Eggheads of the World, Unite!

Peter Bagge on the attempt to unionize adjunct professors


You can click on each image to see a larger version.—Editor.

Peter Bagge

Peter Bagge

Peter Bagge


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  1. The text is too small to read comfortably — and I’m not even one of the old fogies that hangs around here.

    1. Buy the print edition, you cheap bastard.

      1. Or by donating in the annual webathon each December, right now you’d have already read this comic in the last issue of the print edition, you’d have a killer drone t-shirt, and regular letters of thanks telling you what a great guy you are from the Reason Foundation (as well as regular mail with interesting scholarly work from the Reason think-tankers.)

    2. Hi, you can actually click on each image for the full-size version, though FoE makes a cogent point 🙂


        The neo nazis are into web hosting now?

        1. I think you’re think of Stormfront.

      2. It would also be better if the pics were in a PNG or GIF format.

      3. There is a first time for everything.

    3. There is a zoom function in most browsers. If yours doesn’t have one, you got ripped off.

      1. The ability to click the comic for a larger one was ninja-added.

        1. Since I can’t have an old fogie bagging on my computer skillz, I will even prove it.

          (And you can zoom the thumbnail version, of course, but then it has too-obvious artifacts)

  2. “Universities have become professor-making factories.”

    I think there may be a problem with that business model.

    1. Not really. They’re counting on the government to step in and prevent the bubble from bursting. The endgame might be a government bailout (and then ownership and management) of all of academia, but for the (tenured) faculty at most colleges, that would be just fine.

      1. Miscalculation. I don’t see many more bailouts in the near future. Not with the public’s mood on the subject.

        1. Depends…

          If it’s the right people being bailed out, it will be fine. Universities and liberal college professors will certainly qualify.

        2. Tarp was shoved down people’s throats. Not like public opinion stopped them last time.

          As long as there’s bipartisan support for the idea (and there will be), it’ll go through.

          1. You mean like Obamacare?

  3. “degrees that are good for little more than a career in teaching”

    The STEM and business majors have plenty of things they can do with their degrees other than teach. I’m sick of humanities professors acting like the issues of their particular departments must necessarily apply to the entire university.

    1. I’m sure he meant every single student.

    2. Is it true that STEM majors have less unemployment than non STEM majors? Figure C in this report suggests it is not.…..-distorts/

      1. STEM is over generalized. Chemists struggle to find employment but chemical engineers are in short supply.

        1. The same can be said about the Humanities. According to this report theater majors (!) report less unemployment than computer science majors.


          1. Odd. I wonder if that’s just because theater majors are pretty rare, especially compared to English majors.

            1. Sounds plausible, but there are interesting findings in bigger fields. Elementary education and nursing majors had less than half the unemployment that information systems majors did, for example.

              1. Nursing is part of medicine, which is a far different animal from the humanities. Elementary education is very much a government-controlled field which doesn’t pay very much and which has had absurd amounts of education added onto it as a requirement to teach in public schools. Let’s run schools privately and see how much private employers think a Master’s in Elementary Ed is worth. Judging from the statistics regarding current teacher demographics in private schools, I’m guessing there would be a lot less interest in your local university’s college of education.

                1. Well, my first comment was about theater majors, that’s fully within the Humanities I think you’d agree. I only mentioned nursing and education as examples of fields often thought of as ‘soft’ compared to STEM but which seem to do better in employment.

                  1. FWIW, statistics on degree attainment for public and private school teachers:

                    1. Your statistics completely confirm my point.

                    2. Do they? The difference between public teachers with a MS and private ones is about 10%, and the number of teacher for both without any degree at all is less than 10%. It seems both public and private schools prefer teachers coming out of our colleges with degrees.

                    3. Yes, they do. The percentage of public school teachers with education degrees is 50% higher than that of private school teachers, and whereas the education degree and its level of attainment does correlate with higher earnings in public education, there is no difference in earnings between an Ed major in private schools and other types of college graduates, indicating that the Ed major provides no particular value for a private employer relative to other types of college education.

                      Look Bo, just stick to making asinine arguments — you’re in law school; that’s your comparative advantage. Statistics? Not so much; it’s very clear that you have no idea what they’re telling you.

                    4. Where do you get the numbers on what their degrees are in?

                    5. Same place you did, Bo.

                      Education specialist as % public school teachers: 7.6%

                      Education specialist as % private school teachers: 5%

                      The information about earnings differentials I read in another report some time ago and I’m far too lazy to look it up.

                    6. Your argument, and all this smugness, rests on a difference of 2.6%?

                      Ok, that’s hilarious.

                      50% higher! That’s in no way misleading there, stats prof you!

                    7. And those degrees =/= MS in education, they are ‘degrees or certificates are generally awarded for 1 year’s work beyond the master’s level.’

                      Holy smokes, for all your smugness you did not know what you were even talking about.

                    8. No, you are duplicitous and misquoting as usual Bo. “Education specialist degrees or” precedes what you quoted. Would you like to take a gander at what an “Education specialist degree might be, hmm?

                      And it is a very significant difference, much as the percent differential between college/not college for private school is different despite this difference “only” being 4.6% of the whole. That’s how differentials work, Bo.

                    9. Tell me, IT, what is a education specialist degree? It appears to be any of the many one year of study certificates one can get BEYOND a Masters (which may, or may not, be in Education, that information is not separated out in the data).

                    10. “The Education Specialist, also referred to as Educational Specialist, Specialist in Education, or Ed.S., is an advanced terminal degree in the U.S. that is designed for individuals who wish to develop advanced knowledge and theory beyond the master’s degree level, but may not wish to pursue a degree at the doctoral level. Advanced programs beyond the master’s degree are designed to provide the necessary background and professional expertise for students planning to go into university teaching, supervisory or leadership roles in post secondary schools, curriculum planning, consultant work, or similar positions.”


