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Libertarian Thread # 3: Liberty will never die

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JJLehto View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JJLehto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 06 2014 at 14:23
No one really talks about that though, it's always:

1- Damn Reagan/Friedman neoliberals turning these schools into profit centers
2- There's too many loans being out (courtesy of the gov and/or greedy banks)

Both play a role I'm sure but it seems that simple to me...excess demand. Eventually this bubble has to pop and it's going to be an insanely painful one. 


Well that does make sense, so is that basically saying only the better students attend university, (and for "good" programs)? 
Damn, maybe the increasing availability of loans really is part of the problem. 


Edited by JJLehto - July 06 2014 at 14:29
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Slartibartfast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 06 2014 at 16:21
Hmmm, interesting discussion.  When I went to college I started out with grants and then it was all loans.  I had already decided on where I wanted to go with my career in high school  What is happening now is that students are really getting gouged by the banks.   Upwards redistribution of wealth.   Enjoy!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JJLehto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 06 2014 at 23:43
Sure, that is true but it does seem like the easy way out, gov plays a role as well, and I still think it's honestly more a demand bubble than anything...
Between your generation and mine something changed: That degree is no longer the "golden ticket" because, well everyone is getting one now.  

It makes sense to me, the parents always spoke about how necessary it was, and how that was the way to success. Well, have millions of parents telling this to their children, and so on and so on, by the time 10 years has passed and we're 22, 30% of my fellow generation have done the same. 

I was reading a paper about the Clinton boom, by very liberal economists BTW, and their analysis showed that most of the jobs created went to people with college degrees, or at least some, and only a few hundred thousand went to those without...so the tech boom/increase in finance may have kept college grads afloat, but it's run out by now. 

So sorry, it can never be that simple...even our housing bubble for example: Sure, banks and finance went berserk and sold everyone a bunch of crap, but people still had the demand for it.... That newly wed couple few years fresh out of college still took that $450,000 loan for a massive house in Nevada, that 50 year old couple still sold their house to buy a more expensive one (and took a new 30 year mortgage??) these are stories that happened to people I know btw, if we want to actually make progress Slart have to put the blame game on everyone deserved. My family would always gripe how we have to jump through hoops to get anything OK'd by our bank, or realtor or anything...what all these people were thinking is insane frankly. 
The Obama administration has of course kept the fountain of wealth flowing right to the top, and he personally was OK with the neutering of Dodd-Frank, so lot of good he's done. 


Edited by JJLehto - July 06 2014 at 23:49
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The T Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 07 2014 at 10:19
I don't know why the discussion of education is on this thread. This thread was about libertarians and their beliefs and discussion about them. We should resurrect the political discussion thread 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Doctor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 07 2014 at 10:31
Let's not forget the fact that banks are loaning out money to people to major in such useful degrees as Underwater Basket Weaving or degrees just as useful, which means they prepare kids to live at home with their parents. First, while I think people should be a bit more responsible for themselves and not borrow tens of thousands of dollars to pursue useless degrees which qualifies them for no job, I also blame the government and the banks for extending credit to kids to go to school for such useless degrees and the schools themselves for offering such meaningless fare. You want to major in engineering, science or even business, fine. You want to borrow 100 grand to study Ancient Greek Literature, ummm, no.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JJLehto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 10 2014 at 23:15
Originally posted by The T The T wrote:

I don't know why the discussion of education is on this thread. This thread was about libertarians and their beliefs and discussion about them. We should resurrect the political discussion thread 

This is better, first of all! 
Not only is the debate better but the intensity of debate, and OK some of the craziness of our friend's views LOL keeps people away Big smile

Why? Education is a major part of gov IMO
There's much to be discussed about the role of gov in education, and sorry for making it all ranty and horrible, but college aid and the econ behind that is also a major force these days. 

