Friday, November 13, 2015

What's wrong with free public colleges and $15/hr minimum wages? Nothing, if you can find a way to pay for them.

Neil Cavuto questions student who wants free college and has no idea how to pay for it

Such uncommon common nonsense!

Here's a bit of pushback from Bill Whittle against the myth about paying our way by soaking the rich, no matter how feasible that may seem after listening to our Activist-in-Chief, or, for that matter, some idiot like Michael Moore. Since it's from March of 2011, and I know that's gotta be "ancient history" to most "plugged-in" kids these days, let's call it a "lesson from history":

"Eat the Rich!"

One hardly needs to support the Republican establishment to see the folly Bill Whittle exposes here.

The one point on which I agree with the young lady interviewed by Neil Cavuto is that the "Corporate model" of education has become a problem. College presidents used to come from the ranks of the faculty and teach one or two courses in addition to their administrative responsibilities. Today they are drawn from a pool of elite executives and draw salaries rivalling those in the corporate world. That's only the tip of the iceberg.

The other part I'm concerned apart is that what most students are getting in exchange for the astronomical tuitions their parents are forking over is more often than not either the equivalent of a technical trade school education (computer science, mechanical engineering, business management, nursing, etc.), which they could get far more economically at a local community college, or something that passes for a "liberal arts" education but is really anything but that (queer studies, feminist studies, post-colonial Latin American studies, gender studies, literature of phallocentrism, etc.), usually taught by the most illiberal ideologues on campus.

What can be done? (1) If people want to keep the expectation that all their kids will "go to college," colleges may have to give up their "corporate model." Otherwise they will no longer be able to afford college for their kids.

(2) The alternative, which I personally believe makes the most sense, is to abandon the myth that everyone should get a "liberal arts education." First of all, most colleges and universities are not really "liberal arts" institutions anymore anyway. Second, the vast majority of students attending them aren't cut out to study the "liberal arts" as classically understood, even if the institutions retained a required core of traditional "liberal arts" studies. This would require going back to the old, traditional English and European models of education, where the vast majority of students out of high school would go to trade schools or finishing schools, and only a handful of those interested and able would go on for a traditional liberal arts educations at universities, for which they'd have to compete for limited scholarships.

So-called "college education" these days has pretty much collapsed into a fantasy. There are rare and valiant exceptions; but it seems to me that the writing has been on the wall for some time.

Funny thing: I doubt most "college grads" today could pass eighth grade-level exams like this from 1895.

[Hat tip to C.B.]