                      So here’s what your claim is based on: by far most private and public school teachers have a bachelors or masters degree. We do not know from that data what those degrees are in. Beyond those masters degrees, a very small number get a year more of classes resulting in an educational specialist certificate. And because 7.6% of public school teachers have done this while only 5% of private school teachers have, you conclude that education degrees are worthless.

                      Come on, you realize how weak that is, don’t you?

                    11. Well Bo, what I’ve been saying consistently is that we don’t know *what* an Ed major is valued at, but that the Ed track is not valued in private schools today (i.e., no correlation between Ed major and higher earnings as compared to other majors) and that they are less prevalent. In the countries where privatized education is a large portion of the market, Ed majors are very rare compared to the US. From this I conclude that the Ed major provides no particular benefit to the vast majority of market employers, and you have offered nothing in return besides sniping and sniffing about how Ed majors are employed, which is outside the point I was making.

                      Francisco is right. I’m indulging one of your character flaws, as well as my own flaw of being a stubborn ass. You can have the last word.

                    12. Wow, again, notice the projection. You really just can not admit that you got what the education specialist degree category was flatly and completely wrong. It was bad enough that you pulled that misleading statistical ploy, but you actually got it wrong, then doubled down, and now when its clear you are wrong you are going to do this ‘oh what’s all this sniping, I’m not going to argue anymore!’

                      You started out right and you want to end up right, that’s all that went on.

                    13. In the course of your doubling, you called me stupid and other things for not accepting what, in the end, was flatly wrong. And now you pull this.

                      Talk about character flaw.

                    14. Correct, that is in no way misleading.

                      5% * 1.5 — 7.5%. And this is 7.6%.

                      No wonder lawyers end up with so many billable hours in a day!

                    15. Do you really need a lawyer to explain to you how one can mislead with percent changes when you are working with such low numbers to being with?

                    16. Same place you did, Bo.


                  2. Education is not a good ROI in the free market in education, such as it is. Nursing is, but I don’t think most people are contrasting STEM to Nursing or Business schools as much as to humanities and the various socially active majors.

                    My own though is that the usefulness of a major can generally be determined by examining how much political activism is associated with the instruction of that major.

                    1. A student thinking about prospective employment could care less about why there are plenty of jobs in education, they would just see that there are more there than in IT (or rather, why the unemployment rates for each major are what they are).

                    2. A student thinking about prospective employment could care less about why there are plenty of jobs in education

                      With the education bubble and state-level cuts to education in a variety of states, they damn well better find out since conditions may not hold when they graduate. Are you seriously this stupid? I sincerely hope that there are no high school graduates looking to you for wisdom on what to do after they graduate.

                    3. Notice where teachers fall in this:


                    4. Very nice, Bo. Doesn’t contradict anything I just said and Yes, if current government spending holds employment figures will hold as well. Education is a very government-driven field, especially at the state level. If it changes (and it looks like it will have to), that means a lot of education majors are out jobs. More importantly, on a libertarian site the government’s current funding of education and its laborers makes it impossible to place an accurate value on the job itself. Surely if the government started funding public theater like it does education, you wouldn’t point to employment in that field as a marker of the social value of a degree in puppetry? As I said above:

                      Elementary education is very much a government-controlled field which doesn’t pay very much and which has had absurd amounts of education added onto it as a requirement to teach in public schools.

                      I’m really disappointed in myself for having insisted in the past that you’re not dumb. You really are just as retarded as Shreek if you think those numbers have any bearing on what I just said, or on the overall points I have made regarding employment in a given field, ROI, or the need for the market to determine value.

                    5. Well, here is where we’re talking past one another. You’re talking about ‘social usefulness’ and I have been simply talking about employment. Go back to Stormy’s original comment and my response.

                      I get that you have the standard libertarian view about social value that government distorts this sort of thing when it gets involved in it. But I’m merely talking about employment, and that’s projected to go up for teachers. And your discussion of state ‘cuts’ is nice and all (aren’t they usually ‘cuts in projected increases’) but I doubt any serious cuts are coming to k-12 education, or even higher ed, anytime soon. So, as education majors get jobs while information systems majors do not, you’re free to scream at them ‘but, but, what you’re doing is not really socially useful, but is being distorted by the government interference in the market!’

                      I’m sure they will find that interesting.

                    6. No, Stormy’s comment was in response to a part of Bagge’s comic which critiqued the tendency for college to graduate people whose sole purpose will be to perpetuate a system propped up by government and not based on the real world. If that doesn’t describe K-12 education as equally as academia in higher ed, I don’t know what does. In my opinion, a major that can only survive as government patronage (and which is a creature of that patronage) is the very definition of “worthless”, and yes, students would be better off if it were eliminated if for no other reason than that it will force public schools to scrap their irrational preference for Ed majors.

                    7. I still see no information on what private and public school teachers have degrees in.

                      Also, this statement seems incorrect “sole purpose will be to perpetuate a system propped up by government and not based on the real world” as there are many private schools with jobs and its certainly conceivable to scrap public schools and have a totally private market, and they may choose education majors.

                    8. I still see no information on what private and public school teachers have degrees in.

                      That’s because you’re stupid and you can’t read, apparently. Education specialist = Ed major or someone with a 1-year or more Ed cert in their Masters or Doctorate. How is it that I paid more attention to your link than you did?

                      Also, this statement seems incorrect “sole purpose will be to perpetuate a system propped up by government and not based on the real world”

                      Private schools are ~10% of the education market, and even this part of the market is highly regulated in its labor practices and teacher certs. You might as well be talking about Soviet Russia’s agriculture system as private (4% private plots). My statement describes reality; yours describes aspiration.

