November 26, 2014 at 2:13 am #30371
you thought the housing bubble was bad… take a look at the college debt bubble…
Never be afraid to do the righteous thing, nothing righteous is ever easy.November 26, 2014 at 2:22 am #30373
All of these debts are nothing compared to the derivative debt exposure which is about 600 Trillion to $700 Trillion or more, no one knows the number. Read the articles. Derivatives is the collapse of the world economies.
Derivatives: The $600 Trillion Time Bomb That’s Set to Explode
$710 trillion: that’s a lot of exposure to derivativesNovember 26, 2014 at 3:22 am #30375
*edit Freedom, absolutely. last i heard it was 1,400 trillion. regardless of the actual number… those chickens will come home to roost… all the major players know this.
there won’t be a cold war… usa cannot afford it.
Never be afraid to do the righteous thing, nothing righteous is ever easy.November 26, 2014 at 4:53 am #30386
The student debt trap is an unholy alliance between the big banks and the feds, and to a large degree the colleges that have run up their costs several times faster than the general rate of inflation. Part of that is over spending on sports complexes, dorms getting fancier and fancier, cafeterias becoming food courts like at the mall, and so on. Guidance counselors need to do a better job than they are, but in the end it is the students and their parents that need to become a whole lot smarter in evaluating the costs of a given school and what exactly the student can realistically expect to do with the chosen degree. Another piece driving the debt are kids that take 5 and 6 years to earn a 4 year degree. My golden rule for my kids was you have 4 years to get a 4 year degree. It was non-negotiable. Twice my son ended a school year short a class and I made him make it up over the summer and pay for it himself being I had already paid for it during the regular school year.November 26, 2014 at 3:18 pm #30414
Nicholas Butler once said, “An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less.” That’s doesn’t sound like the qualities for resiliency to black swan events or SHTF.
I have started seeing the university as a training, and breeding grounds, for statism. In fact, by liking the process of formal schooling, and paying for the privilege of getting a “higher education”, you are showing your submission to authority… AND you have been promised rewards for your submission.
Actually, by going to university you are paying for a “license” to apply for certain government positions. This is called the “undergraduate degree”. To get the “license” to apply for higher level government positions you will be required to show further submission to authority and get the “graduate degree”.
Your most important quality is not your intelligence — though that is important — but it’s your ability to submit to an authority figure over a long period of time. By time you leave the state-run school system, you will have had 12 years of secondary and post-secondary education, plus 4 years of undergraduate education and 2-3 years of graduate or specialized education. That is a lot of submission. You are completely bought and paid by the state and your thoughts have been completely sterilized… AND you think you are really something really special.
So go ahead, take the easy way out and put your children into the state-run school system. It’s easy and everyone is doing it. You will be patted on the back by your neighbors and friends. You will be “normal”… AND your children will be primed and ready for finding their place in “the system”… OR you can choose something else.November 26, 2014 at 6:14 pm #30423
c, advocating for homeschooling makes sense and given the trend lines public schools are taking I’ll agree it is a good choice for more and more people. Not everyone is in a position to exercise that option however. College on the other hand is essential for many careers. Self teaching is just not an option. My brother with a PHD in Scientific Engineering is a computational fluid dynamics expert and you don’t learn that just reading a book or tinkering in the garage. His wife with a Masters in Physics is a rocket scientist. You can’t learn that on your own either. Both have high level defense related jobs that required many years of schooling. You can be assured there wasn’t any politics in their courses of study. Physics and math courses don’t care about anything other than physics and math. Not being as smart as my brother my ticket out the neighborhood we grew up in was a degree in Business Admin followed by an MBA. For another brother it was a degree in Accounting followed by an MBA. Another became a lawyer, and one took a different route out by using a Criminal Justice major at a Community College to get into a Sheriff’s Dept. For my sister a Psychology degree landed her a good career with the Dept. of Defense. We all had to do it entirely on our own steam I might add. For all 6 of us, college got us out of where we grew up and into lives our parents couldn’t have dreamed of with their not quite 8th and 10th grade educations. We owed it to our mother who stressed the importance of education even though she didn’t have one herself. For me I just ignored any political leanings professors might have had that I disagreed with.
