Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What is it worth?

Glen Reynolds has talked about the higher education bubble.

A lot.

Now here's Cracked on the same subject with: The Question You're Not Asking: Should You Go To College?

This is how it starts:

If you have (or are currently attending college in pursuit of) an engineering, law, computer science, medical or any other kind of degree that qualifies you to do something with a tangible effect on the world, this is not the column for you. You're not going to get anything out of it. Well, maybe some well-earned Schadenfreude at the expense of all the little grasshoppers who didn't till for winter, but aren't you above all that? Why don't you go somewhere and understand some math, asshole.

For the rest of you, I need to tell you something, and it's probably going to hurt: All that talk about how a higher education improves you as a human being, instantly launches a stellar career and hurls you screaming into the transcendental nirvana of financial stability -- yeah, that was all bullshit. Unless you're going for a professional degree, you really should not go to college.

Yes, Cracked a humor web-magazine for young people is doing something quite subversive. This is also not the first time either. Read their aticle on "5 Things You Think Will Make You Happy (But Won't)" and see the end on what will make you happy.

Edit: Though I don't really agree with the last point. Yes, college will not automatically put you into a "transcendental nirvana of financial stability" but it can still be worth it even if you are not in a "professional" degree. Though given the expense of college, one really has to consider what one wants to get out of all that time and money.

However, this requires a degree of direction and passion...

But then, I never quite understood the professional degree kids who knew exactly what they wanted to do with their lives before they were even legally allowed to smoke. At 18, all I actually "knew" that I wanted to do was girls, bong rips, and handstands - and I never did get that handstand down. We live in a coddling society, and our culture is extending mental adolescence further and further into the late teens and even 20s. I, for example, didn't really feel like a grown, responsible adult male until any day now, hopefully. The kids that have a life-map at 18 were always somewhat rare to start with, and now they're a dying breed. But even the lost teenagers still have that drive. It kicks in the second they get out of high school, and it's propagated by one of the most pervasive PR campaigns ever: "Go to college. You're nothing without a college education. It doesn't matter what you want to do, or even if you know what that is at all. Go to college. College fixes everything."

And why would the government be so gung ho about it -- willing to offer you all that free money (hey, you don't have to pay it back until college is over, and that's a lifetime from now! That's basically not even you anymore! Ha ha, fuck that guy!) - if it just ultimately screws you? Because of something called SLABS. If you haven't clicked on that link, that's okay: You're probably high right now and muddling through the second half of Jackie Brown. You're in no shape for the finer points of finance, but the gist is this: Remember what collapsed the housing market? The repackaged loans being traded with no capital behind them? This is the exact same deal.

Emphasis added this time. This is not a line of thinking you don't normally expect from an "edgy" and funny source, but there it is.

I was one of those "professional degree kids" and knew what I wanted to do and exacly what I wanted out of university. That made things easier.

However, for someone who is looking at a giant money-hole and does not know what they want out of it... well, that's a challenge. It's even more daunting for those that don't even want to go to class, and treat college as four years at an expensive, but crummy, resort.

Read the rest. And realize that some people are looking at higher education as an investment (and a real one not just code for spending money) and weighing the cost versus benefit.

Edit: This is not to say that college (even the non-professional programs) is worthless. On the contrary: this raises the question of what is it worth. Because as a student (or parent) you will pay for your time there. So the question becomes, what is the value you get from the education?

Is it worth the cost and the time? Why are you there? Expanding your horizons and knowledge are laudable goals, but they do not exist in a vacuum.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Rule of law? Due process?

Nah, let's just have the feds start blacklisting people they don't like.

The Department of Health and Human Services this month notified Howard Solomon of Forest Laboratories Inc. that it intends to exclude him from doing business with the federal government. This, in turn, could prevent Forest from selling its drugs to Medicare, Medicaid and the Veterans Administration. If the government implements its ban, Forest would have to dump Mr. Solomon, now 83 years old, in order to protect its corporate revenue. No drug company, large or small, can afford to lose out on sales to the federal government, a major customer.

Also note that the .gov has gotten so powerful that a medical company cannot stay in buisness without it's custom. Charming.
Ed Morrissey explains what it means:

In other words, the government has decided to arbitrarily decide on punishment without any due process in regard to the individuals involved. The Obama administration wants the power to dictate to the private sector who can and cannot run firms that do business with Washington. I’m not sure even Ayn Rand predicted that in Atlas Shrugged.

It’s not difficult to see where this will lead. Firms of insufficient political correctness — or insufficiently supportive of the President and his political cronies — can expect to get the Solomon treatment. Those that pay homage to the agenda of the ruling class, or pay cash to its campaigns, will almost certainly get a pass.

Oh punitive liberalism. Well, it's for the greater good after all.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Well now the Feds are telling companies which states are good and which states are ungood to build factories in. Boing is being forbidden from expanding production to a non-union shop in South Carolina.

Do I need to explain how many kinds of wrong this is? Not only is the federal government saying to Boeing that it gets to decide where it puts its production lines, it's telling South Carolina it may as well not enact laws designed to attract investment. All that's missing are the words "Five Year Plan."


Oh and don't worry about this either.

