Harvard’s most popular course is Ec 10, the introductory class in economics. This fall, 760 undergraduates were enrolled -- almost half the school’s freshmen. Economics is the most popular major at Harvard, Yale and Princeton. Rightly or wrongly, these students and others will have an outsized impact on policy making, so it matters how the subject is taught. Yet many, especially those who only take first-year classes, get a misleading impression of how the economy works. We can do better.
The author goes on with a bunch of fluff.
Let's make it simple -- any "Professor" who tries to argue that arithmetic is no longer valid is tarred, feathered and run out of town with an option for the students to cook and eat him or her (if they believe that BBQ sauce would improve the rancid taste.)
What am I talking about? The fact that virtually every economics class fails to recognize that all so-called effects they model are in fact a balance sheet -- that for every "transaction" there is both a debit and credit.
Refusing to identify and account for the offsetting entry is the cardinal sin committed on a daily basis by so-called "economists" and reporters in this realm. It amounts to fraud when perpetrated upon the public in the policy arena because it deliberately ignores the costs that a given policy extracts.
Now it is certainly true that in some cases the offsetting entry goes against a stored or consumed resource (e.g. if you grow something the other side of the balance sheet may in fact, in part, be against the sun!) but it always exists and must be accounted for.
Willful and intentional refusal to assiduously chase down and make those ledger entries when analysis is done and policy decisions are made are why we continue to have repeated crises, bubbles and blowups that "nobody sees coming."
Anyone who was to accurately account for said balance sheet would both see it coming and know from where it would come. It is only through this fraud that these behaviors go unchecked, unreported, unanticipated and unpunished, and if Harvard -- and other "institutions" -- wish to claim that arithmetic suddenly doesn't exist as they allegedly "train" the next generation of said "professionals" then it is only just that they be held to account since they claim credentials and expert status in these matters.
Our racist (refuses to stand up and call the crime by three young punks who posted on Twitter that they hated white people -- then executed a white jogger by shooting him in the back of the head a hate crime), jihad-ignoring (has willfully and intentionally refused to call Hasan's murder of American Servicemen and women on a US military base, while yelling "Allah Akhbar!", Muslim Terrorism) POS (that's shortened from POTUS) now spewed:
"Students need ways to manage and afford debt" (to go to college.)
Let me guess -- we need massive Collegiate Football palaces, thousands of deans, provosts and other non-educators in these "hallowed halls", and we must continue to innovate in teaching such rapidly-evolving and difficult to instill subjects such as Differential Equations, Organic Chemistry and Physics?
Calculus hasn't changed since, well.... calculus. Neither has Organic Chem; I seem to recall that the last seminal event that re-ordered how chemical reactions (whether organic or not) took place some many millions of years ago. I also seem to remember that same event being the previous instance where how physics works might have been altered as well.
It would appear to me that the cost of a textbook for such a class should in fact approach zero. After all, copyright has long since lapsed in the intervening years. It would also seem to me that with said lecture being delivered a few hundred thousand times in the intervening period that the marginal value of same also approaches zero. This leaves the marginal cost and utility value of someone to answer your questions when you don't understand why a particular concept works the way it does.
That cost and therefore at (some multiple thereof) price should approach (but not reach) zero.
In addition it appears to me that a Raspberry Pi, a fully-functional $35 computer that can be coupled to virtually any flat-screen TV, is sufficient resource for someone to be able to access said store of knowledge and learn, should you want to do so. Of course there are other options, some that are paid for with public funds (e.g. computers in the library) but even if you're (truly) poor and have little there is no barrier to entry when it comes to the knowledge that colleges supposedly impart.
No, what you have is a POS (again, shortened from POTUS) who thinks that (debt) slavery is just fine, and who is perfectly ok with arrogating to himself the bully pulpit to advocate for exactly that. After all, as a black man he wouldn't have any cultural sensitivity to slavery -- right?
It's especially amusing to watch this POS advocate for ways for people to "manage" said slavery. I'm sure all the black people on the plantations felt exactly the same way. Isn't it funny how today's plantation is found with a nice pair of ivory columns in front of the door and a bunch of professors and administrators sitting in the tower?
And people wonder why I think this nation is about to find itself gripped in the convulsions of a people tearing each other -- and themselves -- apart?
What do you do when your pet school is getting a failing grade?
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida's education commissioner resigned Thursday amid allegations that he changed the grade of a charter school run by a major Republican donor during his previous job as Indiana's school chief.
Tony Bennett announced his immediate resignation at a news conference, saying that he while he did nothing wrong he didn't want to be a distraction to Gov. Rick Scott's efforts to overhaul Florida's education system. Emails published by The Associated Press this week show that Bennett and his Indiana staff scrambled last fall to ensure Christel DeHaan's school received an A, despite poor 10th-grade algebra scores that initially earned it a C.
