Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Education Scam

In the news lately is the plight of the students. Everybody tells them they should go to college. But college is expensive. And since nobody has any money in America, they have to borrow. They end up with a worthless college degree and, on average, about $25,000 in debt.

This scam takes place on several levels. The whole nation gets scammed into thinking that “education” is a good thing.

Here’s a typical newspaper article, this one from The Wall Street Journal:

“Education Slowdown Threatens US”

“Throughout American history,” the article begins, “almost every generation has had substantially more education than that of its parents. That is no long true. When baby boomers born in 1955 reached age 30, they had about two more years more schooling than their parents, according to Harvard University economists Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz... But in 2010 they averaged only about 8 months more schooling than their parents.”

The article goes on to tell us that college graduates have less trouble getting a job than those who only graduated from high school. But so what? Suppose everyone had a Ph.D. Would jobs suddenly appear for them?

“The wealth of nations is no longer in resources. It’s no longer in physical capital. It’s in human capital,” says an expert quoted by the paper.

Elsewhere in the blahblahsphere, Larry Summers, former secretary of the Treasury, challenged Mitt Romney to present a budget plan, which among other things, included more “investment” guess!

But “investments” in education have been increasing for the last 40 years...and for the last 40 years...there has been not one penny of return.

So, let’s follow the money. The feds give students money...or give it to the universities directly. Either way, it ends up in the pockets of the education industry. Unemployment has gone up and down...with no relation to the supposed investments in education. Employees — including those with college degrees — have not earned a penny more in real hourly wages. And test scores show they don’t know anything more than they did, at far lower investment, 4 decades ago.

Investments in education are losers. Why invest more?

Because the money comes out of nowhere. It’s nowhere money. Might as well bailout the financial industry. And “invest” in healthcare too.

But the nowhere money is not with no cost. It looks just like other money. And it buys the same things. So, the guy who has it is able to use it to take away resources from other people.

Follow the money. From the Fed to the the favoured, no-return industries — health, education, finance and the military.

The zombies get more money. The rest of the economy ends up with less.

And now, much of the cost rests on the shoulders and backs of young people in the form of unpaid student loans, from MSNBC:

    "Here’s what we do know about student loan debt: it’s roughly $1 trillion in size, greater than either auto or credit-card debt and second only to mortgage debt in the US.

    Borrowers in their 30s today owe $28,500, on average. The debt burden has soared just as — and partly because — the recession hit, so younger graduates carrying the highest balances are hit with the double whammy of a weak job market (that still isn’t showing any sign of rapid improvement).

    And this all comes as globalization and technological change have upended once-reliable career paths, wiped out many mid-level professional jobs and leave low-paying fields in health, food and beverage services, and retail as among the fastest growing job markets over the next decade.

    Oh, and consider that student loan debt remains one of the most difficult types to forgive or discharge in bankruptcy, in part because the federal government (i.e. taxpayers) made or guaranteed 80 percent of all outstanding student loan debt as of last year. And finally, that once loans in deferral or forbearance are excluded, the delinquency rate on student loan debt was an estimated 27 percent as of the third quarter of 2011, according to a study by the New York Fed."


Obama agrees with Hitler on schooling children

According to Godwin's Law, the first person to invoke Hitler loses the debate. But there is a corollary. Sometimes the comparison invokes itself.

In a legal case that seems headed to the US Supreme Court, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has sided with Hitler against parental rights. Romeike v. Holder involves a German family which is seeking asylum in America because Germany has threatened to remove the Romeike's younger children if they continue to homeschool.

In 1938, Adolf Hitler ordered all German children to be educated either in state schools or in government-approved private schools that strictly followed the Nazi blueprint. The Reichsschulpflichtgesetz (Compulsory Education Law), which specifically banned home schooling, remains in force in Germany today.

The Nazi and American systems of education have always had similarities. The 19th century American education reformer Horace Mann is called the father of American education. The main goal of both systems was not to teach children the three Rs or critical thinking but to produce good citizens. The Nazi vision of a “good citizen” and that of Mann differed but the two approaches had definite overlap. For example, they stressed the inculcation of obedience to authority. Moreover, they reflected a belief that the state should focus upon children because, unlike adults, children were 'wax' and could be more easily shaped.

A key difference between the German and American educational systems, however, is that Americans are legally permitted to home school their children.

That situation may change under Obama. In his 2012 State of the Union address, Obama called on “every State to require that all students stay in high school until they graduate or turn 18.” Traditionally, education is a state prerogative but the federal government is often able to dictate terms because state schools depend upon federal funding.

The DOJ's stance toward the Romeikes is also revealing. The family was initially granted asylum under a statute that applies to any applicant who has a “well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.” US Attorney General Eric Holder objected to the asylum and the ruling was overturned on appeal. Romeike v. Holder was then taken to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals where the homeschoolers' petition was denied. Nevertheless, the court has ordered the DOJ to respond to a rehearing request.

Given that the DOJ brief in Romeike v. Holder was filed on behalf of the US Attorney General, it can be seen as an official statement on home schooling from the Obama administration. It states “The goal in Germany is for an open, pluralistic society....Teaching tolerance to children of all backgrounds helps to develop the ability to interact as a fully functioning citizen in Germany.” In other words, banning homeschooling promotes tolerance and good citizenship. The brief makes favorable reference to a German court ruling that found, “the general public has a justified interest in counteracting the development of religiously or philosophically motivated ‘parallel societies’ and in integrating minorities in this area.” In other words, people whose philosophy contradicts the 'general good' (as defined by the state) should be integrated by forcing their children to attend state schools where they become part of a propaganda machine.