                    9. its certainly conceivable to scrap public schools and have a totally private market, and they may choose education majors

                      Possible but unlikely. The education major is a specific creation of the education cartel after it was already government-controlled; there was no particular need or demand for such a major during the time when our country’s education was private in nature, nor is the demand for those majors emanating from private schools today. The products of Ed schools are not particularly impressive, either; the major largely focuses on theory rather than practice and the practice is narrowly focused. There is no evidence that the Ed major has made a contribution to better outcomes. It is far more likely that a private teacher will be trained on the job or be pulled from their respective majors, as was done in the past.

                    10. If you can’t see it, save yourself some time and just chalk it up to a failure in your internal cognitive process.

                    11. “he tendency for college to graduate people whose sole purpose will be to perpetuate a system propped up by government and not based on the real world.”

                      ROTC and Military Studies majors too, eh?

                    12. ROTC and Military Studies majors too, eh?

                      I didn’t realize that “ROTC” was a major. Military studies is wasted on a civilian institution of higher learning and is of no value to a private employer. There are also several areas in which education and the military differ (biggest one being real-world ability to privatize and a prior history of such in education); I don’t know why you thought that would be a burn.

                    13. See, here is where we are missing one another, again.

                      The primary employment for someone majoring in military studies or taking ROTC is going to be a government job in the military. But there is a military and there are such jobs. If there are then it is goofy to tell a young person ‘hey, don’t major in that field where you can get a job, because its a worthless one propped up by the government only!’

                      I think you know that I wish our military was a tiny fraction of what it is today, but if ROTC and military study majors tend to get jobs then I would tell any young person thinking about that to jump into it. And the same for education.

                    14. You don’t a degree in ROTC. You earn any type of degree you wish while taking some ROTC classes. You can be a Engineer or Computer Science major. In fact the Army is today putting greater emphasis on STEM degrees then a liberal arts degree. OCS was recently closed to all BUT STEM degree holders.

                  3. Nursing is both ‘S’ and ‘T’ and a little ‘M’. I’m ever surprised at the people who think that nursing is about making beds and changing bed pans. They’ve had other people to do those tasks for many decades.

                2. Unfortunately the private schs. too think a M.S. in elementary ed is worth a lot.

          2. Some of this has to do with how certain fields are taught within higher ed, too.

            Some fields like the humanities don’t “update” too often so the general rules apply.

            Computer science is one of those fields that employers look for a blend – a bit of college with experience is best. A CS major with five years of school but no work experience (which is a lot of the CS grads) will be less likely to find a job. Unless, of course, they teach.

            The point of the comic I think is that universities are churning out people in a lot of fields who can’t apply their stuff outside of teaching. Which is why there are deficits even in some of the STEM areas.

      2. Is it true that STEM majors have less unemployment than non STEM majors?

        No, but it is true that STEM majors tend to be unemployed for less time than their non-STEM counterparts in the ‘soft’ sciences, have a far greater tendency to be employed in their field, and get paid more on average. This suggests that the value of a STEM major to an employer is greater and more widely applicable than that of a non-STEM humanities majors (many of which do not even pay for themselves over lifetime earnings).

        There is not a “shortage” of STEM majors; there is an overabundance of worthless majors accompanying them in college. Business degrees are somewhat useful in terms of paying for themselves, but aside from business schools and STEM departments the majority of the university structure can be nixed without harm to its students. Anything with “Studies” in the name is begging to be eliminated and the rest should be severely curtailed.

        1. It’s interesting to see such ruthless utilitarianism in this area from a Burkean classical liberal. No thoughts that some fields might be valuable for other than economic utilitarian purposes?

          1. I really was expecting too much for you to take one day off from being stupid and condescending.

            It has nothing to do with utilitarianism; the point that you made regarded employment. I’m pointing out that when you look at employment when choosing a major, you have to look at a lot more than the employment rates. You want to pick a major because you like the area of study? Have at it, but it’s a lie to suggest that current employment rates reflect either propensity to get a job in your area of study, or even a good ROI on your degree.

            Maybe you went to law school for purely non-economic reasons (given your personality, I bet you and the other lawyers will get along great), but most of the people coming into college are doing so because they have shit-poor prospects without it and want to improve their lot before they go out into the Real World. That is what was sold to them in school, and that is what they expect when they get out. For such people, farting around looking for something they “enjoy” is a terrible idea that will get them in debt. In the case of the “Studies” contingent, you are talking pure Marxist bilge which should be eliminated firstly for being wrong and secondly for being a waste of public funds.

            In fact, the same applies to other fields: if you’d like to tell me what field’s “non-economic value” to society should be calculated in any way other than market processes, I’d love to hear how your Brahminism differs from anyone else’s. My guess? It doesn’t.

            1. There used to be the idea, pushed by quite a few traditionalists, that higher education should increase one’s appreciation for the accomplishments of Civilization, certain ‘Big Truths’ and ‘the Greats’ and better citizenship. See, for example, the curriculum at Hillsdale College for an example of this view. I find it interesting you don’t hold this view, or if you do, how you would square it with your comment ‘aside from business schools and STEM departments the majority of the university structure can be nixed without harm to its students.’

              As far as just the cold statistics demonstrate, I think we see there that there is a a much greater difference between people with no college degree and people with any college degree than there is for STEM and business majors vs. non-STEM and business majors.

              1. There used to be the idea, pushed by quite a few traditionalists, that higher education should increase one’s appreciation for the accomplishments of Civilization, certain ‘Big Truths’ and ‘the Greats’ and better citizenship.

                Good for them. If they aren’t willing to pay for this intellectual vanity project of theirs, they have no standing to tell anyone else to do so and it is a form of Brahminism. While it might be individually fulfilling for them to follow a curriculum on those lines (and there’s nothing wrong with that), the claim that it is socially useful is an unsubstantiated claim. (And what, exactly, is “better citizenship” besides vanguardism of the sort employed by French and Soviet revolutionaries to one-up each other in their bloody game? Please explain.)