In fact Doc is right, and gotta love when two lefties (though he blows me away in that regard) agree about too much gov being a problem Shocked  you are right though Doc. Somewhere in my incoherent rambling Embarrassed I mentioned that state universities used to teach useful skills to the "regular" people, and were a positive force. Now, while I think it's great if you want to pursue a passion, it's true that so many sketchy degrees are being obtained now. Banks and gov are both to blame, they are probably related... Schools too, they don't HAVE to play this game. They can remain rigorous. 

Some of the Ivy League schools have adopted the policy of if you get accepted ,they have your back even if it means loan free $$. Someone I know said her daughter could've gone to Princeton and graduated with $8k in loans. 8,000 for 4 years of Princeton!!! You need at least 20,000 to get through Rutgers.... And no one will accuse Princeton of softening standards. As for these state schools and their medieval literature degrees, well yeah pretty screwy


Edited by JJLehto - July 10 2014 at 23:27
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The T Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 11 2014 at 09:17
And some of the former top-schools seemed to have forgotten they are Universities first, NFL-breeding grounds second, I would add. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Equality 7-2521 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 11 2014 at 12:37
Originally posted by The Doctor The Doctor wrote:

Let's not forget the fact that banks are loaning out money to people to major in such useful degrees as Underwater Basket Weaving or degrees just as useful, which means they prepare kids to live at home with their parents. First, while I think people should be a bit more responsible for themselves and not borrow tens of thousands of dollars to pursue useless degrees which qualifies them for no job, I also blame the government and the banks for extending credit to kids to go to school for such useless degrees and the schools themselves for offering such meaningless fare. You want to major in engineering, science or even business, fine. You want to borrow 100 grand to study Ancient Greek Literature, ummm, no.


It's more pernicious than just the gov's monetary policy and vulturous behavior of academia (which has affected the institutions as much as the students). Much like the case of home ownership, for the last thirty years the government has made it essentially a moral imperative for age 18 children to move on to higher education. The possession of a college degree has been conflated with the USA's caricature of patriotism. Going to college has become a duty to your country and an expectation of your family, if your family wants to be respected in the eyes of the nation. The false promise of abracadabra health, wealth, and happiness due to the college degree buttresses this duty. This has become essentially official government policy. Just last month Michelle Obama was touring High Schools encouraging students to fill out FASFA forms and doing "whatever it takes" to get themselves into college. The Obama administration is by no means unique or more extreme in this. It's absurd. At best it's shortsighted policy which has been b*****dized from a legitimate Cold War era effort to boost science and technology. At it's worst it's a government, banking, and academia triumvirate which suckers those students of middling academic intelligence.

 And comments of this sort are by no means limited to just those majoring in hospitality management type fields. I see troves of students racking up debts to get 2/3 of a degree in Engineering or Chemistry who shouldn't be in school either because of their abilities or mindsets. I see plenty graduating with degrees in sciences which represent little more than a willingness to take on long term high interest learns due both to the lack of respect that industry will have for their BS and the dearth of any real knowledge or understanding of the material in which they've supposedly been trained.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Equality 7-2521 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 11 2014 at 12:40
Originally posted by The T The T wrote:

And some of the former top-schools seemed to have forgotten they are Universities first, NFL-breeding grounds second, I would add. 


Windfall profits due to a slave labor force and a guaranteed stream of completely inelastic demand for your diminishing services will do that.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Doctor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 11 2014 at 12:53
I agree, Pat, there does seem to be an inordinate amount of pressure to go to college now, but employers are at least complicit in this as well. Where you used to only need a high school diploma to get an entry level job, now most jobs require some college, if not a bachelor's degree, before you will even be considered for a job, even if it's just a low level office job. More than just a duty, it's become an imperative to go thousands, tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt simply to get a job paying $30K a year. This in no way absolves the government, banks and schools of their responsibility in this scam, but people are essentially being forced into college whether they want to go or not, unless they are content to flip burgers their entire lives or take one of those much sought after Walmart jobs.