All the above mentioned careers will be useless of course if the Western world collapses. If I were a young person plotting out my path in life I’d look to be acquiring education in something useful in a post-SHTF world, and some of the options there require college too. Given ever escalating costs, fortunately many options do not require college.November 26, 2014 at 7:42 pm #30424
MtB, I think your brother with a job as a rocket scientist might be a valued member of any group.November 26, 2014 at 7:57 pm #30426
He’s definitely smart and that’s always a plus, but I’m not sure his specific skills or that of his wife have much practical application in a non-technology based world. I suppose they could design a better catapult if the group is going to lay siege to someone’s fortress maybe.November 26, 2014 at 10:18 pm #30429
MountainBiker, there are many ways I could respond to what you said, but I’m going to tell you a true story.
I was brought up in a small rural town in northern Canada. I used to have long conversations with the principal of the school. I spend a lot of time in the principal’s office… It’s not hard to see why. I didn’t take very well to state-run indoctrination and propaganda.
Even though this happened many decades ago, I remember this one conversation I had with the principal. He was talking about being mystified by what he called the “brain-drain” from his community. The school had tough intellectual standards, and thus many students from this small rural school left town and went to the nearer city to get a university education.
What surprised the principal was that the students didn’t come back. He was mystified that they didn’t come back with their higher education, and use their advanced education to improve his community. He was deeply saddened that his whole career which was founded on getting the best students to get higher education, was in the end destroying his town.
Years later, I started wondering what the town would have looked like if they hadn’t exported their best minds away to the city. The town also collected the “broken people” that weren’t suitable for intellectual activities. These people were basically discarded by the state-run school. They walked around like ghosts, without any hope for a bright future.
So life can be great when you are good at writing tests and submitting to authority. Such a person, will pay their dues and buy a place in the state-run system of monopolies… For the others, they are fat out of luck!November 26, 2014 at 10:51 pm #30438
MountainBiker, I just want to comment on a few of your statements.
1. “Self teaching is just not an option.”
No it’s not, when you are buying a monopoly through a government granted license or certification. BUT if you are in a cutting edge industry, autodidactic learning is the only choice. For example, Steve Jobs dropped out of university in his first six months and audited courses like calligraphy which he used for inspiration while developing the Mac computer. You got to admit the guy was successful.
2. “You can be assured there wasn’t any politics in their courses of study.”
When you swim in the waters of the state, you don’t have to actually “teach” anything. The universities once were privately funded. Now most universities are heavily reliant on funding from the state. Certainly this is true here in Canada. Please correct me if I am wrong, but everyone you mention in your family are working directly or indirectly for the state. This is a natural outcome of higher learning in a state-sponsored system. Once you become good at swimming in those statist waters, it takes a rare intellectual courage to walk away from that type of privilege.November 27, 2014 at 1:54 am #30456
c, I hear you on the rural brain drain issue. It is happening everywhere. In New England it seems everyone’s kids go to Boston, NYC, DC, or North Carolina because that’s where the career opportunities are and for most young people the cities are a lot more exciting than the countryside. This is why urban areas have an increasingly large share of the population while the rural areas depopulate. Immigrants mostly go to the cities too. States like Vermont where I live that don’t have any big cities more or less have no population growth, and the median age is older than every State except Maine. Interestingly Vermont and Maine are the whitest States in the country and have the lowest violent crime rates. Old white people don’t cause much trouble I suppose.
Concerning the topic at hand, I think the answer is different if looking in arrears vs looking forward. Looking in arrears, for my siblings and I the alternative to not going away to college was to stay in the crappy neighborhood we lived in and maybe going to work in the hell hole factory our Dad worked in. Going to college allowed us to live lives of relative privilege compared to what was otherwise available to us. I know from growing up that there is no shame in being poor, but there isn’t any glory in it either. All of us chose not to be poor.