                As far as the cold statistics go, young adult BS/BA grads overall earn 50% more ($45,000) than HS grads ($30,000). STEM majors are included in the set of employees with college degrees. They earn ~30% more than their non-STEM counterparts. Non-STEM median income tends to be ~36-38K. Move business and nursing school over to the STEM side of the ledger, and those statistics look even worse. Finally, split HS grads between those with trade school and those without, and the trade school grads make much more than the non-STEM, non-business, non-nursing majors while spending far less of their time and money in school.

                1. By citizenship I mean things like reading the Federalist Papers, knowing the Constitution, US history, that sort of thing.

                2. Your states seem to be all on median earnings rather than unemployment, which is what I was talking about.

                  1. Employment is interesting but not particularly relevant in ascertaining value of a degree. Bob the media manager who found work in that field with a degree in history is not evidence that his history degree and its related work added value to his employer. Bob got the job for reasons unrelated to the degree; the degree was little more than a sorting mechanism for HR. That scenario is incredibly common for the degrees I mentioned above as being “worthless”. It’s an old trick in college recruiting to point to employment statistics without context precisely because it makes those degrees look better; having been friends with the graduate dean of my state’s largest public university, I can tell you that the worthless studies departments pull their hair out when it comes time to find jobs for their students. The dean of that same school’s college of engineering never has that problem, amazingly enough.

                    1. “Employment is interesting but not particularly relevant in ascertaining value of a degree.”

                      But you end up here

                      “I can tell you that the worthless studies departments pull their hair out when it comes time to find jobs for their students. The dean of that same school’s college of engineering never has that problem, amazingly enough.”


                    2. Your inability to follow a conversation or its context will make you an excellent lawyer. Job placement in colleges attempts to place the student working in his or her field; the only worthless major I can think of that does a good job of this is education (and that is only because of the significant government patronage in the field). Yes, humanities majors can find work — that is not in their field and where their degree is no special help. Engineering majors find work in their field all the time, and in jobs which 1) pay much more than the average and 2) cannot be had without the special training that an engineering major signifies.

                      The former does not add value to employers operating in the market. The latter does.


                    3. “Yes, humanities majors can find work — that is not in their field and where their degree is no special help. ”

                      There’s a lot of weasel in ‘special.’ Why should the student care if his degree gets them a job but not in that field? Perhaps what people in the Humanities and these other ‘worthless’ majors learn are generalized skills that a person who did not get such an education does not, and which employers value? The employment (and earnings) data seem to support that hypothesis.

                    4. Your inability to follow a conversation or its context will make you an excellent lawyer.

                      He has no desire to follow the conversation. He doesn’t even care about the topic. He came here to start an argument. He doesn’t care what it’s about, only that he start it and win it. And now that you’ve soundly trounced him, he’ll start looking for any inconsistencies in your remarks and focus on them, as if changing the subject or catching you in a slip-up discredits your original point.

                      Standard Bo.

                    5. Again, projection. Francisco has done his usual thing: chimed in at the beginning with some conventional old timer’s homespun wisdom (STEM majors learn to solve problems, humanities majors don’t!), and anything taking a harder look than that is going to upset him and draw the troll charge.

                    6. Oooooow….buuuuuuurn.

                      Ya got me there asshole.


                    7. It’s like your 14 trapped in old man’s body.

                    8. It’s your entire shtick, to come on and just say whatever piece of conventional cynic’s wisdom on the topic, and then get upset if anyone thinks that cw is wrong. IT does the same thing, but a bit more sophisticated (drawing on statistics, even if it is a 2.6% difference in a category which he mistakes). In the end, neither of you are interested in anything but having your homespun cw verified. You knew it was right from the start, and you knew it from the most important source to you: it sounded right.

                      It’s the easiest, laziest thing in the world to say ‘STEM majors are useful and practical, humanities ones are not.’ Obama says that. When I hear something repeated that lazily I can’t help but think, really? Is that true?

                      And then when you look at statistics, it seems much more complicated.

                    9. Bo, you just validated F. d’A’s point. You’re here to argue. When you lose the original argument, you start picking nits and argue about them. If someone points out your modus operandi, you accuse them of projection, or missing the point, etc..

                      You’re tedious and tiring, and you epitomize one of the reasons why many people dislike lawyers.

                3. I agree overall with this – but the problem is that universities may just become vocational degree mills.

                  I’m pretty neutral on this (uhm, I work in a humanities department…)…

                  I think one of the bigger problems facing higher ed right now aren’t kids getting useless degrees (which is still a massive problem) – it’s that the universities aren’t providing a lot of real information on how to utilize college learning outside of academia. It makes sense in a way – many teachers outside of certain fields rarely have experience in the private sector so their inclination is to promote the public sector (like teaching) as a career.

                  Just a thought 🙂

                  1. I think there is too much focus on the long term utility of a degree. I think that’s the case because degrees have become so expensive, and you really have to consider your education as an investment.

                    And I think there’s a generation of people who weren’t told this, because the nature of education was changing. There really was a time when one could follow a general degree path for personal growth. That day is gone I think.

                  2. universities may just become vocational degree mills

                    We passed that millstone awhile back, methinks. The fact is that increasing access to public education was sold on explicitly vocational terms, and vocational alternatives have been removed as options for the student. Maybe uni should be about something else, but if it is then it should not be government-funded nor should anyone treat uni as an investment. It should instead be treated as a form of consumption not unlike a theme park for the intellect. If this is the case, it will likely go back to being an activity for the wealthy, as it was in the past.

                    1. Haha, that is true. I guess apprenticeships aren’t around. I’m pretty mixed about it overall – on one hand, the public education system is so bad that it makes sense for a welder to take some math and English classes.

                      But yeah, higher education should be more privatized. Not enough space here to discuss how the “public” part of universities creates a lot of problems.

                      If I remember right, university classically wasn’t about the degree, it was about taking some classes about what you need/want to know, then leave. That wouldn’t be a bad system to kind of go back to. Heck, I even recommend it to students (I’m teaching college classes…for now.)