Bennett denies having done anything improper, but that's not really the point. The point is that we have this problem in the first place -- schools that are funded with ever-increasing amounts of money and are effectively a black hole for those funds, producing entirely-unacceptable outcomes.
The usual screed is that we must continue to spend more and more.
May I ask why?
The average per-pupil cost in this area is around $8,000. If there are 25 students in a classroom then there's $200,000 in that classroom in the form of funds.
Why does it cost $200,000?
The usual hue and cry is that teachers are "underpaid." But $200,000 is far more than they're paid. Let's assume the average teacher's fully-laden cost of employment is $75,000 -- $50k for the teacher and another $25,000 for retirement and other benefits along with imputed costs such as employment taxes, all fully funded (that is, no games with the pensions.)
Ok, where's the rest go?
The average pupil needs a desk and about 10 square feet of space. Let's give the teacher 200 square feet more for his or her desk. Add a chalkboard.
So each classroom is 450 square feet. Are you really going to tell me we can't buy that for $10/square foot on an annual basis? Because you most-certainly can for an office, and it'll be decent space too, with shared bathrooms and similar. Remember, we don't need posh -- just serviceable.
Now we're up to about $80,000.
I'll add in a decent library, a place to throw some basketballs and a lunchroom. We'll impute another $5,000 per classroom, per year, for those, more than doubling the classroom expense. Remember that this is all shared space and each student only uses them for a tiny fraction of his time in the school.
Where is the rest -- more than double that $85,000 per classroom that is actually spent -- going?
I'll tell you where it's going. It's being siphoned off by people who have exactly nothing to do with the educational process, by forced "contributions" from the school budget to things like football stadiums, and to outrageously lavish nonsense like smartboards, iPADs for the kids and similar BS.
If anyone could make the argument that the standard "stand and deliver" lecture style teaching of the basics of language, arithmetic, science and literature that took place in the 1940s, 50s and 60s was replaced and supplanted and we got better results as a consequence I might be willing to listen.
But you can't make that argument.
Remember that "stand and deliver" put men on the moon, brought us the calculator, personal computer and in fact virtually all of what we enjoy today.
In Chicago when I ran my Internet company ninety percent of the people who applied for entry-level jobs at my company and had "diplomas" were unable to calculate using a pencil and paper the sales tax on an item and make change for a $20 when offered as payment for same. That same ninety percent were unable to write a single-paragraph business letter displaying the proper placement of the address block, a salutation, proper grammar and spelling in telling a customer that their service was interrupted for non-payment of their bill, politely asking for same.
I had a lateral file four-high and nearly 10' long of failed applicants tests -- I kept every single one as a defense against being accused of "racism" or some other sort of similar crap.
Is it better today? Go into a store and watch what happens when the computer fails to work. You're odds on that the clerk cannot make change for your tendered cash and God help you if there is sales tax to be computed with a paper and pencil.
Local and state governments continue to tell us that we must "fund" education. I say to them that we should instead repeal the State Constitutional mandate for a "Free public education" beyond the 5th grade since it is proved beyond any reasonable doubt that the state and county governments are incapable of providing that education at a credible level of performance irrespective of how much money is thrown at the problem.
Today if you can read you can learn anything. The prevalence of public libraries with computer terminals on the Internet means that anyone who gives a damn can, with a bit of effort, learn nearly anything they wish, whether it be literature, mathematics, computer programming or almost anything else. There is no longer a colorable claim that a school building is either necessary or useful for kids to learn what's necessary to find one's way to a productive career. The cost of such education?
Further, forcing those who don't give a damn to show up along with those who do destroys the educational environment and makes it nearly impossible for those who want to be there and learn to do so. Add sex, drugs and violence to the mixture and I wouldn't be shocked if more of the kids know how to cut an eight-ball of cocaine than to compute the sales tax on a $14 item and make change for $20 on that sale.
It is certainly true that some students don't give a damn and that destruction of the family is part of the problem too. But that doesn't matter, in the end -- what matters is whether the alleged "investment" is in fact worth the money spent or whether we are*****ing money down a hole, fostering an entitlement culture of youth who are passed despite not learning the material, who then go on to claim to have a "diploma" but cannot perform four-function arithmetic without a computer and cannot write a paragraph containing coherent sentences with articles, nouns, verbs, adjectives and direct objects.
At the same time we're producing yet another "protected class" of so-called "professionals" who are not held accountable for their failure to produce actual results and they're allowed to waste more than half of the necessary resource reasonably required to produce those results in the process, feathering nests up and down the line in the process.
Yet we still award these "students" so-called "diplomas" and claim they're fit to go out into the workplace and earn a living for themselves.
Doing exactly what, beyond dealing drugs and shooting one another, may I ask?
It sucks that you are bleeding to death.
But we cannot resolve the underlying issue if we refuse to talk about the fact that if you didn't saw off your arm at the elbow you wouldn't have your most-pressing problem in the first place.
