to increase the middle class by subsidizing things that middle class people have: If middle class people go to college and own homes, then surely if more people go to college and own homes, we'll have more middle class people.

But homeownership and college aren't causes of middle-class status, they're markers for possessing the kinds of traits—self-discipline, the ability to defer gratification, etc.— that let you enter, and stay in, the middle class.

Subsidizing the markers doesn't produce the traits; if anything, it undermines them. One might as well try to promote basketball skills by distributing expensive sneakers.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 17:15 | 1952645 I did it by Occident
I did it by Occident's picture

I agree, seems to be a "magical thinking" as if the piece of paper makes someone smart.  Same line of thinking goes in the inner city schools, "if only we can get graduation rates up?!"  Then what happens?  The standards go down or they just keep passing people onto the next grades when they have barely mastered the basics.  Then the inner cities churn out high school "graduates".  They are meeting their stated goal of getting grad rates up.  Yeah!!  but of course it is a potemkin village, the knowledge and skills that the grads should have isn't there, which ends up as a disservice to them.  They wind up not having any marketable skills which will affect them the rest of their lives and their children's lives who fall into the same trap.  But they got their degree, they should feel proud of themselves for that.  /sarc 

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:08 | 1949087 CH1
CH1's picture

"Education" has a monopoly on the issuance of Approval Certificates.

The corporate establishment - and the suckers that copy them - cooperate in the game, requiring these certificates.

Either pay everything you'll earn for the next 10 years, or be doomed to a low-status existence.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:25 | 1949173 dwdollar
dwdollar's picture

And that is the heart of the problem.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:29 | 1949186 GoodMorningMr.V...
GoodMorningMr.VanRumpoy...'s picture

At this point,  young folks are doomed to low-status existence either way. But the benefit of getting loans and going to college to get a piece of paper  is  that you defer  your wait at the unemployment office for another four years.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 06:14 | 1950242 Incubus
Incubus's picture

older folk don't understand that there are no viable goddamned options available to the following generations.  I get annoyed with them because they believe that there's some hard work ethic that's going to pull you up into some socioeconomic paradise.

They had American exceptionalism to carry them through life;  we've got billions of other people who want the same shit we've been brainwashed into wanting. 

The way the current system works is that there has to be competition and there has to be losers.  It's nice when the rest of the world was "losing" for all of those decades--we're about to get some firsthand experience in what it's like to be irrelevant. Remember:  most of the world languishes in poverty.  We've "had it good" compared to the billions of other people who'll work just as hard as we do, given they've the appropriate systems to allow for their "hard work" to pay off.


And in the system of "corporate capitalism" -- there's always someone who'll work for less than the other guy. 

This is what you people wanted all these years, so this is what we've got.  Apathy and complacency are just as much "crimes" in the fall of society. 




Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:34 | 1949206 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

What bubble?


Elites are paying more for their kids' boarding schools at Philips Exeter Academy to the tune of $40,000+/year. To them there is no college bubble. Especially when their networth and income far outpaced college tuition.


Only bubble in their eyes may be how much donation is required to get their idiot sons and daughters into an ivy ANd grad school after George Bush Jr. set the bar high.



Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:06 | 1949090 zorba THE GREEK
zorba THE GREEK's picture

Their is nothing gooder then a edukation.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 22:21 | 1949365 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

It's speld edukayshun dummy. Git yerselph sum hookd on foniks for krismus.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 22:49 | 1949450 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

According to homer simpson it is ejumakayshun

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:07 | 1949092 In Fed We Trust
In Fed We Trust's picture

And just when i thought i have seen it all,

I find this jewel.

I present to you ,

Your president,

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:07 | 1949093 Wixard
Wixard's picture

Nice post, something we kind of all know but never really touch on. 


I read an article today about some japanese scientists looking at cloning a woolly mammoth. 


It seems like if it's not military we're slowly falling behind as the post suggests. A combination of culture and entitlement I think. 


The next generation belongs to china. 

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 22:10 | 1949331 BigJim
BigJim's picture

Indeed, hard to believe that graduates in "military technologies" were 5th (equal) most likely to be unemployed.

You'd think our beloved MIC would be snapping them up... after all, there's still lots more brown people yet alive. Or maybe we've reached some kind of apogee in brown-person incineration?

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:09 | 1949098 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Higher Education = Higher Affirmation

Why spend 10 years in school to have your job sent to China or India or Korea?

Probes to Mars?  Yeah, that's going to feed a lot of people.

