China’s empty towns. Go see now. More info here.

College education bubble. omeone tell my husband an my father. They’re not listening to me:

A new CCAP study From Wall Street to Wal-Mart: Why College Graduates Are Not Getting Good Jobs, released today along with this essay, carries even worse news: the proportion of college-educated Americans in lower-skilled jobs has more than tripled since the 1960s, going from 11 percent in 1967 to 34 percent today.


Colllege has become “big business.” They’ve convinced everyone (from employeers to parents) that a degree is required for even the lowliest job.

Murray argues, only a modest proportion of the population has the cognitive skills (not to mention work discipline, drive, maturity, integrity, etc.) to master truly higher education, an education that goes well beyond the secondary schooling experience in terms of rigor of presentation. Reading and comprehending 200- to 400-year-old literature is useful for advanced leadership -but difficult. Educated persons should read and understand Locke’s “On Human Understanding” or Shakespeare’s King Lear -they are insightful in many ways, but the typical person of average intelligence typically lacks both the motivation and ability to do so. Mastering complex forms of mathematics is hard -but necessary to function in some areas of science and engineering.

But, the sword is two-edged. They’ve dumbed-down high school to the point that many graduates simply aren’t prepared for anything. So colleges now teach kids what they should have learned in high school. Which works great, because in reality, there simply aren’t enough jobs that actually REQUIRE a rigorous college education.

The end effect, is that you have a few universities that are providing an actual, old-style college education, and then a bunch of others simply taking money to do what should have been done in high school.

Rather than studying advanced mathematics, physics or –as I did– 18th century French literature in the native language, more students are studying business administration, communication skills, and doing vocational-school type work on the intricacies of health care provision or administration.

I think back to Abraham Lincoln. Who studied on his own and became a lawyer. If you could manage the task, you could perform it. How far we’ve fallen from that idea. I don’t have the answers. I’m just pointing out the problem.

Did you know that Wesley Snipes was a tax protester? Or not. Either way, he’s serving three years. I dunno, he sounds like a tax protester to me:

According to the decision, instead of 1040s, Snipes sent the IRS correspondence advancing various theories as to “why the IRS was powerless to collect income taxes from him” including “that he was a `non-resident alien to the United States,’ that earned income must come from `sources wholly outside the United States,’ that a `taxpayer is defined by law as one who operates a distilled spirit Plant,’ and that the Internal Revenue Code’s taxing authority `is limited to the District of Columbia and insular possessions of the United States, exclusive of the 50 States of the Union.’’’

Snipes also submitted a refund claim for $7 million in taxes allegedly paid in error in 1997 and stopped deducting payroll and income taxes from the paychecks of his film production companies’ employees. He also began “to proselytize this theory of tax resistance” by inviting his employees to anti-tax seminars at his home, the appeals decision notes.

Perhaps he just thought “he” shouldn’t pay taxes. Not that other folks shouldn’t.


Now, here’s something a bit different for me. Listen now. There will be a test.

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4 Comments on “FIAF”

  1. Hotspur Says:

    They’ve dumbed-down high school to the point that many graduates simply aren’t prepared for anything. So colleges now teach kids what they should have learned in high school.

    Carin, I’ve been saying this very thing for many many years. This is why community colleges got invented. An associate’s degree is nothing more than an old high school edumacation.

  2. Car in Says:

    The crime is that even if you DO manage to learn enough in high school … no one is gonna buy it.

    I mean, look at Peej’s hubby. He needs that piece of paper to get the interview.


    FWIW – my husband hires people all the time who don’t have a college degree.

  3. MJ Says:

    Interesting. I’ve noticed this for a few years with kids coming out of college as well. They are totally unprepared for the real world.

    I happened to go to a very good HS, which meant that I had almost had nothing to do in college. Reading lists were the same, expectations weren’t much different.

  4. JAM2 Says:

    here’s an interesting graph on the cost differentials…. vis-a-vis inflation

    (disclaimer: i know nothing of the website… but i have seen this correlation before and i was too busy..*lazy* to look into it further)

    another item:
    i’ve had trouble through the years finding people to fill detail oriented and manually technical positions (facilities, welders, etc.) These are positions in which the candidate needs to be; intelligent, a self starter, self motivated, able to work with very little supervision, have good interpersonal skills…. bla bla bla bla bla….(sound familiar?) and we will pay you more than the punk with the 4 year degree…
    BOCES / VoTech needs to make a come back… it should no longer be a dumping ground for teachers too fucking lazy to help guide our kids down a fruitful career path.

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