Few federal programs are as uniformly unloved as student loans. Since the government replaced federal guarantees with direct lending, conservatives have ramped up criticism of the loan program as an unnecessary public intrusion on banking. Meanwhile, liberals dislike that federal student lending is an entitlement program that benefits mainly the middle class.
What can there be to love about a program that starts new graduates on their adult life with piles of debt? How about this: as college tuition rises, loans are still the most cost-effective way for the government to bridge the gap between the cost of college and what students and their parents can pay.
The article goes on to note that private tuition has more than doubled; public school tuition has tripled. Then there are the utterly-ridiculous ramps in fees and costs -- books that are hundreds of dollars each and intentionally "updated" (with no factual change) every year to prevent the resale market from holding down price, "fees" that are rising even faster than tuition and other various forms of chicanery that colleges engage in to render the "tuition" quote almost meaningless.
Nobody wants to talk about why costs have risen at all, say much less at this outrageous rate. Let's face it -- Calculus is still Calculus. Literature hasn't changed at all; Shakespere hasn't written anything new in a very long time. And while we have made new discoveries in physics and chemistry, the typical undergraduate classwork and labs haven't changed one iota -- nor has the required physical plant to teach them.
The way we did it before was plenty good enough to put people on the moon, make air travel affordable to most developed nations and their citizens, put a car in everyone's garage, discover the transistor and integrated circuit, build the personal computer and Internet along with most of what we consider "creature comforts" today.
In short the old model was not broken.
So how is it that the price of something, when the cost of providing it at a competent level has not changed, has gone up at multiples of the general rate of inflation?
That's simple -- basic economics tells us that when too much money chases too few goods or services, the general price level of that thing will rise until demand is suppressed to the level of supply.
Why not the other way around? Why hasn't supply increased instead? That's simple -- the educational lobby along with government has put up artificial barriers to entry such as accreditation requirements and similar so that competitive offerings are not able to come into the market on a freely-accessible basis.
The natural outcome is that educational institutions financially******our young adults -- the very subgroup of adults who have the least real-world experience and thus are most-poorly equipped to erect the middle finger -- or lynch the Dean and Provost -- in response to their shenanigans.
This isn't the market doing its work. In other fields we would call this behavior Racketeering and Price-fixing, a rank violation of the Sherman and Clayton acts. In fact Apple stands accused of (and must face trial on) exactly that when it comes to "E-Books" over an alleged conspiracy that is much less involved than what has gone on here.
But not in this case.
In this case the government is fully invested in making sure our young adults get their share of financial******when they attempt to enter the post-secondary educational system.
We thus call the educational system's loan-based funding model "a viable way to pay for college educations" by forcing students to mortgage their futures.
In the late 1970s and 1980s, say much less earlier on, it was entirely possible (and millions of people did it) to work your way through school flipping pizzas or otherwise doing various sorts of work.
Today this path is more-or-less foreclosed upon for most students, and that's been an intentional matter of lenders, including now the government, along with colleges and accreditation bodies that have made the means of acquiring a degree without spending the jacked-up price they demand impossible.
The expansion of debt-financing is not a good thing -- it's a bad one. It constrains future spending power for the pleasures of the present. When this is a matter of free choice of free actors in an economy there's no particular problem with it, as those who make bad choices go bankrupt and those who make good ones prosper.
But when the government allows various bodies, some governmental and some private, to exercise the power of government force to effectively constrain the supply of a given good or service and then they pour "unlimited" amounts of money into that good or service's demand side via various loan "guarantees" while shutting off the ability of those who take on too much debt to declare bankruptcy and stick the drivers of that behavior with the well-deserved loss we wind up where we are now.
As I point out in Leverage college education is no longer a slam-dunk "good deal" on a cost:benefit basis. In many cases it no longer makes sense to attend at all.
But in all cases it is an outrage and nothing more than theft to allow an industry, backed by government force, to demand that you "sell forward" your productivity in the future in order to obtain some "holy" document.
That's not far from slavery and those who push such a model for how young people "should" behave, especially those who are in a position of authority and trust, deserve indictment -- or worse -- for their part in driving this behavior.
What they most-certainly do not deserve is accolades and further acts of enabling.
EXCLUSIVE: In the hallowed halls of Columbia University, a nest of ex-cons — who have served time for murder, attempted murder, robbery and assault — hold court on their unique brand of social justice for admiring students enrolled in the school's social work program, a FoxNews.com investigation has found.
There are plenty of people who have gone to prison for things that, in my view, shouldn't be crimes at all. But I don't count among those charges and convictions those who were actually found guilty and convicted of murder.
That one's pretty clear.
But heh, it's an Ivory Tower school, right?
One must question exaclty what values that school finds to be worthy of teaching our young adults in such a context.
Read the entire article over at Fox News. And make sure you are not drinking your coffee -- or a Coke -- while doing so.
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