You don't need an education to be a CONSUMER.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:14 | 1949127 Wixard
Wixard's picture

The technology developed in our space program is a carcass we've been living off of for a long time. Creates jobs and builds new industry. 



We're out sourcing some of nasa to russia FFS. 




If the governemnt is gonna tax us, the least they could do is use it for something that helps us all. I mean it's not like we need more nukes or bailouts. 





Had the gov used that bailout and entitlement money for actual investment into infrastructure or hard science grants we'd all be better off. Unfortunately after the corrupt politicians get their hands on it, and the big corporations get their cut, and bridges get build that lead nowhere there isnt much left. 

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:09 | 1949101 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

a bunch of professors taking advantage and living off of naive 18-20 year olds......not much more disgusting than that

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:37 | 1949214 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

compare administrative (bs overhead) salaries and football (entertainment) coach salaries to professors and you will change your mind.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 22:02 | 1949308 oddjob
oddjob's picture

Tenure = sit on your ass all day w/attitude

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 23:02 | 1949510 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture


Mon, 12/05/2011 - 22:12 | 1949335 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

Professors (non tenured) are part of an exploited class, much like the students (many times are students of PhD programs themselves).  "Con Jobs"... contingency employment... getting "paid" a stipend to support an academic program that basically feeds only itself.  It's a pyramid scheme, just like any of the others we see around us.  Large undergraduate liberal arts programs supported by a ton of graduate assistants all hoping to eventually become a professor, as that's the only thing their English PhD is good for... 50 dolts competing for a single tenured position.  When enrollment plummets, as the economy will dictate, many more will be left scrambling.  The irony... the bad economy pushes more people back to school... but this bad economy won't be cyclical like the last few.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 22:22 | 1949367 economics1996
economics1996's picture

Beer money and a chance to teach real Austrian economics.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 22:40 | 1949422 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

War Eagle, fly down the field... anywhere else you can teach Austrian Economics?  Not a lot of that happening where I did my econ degree.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 23:04 | 1949516 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Great post above.  And I didn't complete my econ degree either.  I dropped out.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 23:19 | 1949565 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

A friend of mine started a documentary on this very subject (contingency jobs and the racket that is higher education).  They really are "sweat shop" like.  Fairly endless hours for almost no pay.  They get their "full ride" as they work through their worthless PhD program, but the university is paying them what amounts to a couple of dollars an hour, in reality.  And all they can really do with their degree is hope to rise to the top of this pyramid scheme.  Of course they can "do something else" with their degree... but not anything that they wouldn't have been able to do without it.  Their track... ponzi scheme or bust.  Of course the whole system is supported by financial aid / debt.  Nice hustle.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 05:50 | 1950226 Janestool
Janestool's picture

Phd Status should not be the union card allowing someone to teach.....ton of Phd idiots who are average....who pursue the degree because without it they be handing out library cards.....

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 02:15 | 1949979 au_bayitch
au_bayitch's picture

Its not the student/learners that are being taking advantage of, its the parents or taxpayer who pays the bill. And just maybe not all 18 year olds should not go immediately to post-sec edu. And lastly its the classroom teacher/professor that is the only one in edu that gives a fuck about the student.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:10 | 1949103 Hohum
Hohum's picture

STEM's good for a few, but basically the future is agrarian.  Educate accordingly.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:24 | 1949165 CPL
CPL's picture

Agricultural Sciences is a science.

Field Process Engineering.   Veternarian.  Animal Tech.


Tue, 12/06/2011 - 03:58 | 1950132 green888
green888's picture

Down on the farm, we thought that if you spent enough time and enough resources you could teach anyone to do anything. This is wrong, so what we now do is "Never teach a pig to sing"

It wastes your time, and it annoys the pig

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:10 | 1949109 Conrad Murray
Conrad Murray's picture

1. Under-education is intentional. Keep the people stupid, keep them buying, keep them enslaved.

2. Even STEM degrees require inordinate amounts of filler credits. What does African-American studies have to do with enhancing one's ability to understand Fourier transformations?

3. The pussification of the American male, accomplished through programming(through media) and mass narcotization, allows 1 and 2, and far more, to take place.

