Education

College Isn't Higher Education and May No Longer Be the Best Way to Deliver the Goods

Many Americans are said to be turning against higher education. They may just be sick of an expensive and dysfunctional model that's outlived its usefulness.

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There's a "deep partisan divide on higher education," reported Inside Higher Ed in July. A month later, Gallup got more specific, asking, "Why are Republicans down on higher ed?"

Is that really true? Have our red/blue tribal loyalties actually split us over our views of the value of education beyond the high school level? Let's see.

Well, the articles, based on separate polls from Pew and Gallup, found some strong partisan disparities. According to Pew, 58 percent of Republicans say that colleges and universities have a negative effect on the way things are going in the country (36 percent said they have a positive effect), compared to 19 percent of Democrats with a negative view of colleges and universities. Gallup found that only 33 percent of Republicans and those leaning Republican have a great deal of faith in colleges and universities (67 percent had some or very little), compared to 56 percent of Democrats and those leaning that way (43 percent had some or very little).

So why do Republicans have so little faith in—

Wait a minute. Those headlines said "higher education," but poll respondents were asked about "colleges and universities." That's not necessarily the same thing. Sure, colleges and universities have long been the traditional means of hammering learning into the heads of adults, but asking about the delivery system isn't the same thing as asking about the product.

And the delivery system is looking a bit seedy these days.

Pew shows a sharp flip in support for colleges and universities among Republicans from generally positive in 2010 to negative now (Gallup just added the question in its latest poll, so has no historical data). That flip occurred during years when colleges and universities have frequently featured in wince-worthy headlines about ideological intolerance, politicized instruction, and eroding due process.

In recent weeks, Reed College, a private, liberal-arts college in Oregon, canceled classes after student protesters disrupted lectures over accusations that a humanities course is too Euro-centric. "A group of freshmen also got involved, complaining that their lecture had been taken over, and the conversation became a shouting match," according to Inside Higher Ed.

At almost the same time, Bret Weinstein accepted a $500,000 settlement and he and his wife, Heather Heying, resigned from their positions teaching biology at Evergreen State College, in Washington. Weinstein was essentially chased off campus by activists for objecting to racially charged student protests. At the height of the controversy last spring, the campus closed amidst threats of violence and thousands of dollars in vandalism.

Students infuriated over disagreement and dissent? Well, why not? Too many disciplines—and entire campuses–have been captured by ideology, making opposition increasingly rare and risky. In 2015, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt cautioned that "As psychology has become politically purified, its concepts have morphed to make them more useful to social justice advocates trying to prosecute and convict their opponents. This political shift poses a grave danger to the credibility of psychology."

Two years later, sociologist Musa al-Gharbi echoed that warning, writing, "The fact that many US universities are so out of step with broader society is also contributing to declining public confidence in them—and a growing inability among social researchers to relate to ordinary people."

That "out of step" quality bleeds out of the classroom and affects even students who might try to hide dissenting viewpoints, but still expect decent treatment.

Amidst a tidal wave of lawsuits against colleges and universities for bypassing due process protections for the accused, U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos rescinded a federal "dear colleague" letter that pressured college administrators to pursue sexual assault charges against students through campus kangaroo courts run according to dubious rules. The change didn't come out of the blue; prominent Harvard law faculty had warned in 2014 that "As teachers responsible for educating our students about due process of law, the substantive law governing discrimination and violence, appropriate administrative decision-making, and the rule of law generally, we find the new sexual harassment policy inconsistent with many of the most basic principles we teach."

After seeing the new procedures in action, several law professors who signed the earlier letter revisited the subject earlier this month, noting that under the new procedures, "Definitions of sexual wrongdoing on college campuses are now seriously overbroad," and that "The procedures for enforcing these definitions are frequently so unfair as to be truly shocking."

Nevertheless, many university administrators seem averse to restoring some legitimacy to campus judicial processes. University of California President Janet Napolitano and Stanford University Provost Persis Drell both expressed doubts about efforts to restore due process.

"Many institutions are doing just fine. They do not want a rollback," Deborah Brake, a University of Pittsburgh law professor, told Inside Higher Ed.

But then, why should due process find a nurturing home on college campuses when free speech is already so uncomfortable in such places? "A very significant fraction of students, across all categories, believe it is acceptable to silence (by shouting) a speaker they find offensive," reveals a poll of 1,500 undergraduate students released last week. That "significant fraction" consisted of 51 percent of students, by the way. For 53 percent of respondents, "their institution is expected to create an environment that shelters them from offensive views."

Ideological lockstep, intolerance, and kafkaesque proceedings don't come cheap, either. Tuition at Reed College this year is $53,900 plus fees, room, and board. Evergreen State College sells its brand of crazy at a more reasonable $6,700 per year for state residents and $24,000 for nonresidents. But overall, the college experience is getting much more expensive even as it grows more off-putting. "Between 2011-12 and 2016-17, published tuition and fee prices rose by 9 percent in the public four-year sector, by 11 percent at public two-year colleges, and by 13 percent at private nonprofit four-year institutions, after adjusting for inflation," says the College Board. In constant dollars, tuition, fees, room, and board at private four-year colleges have risen from $16,670 in 1976-77 to $45,370 in 2016-17.

That's a lot of money to pay to be brow-beaten, shouted down, and railroaded.

It gets no easier to cut the checks when companies like Penguin Publishing drop the requirement for job applicants to be college graduates because "there was growing evidence that there is no simple correlation between having a degree and ongoing performance in work." Penguin followed in the footsteps of Ernst & Young, which acted after it "found no evidence to conclude that previous success in higher education correlated with future success in subsequent professional qualifications undertaken."

So, are a majority of Republicans (and a fifth of Democrats) down on higher ed? Maybe. But maybe they're just down on colleges and universities—and looking for a better delivery system for education that looks less like a very expensive totalitarian sleep-away camp.

There's plenty of potential out there, from the open courseware and online classes offered by MIT, to the language apps offered by Duolingo and its competitors. Classes from Khan Academy and resources from TEDEd are already giving students in-depth, protest-free instruction of a quality that the average college campus would be hard-pressed to equal. Massive Open Online Courses allow campus-style lectures without the peculiarities of brick-and-ivy culture. There's not yet a well-established alternative to college. But any or all of these may point the way to better approaches for educating eager students of all ages in years to come.

Is there a partisan divide over the value of higher education? Who knows–nobody has really asked. But there's a good chance that the old college and university delivery model for higher education is testing a lot of people's patience, and that it's time to try something new.

NEXT: Judge Napolitano on Whether the Trump/NFL Feud Is a First Amendment and/or Free Speech Issue

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  1. I think we should also look further at our model of secondary education. It has become almost entirely a system aimed at college prep. There are many people for whom this is simply not a good direction anyway. They would neither do well, nor find fulfillment in the type of work that is expected in a traditional university.

    It has increasingly become that one must go to college to be considered as having worth. This is in no small part because of the increasingly poor value of a high school education, but it is also because the type of skills one largely learns in HS now are purely for success in post-secondary education.

    This is a tremendous misstep. We should do more to give options for secondary school, there is great demand for many machinist type works for instance. We should also destigmatize people who choose not to go to University. We see too many people who go to university because they feel they’re supposed to then end up wasting time and money in something they’d rather not be doing.

    1. Step 1: get rid of the part where “we” have to make these decisions.

      It would be as if all 326 million Americans were asked to vote on where to set up the new wheat farms next year. The People ™ are too rationally ignorant to know what the hell to do, and while the government bureaucrats they task with figuring it out for them may have the ability to do so, they have no motivation to. And even if they were motivated, there is no substitute for the trial and error of competition when it comes to determining what approach works best for a given problem. There is solution to this problem so long as the State retains its monopoly.