We now know that the system my siblings and I jumped into is unsustainable. It wasn’t cracking at the seams back when we were making career choices and we’re fortunate that it has more or less lasted for our careers and for our kids to grow up. As noted already those careers are useless if it all falls apart. Looking forward, if it does, the person who has found a life in a rural area or small town, and acquired more self sufficient skills out of economic necessity is going to be far ahead of their yuppie urban better educated better paid counterparts. No doubt about that. The complication however is that most young people coming out of high school live in urban areas. Being poor in the city isn’t going to afford any advantages over those working in the system as you put it. In fact they may be worse off because the better off will have more options to get out of Dodge as they say. With what I know and can see coming, I’d advise young urban people, if they don’t want to go to college and be part of the “system” to find a way of building a life in a rural or small town area, and for those who want the college fueled career, to look for one well outside of the cities. They exist. If they feel they must stay in the cities, then find a way to develop useful skills and somehow come up with a BOL plan.
As an aside, when we were looking for property in VT. I avoided the ski resort communities and other areas where there were lots of second homes. Instead I wanted to be in more of a working class community where folks as a general rule have lots of self sufficiency skills. My former neighbors in MA thought we were out of our minds to move here, but they don’t see what I see. All they saw was we were trading this house for a fixer upper log home on a dirt road. I saw a terrific property that we could make a go of it on post-SHTF. Hopefully the photo actually appears in the post. I’m not sure if I am doing it right. If it doesn’t take my word for it, it was pretty nice but location-wise not conducive to post-SHTF living, nor were the neighbors especially self sufficient. I was probably the only one in the neighborhood with guns, MA being a very gun-unfriendly State. However there were plenty of guns in the urban enclave to the south whose citizens will spread out once Uncle Sugar stops functioning.
Attachments:You must be logged in to view attached files.November 27, 2014 at 3:44 pm #30511
MountainBiker, that was very well said, and very thoughtful. I’m glad you see that the system — that took the vast energy of a whole generation of brilliant people — is unsustainable. We have used the productivity of a whole generation to glorify the state’s systems and structures. They are our pyramids and monuments to Ozymandias.
Many people that work for the state, do not see that they aren’t truly productive. Their government salaries come from tax dollars, that are taken by force from productive members of society. Yes, government workers do pay taxes into the system, but this is really only “recycled” tax money.
I come from a family of bureaucrats and government functionaries, so this observation above, has been personally very painful for me. We all want to think well of our families… Members of my family that administered their government subsidy programs, truly believed that they where doing “good works” for the poor, ignorant workers. They didn’t see or didn’t want to see, that their salaries, benefit packages, and later decades of pension income came from the productivity of these workers who would never have these kind of “benefits”.
The only people that seem to like subsidies are the subsidy seekers themselves… and the bureaucrats that are being paid to administer the subsidy. We have no idea what the taxpayers would have done with their productivity if it hadn’t be “liberated” by the state. Through the process of taxation, individual households have been impoverished in favor of glorifying the state’s systems and structures. At least if the taxpayers could spend their own productivity we would get the world that each productive person could build for him or herself. It would be a real world built on voluntary transactions between free individual rather than a world built by a small group of elites.
We could have had a very different world if the brilliant people hadn’t been taken by state’s bribes. Maybe your “crappy neighborhood” wouldn’t have been so crappy if your youthful creativity had not been taken from it. So, you mother wasn’t a hero. She was more like my principal, sending away the people that could have made her community a better, richer place.
So you might be wondering what this misanthrope would suggest. I would suggest people use their interests to drive autodidactic study. I would suggest people find a life in what remains of the capitalist system. Someone once said, “Capitalism happens in the cracks.” I would suggest that what little freedom and liberty that remains in this Fascist world, can be found there. I would suggest finding a life in the cracks.November 27, 2014 at 8:30 pm #30544
How the state-run schooling system helped fire the death toll in World War I.
Stefan Molyneux refers to this schooling system in the lecture: “The Monitorial System was an education method that became popular on a global scale during the early 19th century. This method was also known as “mutual instruction” or the “Bell-Lancaster method” after the British educators Dr Andrew Bell and Joseph Lancaster who both independently developed it. The method was based on the abler pupils being used as ‘helpers’ to the teacher, passing on the information they had learned to other students.”