DISCLOSE died in Congress. It’s not the law of the land, nor should it be. So the president is considering just implementing it anyway by royal fiat. The effect of the order is straightforward: Give government contracting officers information about how a company and members of that company donate politically. These are companies that are competing for government contracts. The contracting officers will use that information — that’s the point of getting it, after all — in determining which companies will get the government contracts and which ones won’t.

What this is, is a license to reward companies the contracting officers and the administration that happens to be in power agree with, and punish others. It will be used to punish non-union companies and reward union companies, as the NLRB is already apparently doing.

Just swell.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Memory Holes

Following up on the meanness of Reality with Global Warming please go here.

Basically the UN keeps saying there will be 50 million climate change refugees in the next five years... about six years ago. And now they're scrambling between erasing the old reports and pushing the new doomsday preditions to 2020.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Beyond rhetoric and claims what really counts are results.
reality can only be staved off for so long. Which is why our budget is such a mess of doom.

Here's a couple examples from Wisconsin, Global Warming (aslo this), and even mixed martial arts.

Of course the President is also subject to this:

But as people begin leaving wait-and-see mode and entering evaluate-and-judge, are they going to keep thinking "Well, he's black, so I should studiously scour any and all negative thoughts from my mind, even though he's brought my family and my business little but misery for three years" or are they going to think, "Gee, maybe I shouldn't have voted for him last time just because he was black. Maybe this time I should ask about his actual accomplishments and qualifications, apart from his general resemblance to a mash-up of a Heroic Young Crusader played by Will Smith and a Gentle Older Sage played by Morgan Freeman."

Which is related to this earlier post:
In all objective aspects, about anything that can be quantified and measured, Obama's presidency is a failure. A miserable failure. And a failure producing more and more misery -- persistent, grinding unemployment, skyrocketing gas prices, and soon the bite of inflation -- for more people than any other miserable failure since Jimmy Carter, and quite likely before him, too.

So what will the public make, in the end, of this charming young man who gave them such good feelings and confidence in 2008? Will they stick to that narrative, created largely by an in-the-tank media and a campaign which wisely refused to discuss qualifications and accomplishments in favor of feel-good Hollywood Happing Ending Machine uplift?

Though with Obama there's even more blatant evidence.

Michael Graham:
"I love getting lectured on how, as Americans, it’s our job to “take responsibility for ourselves and each other” by a guy whose half-brother lives in a shed in Kenya, and whose aunt is on the dole here in Boston."

Though for liberals making sure the dole is nice and fat is how they "take responsibility". Appropriate phrase that. The liberals are exceptionally generous... with other people's money... when taken at gunpoint.

But hey, it's not like it can keep going on forever.

It’s easy to remember these long-term forecasts by using a lot of 80s: in 2080, government spending is projected to be a little less than 80 percent of GDP, and accumulated debt is projected to be over 800 percent of GDP.

The one thing that I can state with some confidence about these specific forecasts is that they are wrong. In the real world, something — either more prudent management of our federal fiscal affairs, or else a painful and destabilizing crash — will intervene.

Uh... yay? Well, reality is a mean old bastard.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Comment of the... Week.

Tam said...
I once remarked to an acquaintance that My People don't do "surprise parties". She was puzzled.

In response to an... interesting bit of NYC street theater. Theater that could only really work in a big condition-white, no-issue zone.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Well, we're boned.

More smoke and mirrors in the budget. Only in government can you spend more and have it declared a cut, and a historic one at that.

The only upside is that I think this is merely a continuing resolution for a week or so, but will fund military pay for the rest of the year. So, there's that.

Monday, April 11, 2011


Oh yes... Glen Reynolds has the right idea.

SO OBAMA’S PEOPLE ARE TALKING TAX INCREASES AGAIN. Here’s my proposal: A 50% surtax on anything earned within five years after leaving the federal government, above whatever the federal salary was. Leave a $150K job at the White House, take a $1M job with Goldman, Sachs, pay a $425K surtax. Some House Republican should add this to a bill and watch the Dems react.

You'd think the party of "the little people" would love this idea of sticking it to greedy fatcats.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Yesterday's narrative: There's no such thing as WI election fraud and Prosser should just "leave the stage".

Via Ace. Also Ace notes on how with the Left so animated and so energized the best they could get was a... tie "In Wisconsin". And now they might not even have that...

Because now with an entire city being added to the tally Prosser wins by 7k votes, and thus we have today's narrative: Koch and Walker stole the election.

To which TWM notes: "Which flies in the face of Democrats saying fraud wasn't possible just yesterday. "

Comments to a good Althouse post.

Crazy mess.

It cannot be denied.

Richard Fernandez on the inevitability of reality.

The despotisms of the Middle East had total control over their media and yet now face widespread unrest. The driver of discontent was in nearly all cases, rising consumer prices. Goods are the one thing that cannot be conjured into existence by the dream-merchants and the ideologues. Huge rent-seeking industries and bureaucracies may have come up against the one enemy they cannot defeat: the drying up of their own means of sustenance. They are starving themselves from their depredations; they have eaten out the landscape. And now the small mammals, nearly forgotten and trodden underfoot, are pouring out of their burrows and may eventually end the reign of the dinosaurs.

Mean old reality. It's also interesting that the way the US gov measures inflation was changed to exclude food and fuel prices. Handy that.