Wednesday, December 22, 2010

"Educate" our way out of economic miasma? Not possible.

Eighty-five percent of college grads move home!

One of the great myths the education deformers use to run down our public schools is that they are somehow responsible for the economic problems of the country, and if only we could graduate more students from high school and college our problems would be over.  Despite the fact that that argument is a provable myth, it persists to this day. Now a website called "End of the American Dream" has put together a list that should prevent the deformers from ever using that argument again - although there is no chance they will ever stop.

16 Shocking Facts About The Student Loan Debt Bubble And The Great College Education Scam

#1 Americans now owe more than $875 billion on student loans, which is more than the total amount that Americans owe on their credit cards.
#2 Since 1982, the cost of medical care in the United States has gone up over 200%, which is horrific, but that is nothing compared to the cost of college tuition which has gone up by more than 400%.
#3 The typical U.S. college student spends less than 30 hours a week on academics.
#4 The unemployment rate for college graduates under the age of 25 is over 9 percent.
#5 There are about two million recent college graduates that are currently unemployed.
#6 Approximately two-thirds of all college students graduate with student loans.
#7 In the United States today, 317,000 waiters and waitresses have college degrees.
#8 The Project on Student Debt estimates that 206,000 Americans graduated from college with more than $40,000 in student loan debt during 2008.
#9 In the United States today, 24.5 percent of all retail salespersons have a college degree.
#10 Total student loan debt in the United States is now increasing at a rate of approximately $2,853.88 per second.
#11 There are 365,000 cashiers in the United States today that have college degrees.
#12 Starting salaries for college graduates across the United States are down in 2010.
#13 In 1992, there were 5.1 million "underemployed" college graduates in the United States.  In 2008, there were 17 million "underemployed" college graduates in the United States.
#14 In the United States today, over 18,000 parking lot attendants have college degrees.
#15 Federal statistics reveal that only 36 percent of the full-time students who began college in 2001 received a bachelor's degree within four years.
#16 According to a recent survey by Twentysomething Inc., a staggering 85 percent of college seniors planned to move back home after graduation last May.


DiscordianStooge said...

Perhaps it is time to stop telling everyone that they have to go to college. A lot of people are spending a lot of money to take up space in college classrooms because it is expected of everyone.

Ned said...

I wonder how many of these students have "Business Administration" or "Marketing" degrees.  The loss of or lack of stressing a "Liberal Arts" Degree is what has cost us the critical thinking that has gotten us into this mess.  Perhaps an education in vocational skills will help, with a dose of the liberal arts.  Is it the future?  Most business grads are looking for $$$$ only.  At least that has been my impression from meeting many of them.

blogspotdog said...

Why yes, when did we ever get it in our heads that cops needed degrees? I mean, how hard can it be to write a police report? Really.


One of the principal reasons we educate people, I believe, is to make them able to operate heavy machinery, like a democracy. You can make an excellent argument that modern higher education (especially the for-profit kind) doesn't do that anyway, but it remains an important goal.

Don't you agree? If you do, how to we avoid creating even more authoritarian automotons that we already do?

Rob Levine said...

I agree, in principle, with Spot. If students could graduate from college without a lot of debt, or with prospects for a reasonably well paying job. But if college means a near-lifetime of debt without prospects for a decent paying job, then it becomes a much more difficult choice.

On the other hand, no one realizes more than I do that school is one of the only places where an individual meets people who are different, in a situation where reason, evidence, and the scientific method (supposedly) reign as surpreme values. Research shows that no matter how much of a right wing authoritarian you are going in, traditional education tends to diminish those tendencies.

blogspotdog said...

I hope you agree with Spot in principle on this one, Rob. I got the idea from you.

Maybe what we need are compulsory poetry slams at construction sites. Perhaps a soapbox installed at the corner of 7th and Nicollet, the Plumbers and Pipefitters Literary Association, etc.

Well, I'm being a little facetious, but there is no doubt that the movement to provide a universal and free basic education for citizens was grounded in the idea that citizens in a democracy had to be educated and informed in order to participate in it. Not merely provide interchangable working parts for the industrial machine.

And I have to ask Soo: how would we decide who got the higher education? I'd hate to think of a situation where we'd limit it to the Betas, or maybe even the Beta pluses and above.