        1. I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.

          This is what I do… http://www.netcash10.com

      1. By we, of course, I meant you and me.

        1. I haven’t received even remotely enough quasi-legal donations from special interest groups to consider taking on such a task.

          1. I think we can have a fun Road-Movie type series of escapades that end with us saving Harvard or something.

            1. “Saving”?

              I think we need to seriously reevaluate this theoretical film’s genre.

        2. “By we, of course, I meant you and me.”

          Well, that’s a positive. When progressives say “we decide”, they usually mean “I decide and you submit to my self-proclaimed superiority”.

    2. Not to mention many of the secondary schools are failing even at the “success in post-secondary education” aim.

      1. My daughter is a student advisor at a community college and she agrees.

        I unschooled my kids and the first test my son (who didn’t read until he was 12) was his placement test for community college at 16. He outscored every person in the room and was the only one who didn’t need to take any remedial classes.

        1. No one cares ablut your kid.

          1. I bet he does. And probably several other people too.

            1. You’d be wrong, and an equivocating idiot.

              To be fair though, you’re not very bright, so that’s the best you can do.

              1. “Zeb|9.26.17 @ 2:12PM|#

                I bet he does. And probably several other people too.”

                Hi I’m Zeb, and when I’m not starting sentences with “to be fair” or some other stupid fucking equivocation because I’m not smart enough for actual analysis and try to pretend playing devil’s advocate is an acceptable substitute, I’m going at someone who has shut me up and run me off repeatedly.

                Go cower now bitch.

              2. “Zeb|9.26.17 @ 2:12PM|#

                I bet he does. And probably several other people too.”

                Hi I’m Zeb, and when I’m not starting sentences with “to be fair” or some other stupid fucking equivocation because I’m not smart enough for actual analysis and try to pretend playing devil’s advocate is an acceptable substitute, I’m going at someone who has shut me up and run me off repeatedly.

                Go cower now bitch.

              3. So no one cares about his kids at all? Not even Trainer?

                Say, where are the nukes located in North Korea? You know, while you’re reading minds anyway.

                1. My son’s all right, I guess. I care about my Pug/pit bull mix more but he knows that and is okay with it.

                  1. I don’t care about your son or your dog, but I *may* care about your dog’s sire, assuming it was the pug and not the pitbull. Respect.

                    1. Sire was the pittie. It was not a planned breeding obviously and neither parent was ours. Another daughter does have a Pit Bull stud. He’s a UKC champion and has titles in obedience, Rally and agility in UKC and AKC in case your Pug wants a real man.

                    2. Sorry, I would never let my pug marry a Gentile.

                    3. They could just live in sin.

                    4. I’m sure the church authorities will be very interested to learn you said that.

                    5. Huh. Look at all those gaps in the thread. That’s weird. It’s almost as if somebody had made a bunch of comments and then gotten banned for some reason…

                      Oh, well, it’s probably just me imagining things. Clearly whoever it was wasn’t that memorable.

      2. This can all be blamed on shitty parents. My parents forced me to do my home work and respect my teachers. I now make a good living at a white collar job. My parents didn’t graduate from high school but they knew the value of education and grit.

    3. There are many people for whom this is simply not a good direction anyway.

      But it’s a great direction for the teachers union and administrators – the only people that matter.

  2. “but asking about the delivery system isn’t the same thing as asking about the product.”

    That’s just what I told the guy who asked to borrow ammunition from me!

    Never did hear back from him.

  3. I was wondering when colleges would cheapen their product so much that things like this would happen:

    It gets no easier to cut the checks when companies like Penguin Publishing drop the requirement for job applicants to be college graduates because “there was growing evidence that there is no simple correlation between having a degree and ongoing performance in work.” Penguin followed in the footsteps of Ernst & Young, which acted after it “found no evidence to conclude that previous success in higher education correlated with future success in subsequent professional qualifications undertaken.”

    It’s about time.

    My employer recently hired a whiz-bang programmer, self-taught, dropped out of high school at 16 to start a company with a friend, then he bailed and she kept it going in her terms, and was hired by us at 18. I haven’t seen that in ages/ I take it as a positive sign. not only that we would hire someone like that, but that she saw a path to her future that didn’t involve the politically correct mindless path of numbing education.

    1. Yes, every 16-year-old should do this. Drop out of school and start a company. Lose it, and get hired at 18.

      Say, why don’t you take a course in basic logic and then some statistics. You know, something that teaches correlation and causation?

  4. Not exactly new. I was involved in automating the applicant/job matching system in Virginia in the early 70s. As we keyed the job requirements into the computer system, we changed the education requirement from “high school graduate” to “read and write”. This was after the usual bunch of government committee meetings, but it did include many of the larger employers in the state. All agreed that being a high school graduate no longer meant one could read and write at a level required by employers.

    1. Awesome! … Now when can we expect Government Almighty to make similar changes to the job requirements that are listed for Government Almighty jobs?

      1. When has government given up on an illusion of its own design that benefits them?

      2. How about if the government made it illegal for employers to discriminate against non-college grads? That would cut college attendance in half, and college fees ditto, after five years. It would also disrupt a major power structure by pulling the rug out from under the ivory tower and its “tenured radicals.”

        Who in power would propose such a deplorable, populist measure? Hmmm.

  5. I’ve turned on it because it doesn’t produce adults able to handle the real world. Typically, it produces snowflakes who view disagreement and speech as violence and violence as speech. It is worse than useless.

    1. I question whether that’s really true. Are the SJW snowflakes typical college graduates, or are they just the ones we talk about because it’s so much fun to rip on them?

      It’s been a while since I had direct experience of academia, so I don’t really know.

      1. I know some college-age people. It does not sound much different than when I went. Most kids want nothing to do with the leftist political horseshit. The difference is that some schools have faculties and administrations totally radicalized and willing to tolerate and even encourage violence to suppress some views.

        There was a time when schools purposely exposed students to a wide range of opinions and expected them to use logic and rhetoric to debate those ideas. Those who couldn’t handle ideas were sent home, not pampered.

        1. “There was a time when schools purposely exposed students to a wide range of opinions and expected them to use logic and rhetoric to debate those ideas.”
          Sure?. Then they started getting run more like buisnesses, and realized that the students were the customers, and that it was better to keep them around then to send them home.
          ________
          ?Well, sort-of. Like any good shock-jock, they’ve always tried to skirt the line between “outrageous enough to keep people coming back” and “so outrageous people tune out”.

          1. Then they started getting run more like buisnesses

            It’s not the administrators who have been narrowing the range of acceptable opinion. It’s the Professors. And they’re not doing it “because business.”

            1. … whenever a school fires a professor over something they said, cancel a speaking engagement, set-up “free speech” zones, and so-on? It’s because that’s what they think will get them more students and/or preserve the schools reputation.

              Professors may scream and shout, but they don’t control the purse strings, and can’t enforce anything.

              1. You’re talking about extra-curricular things that obviously don’t have anything to do with professors, and that also don’t have much impact on students one way or another.

                whenever a school fires a professor over something they said

                That’s not a thing except in very, very extreme cases. And I can’t think of a single example of a professor in the last half century who was fired for having left wing views.

                What goes on in the classroom and the range of opinions dubbed acceptable by the professors is what actually matters. The administration has nothing to do with it, and the obvious biases we are seeing coming out of academia are rather pointedly not “pro-business.”

                Attempting to blame left-wing academic bias on colleges being run like businesses shoots very, very wide of the mark, and only speaks to your own personal prejudices and blind spots.

                1. “You’re talking about extra-curricular things that obviously don’t have anything to do with professors, and that also don’t have much impact on students one way or another.”
                  Interesting.