   "When an opponent declares, 'I will not come over to your side, and you will not get me on your side,' I calmly say, 'Your child belongs to me already. A people lives forever. What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants however now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community'." -- Adolf Hitler

The comparison between Obama and Nazis on education sounds like hyperbole, but it is rapidly becoming less of an overstatement. Consider an social experiment being conducted by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) – the second largest school district in America. 'Covered California', the state’s health insurance exchange, has granted LAUSD almost one million dollars for a pilot program. One of the program's main goals is to train students to become “messengers” for Obamacare. Specifically, the children will be trained to 'educate' their families and possibly other adults about why they should enroll in the tax-subsidized healthcare program. Public school is now training children to educate their parents toward the correct political position.

Heartland Institute explained, “LAUSD will also use tax-paid staff to promote ObamaCare through phone calls to students’ homes, in-class presentations, and meetings with employees eligible for ObamaCare’s taxpayer-covered healthcare.”

Investor's Business Daily reported the words of LAUSD spokeswoman Gayle Pollard-Terry. She explained “proudly” that the “pilot program” was meant to ascertain “how well teenagers serve as messengers of government-sponsored information.” Investor's reported: “If they prove proficient at influencing their own families to believe material sent home from schools, she said, the teens will be used to deliver numerous other official messages to adults in their home and neighborhoods.” And pilot programs, by definition, are trials in contemplation of expanding the model.

Public schools have always been used to spread state propaganda but the LAUSD program is so blatant that it is being widely compared to the Hitler Youth; sadly, this also becomes less and less hyperbole. The Nazi program was for males aged 14 to 18, with children aged 10 to 14 being divided by sex into two other sub-programs. The Hitler Youth were instilled with Nazi values which they then spread them to relatives and the general public. The program evolved from children teaching their parents to children denouncing those parents who refused to 'learn'.

But for Obama Youth to be truly effective, children must be forced to attend public school or state-approved private ones. He could do it with the stroke of a pen by using his favorite political weapon: an executive order. That is what Michael Farris, founder of the Home School Legal Defense Association, expects to happen.

To me, Farris' prediction still seems over the top. On the other hand, I have just compared Obama to Hitler and a LAUSD program to the Hitler Youth. When reductio ad absurdum no longer works, as it no longer does in American politics, it is not possible to say what is overstatement.

There has never been a better time than now to get your children out of America.


White teenagers 'less likely to apply to university' in Britain

Maybe whites have been first to recognize the dubious value of a degree nowadays

White schoolchildren are less likely to apply to university than classmates from any other ethnic group, according to research from the official admissions body.

Fewer than three-in-10 white teenagers have lodged applications to start degree courses this autumn amid growing concerns over access to higher education, it emerged.

Figures show that white pupils are now around half as likely to strive for university as school-leavers from Chinese families.

It was also revealed that applications from black teenagers have increased by 70 per cent over the last seven years, with more than a third now attempting to get on to a degree course.

The disclosure is made in a report that lays bear the extent to which children’s gender, socio-economic background, ethnicity and postcode has an impact on their chance of applying to university.

Data from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) shows a widening gulf in access between men and women, with young women almost a third more likely to push for a degree place.

It also emerged that students from the wealthiest areas are more than four times as likely to apply to top universities as those from the poorest postcodes, despite a narrowing in the divide over the last decade.

The conclusions will prompt fresh concerns over the impact that social background has on children’s chances of doing well at school and progressing onto a good university or well-paid career.

Last year, Sir Michael Wilshaw, the head of Ofsted, said problems were particularly acute among boys raised in poor white families where an “anti-school culture” has been allowed to develop in recent decades.

According to the latest figures, just 29 per cent of white school-leavers – those aged 18 – applied to university this year. This compared with 34 per cent of black pupils, 41 per cent of those from Asian families and almost 57 per cent of teenagers from Chinese backgrounds.

The largest increase in application rates came from black pupils, with numbers now rising beyond a third compared with just 20 per cent in 2006.

In all, 44 per cent of all pupils apply to university by the time they turn 19, with application rates up on a year earlier when the imposition of £9,000 annual tuition fees for the first time had a major impact on demand.

But significant differences still remain between the sexes.

UCAS said 49 per cent of women and just 38 per cent of men are now pushing for a university place and “this difference is slightly larger” than in recent years.

Application rates are also skewed significantly by parental income. Well over half of teenagers from the wealthiest areas applied this year compared with less than a fifth from the poorest postcodes.

UCAS insisted the gulf between the two groups had narrowed in recent years, although the wealthiest were still 2.7 times more likely to apply to any university, rising to 4.3 times when looking at applications to the most sought-after institutions.

It also emerged that:

• 18-year-olds from London were the most likely to want to study for a degree, with 42 per cent applying this year, compared with just 31 per cent from the North East;

• Some 73 per cent of students are applying to university courses charging maximum £9,000 tuition fees this year, up from just 59 per cent a year earlier, when fees were increased to this level for the first time;

• Figures suggest a flight to quality, with applications for “high tariff” universities – those that demand the highest A-level entry grades – up by three per cent, compared with 1 per cent for lower tariff institutions.

A spokesman for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said: “These figures confirm that the desire to study at university remains strong, with application rates for 18-year-olds at near record levels.

"Some challenges remain but no one should be put off going to university for financial reasons.

“Our reforms mean students do not have to pay fees upfront, there is more financial support for those from poorer families and everyone faces lower loan repayments once they are in well-paid jobs.”

Mary Curnock Cook, UCAS chief executive said: “Young application rates for higher education are rising again after falls in 2012 and the gap between rich and poor is closing as disadvantaged groups are applying at record levels.

“Our new analysis of demand by ethnic group shows that white pupils at English schools now have the lowest application rate of any ethnic group. There has been significant growth in demand from black pupils.”


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