I also agree that many people have neither the skill set or the attitude necessary for success in school. And I don't really agree with the idea of admitting everyone into college. In fact, without that, college degrees would become rarer, and no longer essential for entry level positions and in turn, those who did actually have them would be valued more than at the current dime-a-dozen. But then the banks and schools would lose out on all that ill-got loot.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Equality 7-2521 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 11 2014 at 13:25
I think it's hard for a business not to do so though I'm not absolving them (if that's an appropriate label). The overabundance of degrees have further stratified the work force. The lack of any sort of degree would seem to indicate a level of incompetence since the prerequisite for a degree is just showing up essentially. Businesses have essentially outsourced their training and interviewing functions to the universities to reduce costs and risk. 
"One had to be a Newton to notice that the moon is falling, when everyone sees that it doesn't fall. "
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rogerthat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 11 2014 at 23:02
It is interesting to hear that employers in USA rely on the degrees possessed by the candidate (rather than, presumably, the candidate's particular qualities that make him more suitable for the job than others).  That has been the situation in India for a very long time and it allows people who are bookish scholars but poor managers/executives to land good positions in top companies even as bright and motivated people can only ever hope for a 'contract'/'outsourced' job (i.e. not on the rolls of the company but on an outsourced agency's rolls) because they don't have the means to pursue further studies.  My own junior lives in a slum and does not (yet) have a bachelor's degree but is such a motivated and disciplined performer and I feel terrible about not being able to somehow beat the system and give him a job on the rolls which would give him better pay, more job security and a more solid path to career growth in the long run.  I remember, on another forum, arguing with somebody (from America) who I think was an adolescent, and telling him that college education has nothing to do with one's individual proficiency in say accountancy (or any number of subjects) LOL and he thought I was crazy for saying that.  But I know what I am talking about.  What insight I ever gained in colleges was banal at best and wholly superfluous at worst and I learnt everything either on my own or by relying on private tutors.  It is one thing to just cram books into your head and pass exams and another to grasp the core of a subject and understand its larger purpose in the real, practical world of business activity.  And when you are under serious time pressure, you have to have quick reflexes and be able to interlink concepts as if it were the most natural thing to do for you and not open books and try to recall what you studied in college.  

Edited by rogerthat - July 11 2014 at 23:17
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rogerthat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 16 2014 at 01:25
*bump*  Not related to libertarianism but about economics and contrasting conservatism versus Keynesian expansionism.  This is my write up based on my observations on an annual general meeting of my housing society.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PrognosticMind Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 18 2014 at 07:18
Originally posted by rogerthat rogerthat wrote:

It is interesting to hear that employers in USA rely on the degrees possessed by the candidate (rather than, presumably, the candidate's particular qualities that make him more suitable for the job than others).  That has been the situation in India for a very long time and it allows people who are bookish scholars but poor managers/executives to land good positions in top companies even as bright and motivated people can only ever hope for a 'contract'/'outsourced' job (i.e. not on the rolls of the company but on an outsourced agency's rolls) because they don't have the means to pursue further studies.  My own junior lives in a slum and does not (yet) have a bachelor's degree but is such a motivated and disciplined performer and I feel terrible about not being able to somehow beat the system and give him a job on the rolls which would give him better pay, more job security and a more solid path to career growth in the long run.  I remember, on another forum, arguing with somebody (from America) who I think was an adolescent, and telling him that college education has nothing to do with one's individual proficiency in say accountancy (or any number of subjects) LOL and he thought I was crazy for saying that.  But I know what I am talking about.  What insight I ever gained in colleges was banal at best and wholly superfluous at worst and I learnt everything either on my own or by relying on private tutors.  It is one thing to just cram books into your head and pass exams and another to grasp the core of a subject and understand its larger purpose in the real, practical world of business activity.  And when you are under serious time pressure, you have to have quick reflexes and be able to interlink concepts as if it were the most natural thing to do for you and not open books and try to recall what you studied in college.  

^Nailed it Clap.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JJLehto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 20 2014 at 00:13
Doc, the employer thing is like a chicken or the egg deal IMO...
Why is it that things have changed as you say? Are employers upping their demands, or is it because so many people ARE going to get degrees? 