                  But frankly, if you feel that that sort of “things” aren’t important and have nothing to do with professors, then it’s not me you’re at odds with. It’s the 95% of articles on the topic that use such incidents and “things” as the bulk of their evidence of how horrible universities are these days.

                  That said, I did not say that academia was “pro-business”. I said that schools stopped
                  “purposely expos[ing] students to a wide range of opinions and expect[ing] them to use logic and rhetoric to debate those ideas” because they were being run as businesses, and it was better to placate and milk then send folks home.

                  1. I did not say that academia was “pro-business”. I said that schools stopped
                    “purposely expos[ing] students to a wide range of opinions and expect[ing] them to use logic and rhetoric to debate those ideas” because they were being run as businesses,

                    And I disagreed, pointing out that it’s the professors who set the range of opinions, and the range of opinions that is being set is rather noticeably not “because business.”

                    Here we go ’round the mulberry bush. . .

                    1. And you’re being obtuse.

                      Professors may control their classroom, but when students complain to the dean, and the dean is worried about bad publicity, the dean talks to the professor, and the professor cuts it out. Professors control their classroom. But the administration controls the campus. Pretending that the purse strings stop being coercive just because we’re talking about a university is being purposefully obtuse.


                    2. Professors may control their classroom, but when students complain to the dean, and the dean is worried about bad publicity, the dean talks to the professor, and the professor cuts it out.

                      So left-wing academic bias in education is because Dean’s are pro-business and students are mostly Marxists so they are peddling Marxism in order to create more business? Is that the argument here? I’m not saying it’s wrong, but that argument holds a lot less water than Squares.

                      Where, pray tell, are students learning about Marxism one might ask?

                    3. when students complain to the dean, and the dean is worried about bad publicity, the dean talks to the professor, and the professor cuts it out

                      All I can say is that you appear to not have much experience with academia. This is not how it works.

                    4. As a university administrator, I can safely state that you are completely right. That is not how it works at all.

    2. The college kids I teach typically start the jobs they ultimately end up in before they’ve even graduated. I agree with you that a kid in college who thinks he’s going to gain the experience he needs simply by sitting in a classroom and taking tests is going to be a kid who is unprepared, but (many) colleges also offer the opportunity to get involved in industry, lab, research, community, etc while IN college.

      I really think people should be careful to make such sweeping generalizations about college. The bottom line is that college is only as good as the opportunities that the kids are WILLING TO make use of.

      1. The bottom line is that college is only as good as the opportunities that the kids are WILLING TO make use of.

        ^ This x1000

        I used to teach college, and you are absolutely right that providing the resources is only half of the process at best. The students who don’t get that they have to actively participate in learning don’t learn, no matter what you do.

  6. Why has the labor market been so slow to react to the proven uselessness of most peoples’ degrees? All the recent SJW drama aside, the large majority of non-STEM degrees have always been worth less than the paper they are printed on, yet employers across a wide swath of industries DO list “a degree” as a requirement.

    1. So they can turn them down and say “we’re looking for someone with experience”.

    2. The public sector is still pretty big.

    3. Why has the labor market been so slow to react to the proven uselessness of most peoples’ degrees? All the recent SJW drama aside, the large majority of non-STEM degrees have always been worth less than the paper they are printed on, yet employers across a wide swath of industries DO list “a degree” as a requirement.

      Because aptitude tests tend to have problems being legal under “disparate impact”

      1. Exactly, “must have a degree” was a way of chickening out of “must pass aptitude test”.

  7. What I like about this article: it emphasizes that diversity in educational options is important. The stigma associated with trade schools, home schooling, apprenticeships, and so forth need to be eliminated. Libertarians have been saying this for a very long time. I would say that the main way to promote alternatives is to end compulsory attendance laws that, as others have said, force kids to go to schools that are specifically designed to funnel them into universities.

    But it’s also worth pointing out that there are two groups who are using alternative educational philosophies more than any other — labor unions and graduate schools. And both of those are regularly attacked by conservatives. Labor unions have advocated for a tiered apprenticeship model for longer than most of us have been alive. Graduate schools are almost entirely built on an apprenticeship model. If you are going to get a Ph.D. in chemistry, you’re going to spend about a year in class and 3-5 years working in a research lab performing original research under the direction of a principal investigator and an advisory committee. If you are going to get an MD, you’re going to take classes for a couple years, and then you’re going to work as a physician for ~5 years before you’re able to work independently.

    Libertarians and conservatives are clearly at odds here.

    Apprenticeships are a proven form of learning. We need to figure out how to expand this model to other situations and start younger.

    1. Great points. At least in engineering, almost all graduate degrees are privately funded with a research requirement. I used to do technology licensing for a university, and the companies would tell me that the actual research was secondary; the main value was in evaluating the grad student and training them for a job afterward.

      I’ve done a 180 from thinking universities shouldn’t do graduate research to thinking that’s what they do best.

    2. And both of those are regularly attacked by conservatives. Labor unions have advocated for a tiered apprenticeship model for longer than most of us have been alive. Graduate schools are almost entirely built on an apprenticeship model.

      To be clear, what is being attacked is not their education model, but their attempts to make themselves the “Monopoly” provider of their service.

      There have been great, conservative, studies by places like Heritage and AEI that say pretty decent things about Unions that are operated on more of a Guild type model. That is, if you want to join the Union, you need to prove your value through apprenticeship and learning. And the union gets used because, despite higher negotiated wages, they have a reputation for providing the best service, high quality, and a fair dispute resolution process. But those unions only show the value in an environment where the customers are free to chose non-union labor. The reason conservatives bemoan Unions is that in many cities and states, laws are created that force employers, government, and government contractors to use unions and their higher prices whether they actually provide the better value or not.

    3. Libertarians and conservatives are clearly at odds here.

      I disagree with you on a couple of points, but this main one isn’t entirely true. First, neither graduate schools nor unions consider or represent the demand portion of the labor market. So, when you pit libertarians and conservatives at odds with each other, you’ve got lots of slippery footing that, conceptually, allows for conservatives to supposedly be more pro-free market and more anti-liberty (or vice versa).

      Additionally, during the Renaissance (and several/many time since), when apprenticeships were common, it was routine for people we know to be masters of their craft to depart their apprenticeships early and/or regard them as a burden. Not to mention more mediocre (and even some not-so mediocre) players were be locked out of work/education by guilds and apprenticeship costs.

      Not to say that we couldn’t stand to have more apprenticeships or a broader array of work/education models, but to say that graduate schools, M.D., and Unions represent the ideal is plainly retarded for lots of obvious reasons that libertarians would generally agree with.

      1. “Not to mention more mediocre (and even some not-so mediocre) players were be locked out of work/education by guilds and apprenticeship costs.”
        Aren’t Libertarians opposed to gov-backed student loans? So while that might not be a desired goal of Libertarians, it is acceptable collateral damage.

      2. So I acknowledge you’re correct here. My point wasn’t necessarily to say that unions (or graduate schools) should be endorsed by libertarians in their entirety. The point that I was trying to make is that from the perspective of alternative methods, and especially apprenticeship as a surrogate for “traditional” educational models, the unions and graduate schools are ahead of the curve.

    4. IIRC, Germany has an extensive apprenticeship program. Worthy of emulation, maybe.

      1. You are more likely to get any article you write punished on the other site…

        1. fuck off, dead thread-fucker

  8. 1. “Higher education” in the sense of gaining entry into “elite” 4-year universities has less to do with education than with “gonnections”. Knowing the right people becomes more important than knowledge

    2. Yes, trade schools should be elevated in our consciousness. My old dad used to tell me: “first get a trade; that way you can always support yourself. After that, if you want to go to college, at least you’ll be able to pay your way”. I wish I’d listened.