“In the late 19th and early 20th century in the United States and elsewhere, the monitorial method was abandoned in favor of the methods of Horace Mann, using the lecture model of instruction delivered to passive students grouped into classes by age, without regard to differences in aptitude. It created more jobs for professional teachers, and was sold as a better way to educate more students to a higher level, but was criticized for reducing the participation of students in educating themselves and one another, and increasing the modeling of behavior on age peers over that of adults.”November 28, 2014 at 1:19 am #30556
Very interesting. I have long been fascinated by the British class structure that ordered and constrained them. I would add that historically the church served much the same purpose.
This made me think about my school when I was a kid. Up through 5th grade I was perpetually bored and spent much of my time daydreaming because the class was moving so slow. I sometimes got in trouble for it too. Typically it would be something like the teacher would be having kids read aloud and I’d jump ahead and be done with the whole thing and oblivious to where the rest of the class was many pages behind me, and I’d get called on to read the next part except I had no idea where the rest of the class was. Same thing doing arithmetic. If we were doing times tables for example, I’d have finished up through 13X13 and then get called upon, me then not knowing the rest of the class is back at 5X7 or something like that. Boom, I’m in trouble again and standing in the corner or having to stay in during recess or some such thing. The teacher never seemed to care that I already knew all the material she was trying to teach the other kids. I was supposed to pay attention anyway. Starting in 6th grade they separated us by ability and then it wasn’t so bad because only smart kids were in my class.
Where we live now the old one room school houses were still in use up until 1970 or so when a modern school was built. One is across the way from my place and is currently used and maintained by the Boy Scouts. Should the system collapse and the little hamlet I’m in resurrect it, one of my contributions could be supplying it with an abundance of books.November 28, 2014 at 2:55 am #30560
Over the last 10 years, in my area, there has been an increasing number of young, college educated urbanites that are purposefully seeking to ‘return to the land’. I helped start a program in our county (now covers 2 others) that provides housing and wage while they work and learn various aspects of agricultural and rural living. Once they have completed the course of study and internship we attempt t match them with available opportunities to work on/with or start their own ag or rural skill-based business. Of course the high unemployment in their age group, despite their college degrees, during the last 7 years have made programs like this attractive to more than you might suspect. New England has some very well know programs like this.
The ‘long recession’ coupled with high unemployment for the younger folk – and easy govt tuition/loans unfortunately has many kids going off to college in the last 7/8 years that had no interest in, nor clear desire to really go to school. I think they and their parents just didn’t want them living in their basement. Three (count ‘em!), three people I know that have been professors have quit in the last 2or 3 years because of the swollen class sizes and the poor quality and low motivation of a majority of the students.
I too put myself through school. Not because my family was poor but because my father thought women should go to ‘finishing school’ like his sisters and get married to the wealthiest guy they could find. Certainly not walk a couple of miles to someone’s farm twice a day to muck stalls, feed slop to animals and ride horses before and after school – and not get paid for it. (No one I knew growing up worked for any government/government agency(local/state/federal) I had no interest in being a ‘debutante’ and joining the DAR. It was 69/70’s – the first class in the high school to wear jeans to school. (Previously women wore only skirts or dresses) I originally wanted to become a vet. Graduated h/s at 16. I was so bored by grade/high school I pushed and pushed whenever I could to take advanced classes and always took as many summer classes as I could to get the heck out of there and away from my parents. 16-18 yrs old – AA in Interior Design and completed 1 yr of basic science credits at Carneige Mellon at night during that time then on to BA in International Finance/BS in Organic Chemistry, an attempt at pre-med while waiting for my wait listed opening at Cornell vet – too impatient got my MBA. Somehow ended up managing cargo ships and private venture capital funds for years. Now a small business person and small farmer. Do my friends think I am crazy? Oh yes.
College was my ticket out of a w.a.s.p. expected nightmare life of country club tennis, junior league, bake sales, a Ford Esquire station wagon loaded with a bunch of kids. I wanted to go to college. Was desperate to go and worked my a** off to do it. Was worth every penny even if I shovel sh** now every morning and inch to a breath away from 60 on Monday!
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