Universities: A New Class of "Robber Barons"
Universities Steal from the Poor and Give to the Sinecured and Connected
“I have no idea what these people do,” said Robinson, waving his hand across a row of offices, his voice rising. The 59-year-old professor of biomedical engineering is leading a faculty revolt against bureaucratic bloat at the public university in Indiana. In the past decade, the number of administrative employees jumped 54 percent, almost eight times the growth of tenured and tenure-track faculty.While the fat cat administrative staff are living very well, more and more members of the lower and lower middle classes are being caught in the debt trap -- sometimes for life. When poor students are forced to drop out of school with high tuition debts, their parents and grandparents can be sued to pay the debt -- which cannot be discharged by bankruptcy. The same thing can also happen when students actually graduate -- but with what are essentially worthless degrees.
...Administrative costs on college campuses are soaring, crowding out instruction at a time of skyrocketing tuition and $1 trillion in outstanding student loans... U.S. universities employed more than 230,000 administrators in 2009, up 60 percent from 1993, or 10 times the rate of growth of the tenured faculty, those with permanent positions and job security, according to U.S. Education Department data.
Spending on administration has been rising faster than funds for instruction and research... _Fat Cat University Staff
It was not always this way. Tuition was once relatively affordable, and not so hard to pay off.
The total cost of my tuition over four years was less than $5,000. Measured another way, the payback period was about nine months’ gross salary at my first job. Viewed as an investment in equipment, getting an MIT education was, as they say, a no-brainer. If tuition costs had risen in line with inflation, that original $1,000 for a year’s tuition would now be $7,972, according to the CPI calculator on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website.Universities have grown to be a new class of robber barons, stealing from the poor and giving to the well off sinecured and connected bureaucrat. The degree to which university disbursements have become corrupt payoffs and set-asides is carefully papered over by vested interests. If students, parents, and grandparents had a better understanding of what their lives and finances were being ruined to pay for, the outrage would be difficult to contain.
Today the actual tuition is $40,732 (not including room and board), so it’s pretty safe to say that everyday inflation hasn’t been the driving force behind the increase in college tuition. _DallasNews
The first thing that young people and their families need to understand is that not everyone should go to college. In general, only those with IQs of at least 110 points should get a 4 year degree. And for the rigorous degrees, an IQ of at least 115 is probably needed. The popular attempt to push everyone through college -- at all costs -- is a most significant part of this problem.
Even so, there is no reason for most degrees to be so ruinously expensive -- or for most degrees to be so absurdly worthless on the jobs market. But don't expect any good solutions from the US federal government, which is controlled by the Chicago Outfit. The Chicago Outfit is not known for its dedication to giving high value for payments received. The answers will have to come from other directions -- to the extent that the Chicago Outfit allows.
Salman Khan, founder of the free online Khan Academy, thinks that a quality education should be free. He believes that the only cost incurred by graduates should be the cost of certifying the retention and utility of the student's new knowledge and skills.
Online courses aim to change the educational landscape. In the US, more than one state governor has expressed a desire to see his state's university system devise a "$10,000 degree program" -- a no-frills way for students to get a 4 year degree without becoming indebted for life.
The devastation that has been caused by the university : government : financial complex is immense and in many ways, immeasurable. In this arena -- as in the 2007 / 2008 housing bubble and collapse -- the government is a central part of a problem that is causing much ongoing human hardship for its own people.
Fortunately, this is a problem which Dangerous Children do not have to suffer. By the time a Dangerous Child reaches the age of 18, he or she will have the skills to support themselves economically at least three different ways. At that point, they can either take college or leave it -- but if they take it, they will take it on their own terms.
If you have young children or are planning to have some, the gift of a dangerous childhood may be the most valuable gift you can give them. As for yourself: It is never too late to have a dangerous childhood. You may have to improvise a bit, but that will be good for your character. ;-)