    3. Nor is there anything wrong with graduate school “apprenticeship”. All the au courant focus on STEM emphasizes pushing out product (students with degrees) rather than competence. This is because the “metric” for graduate schools is numbers and placements, not real education. So the graduates get out into the “real world” and either prove adept at OJT or fail miserably. Guess which predominates.

    4. For myself, I have pursued more knowledge that can be equated with “higher education” since I left college and completed law school than I ever did while enrolled, all while earning a paycheck. The internet is out there, the greatest single source of information ever created by man. Believe it or not it is well suited for more than cute pictures of puppies and insulting one another

    1. Shut up, puppy-hater.

      I mean, yes, you have a point.

  9. Great article

  10. Apprenticeship isn’t just for trades. In the U.K., for example, engineers who wish to be patent lawyers go through an apprenticeship, rather than three years of law school as in the U.S. The U.K. also has different levels of attorney – solicitors and barristers – depending on whether you want to litigate.

    I don’t see the college stigma going away any time soon, but I think school could be made shorter. Engineering school really only requires two years of fundamentals and maybe a year of labs (or an in-school coop). Law school really is only important for the first year; any law you need to know is better learned on the job.

  11. Reason – I would LOVE to write an article on this subject. I am a CPA and worked on the financial statements of a public university for years. The admins at the university constantly talked about how the university’s government funding had been “slashed”, which was strange to me, because I knew the funding had constantly increased, by any metric (adjusted for inflation, per student, etc). After digging into it, I basically found out that university PR people have formed an organization called “The Academy of Arts and Sciences” and they put out “research” about how funding has been been cut leading to tuition increases. But digging into it is almost hilarious, because they legitimately just say random numbers, like funding has been cut 19%, with absolutely no source, whatsoever. It’s really quite the scheme when you think about how big of a deal skyrocketing tuition has become.

  12. Last I remember, about 40% of people who start college don’t finish. That’s quite awful.

  13. Well, it was a Republican presidential candidate that said that the highly educated would never support them, and a Republican presidential candidate (and later president) that said he loves stupid people.

    So yes. There is a partisan divide over the value of higher education.

    But here’s the funny thing: even as Republican rag on colleges and higher education (and you’re a na?ve fool if you think they make a distinction between the two), they continue to send their kids to those same institutions.

    1. Bizarre, since both political parties rhetoric is mostly aimed at the most useful of idiots. Almost as if one party is being honest about what they’re looking for, whereas the other lies about their intentions.

      But here’s the funny thing: even as Republican rag on colleges and higher education (and you’re a na?ve fool if you think they make a distinction between the two), they continue to send their kids to those same institutions.

      It’s almost as if the idea that Republicans ‘ragging’ on higher education is a myth supported by useful idiots! Of course, it isn’t that Republicans hate the idea of education it’s that some of them recognize the difference between education and indoctrination. Don’t get me wrong, Democrats recognize the difference as well. They just actively support indoctrination over education. If they supported ‘actual education’ their Progressive aims would fail as their supporters realize their aims and goals are a lie.

      Obviously, those same Progressive tendencies are alive and well in the Republican party as well. It’s a bipartisan push for propaganda over rationality.

      1. Don’t get me wrong, Democrats recognize the difference as well. They just actively support indoctrination over education. If they supported ‘actual education’ their Progressive aims would fail as their supporters realize their aims and goals are a lie.

        And I think it’s useful to make the distinction between Democrats, Progressives, and Classical Liberals in this sense. There was and arguably still is about debates about Naturalism vs. Formalism and how much time should be spent ‘in school’ or ‘in the classroom’ vs. how much should be spent ‘learning’ and ‘discovering’. You’re right that Dems/Progs don’t care, but there was a time when they were the one’s who felt that while it was important that everyone learn to read and write, learning was best done in the sunshine and/or sans grades.

  14. I don’t necessarily blame the schools. I blame parents, by and large, for not teaching their children any kind of personal responsibility or preparing them adequately for ‘life on their own’ during the 18 years they had available to them.

    The college itself, of course, is a place that is looking for a profit and if someone walks in your door with $40,000 and not a single clue what they’re doing, what are you going to do? Just turn them away and not take that tuition in exchange for some worthless bauble? Come now. That is unreasonable.

    IF parents prepared their teens for life ‘properly’ or even ‘adequately’ these young adults wouldn’t assume that a Women’s Studies, or whatever degree, is a wise decision unless they explicitly went to college to become a professor and never leave. I mean, honestly, what parent says ‘yeah, ok that sounds like a good field. I’ll pay for that!’

    Therein is there failure of higher education. It’s not the schools necessarily, it’s the parents and their entitled immature kids that have no idea what life looks like outside of their sheltered suburban bubble. Frankly, I suspect many of these young adults choose these types of majors and schools specifically as rebellion against their parents way of life. Same as it ever was, but they never seem to realize that they’re the one’s who pay the ultimate price.

    1. “I blame parents […]”
      On that, at least, we can agree. Baby Boomers really fucked things up.

      1. Any parent that allows their kiddo to take out 40k in loans to get a degree in underwater basket weaving (as a hyperbolic example, obviously) is the exactly kind of parent that’s feeding the problem. And no, most 18 year old kids aren’t going to be able to just walk into student loans without a parent sign-off.

        It honestly kind of makes me mad since it’s eminently unlikely that college is suitable for the majority of people. It’s simply a tacit admission that all education up to college has been a failure, and that by-and-large even college education has been devalued.

        College should not be the first time a student comes up against critical thinking in education. It’s a gross disservice to them.

        1. College should not be the first time a student comes up against critical thinking in education. It’s a gross disservice to them.

          Seems like most college students don’t come up against critical thinking in college either, what with all the “safe space” bullshit and shouting down of any opinion that offends their fragile snowflake sensibilities that goes on.

          1. INVOLUNTARY COMMITTMENT!! GOD DAMN THAT’S SO GOOD, YOU’RE SO MUCH BETTER THAN ME BECAUSE YOUR TROLLING IS…

            WELL IT’S ACTUALLY STILL JUST TROLLING.

            1. You’re adorable. ^_^ I guess I managed to get under your skin, that really wasn’t even that hard. Have a nice day!

              1. AHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAAHHA
                CRY MORE NOW!!!

                1. I LOVE WHEN THEY CRY LIKE BYODB DID THEN ADMIT THEY’RE GOING TO RUN!!!

                  1. Who the fuck is Mary?

  15. The vast majority of what goes on at university classes is students reading books and learning stuff. That Republicans have become extra fascist and have decided to attack higher education head-on (the way fascists always do) is kind of their problem to sort out.

    1. Did you ever graduate from college?

      Bonus question: You do realize that ‘fascists’ don’t attack higher education, they take it over. Right?

      1. Yes. I mostly read books and learned stuff. Importantly, I learned how much I thought I knew but was wrong about. Whatever change in education policy you guys advocate, if you take that out of the equation, I know you have an agenda to keep people stupid, which they’d have to be to buy into your bullshit.

        I don’t see Trumpian goobers storming the halls of colleges and installing themselves as professors, but their rabid anti-intellectualism (as well as a nice old-fashioned obsession with Marxists under the bed) seems pretty run of the mill as fascist movements go.

        1. And what degree did you graduate with?

          1. Probably not a history degree.

          2. Philosophy, which he leveraged to become a corporate communications functionary for an unnamed energy concern in Tulsa. That role is also why he thinks that corporations are top-down dictatorships: from his vantage point in the Propaganda Department they are.

            That sinecure is why he can afford to post here so often. That and his being a sock piloted by at least 10 different people over the years.