        2. A history degree teaches you about history. A phys ed degree teaches you about phys ed. A teaching degree teaches you about how to teach.

          A STEM degree teaches you how to problem solve.

          There are many more opportunities available to STEM majors because what they learn is applicable in nearly every field.

          1. True. I confess I hold a History degree. Not much use outside of certain fields (teaching, research, some writing/editing stuff).

            But it was useful in really cementing anti-state views. Ideologically I was libertarian before, but reading a ton of history gave me the evidence to show why.

            Most of human history is people doing fine until the state comes in and mucks everything up with war, taxations, seizures, slavery, and exploitation. It’ actually quite tragic. “Oh, people are doing fine and figuring things out!” And then the English claim a throne and the Hundred Years War starts.

            1. I do think that history is an interesting subject, but I can’t see that the history major is any more useful to the common person than picking up some history books from the library would be.

              1. Professionally, it was good for discerning reliable sources and the research aspects. It helped me a lot in that sense – but I can only speak for myself.

                I wouldn’t be that guy who said “oh, you don’t have a degree? You don’t know history/research!”

                But, I also got my degree in my mid-20s on top of working in the private sector. I made sure to have good references from both work and my profs. I was never under the illusion that a degree was the golden ticket – just that some of the skills learned but in college and in the world bolstered my resume.

                I commented below that the best thing for any student is work experience – and double major. Diversify the resume!

                Heh, I think the problem is that a lot of people think the degree is the door itself and that they don’t need to work at places like Walmart, Burger King, or custodial services too.

            2. The state is the big player in promulgating evil throughout history. That is because it is a sad reflection of the people the state rules over. People cheered in the Colosseum as slaves died in gladiatorial bouts, they cheered as the witches were burned alive in the 30 years war, they cheered as negro’s were hung for looking at white women.

              In pre-state societies such as the Jivaro the murder rate for adult males is 55% – considering that and the most peaceful of the current surviving pre-state societies, the Gebusi, the murder rate is 9% you are not looking at a pool of civic minded, anarcho-capitalists. You are dealing with thugs. Link:

              One could argue that being a thug is the natural state of man, not the Rousseau’s noble savage. Look at chimps, they are thugs that ambush males from other clans and beat them to death. To blame the state alone, and not look at human nature is to invite dictatorship.

              1. RJ – Yeah, the “noble savage” thing is a myth. I’m referring basically to general civilizations. Correctly, I think, you point out the danger of looking at pre-state societies as an example to follow for anarchism – the problem with those societies is they tend to be “warlord” based more than anything else.

                Pre-state became state when the thugs, shamans, warriors, wise dudes, etc., officiated their power with laws or rules. It’s a short step from pre-state to state. I’m not picking nits – I’m actually agreeing with you to a certain extent.

                And the state being influenced by the people and vice versa is tricky. I think it goes both ways – when the non-nobles see the nobles get away with whatever they can, sociopaths will do the same. However, the culture, if lazy and entitled, will allow thugs to rule.

                But generally, the centralization and monopolization of power is BAD no matter if it’s legitimized or not.

                1. “the centralization and monopolization of power is BAD no matter if it’s legitimized or not.”
                  I suspect we are on the verge of violent agreement. Strike the ‘but generally’ and you and I are in total agreement.

                  Looking at the choices, and considering human nature – which sucks – I am not sure how you get to ‘Anarchy’ as anything other than a transition phase, the final phase one being the traditional thug-ocracy. Unless ‘Anarchy’ means more governance than I realize.

                  The founders put in place a system with a separation of powers. Montesquieu provided a large part of the blue print of what we see in the constitution.

                  After 225 years the train is running off the rails. The progressive era started us onto this trajectory. TR and Wilson were the first two progressive presidents. The last four clowns are also from the Wilsonian and TR mold.

                  WTF happens next is anyone’s guess. I am not putting money on any happy ending.

                  1. Anarchy only works when there is no possibility of thugocracy because each person can fulfill all their personal needs and wants without recourse to other people.

                    At that point any society becomes entirely volitional.

                    The trick is, how do we get there?

                    1. ^This. I think the anarchist argument is there are rules, but no rulers, right?

                      My solution is what that one town in Alaska did – make a cat the mayor. The next president of the US and all major elected officials should be cats. Maine coons are pretty cool.

                      Besides, cats are little sociopaths, sure. But the savings! I mean, about 600 or so cats would require waaaaay less money than people like Pelosi, Reid, Holder, Obama.

                  2. I think we are in violent agreement. Thankfully, not “broken window” agreement though, that’s just messy.

                    And I was just saying that the thugocracies tend to be mistaken for anarchist/libertarian societies, which they definitely aren’t. My brain was probably less caffeinated than necessary…

                    And I agree that the progressive era started this mess here. Interesting how it coincides with the rise of 20th century totalitarian communism/Marxism…

                    Interestingly, wasn’t it Hayek back in the day that said the system was going to collapse inevitably, it’s just how long the dear leaders delay it.

                    I agree – it will be very unhappy for a while…

      3. That report is a political hack piece trying to argue for limiting work visas.

        Yes, a reasonable STEM degree will get you a job. An English or social science degree will not.

    3. Totally! Business majors can work in HR

  4. The important thing about going to college is you’ll have a good time.

    I learned that reading the Christian Science Monitor.

  5. When I think of the oppressed and overworked masses, college professors are the first people I think of.

    1. People do not necessarily unionize because they are oppressed, any more than people get agents because they are helpless. If unions were just something people turned to when they were oppressed the major league sports unions would not exist the way they do. It’s an economic relationship/calculation like any other. The problem with them is that they turn to government interference to achieve their goals.

      1. I agree.

        My beef with college profs unionizing is that I’m against public sector employees unionizing in general.

        1. But, jesuits.

        2. Seattle University is private I think.

          1. Yes, and I just read the cartoon, well balanced I thought.

  6. “The Students are remarkably polite and non-confrontational
    …Though they’ll sometimes make their ‘feelings’ known when the course is over with (SEXIST! CLASSIST! RACIST!)”