The communists are responsible for this. Kill them all.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:52 | 1949270 KK Tipton
KK Tipton's picture


How To Brainwash A Nation

Listen intently to the guy. It's all about your step 3.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 05:30 | 1950209 Kiwi Pete
Kiwi Pete's picture

According to that KGB guy they had a 25 year plan to brainwash the American public. Too bad the Soviet Union didn't last long enough to see it work. lol

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:11 | 1949111 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

We're too bummed out to learn anything. There's no energy, no biz-zaz to the USA anymore. Everything is idealogical and media driven--i grew up around activities and being active. I think education can be over-rated because it takes us out of the fresh air and the "lively life." Everything is about psycho-analysis now--and not about living Teddy Rossevelt's "strenuous life." And it shows. We're fat. We're depressed. We're not doing anything or being with anybody. This has got to be the loneliest and most atomized nation on earth.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 09:09 | 1950416 Escapeclaws
Escapeclaws's picture

There's a lot of merit in what you say, especially the last sentence, which says to me that you "get it".

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:12 | 1949113 Long-John-Silver
Long-John-Silver's picture

My son was Home Schooled. Not only did he learn the three R's and History I trained him to be a Machinist and Electrician. By the time he finished his High School Studies he also had passed the State's Electrician Certification Requirements. Today at 21 yrs old he's working on a Natural Gas drilling rig out West making a 6 figure income. Not only is he free of student debt he's years ahead of his public educated peers. He's saving every penny he can scrounge so he can buy his on drill rig.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:15 | 1949133 Wixard
Wixard's picture

cool! My nephews are home schooled and they are all the better for it. 

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:21 | 1949154 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

That is really smart.
You should be proud.
I am rethinking this education thing too.
I think the half million I would spend to get my seven year old thru a private high class university and graduate program might be better spent helping him establish a business.

Being born in 1966 and having lived thru a time where the more education the higher the income this has been hard for me to realize that things have changed.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 04:04 | 1950140 hardcleareye
hardcleareye's picture

Take a good hard look at home schooling.  Requires a stay at home parent/grandparent, but lots of good bennies.  In our family this program has worked well if a parent/grandparent is involved in "bird dogging" the kids so they get their work done and stay ontask.


Florida Virtual School,

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:24 | 1949168 CH1
CH1's picture

Way to go, LJS! And thank you!

Home schooling is one of the few shining positive forces in the current world.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:31 | 1949196 yabyum
yabyum's picture

Long John, Never underestimate the trades....Never. A student who is not College bound  can make a great iiving. I got my LPN  through a state trade school + 2 Quaters = a RN. (dirt cheap) I stll send a student through  that program every year on my dime.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:59 | 1949297 Long-John-Silver
Long-John-Silver's picture

I went to trade school at night to be a Machinist and attended HS during the day. I worked in a Ship Yard for a couple of years and then went in the Navy and Became a Gas Turbine Systems Tech. After 6 years of that I switched over to the  Army as a Warrant Officer 2. I helped get the M1 Abrams tank program off the ground. I remained a W-2 for 19 years in the same slot. I dug deep roots and never wanted to progress higher as that would have taken me out of the best damn job anyone could have with my experience and I would have had to move somewhere else. After I realized I could stay where I was until I retired I purchased a small farm close to work and built a nice shop behind it. I could ride a bike to work which I did 90% of the time and put a Lathe, Mill, and other Metal working machinery in my shop and started a small machine shop business. This allowed me to educate my son in the industrial arts.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 22:37 | 1949414 pauhana
pauhana's picture

What a gift you gave to your son!  There are very few people who actually know how things work any more.  I have thought that we should return to encouraging guilds and apprenticeships.  The unions corrupted those systems in the early part of the last century but they worked for hundreds of years before that.  There was an old man in a town I lived in in New England who fixed old clocks.  He machined all the parts in his small shop and brought the most extraordinary joy to those of us who still enjoy the sound of the ticking and the bells of a real clock.  The shame was that no one wanted to learn what he knew.  What a loss!  Perhaps in our brave new world there will be time to appreciate such skills again.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 23:04 | 1949519 sAusAge stroker
sAusAge stroker's picture

great posts, LJS - having spent 6 years in the military and transitioned to financial services I'm shocked at how little my current "peers" know about how stuff actually works.  they build valuation models for engineering companies that others rely on, but they don't have a clue what the companies actually do / how their markets work.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:50 | 1949261 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture


Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:50 | 1949265 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture


Mon, 12/05/2011 - 22:52 | 1949468 slavador
slavador's picture


We partially homeschooled our oldest son and paid his way through a math/philosophy degree. At 24 he is now working on an oil service rig as a stud roughneck for $120k/yr. I mention this to illustrate your son has gained 3 years on his peers career wise, and you've saved a bundle. Son #2 hits 18 next year. I'm hoping he skips the college and goes straight to the rigs.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:13 | 1949120 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

Vocational schools are going to make a big comeback. And families may go back to to the idea that one son will become a priest, one a soldier and one will take over the family business. 