            1. And what’s striking is that he doesn’t know jack shit about philosophy, either. He’s a classic example of the type of person who thinks the piece of paper they handed him made him smart, like when the Scarecrow got his PhD from the Wizard of Oz.

            2. If he actually received a degree in Philosophy, he exhibits very little knowledge I would expect of someone who completed that degree plan.

              1. Hi Tony!

              2. I can only repeat what has been stated here over the last decade, but the character is a composite at this point. That might have been the original poster or an earlier handler’s, but God only knows what the current driver knows of the subject.

                It’s like trying to figure out the historical Jesus by sticking with what’s written in the gospels. The background changes with time and need.

                1. Your obsession only makes me grow stronger. Feed me!

                  1. Hi BYODB!!!

                  2. Your obsession only makes me grow stronger. Feed me!

                    I guess a bunch of people pointing out that you’re an insufferable moron several dozen times a day beats no one paying any attention to you at all . . .

                2. Exactly, it only takes a few posts to tell a new “Tony” is on the beat. I’ve been around close to 10 years and sometime it takes a bit longer. This new one is a little more blunt and emphasizes slightly different talking points but it was obvious when this version took over a while back.

          3. He graduated magna cum laude with a degree in stuff.

        2. “I learned how much I thought I knew but was wrong about.”
          Add “grammar” to the list. Your point is incoherent.

          1. I kind of love that you fucked up your attempt to whine like a bitch.

            1. I was wondering who this sock puppet belonged to. Question answered.

              1. Swing and a miss retard.

                1. You’re adorable. ^_^

                2. I mean, it makes perfect sense. Tony, who is roundly hated, needs a sock to be…even more hated. Or something.

                  1. And right about now BYODB is realizong how stupid he is.

                    1. You are adorable. ^_^

              2. My God he is pathetic.

                1. Not as pathetic as your constant, moronic defense of the shithole you live in.

        3. I don’t understand the obsession with name calling that you have . Speaking to the anti-intellectualism of Trump is a solid point, which you totally waste by calling names and misusing the word fascism.

          And just to be absolutely clear it doesn’t matter how often you insist you are using it properly, you aren’t. You don’t seem to realize how that detracts from your argument.

          1. Show me a fallacy and I’ll show you something Tony feels is a coherent argument. So to him name-calling is a rational argument. After all, if you pile enough labels on someone then you discredit their ideas? Right? Oh, no. That’s the ad homimem fallacy.

          2. I’m using it casually to refer to right-wing nationalistic xenophobic anti-intellectual movements, which are a dime a dozen, even if the particulars differ (for example, the economic regimes seems to be incidental). If you’d prefer a more accurate term, what would you use?

            I’m afraid asking me to stop calling Trump names is a bridge too far, and I won’t have it.

            1. If ‘right-wing nationalistic xenophobic anti-intellectual movements’ were ‘a dime a dozen’ than would you say they are the majority of Americans?

              1. Why are you responding to yourself?

                1. Hi BYODB!!!

                  1. It’s pretty fucking sad that you’re carrying on a conversation with yourself.

                2. About 40%.

                  So – about twice as many people as voted for Trump?


        4. I don’t see Trumpian goobers storming the halls of colleges and installing themselves as professors

          But, since we already know that the modus operandi of facists is to take over higher education and higher education has already been taken over by Progressives that…must mean something. Yes?

          Also, Progressivism is almost as rampant within the Republican party as it is in the Democrat party and education policy is generally bipartisan. It’s almost as if both parties dislike education, but love education systems. How bizarre that you only pick one as the bad guys when both appear to be actively deconstructing notions of education.

          Tell me, did any of your college professors make you read Paulo Freire? Honest question.

          1. For those who are interested and have not been exposed to Freire, here you go:

            Critique of the ‘Banking’ Model in Education

            It’s just Wikipedia, but feel free to read more on your own if you actually have an interest.

          2. Well I’m not Tony, but sure, I’ll tug on your bait…

            “Tell me, did any of your college professors make you read Paulo Freire? Honest question.”
            Can’t recall. I was a STEM student, so my humanities requirements were pretty low, and mostly were filled out with philosophy and psychology.

            The “banking model of education” sounds vaguely familiar, so it was probably a footnote somewhere, but courses that focus on education, teaching philosophies, techniques and so-on are mostly graduate-level courses, so unless you’re deliberately seeking a teaching degree, it’s not something you’ll cover in any depth.

            Back to the actual topic, here’s this: Educational attainment strongly correlates with wealth/income. You want to whine that colleges and universities are a bad thing? That’s the link you need to break. Until you do, parents are going to continue telling Little Timmy to get a degree if he wants to be successful in life. And so long as Universities keep getting students, they’re not going to change course.


            1. Can’t recall. I was a STEM student, so my humanities requirements were pretty low,

              Well, at least you admit you’re ill-equipped to discuss education models since they are completely outside of your knowledge base. That’s more than I’d get from most other people.

              What is less clear is why you would instantly change the subject to an aggregate stat that is entirely worthless in the micro and use that as a proof of something when you claim to be in STEM. That would appear to be a fallacy you should be wise enough to avoid. Guess not.

              I’ll be charitable though, and assume this does not mean that you believe a college degree in, say, Print Journalism is going to correlate with wealth given that degree plan ends up with a job that pays nothing, mostly because the entire industry itself is in it’s death throes.

              Should I take this to mean that you are being intellectually lazy, or that you are intentionally lying?

              1. If you said that to someone in person, they’d likely laugh in your face or punch you, but for some reason you think being a pissy cunt on the internet is defensible, and that I’m the troll.

                Well, I am, but for some stupid fucking reason, ypu think you aren’t just aa bad or worse. At the very least, I don’t pretend I’m here for serious conversation then post that fucking incitement.

                1. You know, if you look at the bitchiness and cunty posts, and the grammtical and syntactic patterns, it really looks like BYODB is Tony, and he was trying to put you other imbeciles off the scent.

                2. You are adorable. ^_^

                  1. Hi Tony!

                    1. People hate me because I make them.

                      People hate you because of YOUR ACTUAL PERSONALITY!!

                      AHAHHAHAAHAHAHAHHAAH I HAVE TO FAKE WHAT YOU ACTUALLY DO!!!!

                      AHAHAHAHAAHAHAHHAHHAAHHA

                      NO WONDER YOU HAVE TO GO ONTO THE INTERNET TO CONVERSE, EVERYONE WHO KNOWS YOU PROBABLY HATES YOUR GUTS!!!

                      AHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAH

                      I’M FAKING WHAT YOU ACTUALLY ARE!!!

                      AHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA

                  2. This is also a new “Escher” sock. Has been since earlier this year. I just wonder who’s funding them.

              2. “Should I take this to mean that you are being intellectually lazy, or that you are intentionally lying?”
                Jury is still out.

                To refresh your memory, the paragraph that you are using as the basis for your lazy/lying claim is (with sentence numbers):

                “(1) Educational attainment strongly correlates with wealth/income. (2) You want to whine that colleges and universities are a bad thing? (3) That’s the link you need to break. (4) Until you do, parents are going to continue telling Little Timmy to get a degree if he wants to be successful in life. (5) And so long as Universities keep getting students, they’re not going to change course.”

                Which of these five sentences, or combinations thereof, do you feel is “intellectually lazy” or “intentionally lying”? Once I know which statements you have taken issue with, I can better answer your question.

                1. Sentence 1, which does not distinguish a difference between a Petrochemical Engineer and a Women’s Studies major.

                  Just because overall one can say that a college degree correlates to, say, the commonly bandied about number of a million dollars more lifetime earnings doesn’t mean that is actually true of all majors.