    A characteristic i’ve commented upon here, and which i think is highlighted in this example =

    The younger generations (Gen Y and sub-millenials) seem to be extraordinarily gun-shy about standing up and speaking for themselves in a public venue. when dealing with people 1-1, face to face, they tend to be demure, collegial, disinterested in particularly-direct (friendly) disagreement or any statements of strong opinion that they might be called upon to defend….

    …whereas, you give these same people the opportunity to ‘twitter’ their current feelings? scorned women aint in it. these people are bitchtits wrathful and completely willing to throw anyone and anything under the bus and back over it a few times before they’ve even warmed up.

    This is sort of what i meant by the relative scope of people’s ‘disagreements’ in the ‘real world’ versus ‘internet world’.

    The other day, some crazy femtard was having some kind of internet hissyfit over something about something about twitter about rape threats.

    Who the fuck gets into that kind of world-class catfight in real life? No one makes ‘rape threats’ (whatever that means) to people’s *faces*. My point is = more than half these people’s lives is lived in internet-level relations, where shitting all over everything is ‘de rigeur’.

    1. The projection in this post is rather stunning.

      1. He would rant at the feminists in person, but they refuse to wear identifying armbands.

        But seriously, has there been a generation that wasn’t non-confrontational in person? It seems like my generation just has an outlet for pent up feelings that prior generations didn’t.

        1. I’m just contrasting my own experience with people i see now.

          Admittedly, my experience is limited to NYC, and I have the real-world personality of Popeye Doyle.

          But ive seen younger kids will shy away from friendly ballbusting, to resort to their corner where they twitter angrily away to 100m people on the planet about how this bar is SO full of dicks.

          See “Yelp”. Its like the whole world has a stick so far up their ass that anything short of delicate pampering will offend their sensibilities.

          1. Hmm, that is a good observation. I’m a bit of a ball-buster in person, and it seems to me like the younger generation is far more likely to complain and less likely to confront, both in real life and on the internets. I haven’t heard someone play the dozens in what seems like a lifetime, nor do I hear the types of joking and ribbing I heard when I was younger. At the same time, it seems to me like many of the young professionals I work with have the same problems of confidence in asking for a raise as the women I worked with in the 70s, regardless of gender. It seems like an oddly passive generation, though admittedly there is both a generational and cultural gap in my observation.

            1. I think part of it is the popularity of the ‘disinterested snark’ as a general stance among yunguns.

              “Cool story bro”

              However, its not something that translates well to real life.

              Sniping. It only works from behind cover! When you meet a person who is more comfortable ‘socially sniping’, they reserve 90% of their comments for when the ‘target’ isn’t around.

              When someone gets up in their face, they have a habit of going, “Ahhh! Get away?! Respect my boundaries, man!”

              1. When someone gets up in their face, they have a habit of going, “Ahhh! Get away?! Respect my boundaries, man!”

                I think that this is related not just to confrontational social media but an effect of an over-reliance on it for basic communication. Tweets, texts, FB, etc take the immediacy out of an exchange and allow for a level of control that is not possible in a face to face conversation.

                If a text conversation becomes stressful (doesn’t have to be an argument, even, any kind of stress) it is possible to manage the rate at which one consumes the incoming information, up to ending the exchange simply by refusing to look at it. If one develops relying on that level of comfort and control it makes one less able to cope in situations where it is not possible.

                If you have a machine to do all of your heavy lifting and suddenly find yourself without its’ services you will manage the task less efficiently than you would have if you were doing it yourself all along. Also: Spellcheck.

      2. Did you drink an extra glass of Fool-Aid with breakfast this morning?

        1. Did you read Gilmore’s comment? The one about how vicious ‘younger people’ are on the internet that was, itself, peppered with ‘crazy femtard’, ‘hissyfit’ and f bombs?

        2. Bo is trolling for an argument this morning.

          1. Again, astounding projection.

            1. Christ, you are an asshole.

          2. “Oh! No, sorry, this is abuse! You want room 12A, Just along the corridor.”

      3. Yeah, it’s quite obvious GILMORE is the one making rape threats to people’s faces.

  7. It’s nice to see “Reason” quoting the eminently reasonable Adlai Stevenson (“Eggheads of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but your yolks!*) Also nice to see a suggestion that management is, amazingly enough, “unfair.”

    *Eisenhower’s comeback: Suck my dick, three-putt!”

  8. I like Bagge’s work a lot, though this one seems a little flat. Adjunct professors are often exploited: the title sounds impressive, but it amounts to “teaching part-time at a college with no benefits or tenure.” It sucks that the supposed “solution” to this is left-wing Big Labor, with some of your dues going to the coffers of the Democratic Party.

    1. Yeah, and the problem is that many don’t look more than two steps ahead with this. They’ll get short-term benefits for long-term loss

      The adjunct professor issues mainly have to deal with how the administration works – and the info on rising costs in relation to rising spending and administrative bloat are everywhere.

      But with unionization, the only people aided will be senior/tenured professors and administrative gigs. A few adjuncts may rise, but the majority would simply be cut. The union would like the dues of course, but they’ll go after bigger money when they can (unionizing grad students, admins, etc.).

    2. Adjunct professors are not a way for universities to save money, they are a way for universities to bring in people for teaching real world skills that go beyond what universities would ordinarily offer. These are people that wouldn’t be considered for full time jobs.

      They are not exploited. If they don’t like the deal, nobody is forcing them to work at the university

      1. LOL – oh but there is no choice, comrade. When I got hired as an adjunct, the head of the department had a crossbow and machete on his desk (it was gun-free zone!) and he said quite clearly:

        “Now, you have three choices my friend. You accept the contract and stay here. Or you choose the crossbow. Or the machete.”