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:14 | 1949126 lynnybee
lynnybee's picture

I'll never forget the conversation my Dad & I had when I was a teenager (45 years ago ! ) .    I was talking about all the lofty things I wanted to be, things that required college degrees, ph.d's, advanced education.   I talked, he listened.     At the end of that conversation, he just said, "The world needs truck drivers & garbage men, too .    We can't all be college educated." ....... & yes, it's a true story.    My dad was a truck driver & proud of it.   He worked hard & was proud of the fact that he did his job well & provided for his family on a truck driver's salary (local route) .

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:14 | 1949129 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

Colleges and universities got greedy and turned two year technical programs into four year degrees because student loan money was so olentiful.

The number of subjects that have four year degrees are laughable for example recreation therapist. They help patients string beads, play bingo, and do morning exercises.

We have a masters level rec therapist at my hospital. I was shocked at her writing skills. The grammer and syntax errors were on the level of a C high school student. Sentence fragments, split infinitives, and run on sentences abounded. This was after some thought, proof reading, and effort on her part and not a fast single finger rant like this.

Our foolish desire to certify every skill thru expensive formal education rather than paid apprenticeships will harm the economy due to barriers of labor flow as well as wasted capital.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:48 | 1949248 Ahmeexnal
Ahmeexnal's picture

OK, you write like someone who barely made third grade.

It isn't OLENTIFUL.  Correct spelling is PLENTIFUL.

There is no need for the comma after bingo, since you are following up with AND.




Mon, 12/05/2011 - 22:09 | 1949326 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture


This is a one finger rant, not a college term paper that a masters person was working on.

And yes I ended with a preposition.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 23:24 | 1949579 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Commas are used for pacing, and are not subject to grammar.

Live a little.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 03:48 | 1950110 hardcleareye
hardcleareye's picture

Don't start a Grammar Nazi war.....   correction of the mistakes in TCT's post doesn't change the readers understanding of what was being communicated.

Thank god they finally brought back spell check!

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:16 | 1949137 blu
blu's picture

I know adults who cannot cook, calculate interest, or build a fence. They stumble blindly from one impossible assumption to the next, and can no longer save themselves from their own stupidity.

America is nearly finished. We have become a nation of morons. There will be no one in the streets to turn the mob when the anger boils over. One bad turn and the lights will go out.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:35 | 1949207 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

50 percent of freshmen at CUNY could not convert a fraction to a percent according to their own studies of enrolled students.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 22:48 | 1949449 LeBalance
LeBalance's picture

that's like 3/4, right?  I did that right, didn't I?

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 23:27 | 1949591 akak
akak's picture

I recently read that 5/3rds of people have trouble with fractions.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 01:06 | 1949850 HoofHearted
HoofHearted's picture

Well, 5 out of 4 people have a real problem with fractions.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 04:27 | 1950162 Sokhmate
Sokhmate's picture

No. The answer is three halves.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:16 | 1949141 Teamtc321
Teamtc321's picture

Off subject; Ron Paul is getting plugged on "Freedom watch" tonight. 

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:17 | 1949143 rbg81
rbg81's picture

Why aren't the graduation rates improving?  Quite simply, more people are going to college than should be going to college.  And many of those who start STEM programs drop out and opt for Liberal Arts programs which are much easier.  Their discipline and study habits are awful.  Most of them spend time surfing the web, FBooking and texting.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 22:53 | 1949436 i-dog
i-dog's picture

Don't knock liberal arts programs. Look where they can get you!

Here is the education rap sheet of the "Chief Economist and Economic Policy Adviser to Vice President Joseph Biden":

  • Bachelor Degree in Music (double bass, no less!)
  • Masters Degree in Social Work
  • Ph.D. in Social Work

Excuse me, I think I'm going to be sick....

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:18 | 1949144 Tarheel
Tarheel's picture

Cry me a fucking river. Everyone should know before the declare a major that jobs based on a liberal arts degree pays much lower than a techincal or science major. Science and technology generate money in a consumer-based society, which the U.S.S.A currently is.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:27 | 1949180 CH1
CH1's picture

Everyone should know before the declare a major...