                  I find it very likely that certain majors are carrying the earning weight of that statistic while many majors are actually ‘underwater’ so to speak on lifetime earnings compared to not getting a degree at all, or even more saliently pursuing a different line of education completely I.E. a technical school or apprenticeship.

                  1. Hi Tony!

                    1. Which comes first, the mania or the insomnia?

                    2. Hi Tony!

                  2. “Sentence 1, which does not distinguish a difference between a Petrochemical Engineer and a Women’s Studies major.”
                    … you seem confused.

                    My quick argument boils down to
                    Because (1), then (4)
                    Because (4), then (5).
                    Because (5), (2) fails.

                    So yeah, I didn’t distinguish between Humanities and STEM degrees. Because most no-degree parents sending their kids off to school? Don’t distinguish between them. Why they don’t distinguish is a complicated question, but as we can see with the glut of Humanities degree graduates, it’s very real.

                    1. If I seem confused, it’s because you replied to a topic regarding theoretical education models, admitted you knew very little about the subject, and then immediately went off-topic.

                      You don’t distinguish between humanities and stem degree’s because it would illustrate that the first point in your chain is a fallacy.

                      As to why students don’t distinguish, well it’s probably because they are stupid and I have made that point elsewhere. Why are they stupid? Because their parents are using the shitty statistic you use as point 1 where it is assumed that because college education correlates with lifetime earnings that ‘any’ degree is just as good as another, which is simply not true.

                    2. Hi Tony!

                    3. “You don’t distinguish between humanities and stem degree’s because it would illustrate that the first point in your chain is a fallacy.”

                      To quote myself,
                      “So yeah, I didn’t distinguish between Humanities and STEM degrees. Because most no-degree parents sending their kids off to school? Don’t distinguish between them. “

                      You can disagree with my assessment if you like. But you can’t just assign reasoning and motivation to someone because you don’t like their opinion.

                    4. If anything, you might have inadvertently made a better illustration of the very problem I tried to allude to so perhaps I should be thankful to you for your accidental fallacy.

                    5. Or maybe you’re just an asshole and an idiot, Tony.

                      You just bend over 2 hours throwing a tantrum because you didn’t understand something that’s hilarious

                    6. … you know, just for shits and giggles, let me try to re-write my paragraph that has so-offended you.

                      [While STEM graduates earn much more then no-college folks, while Humanities graduates are much more closely aligned with no-college folks, the number most people look at is the overall, that] educational attainment strongly correlates with wealth/income. You want to whine that colleges and universities are a bad thing? That’s the link you need to break. Until you do, parents are going to continue telling Little Timmy to get a degree if he wants to be successful in life, [because even though you would prefer they use different data to make their decisions, they don’t, and look at the aggregate]. And so long as Universities keep getting students, they’re not going to change course.”

                      Gee, whataya know. The point still stands, even with the qualifiers. Bottom line? So long as folks keep sending Jr. to college, the colleges won’t change. And so long as folks perceive college as the gateway to a better life, without regard to degree? Then they’re going to keep sending Jr. to college. You may think parents should be more discerning, you may think that they are buying into a “fallacy”, but accurately pointing out the cause/effect chain that leads to the Status Quo is not, in and of itself, a “fallacy”.

                    7. You misunderstand, it’s not that I’m offended it’s that you’re illustrating the very thing that causes people to send ‘Jr’ to college to pursue any degree with a complete disregard for what they study. It’s the bullshit stats you’re peddling that look at a false aggregate number. It’s literally case in point.

                      Does that clarify?

                      Obviously, that is not the singular cause but you yourself make the claim that’s at least one cause. You’re not wrong, either, but you’re chasing your own tail.

            2. That link has already started to break, hence the negativity that’s seeping in. This is especially pronounced in the portion of the population which is of prime enrollment age, if memory serves.

              People are down on college because the current costs (economic and intangible) are often no longer worth the future benefits. Republicans especially feel this way because they are generally more focused on finances, less economically risk-averse (they feel they’re getting ahead of a trend here), and more likely to view the intangible changes brought about by college to be costs and not benefits.

              And so long as Universities keep getting students, they’re not going to change course.

              As a test case, it will be interesting to see how Mizzou changes things up over the next decade.

              1. Indeed. When plenty of newly minted college graduates end up in hourly positions that require only a high school diploma, you know something is off.

                Believe it or not, at least in medical, there are a lot of jobs that pay $15-$20 an hour that only require, arguably, a high school diploma but end up being clogged up with college educated kids who received a degree that doesn’t really translate into a skill set.

                This is what is happening, at least in Medical, to ‘good’ jobs that require ‘only’ a high school diploma. I hesitate to extrapolate that across the board, but I suspect the same would be true in most industries that don’t require a concrete skill set or license.

                1. Hi Tony!

              2. “That link has already started to break, hence the negativity that’s seeping in”
                True (with caveats?).

                Which is why I’m kind of baffled by BYODB’s hostile response.
                ________
                ?The main one being the Humanities/STEM distinction.

                1. “Which is why I’m kind of baffled by BYODB’s hostile response”

                  Well, BYODB is Tony, so being a cunty whiny baby makes more sense in that context.

          3. Progressivism is almost as rampant within the Republican party as it is in the Democrat party

            Don’t make the world dumber by typing such horseshit. This makes you sound like a Glenn Beck loving cousinfucker.

            Paulo Freire

            Meh. I never got much into pedagogy, but would probably occupy a middle ground with the pragmatists if I had to choose.

            1. Hi BYODB!

        5. Yes. I mostly read books and learned stuff. Importantly, I learned how much I thought I knew but was wrong about.
          I did that after college, and learned more useful things than I did in college. Specifically, I started studying economics because I was mostly ignorant of it, kind of like you.

          as well as a nice old-fashioned obsession with Marxists under the bed
          Marxist devotee tries to downplay the influence of Marxism; nobody surprised.

        6. “I learned how much I thought I knew but was wrong about.”

          Well, then, you still have a long, long way to go.

        7. “I learned how much I thought I knew but was wrong about”

          If you truly learned this you wouldn’t be “Tony”.
          Nor would you come to a Libertarian forum and say:
          “I know you have an agenda to keep people stupid”, thereby demonstrating that you don’t have a clue about what libertarians think, and proving that you didn’t actually learn what you think you know is wrong.

    2. have decided to attack higher education head-on

      If only. Taxing their endowments to cover part of any federal student loan bankruptcy payouts would be a strong step in making college more affordable.

      The Ivies at this point are basically just hedge funds that run colleges as a hobby.

  16. I make $2000 a week by going to work straight out of high school, doing an electrical apprenticeship, learning industrial automation, and applying this knowledge to my everyday work. It’s magic. Visit http://www.workforyourownshit.com for details.

    1. This spam was almost on point for a change. Cool.

  17. Stupid libertarians trying to draw a distinction between college and higher education?

    Next you’re going to say that health care and health insurance aren’t the same thing!

    Derpidy doo!

    1. This is why your wife left you.

      1. Off your meds again Mary?

        1. It’s Tony. See above.

          1. No, it’s Mary. Tony doesn’t keep track of personal details and use them to try to elicit a reaction. That’s Mary’s MO.

            1. Ah. Good point. I got hit for the first time yesterday and I have never even interacted with that person, ever.

              1. “I have never even interacted with that person, ever.”

                Incorrect. You idiots arwn’t nearly as good at recognizing socks as you think.

            2. No no, I’m TONY . HE KNOWS THIS TO BE TRUE!!

              AHAHAJAHAHHAHAHAHA

              IT COULDNT POSSIBLY BE THAT I LOVE IT WHEN IDIOTS GO AFTER PEOPLE FOR GRAMMAR AND FUCK UP THE GRAMMAR OF THEIR OWN POST!!!