        I quickly decided that I could live with teaching two classes for less than 50,000 dollars a semester.

  9. Because I interviewed many graduating students in the field of computer science, I was able to quickly determine who was and wasn’t going to be good at programming. Sadly their colleges were failing them – not only were they improperly teaching them what was important about programming, but they were also lowering the bar to graduate as the rush to enter the cs field heated up. A quarter of my junior programmers that I hired actually had no degree. All of the junior programmers I hired had spent their summers self-teaching themselves how to actually program apps on their own. The problem was that colleges were teaching mostly theoretical cs and not teaching applied programming. Except for those that had self taught over the summers, none of the other applicants knew the debugging tools and had never understood the underlying patterns of how the computer processed their object oriented code. The results were students who were slow to implement ideas and who would get bogged down when their code would fail. Most of the professors had never spent time in the real world programming and it showed. On one hand this was very disappointing to see so few good applicants. Other the other hand, it showed me who would end up being not just good, but great programmers because those that passed my interview were not only way ahead of their counterparts in basic skills but also had demonstrated the spark of curiosity and discovery that was need to become a great programmer.

    1. Thanks for this 🙂

      I actually mentioned this above when talking about how the STEMs are a bit overhyped in regard to college education. I’ve heard a few complaints from others too about this.

      I think this a problem in some of the college programs – there’s not a lot of people from the private sector teaching and degree programs are inherently outdated.

      Hahah – full confession. I teach English (adjunct) – grammar, argumentative writing – but I’ve had more time working in the private sector, both business and teaching.

      I always recommend to the students to take a couple years off from school to work, learn skills, learn money, and WORK. Get experience out in the world first, then get a bachelor’s or master’s. Interestingly, some of the best students are the “non-trad” students who are there to bolster their resume, get some certifications, stuff like that. They’re there to build on their private sector experience.

      1. STEMs are a bit overhyped in regard to college education

        Agreed. Right now they are at just the right spot, IMO. They are still a better deal than the humanities if you’re looking for a degree which adds value.

        Good advice, btw.

        1. Thanks, and I agree about them being in a generally good spot. Yeah, the humanities have taken a hit, but there’s a lot of reasons for that.

          And I figure to give the students advice too because I figure I have experience in a lot of the places where they’re going.

          Though I do feel a bit…sticky…working in the public sector for now…

  10. I like how the comic talks about the adjuncts who say “I had to teach 9 classes just to survive!” thing.

    I adjuncted and taught 3 classes one semester, 4 the next. I made some decent bank. Not huge by any means, but all the bills were paid (student loans, car payments, rent, food, tobacco, liquor, etc.) and I was able to save some money too.

    However, I live in a state with a fairly low cost of living which helps.

    Just my experience was that adjuncting for a year or two isn’t the best pay, but it’s livable. I can’t speak for others. I was also able to find teaching gigs right after I graduated too. But again, I stayed in the midwest rather than having some pipedream of living in some overly expensive urban liberal paradise, which is the case for a lot of adjuncts I think.

  11. The humanities are an important part of life and wellbeing, but you don’t need to work in those fields to read a book.

    The free market system will always be imperfect because there will always be some gap between consumer desires and needs and worker’s career desires. You don’t necessarily need to be in your dream job to lead a happy life, though. As Michael Bolton pointed out, the world needs janitors.

  12. Vincent – I agree with that. The humanities’ main importance right now, I think, is getting students up to speed on analytical/argumentative writing and grammar. Largely due to the cravenly bad public education system.

    And there’s always that gap – and especially with the thought that one should get a career in the major they studied. For a lot of fields it makes sense (medical, tech, etc.) but even with STEMs they’re transferable to other tech/med areas.

    Interestingly, a buddy and I were talking about education and the private sector. He’s getting his master’s and wants to open another business when he’s done. His friend got a master’s in history and then went back to work at a coal refinery and eventually became a foreman. Me? Humanities degrees, but have worked in various private areas and working on business projects too.

  13. Clearly, he picked a lousy school to work for. The university in my town provides free bus rides to ALL students and employees, even the janitors (my brother is one)– and they don’t have a union.

    1. Free? They may provide bus rides…but they ain’t free.

    2. Is it a university town? That seems to be a common arrangement when the student body + faculty is a large % of the bus ridership in that city.

  14. Unions like SEIU are thuggish traitor organizations that support Marxists like Obama. I pray for their destruction.

    1. Meanwhile, no one cares enough about you to expend the energy praying either way.

      1. And how much an asshole like you, or your friends, care about me is not relevant to the point, nor to my self esteem.
        If you don’t agree with my observation, then you are a leftist and/or a fool.
        Feel free to thank me for straightening you out.

  15. Soundsl ike one heck of a plan to me dude,m

  16. Have been a fan of Peter Bagge since the 90s and in that fandom I am totally willing to overlook his libertarian derp. Which is why I happily notice there isn’t much of that derp in this comic.

    Adjuncts get pushed around on the regular, and it’s basic economic self-defense for workers to unionize. That much is made clear by the school’s institutional response.

    And I don’t know if he meant to do it, but the “supply and demand” moaning he put in at the end only demonstrates that if a group of workers fail to organize universally, downward wage pressures will absolutely persist.

    He turned in a great and possibly unintentional advocacy piece for labor organizing.

    Ha ha.

    1. I think he’s outlining a “no matter the choice, educators lose” kind of thing. I don’t think educators self-organizing is bad thing necessarily either – it’s a situation that’s slightly more complex that “Exploiter/Exploited” because there are three parties are work here, all of whom are after the same thing – money.

      Admin wants more at the expense of the teachers, the unions want more members and dues, and the teachers want more secure pay or contracts.

      Bagge’s work here is excellent precisely because he didn’t get all “ra ra” about any stance – except for supporting people who work. His basic claim is that both the admin who drop teacher hours and keep their rates low are on par with the unions who tend to be just as cynical.

