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Thursday, June 3, 2010

WORD: Higher Ed's Big Lie

Government employment of the unemployed is one...Image via Wikipedia

This is the most important unrecognized development out there -- that in an era where resource limits are the constraints (rather than human capital), increasing the amount of education that the idle cannot apply simply diverts resources from productive use to helping people mark time before being unemployed or underemployed. Helping to strap those people to huge amounts of debt at the same time is not just immoral but also exceedingly unwise.

We're starting to experience the national equivalent of PTSD as young people experience the Higher Ed myth unraveling in their own lives. Supposedly educated, they know that they lack any meaningful skills that anyone needs. They cannot make or maintain any of the goods that they use every day, nearly all of them do not have the slightest idea about how to grow or prepare the food they consume, the clothes they wear, or the shelter they inhabit; yet they are marked like Cain with a flaming scar, the number of dollars they owe for this "education" that has left them entirely at the mercy of others for their survival.

The elite mandarins and pundits are all talking about how we need to raise the age of retirement and get ordinary folks to scale back their expectations of what people can do for themselves collectively (i.e., through government). The reality is that if we continue with the Reagan/Bush/Clinton/Bush/Obama globalization ideal -- this weird experiment in destroying the middle class and moving to a third-world economic model of a hyper-rich elite presiding over a shattered middle that is constantly being told that they have no alternative but to accept an impoverished future of debt and insecurity -- we are stacking all the kindling we need right next to the gas cans.

UPDATE: The antidote.
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Good news of the "No duh" variety

Still nice to see.