              AHAHAHAJJA

              HOW’S THE EX SARC? STILL THINK YOU’RE A PIECE OF ALCOHOLIC SHIT? SHE SHOULD!!!

              HAHAHAHAABAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHJAJHAAHHAHAHAHAJAH

              I’M TOTALLY MARY!!!

              AHAJAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH.

              AND TONY TOO!!!

              AHAHAHAJAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

              1. I think if there’s anything I appreciate about this most, it’s the satisfaction I recieve from making you idiots harass some poor woman.

            3. Yep. I’m guessing her involuntary commitment ended recently and she hasn’t taken her meds since being discharged from the hospital.

              1. OH MY GOD SO GOOD!! INVOLUNTARY COMMITMENT!! I’M TOTALLY MARY STACK FROM TEXAS!! DEFINITELY DO NKT CALL HER AND HARASS HER!!

                AHAHAHAHAHA

                COULD YOU BE ANY MORE PATHETICALLY DERIVATIVE?

                AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAH

    2. 1. Higher education makes you stupider than Tony
      2. Republicans oppose higher education for this reason (they probably watch Tucker Carlson)
      3. Tony thinks this reveals that Republicans want to keep people stupid. Always thinking critically.

  18. Universities have become indoctrination centers. Even the totally private ones. I blame it in a hyper-insular culture that feeds back onto itself. Many university professors have NEVER been outside the academic environment since their start of kindergarten. That’s not healthy.

    Universities have always been liberal since they were first invented. That’s the nature of universities. But the last half century they have shifted over to a radical progressive mindset. They’re no longer about learning and academic inquiry, they’ve completely lost their purpose. There are some exceptions out there, but by and large universities have become Leftist indoctrination centers. And it does not matter if they are public or private.

    If I had a child entering his college years, I would be considering a fundamentalist Christian college like Liberty University, over some place like Stanford or UC. And I’m not a fundamentalist.

    1. That’s one of the reasons I studied Computer Science and Math. Pretty hard to politicize those subjects.

      1. Too bad they didn’t help you save your marriage or avoid alcoholism.

      2. It’s not the subjects, it’s the environment they’re being taught in. You’re best bet is to major in CS or math AND live off campus AND go through deprogramming sessions after you get your degree. Just to be safe.

    2. And they generally encourage students to live on campus. The first step of cult indoctrination is separation from a lifeline like friends and family outside the cult.

      1. I went to junior college first, so missed the whole dorm experience. My first place when I got to university was a campus apartment, but quickly moved to off campus spots. From what I can tell from the outside, dorms are just summer camps with sex and really really nosy camp counselors.

    3. But the last half century they have shifted over to a radical progressive mindset.

      That’s basically how it’s been since the 70s, when the New Left boomers began assuming professorships. There were obviously some Marxist professors before then, but by and large they were liberal in the classical sense, not the communist/Jacobin sense. And because the New Left is unceasingly obsessed with finding victim groups to champion, college curriculums in the humanities in particular have basically degenerated into increasingly esoteric subjects of mental masturbation as they’ve retired and their Gen-X progeny have taken their place, who in turn nuture even more intellectually incestuous and emotionally stunted curriculums that attempt to box everyone into a “progressive stack” of victim privilege.

    4. If I asked you to provide some evidence to support your stance, you’d undoubtedly point to some articles like the one posted yesterday by Reason that showed that somebody in a position in academia said some anti-free speech shit. But you miss the broader context that anti-free speech is the minority view, and that a great deal of emphasis by universities comes down to sharing varied ideas — including the ones by anti-free speech professors that you and I think are nutso (like the one highlighted by Reason yesterday).

      This is one of the great ironies of this whole debate. The progressives are supposedly “indoctrinating” students but their socialist views need to be silenced.

      Should we say the same about the economics and law departments, which often carry a much more libertarian perspective than you’ll ever find outside of academia? You’re 4 times more likely to find a libertarian in academia than you will in the general population, so are libertarians taking over academia too?

      1. It’s true that the “liberal conspiracy” crowd tends to overstate their case, but you’re going a little far the other way here. We’ve all been to college, we all saw it with our own eyes.

        If you’re four times more likely to find a libertarian in academia vs. the general population, how much more likely are you to find a Marxist in academia vs. the general population?

        1. IOW, my experience with academics has been that they tend to reject generic “Democrat” and “Republican” labels in general and prefer more specific ideologies. I knew almost no “Democrats” when I was an academic, but I knew lots of Marxists, Marxist-Leninists, Democratic-Socialists, International-Socialists, etc.

          You also don’t really come across “Republicans” in academia – they manifest as “libertarians.” But at what percentage of the general academic population?

          1. That’s a good question, and it was addressed in a study that distinguished between conservative and libertarian groups (I apparently can’t paste links anymore here?). In this particular study, it was based on voting preference. The same study suggested that the numbers are not due to an exclusionary policy but rather due to the increased likelihood of a left-leaning person to be attracted to the job.

            I’d like to see a study that examines political preferences of college professors vs. their counterparts elsewhere — e.g. teaching, research, etc. I have a great deal of interaction with scientists at a well-known drug company, and I’ve found that they are also mostly left wingers. That’s just anecdotal though.

            Anyway, I would suggest that academia is left-leaning if we define “left” in the classical sense. While this would include a lot of socialists and social democrats, it would also include a lot of classical liberals. This is probably why there are so many more libertarians in academia, and possibly also why college students were also more likely to support Gary Johnson in the last election than the general population.


            1. The same study suggested that the numbers are not due to an exclusionary policy but rather due to the increased likelihood of a left-leaning person to be attracted to the job.

              I don’t know of many, or really any, people who suggest that the political makeup of a department is due to explicit exclusionary policies in particular.

              1. Hi Tony! I guess you lied when you said you were leaving!!

                CRY MORE NOW!!!

              2. This has been a very prominent stand by a lot of the conspiracy theorists who think that infiltration of college campuses and indoctrination is a strategy used by the left.

                There has also been a more subtle reference to the notion that political ideology trickles into the hiring process in academia.

                1. It’s not quite as simple as dismissing it as conspiracy theory.

                  The linked article is a little old at this point, but this was very much noticeably going on when I left academia in 2005.

                  Professors I knew who were on hiring committees were actively and openly looking for ways to exclude political conservatives from academia, and including a commitment to social justice among the hiring standards was the way to do that.

                  It hasn’t been as successful as a lot of right-wing demagogues would have us believe, but yes there has been a concerted movement to exclude conservatives from academia, undeniably.

                  1. And to speak to this point:

                    The same study suggested that the numbers are not due to an exclusionary policy but rather due to the increased likelihood of a left-leaning person to be attracted to the job.

                    That’s like looking at the front of a coin only and declaring that both sides must have heads on them.

                    I was driven away from academia precisely because it was painfully clear to me that my political views, along with my gender, race, and sexual orientation, were going to make an academic career very, very difficult for me. As a friend of mine put it as he was looking for academic jobs, he decided to “sell out” and become a Marxist, while I did not.

                    Per the study you linked, I would be classified as someone who was “less attracted to the job” than my left-leaning peers. But I don’t see this as being mutually exclusive with “people recognize that expressing left wing views is the path of least resistance if you want an academic career.”

                    1. Your experience is pretty interesting (and alarming!) to me. I’m in academia, and I’ve never been in an environment more open to my expression of libertarian ideals than this one. I used to keep my mouth shut in other industries I’ve worked in, and even at family functions or dinner with friends I’m careful not to say certain things because I know how they’ll be taken by my democrat and republican friends and family members.

