You said: I think you’re conflating value with price. An education is no less valuable simply because other people have it.
I do not think this is the case. The value of anything is subjective, particularly that of something as murky as a college education. The degree itself (the piece of paper) does not have much value at all outside of its social perception. You can’t sell it, eat it, etc. It just asserts (in the eyes of society) that you have a certain skill or ability. It’s somewhat analogous to knowing a foreign language. Knowing, say, German, is a useful skill. You can get a job as a translator, a teacher, a researcher, etc. It has monetary worth. But extrapolating that into: knowing German has proved really useful for those who do, ergo, we should make everyone learn it - would not work. If every American learned German, it would not really have any value, it would just be a really big handicap not to know it.
Also, it is awesome to talk to a ZOG representative.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 33.5 percent of Americans between the ages of 25 and 29 in 2012 had at least a bachelor’s degree, compared with 24.7 percent in 1995 and 21.9 percent in 1975. Several factors have contributed to this sharp rise in those earning college credentials. The Digital Age and its higher-paying jobs now require the digital training found at universities. Women’s share of degrees awarded keeps rising as they continue their multidecade surge into higher education. The weak economy of the last seven years has also made college a more attractive option for many of the unemployed, even though only half of those entering college in 2006 had graduated by 2012. Greener pastures await students who graduate. Job openings for college graduates have increased nine percent since the recession’s onset in December 2007. Last March’s employment data showed just 3.3. percent of college graduates unemployed versus 11.8 percent of American high-school graduates.
As a result of this increased demand for college educations, student debt outstanding has more than quadrupled, soaring from $250 billion in 2003 to more than $1 trillion today, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Tuition at four-year colleges has increased more than six-fold since 1980, far outpacing the mere twofold increase in the Consumer Price Index over that same period. It will surprise no one that 75 percent of all college debt is held by households with an average net worth less than $79,000. Thanks to the economy’s continuing sluggishness, these modest families are now falling behind in servicing this unsecured debt. Student loans more than 90 days delinquent now make up 12 percent of the total, the worst performing segment of all consumer loans today.
The value of a thing decreases the more of it there is.
For example, if I got a gorgeous pair of 'Supreme Saville Pack' Vans folks would likely compliment me on their relative awesomeness, and my superior fashion sense. However, if everyone had them, no one would care. It would be like wearing black high-top Chucks, no one cares because they are so common.
It seems like the same might be true of education. If everyone gets a college degree, its economic worth will diminish greatly.
But going to college is just about learning and not about getting a good job! Bullshit. Learning is easy, and most college libraries are open to the public anyway (plus the internet and normal libraries and bookstores), if you just wanna learn stuff, read and talk with others who read. College is totally about getting a good job.
But college teaches invaluable skills and knowledge that everyone should have! I doubt it. It just is not the case that everyone should read Moby Dick and ponder whether or not the gender binary is a falsehood. Also, if the state decided to make classes regarding “necessary skills” mandatory, I would be very worried as to how they would wield that power.
For more see:
"The Diminishing Economic Advantage of a College Degree" by Richard Vedder
"Don’t Occupy Education?" by Charles C.W. Cooke
Got any thoughts?
Zentropista fetishizes violence, rebellion, sexuality, youth, art, and old propaganda for a political purpose.
My blog does too. Is mine more legitimate and ethical because you agree with my politics more than his?
(It’s been a few days, and the only note this gotten was Zentropista himself liking it, presumably because of his keen sense of irony; y’all are cowards)
1) Attacking people, and vandalizing private property in the name of expanding government education is justified.
2) Violence in the name of state-based education is justified.
3) When states employ violence in the name of education, it is justified.
When the Mexican government fucks up the Zapatistas because they are building their own schools, it is justified. (Zapatistas being attacked for this reason is not unheard of)
The implications go further. In the US, high school kids can go to prison for ditching to excess (almost went in myself for that). The reason for this is that minors are not considered to have their own agency, and hence cannot deny themselves their own right to an education. This is state violence, and is justified because it is in the name of education.
Or how about how many European states, that have the excellent free state-based education many of us covet, have made it illegal to home school children (Germany being the most vile example)? Imprisoning people for not sending their children to school is state violence that is justified in the name of education.
Even people who do not justify the “revolutionary violence” occasionally used by Chilean protestors over the last two or so years, the above two questions are tough.
How many nations out there have free school that is good and not mandatory?
Even then, once you have a standardized school system nation-wide, small communities are going to be the ones that will suffer from having to abide by the standardizations. Ethnic, racial, and religious minorities will likely loose their ability to teach their children as they see fit, and the central government isn’t likely to give a fuck. I suppose this is why it seems as though nationalized education has the best success rates in very homogeneous places.
Tough questions folks, any answers?
PS - Did y’all hear about that German family that fled to the US to be able to home-school their kids, and are now facing deportation because their asylum status is getting wonky? (Read about it) I’m really not okay with that. And now the Department of Justice is saying that home-schooling is not a right. It bothers me that this has become something almost exclusively reported on by the American right - should the left not care just because the family is evangelical? I’m really not okay with that.
Message me if you got thoughts on this.
Naturally, some folks have inquired as to what I’ve been reading that’s making me doubt stuff. I didn’t really want to get into it, because it seemed sort of soapbox-y to let y’all know what’s made me maybe see the light; but enough people have asked, so here goes.
Third, the general sociology of “who” the left is being led by in general began to bother me in a big way. It’s hard to pin down an explanation of it, but Michael Lind does a good job of it in this piece regarding the Democratic Party and OWS. Zizek also does it well here. Perhaps it could be best explained as a personal aversion to “bobos" - and the sense that if you’re doing something that they can get down with, you must be doing something wrong.
Fourth, I started reading a great deal of work by the philosopher Peter Singer, who is such a powerful thinker in the realm of ethics, but has a very limited interest in state-based solutions. Mainly because he doesn’t seem to think they will work very well. (I might be projecting a bit on to him, but his writing did get me here-ish in a big way.)
Fifth, the left is filled with many different ideas, and I started exploring a lot them. So many break through the basic political framework we see everything in, that just demanding that the state give “we the people” more began to seem more and more petty. Here’s a list of some other stuff that’s been rattling through my head, but I haven’t looked into as deeply as the above: workerism, SI, refusal of work (particularly Paul Lafargue’s The Right to be Lazy), green anarchism (by the way, permaculture is fascinating), and Panarchy. Also, my friend Robin Babb influenced me plenty in all of this, and gets into it here.
Anyway, my Communist friends all tell me I’m drowning in relativism, and since I started reading Attack the System. I’ve been accused of racism. Ironically, the president of a college I went to has been published on HuffPo advocating free college. Sorry to link dump you guys.
Chileans (well, and people) like this make me wonder if the solutions to our problems really are to be found in the state. Regardless, this video makes me miss being in Chile so bad, it’s been a while.