To beat my own dead horse, I think it is a demand issue, and it's on us as a population. I really do believe it's us choosing to go in increasing amounts that started the cycle, though it seems to have become self perpetuating (have to go, oh so many have degrees now we demand more education, sh*t now I really have to go etc etc) 
Of course banks and schools have jumped on to make it worse, and federal gov aid may make it a bit worse as well. 

Why would employers start demanding a higher degree of education for no reason? Especially how far down it goes, I mean I was working in the service sector with (sorry to sound like an ass) people that were far below me in terms of schooling and human capital. I was not alone, we all know the stats about unemployment and underemployment with degree holders. I think the employers are responding to us. As more people get degrees, there are just not enough jobs, so as we go down the ladder, the demands may start to go up. 

We were taught in Labor Econ the "signaling" theory, which was basically education may not really "better" someone, but signal that "Hey I'm a hard worker."   That you can handle a lot, manage time, deal with pressure, and all the type of stuff one needs to get a degree. This relates a bit(?) to what roger was saying about maybe not learning much at university? 

I know I was a bit let down how little I really learned at school, but I also did political science which was pretty easy. I assume for engineering and "good" majors it's different?

All I know is, things have gotten pretty screwed up and self fulfilling. Not sure if anything can break this in the US until prices just reach outrageous levels, and basically it reverts back to the old days were wealthy/truly deserving can go, or some radical change involving gov..no idea. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JJLehto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 20 2014 at 00:17
That is also normal roger...I told people younger than I, friends who didn't start yet, "college isn't really a good indicator of skill or intelligence" usually to negative responses. Until...years later when they all said I was right and were bummed how things turned outLOL

It does seem many majors have this issue, again my viewpoint is skewed since all my roommates at Uni were engineers or Comp Sci so they found real use. Myself and others though seem to have that same experience of "not really learning much or finding it of real life use" 
Though technically one can teach themselves computer stuff on their own, just without a degree you're screwed which my brother who is passionate but has a major hole involving school is finding outCry



Edited by JJLehto - August 20 2014 at 00:17
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rogerthat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 20 2014 at 04:28
Originally posted by JJLehto JJLehto wrote:

Doc, the employer thing is like a chicken or the egg deal IMO...
Why is it that things have changed as you say? Are employers upping their demands, or is it because so many people ARE going to get degrees? 
To beat my own dead horse, I think it is a demand issue, and it's on us as a population. I really do believe it's us choosing to go in increasing amounts that started the cycle, though it seems to have become self perpetuating (have to go, oh so many have degrees now we demand more education, sh*t now I really have to go etc etc) 
Of course banks and schools have jumped on to make it worse, and federal gov aid may make it a bit worse as well. 
Why would employers start demanding a higher degree of education for no reason? Especially how far down it goes, I mean I was working in the service sector with (sorry to sound like an ass) people that were far below me in terms of schooling and human capital. I was not alone, we all know the stats about unemployment and underemployment with degree holders. I think the employers are responding to us. As more people get degrees, there are just not enough jobs, so as we go down the ladder, the demands may start to go up. 
We were taught in Labor Econ the "signaling" theory, which was basically education may not really "better" someone, but signal that "Hey I'm a hard worker."   That you can handle a lot, manage time, deal with pressure, and all the type of stuff one needs to get a degree. This relates a bit(?) to what roger was saying about maybe not learning much at university? 
I know I was a bit let down how little I really learned at school, but I also did political science which was pretty easy. I assume for engineering and "good" majors it's different?
All I know is, things have gotten pretty screwed up and self fulfilling. Not sure if anything can break this in the US until prices just reach outrageous levels, and basically it reverts back to the old days were wealthy/truly deserving can go, or some radical change involving gov..no idea. 


well said. Yes, more no.of graduates makes companies demand higher qualification. Getting a commerce degree is so easy in India that the pay is also very low and big companies hire CPA equivalents to do the work of a commerce graduate. Well, I guess eventually the Fed will have to hike interest rates and that may result in hefty student loans going bust and killing demand for university education.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rogerthat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 20 2014 at 04:34
Originally posted by JJLehto JJLehto wrote:


That is also normal roger...I told people younger than I, friends who didn't start yet, "college isn't really a good indicator of skill or intelligence" usually to negative responses. Until...years later when they all said I was right and were bummed how things turned outLOL
It does seem many majors have this issue, again my viewpoint is skewed since all my roommates at Uni were engineers or Comp Sci so they found real use. Myself and others though seem to have that same experience of "not really learning much or finding it of real life use" 
Though technically one can teach themselves computer stuff on their own, just without a degree you're screwed which my brother who is passionate but has a major hole involving school is finding outCry



That may be because engg students get the benefit of equipments, labs which they cannot access at home. For both accounting and political science, theory is textbook based and, at least in accounting, gets a bit disconnected from practical applications. I learnt a lot more during my apprenticeship as it was practical, on the job learning. At least in India, you cannot learn how to actually apply tax law to real situations from the textbook. It requires training, preferably under a good mentor.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rogerthat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 20 2014 at 04:38
...however, even in electronics, a friend of mine studied engg from a terrible college which allowed him to skip class (lol) and indulge in experiments to learn more. He did well in GRE and studied MS in America and has been working there since then. Last heard, he was in Kansas.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 20 2014 at 17:48
If I can just give the perspective of an employer here...

Learning doesn't stop on Graduation Day. Understanding the theory without the practical experience of applying it is no better (or worse) than having experience without an understanding of theory, one completes the other. All disciplines and professions are a balance of theoretical knowledge and practical experience, there is no ideal ratio between the two because not only does it vary from profession to profession it varies with time as well as both are dynamic and interlinked. Putting theory into practice improves understanding, repeating the experience allows us to employ the better understanding of theory and so improves the experience. As we gain more experience we accrue more knowledge, gaining knowledge allows us to gather new experience. Practice, as they say, makes perfect. 

As an manager (my current job title is Development Manager) I have employed people who have good book-learning but limited practical experience and those who have plenty of experience but limited theoretical knowledge. In general it is easier in the workplace to improve someone's experience than it is to improve their fundamental knowledge, (i.e. in a working environment it is easier to mentor than tutor). Part of that is obviously because you can improve experience as you do the job, whereas theoretical knowledge has to be taught separately. It is an uncomfortable reality that over time the person with a better foundation in theory will improve more and achieve more than someone who initially had greater experience but limited educational knowledge. The person with greater theoretical knowledge will be also inclined to take greater risks and larger steps forward - it is the difference between "In theory this will work" and "This worked last time" [in my profession that is the difference between an engineer and a technician (regardless of qualifications and job titles)].

However, in practice over a short time-scale both can be as good or as bad as each other - both can be at home to the f*ck-up fairy at times when you least expect it and both can cost you money. I have lost count of the number of times I have stepped in and pointed out a fundamental error in a circuit design that would have Herr Ohm spinning in his Bavarian grave. The skill of a good manager/mentor/tutor is to anticipate the f*ck-ups before they occur and head them off at the pass, and you can only do that if you understand the limitations of the people you are managing. Understanding ability is easy by comparison, everyone freely shows what they are good at but will hide what they are bad at - the art of bluff is a natural skill that even the most inept are well practised in (erm, they've had more practice in it). But once to have "the measure of the man" you can address the weaknesses and work on redressing them.

For each job vacancy I see dozens of CVs pass across by desk and I have to assess the suitability of the candidates for the role based on what is written on the page and in any covering letter (if there is one). While we can look at someone's academic qualifications and make some kind of assessment of their theoretical knowledge, there is no real measure of experience - doing a job for 'x' years does not equate to 'x' years experience and while someone may say that doing a particular activity will be 'good experience' we have no way of quantifying 'good'. An employment record only tells where the candidate worked in the past, it gives no indication of relevant experience. And that's a problem because I cannot interview every candidate so I am only going to call into interview people who I believe have the potential to do the role. It is another uncomfortable truth that in the time it takes me to read a CV I've often made that decision.


If you cannot be wise, pretend to be someone who is wise and then just behave like they would - Neil Gaiman
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