    2. Your self defense against a bad or badly paid job is to quit.

      Meanwhile, adjunct professorships simply aren’t intended as a primary job. They are a way for working professionals to bring their expertise into the classroom, part time.

      1. Mark22 – for sure. I worked as an adjunct and there were a lot of adjuncts who taught courses based on their work fields – nurses, business dudes, farmers, welders, and so on.

        On the other side of that, a lot of adjunct jobs are for people starting their teaching careers, or careers in general. Saying they should make 20,000 dollars a class a semester is like an entry-level cashier wanting to make $70 dollars an hour…just because.

  17. “Bagge’s work here is excellent precisely because he didn’t get all “ra ra” about any stance – except for supporting people who work. His basic claim is that both the admin who drop teacher hours and keep their rates low are on par with the unions who tend to be just as cynical.”

    Except for the fact that low pay isn’t some kind of naturally occurring weather pattern nor the proclamation of some deity, low pay is what an institution facing unorganized workers will always try to get away with. If that were not true, then there wouldn’t be lower-paid people grabbing at Bagge’s job in the later frames. The idea that unions exist for dues is like saying fire safety regulations are there to enrich fire extinguisher makers. (A sentiment I’m sure we’re about to read in a comment, because this is Reason.)

    1. OrelHazard’s post here is terrible precisely because he got all “ra ra” about a stance – ignoring the harm done by labor cartels.

      Low pay isn’t some kind of naturally occurring weather pattern nor the proclamation of some deity, low pay is what a worker will accept when it is their best available option. If that were not true, then there wouldn’t be lower-paid people grabbing at Bagge’s job in the later frames. The idea that unions exist to help workers is like saying fire safety regulations that specify that only equipment from a specific manufacturer can be used are there to save people from fire.

      1. “, low pay is what a worker will accept when it is their best available option.”

        And expanding what options are available is *exactly* what labor organizing is for, and therefore of course what douchebag libertarian fans of private tyranny exactly oppose.

        The rest of your “I know you are but what am I” babble is safely ignored.

        Ha ha.

        1. I do oppose the separation of the willing into “ins” and “outs”, where the “outs” are kkept out by some implement’n of force so that the “ins” benefit. That’s not all there is or can be to unioniz’n, but unfortunately that has been its major feature.

          At least when it comes to the colleges, their own carteliz’n isn’t achieved by force, because accredit’n is accomplished by private organiz’ns without gov’t privilege. Still a racket, bad not as bad as what labor laws in most countries do. It’s a shame that around the world the only choices seem to be the forcible suppression of organized labor and the granting of cartel privileges to it (along with suppression of any remaining wildcat action).

        2. You are creating a cartel to push up the wages of its members preventing more disadvantaged workers from being hired who would be willing to work for less.

          So good job advocating for regressive policies that harm some of societies most vulnerable people. But hey, a few educators will be able to buy more luxury goods, so fuck anyone worse off then them, right?

          1. “You are creating a cartel to push up the wages of its members preventing more disadvantaged workers from being hired who would be willing to work for less.”

            From only two posts above:

            “[…] if a group of workers fail to organize universally, downward wage pressures will absolutely persist.”

            Again, you see nothing wrong with a “cartel” of owners, only workers. Some might call you a aristocratic creep who sides with the already-powerful, but the common shorthand for that is “libertarian”, so we’ll just use that.

            1. OrelHazard – you do realize that this is the case in public institutions as well as private ones, right?

              Libertarians are the new Aristocracy in the Superstructure then? Then what about the intelligentsia, the educators? I suppose they’re all okay as long as they’re communists and support the revolution?

              Cool on reducing a complicated issue filled with human stories into outdated, disproven Marxist “economic” “theory”.

              Either/Or is an immense logical fallacy, by the way.

          2. I think this is the main argument, essentially.

            Actually, isn’t this a major factor in why there are employment problems in this country – the entry level is essentially barred to low-skilled workers who want to get into certain professions.

            So yeah, the argument basically comes down to “I’ve got mine, fuck you go somewhere else errrrgh.”

    2. The low pay & poor conditions is relative to the sinecure that is regular faculty. The pay structure of colleges is therefore ridiculous. But it also shows the true price of teaching per se vs. research, because they pay the adjuncts what the teaching is actually worth to them, while the regulars bring in the research grant $.

      That said, college in gen’l is a racket, and how cheaply they get adjuncts is just a little part of the racket. Hardly any student pays for the value of learning per se, they’re paying for credentials, and the credentials are bestowed by accredited institutions. Accreditation allows the institution to squeeze $ at both ends. The adjuncts can’t make much money teaching on their own (i.e. by hiring a room & collecting fees, as may be done via various adult ed. clearinghouses) because few students want it if it isn’t toward some certificate or degree. So adjuncts are forced into the sweatshop, and there is indeed an excess of people willing to teach under such conditions.

      (I was an adjunct prof for 9 yrs.)

      1. Robert – hear hear. The problem is complex and has a lot more to it than just “owners/exploited”. To say it’s “GREEDY KAPITALISTS want to subjugate the educators” is missing several large forces at work, like you’ve mentioned in a couple posts – accreditation, federal/state funding schemes, rabid expansion programs, easy loans, growth of administration. And the latter isn’t necessarily the fault of colleges as much as they have to make new offices for compliance, or they get grants withheld if they don’t…

    3. Uhm, unions largely exist for dues. The SEIU is one of them. Generally, this is the external labor unions’ whole point.

      Some unions are handy. Some only protect fossils and their huge wages. But then again, when faced with working 4 hours a week in a union versus working 40 in non-union…

      Oh wait, that can’t be right. That means unions are exploiting others oh no head explode boom

  18. —- its awesome,,, Start working at home with Google. It’s a great work at home opportunity. Just work for few hours. I earn up to $100 a day. I can’t believe how easy it was once I tried it out.

  19. I stopped reading at “discount bus pass.”

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