Yes, they should, but these are 18-20 year old kids who have been indoctrinated by professionals. So far as they know, no degree means a shitty life with a shitty mate.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:37 | 1949215 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

I didnt know any better when I was twenty and I was a national merit scholar. Nobody mentors youth any more.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 01:11 | 1949867 HoofHearted
HoofHearted's picture

I tell every class of freshmen that I see that they ought to tough out the math program so that they can get a free graduate education, make more money, and not have to worry about unemployment. Yes, I'm a math prof at a university, so they think it is all self-serving. By the end of test 1, I'm down to wanting about 25% of them. By the end of the semester, I think maybe 5% are worthy of the program.

Hell, I love to read. I would have been glad to sit around college just reading novels and pontificating on my own navel lint. But I knew where that would be headed. Amd I also enjoy doing the mathematics. But...after getting a PhD in pure math, working as a prof a few years, I realized there wasn't much there for me. So I went back to school and corrected some things, getting my next degree in applied math. And life has been much easier since.

So, why don't I have the higher paying industry job? Freedom. I've got four kids, and I want to see them grow up. I take the job on Wall Street, I never see the kids, my wife probably leaves me for some philosophy grad who is more interesting than me. And consulting has worked rather nicely, too....

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:50 | 1949266 Ahmeexnal
Ahmeexnal's picture

A high school science teacher earns more than a Hollywood star?

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 23:02 | 1949512 pitz
pitz's picture

Really?  How come the average GS staffer is paid >$400k/year, yet most scientists and engineers are darn lucky if they even break $100k?  Why are employment rates out of some of the top STEM schools (ie: UC Berkeley, Cornell) in the country less than 40%?  Why do you hear of significant chunks of graduating classes from even a decade ago unemployed?  Not very consistent with the idea that science pays a lot more, now is it?

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:23 | 1949149 BKbroiler
BKbroiler's picture

What I learned in 4th grade in Italian schools I relearned in the 7th in American schools. Even in the 3rd grade, 2-3 hours of homework was the norm, as was Saturday schooling.    And this was decades ago... 


Mon, 12/05/2011 - 22:00 | 1949301 Sabibaby
Sabibaby's picture

Wow.... look where it got Italy...

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 22:29 | 1949387 Ahmeexnal
Ahmeexnal's picture

Best food, wine, cars, clothes, soccer and overall culture in the whole of the eurozone.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 22:52 | 1949470 LeBalance
LeBalance's picture

just no courses in squid defense, but then who gives those.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 23:16 | 1949557 CrimsonAvenger
CrimsonAvenger's picture

But what have the Romans ever done for us?

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 23:08 | 1949538 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

I've heard everyone cheats in Italian schools, so you must be damned good at cheating if you got anywhere.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:20 | 1949150 BKbroiler
BKbroiler's picture


Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:22 | 1949155 CPL
CPL's picture

Engineering is actually  -1.12, there are more slots than there are people, with burning down the hope of seeing another engineering body for at least seven more years.  Trust me when I say this to any young men and women reading ZH (go only knows why), we need someone to pass the torch to. 

Seriously consider getting into the fields, our average industry age is current 52, that's old.  Should be closer to 37-40 to be healthy, trust me when I say this, there will be slots waiting for you.  Even if your school doesn't have a co-op education practice, do your foot work, grab a yellow pages and open it to IT Services, Engineering, Chemical Engineering, etc. and start calling down the list.

Believe me, it is a folly of our industry as smaller companies, we do not advertise our job positions that well.  However if you are a student and looking for experience and some cash while learning your trade, I would be hard pressed to name anyone of my business peers that would say no.  Times are tough I know, but if in STEM subjects, believe me when I say this.  All of us in the sciences and technical fields had started exactly where you are right now, broke and smart.  Someone in the past gave us the knowledge and practical experience, both good and bad, it is our turn to return the favor.

Look around at the options available and give it a shot.  We've got LOTS of work waiting.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:35 | 1949199 dwdollar
dwdollar's picture

Don't trust him. Most entry level engineering jobs are outsourced. THERE'S A REASON WHY THE AVERAGE AGE IS 52, and it's not because young people aren't trying.

Follow your own path. Don't go blindly into any STEM education thinking there's going to be a job waiting for you.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:37 | 1949217 Conrad Murray
Conrad Murray's picture

American's are intentionally cast aside in order to outsource or hire H1B scum:

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:41 | 1949226 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

That is the big companies you are talking about.

The small, hardscrabble, and volatile small companies are screaming for people, but it is not as glamorous working for them as opposed to microsoft, ibm, or HP.

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