                    2. The State one lives in might make a considerable difference as well, since I suspect Square worked at a University somewhere in California. ^_-

                    3. I suspect Square worked at a University somewhere in California.

                      What would make you think that? ; )

                    4. I was in a humanities program in Northern CA, so my experience may have been particularly extreme, but I never noticed academic culture varying a whole lot from campus to campus – more from department to department (with, for example, economics departments tending to lean “right,” while if you weren’t a card-carrying Marxist-Leninist you didn’t even want to go into the Sociology building).

                      I completely grant that I would be much more comfortable self-identifying as a libertarian in academia than as a Republican (and I never had been remotely a Republican anyway – I went from Green to Libertarian ’round about 2004).

                      But I also found that academics (in the humanities) don’t typically identify as Democrats – Democrats being perceived as fundamentally conservatives in sheep’s clothing. You need to be something daring and radical and interesting (which I would suggest is also why “libertarian” is more acceptable that “Republican”).

                    5. Part of my issue, too, is that I can be a bit contrarian, and I never was going to study what someone else thought I should study. I studied early periods, and thus Dead White Men, and I wasn’t particularly interested in the “these people need to be shown to have been irredeemably Evil” angle, so I may have brought more than a little bit of my situation down on myself.

                      I even argued that Medieval Western Europe should properly be understood as a post-colonial context, and was laughed at. Western Europeans are the oppressors, dontcha know?

                      I concede I may have been there at the high-water mark for this kind of BS, as now Post-Colonial Medieval-Europe is all the rage, while in 2005 it was “Disability in the Middle Ages.” The headaches from the constant eye-rolling were getting to be a medical issue. What is Latin for “handi-capable,” anyway?

                    6. My thesis advisor actually warned me at one point that my thesis topic, which involved math, theology, and the history of science, would be construed as “anti-Feminist.” Not my thesis itself-just the topic. I pointed out that I had published on female mystics and was earning a reputation as something of an expert in the field, but she (helpfully and realistically) advised that that wouldn’t matter.

                      She wasn’t trying to get me to change (there was a reason I got along with her), she was just warning me. But she was right.


                    7. You need to be something daring and radical and interesting (which I would suggest is also why “libertarian” is more acceptable that “Republican”).

                      I’ve found this to be the case as well, probably because the more ‘education’ you get the more nuanced of an opinion you’re able to describe. How ironic, then, that the more educated one becomes the smaller the box in which your politics fit.

                      Kind of like looking into a fun-house mirror, in many ways, if I’m being honest.

      2. You’re 4 times more likely to find a libertarian in academia than you will in the general population

        How many of those libertarians are really just Republicans who don’t want to be hassled by their hyper-partisan co-workers or hyper-emotional students?

  19. Fred Reed explains what college used to be and why that model collapsed into a pile of crap.

    http://www.fredoneverything.org/colle…..oung-woman

  20. “after it “found no evidence to conclude that previous success in higher education correlated with future success in subsequent professional qualifications undertaken.”

    My PhD from the streets has served me well.

  21. Lower education is finally asking the tough questions.

    With Hillary Clinton winning more than three times the votes as Donald Trump in King County, it’s no surprise that the election results devastated many Roosevelt students. Students showed up to school in black clothing, saying they were mourning the loss of intelligence in this country. Some were in tears, hugging and holding each other in the hallways. My school had a total of three walkouts with a large portion of the school participating, myself included.

    http://www.seattletimes.com/ed…..i-learned/

    1. My HS was totally apolitical. There was some buzz when Bush I visited the year after I graduated but from what I heard there were no walkouts, no die-ins, no tears; same as when Cuomo I visited a few years earlier.

      1. Holy shit you never left your home city!!!

        And you call other people pathetic.

        1. I didn’t? Stalk harder.

          1. “Stalk harder”

            Says the guy who responded to me.

            And honestly, why? You aren’t that interesting.

      2. My HS was totally apolitical.

        That’s interesting. I think we’re just about exactly the same age, but my HS social science department, with one exception, was entirely SDS lost causers trying to breed a new generation of communist activists.

    2. ..and they got over it in a few hours.

      Yet here you are, citing some students upset over an election loss as proof of, wait, what?

  22. RE: College Isn’t Higher Education and May No Longer Be the Best Way to Deliver the Goods
    Many Americans are said to be turning against higher education. They may just be sick of an expensive and dysfunctional model that’s outlived its usefulness.

    Such blasphemy!
    Where else can the youth of our beloved socialist slave state obtain their politically correct indoctrination other than our higher institutions of re-education?

  23. Time to pander to Republican voters I guess.

    1. C’mon be edgy, Reason. Start pandering to Pelosi fans.

  24. There’s a “deep partisan divide on higher education,” reported Inside Higher Ed in July. A month later, Gallup got more specific, asking, “Why are Republicans down on higher ed?”

    They aren’t down on higher ed, they’re down on higher propaganda.

  25. “Where else can the youth of our beloved socialist slave state obtain their politically correct indoctrination other than our higher institutions of re-education?”

    Elementary school?

  26. I attended a very prestigious and expensive college known for its left-leaning politics. Yes, I graduated, but by the skin of my teeth because I did not have my shit together-drinking or smoking weed almost every night and turning in most of my assignments late. Somehow, I was able to get a BS in biology though not with the best GPA, and did get a job which I was horribly unprepared for after several months of living in my parents’ house. Although I did go on to grad school and eventually the “real world” in a job that is OK, I can’t say anything I learned in college has served me very well, except for perhaps as an education in what not to do. I was lucky-lots of other kids aren’t, such as the son of a friend of mine who died of alcohol poisoning a couple of weeks ago during his freshman orientation. 18-21 year olds need to learn responsibility more than anything else, and the current 4-year residential college is not the best place for this. I say get rid of the degree requirements and let them work and take classes towards a degree if that’s what they want, but first they need to learn if that is really the best thing for them.

    1. You provided a perfect example of what NOT to do when attending college. I hope you don’t assume that all students take your tact. If you proved anything, it’s that degree requirements should probably be more stringent.

      1. I said that this was MY experience. Sure, there were lots of students who had their heads on their shoulders and were much more successful than I was, but there were plenty who couldn’t get it together too and left or didn’t graduate.

        If you accept that a college degree is a necessity (like most politicians do now, and of course colleges themselves), you cannot make degree requirements more stringent, or you will have a vast underclass of flunk-outs. If anything, the trend is towards dumbing it down even more, to the point where a bachelors degree is practically meaningless.

        1. Understood and agreed.

  27. But how will Dick and Jane get further marxist indoctrination? How will John become Jane and walk on the wild side of gender confusion?

  28. absolutely agree with author! now a very bad level of education. Cause now exist many services like https://pro-papers.com when everyone can order every type of work and do nothing!

  29. Today’s bachelor’s degree equals a high school education, only with more indoctrination. At my college, most incoming students of music cannot even read music and don’t even know the music theory that I learned when I was 6 years old. Education is the biggest bubble now due to the fact that government is pouring so much money into education, artificially increasing tuition and providing teachers and administrators with inflated salaries and pensions that a free market would never support. Students have loans larger than many mortgages, yet have no real job skills and are unable to find good jobs.

  30. I’m glad Republicans disdain college. That keeps them poor and stupid, so the rest of us can keep making money off of them and laughing about it. It’s the circle of life….

  31. the college is also a self-education, but it takes a lot of time for unnecessary courses. I’ve understood in the half of my studying period, college isn’t everything to succeed. That’s why I tried to optimize the time spent on papers and lessons to concentrate on things I’d like to do in future. I’m a little bit embarrassed to say, but sometimes I used writingcheap.com and it helped me to develop while my coursework was written

  32. so what is the best way to deliver the goods?

  33. College is really important in my opinion. Essay help at https://paperleaf.ca/ can really save your life. I really hope that it will.

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