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Thread: A Generation Hobbled by the Soaring Cost of College

  1. #201
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    Re: A Generation Hobbled by the Soaring Cost of College

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    society moving to a point where a basic college degree is viewed similar to how a high school degree used to be as almost mandatory for anything above a menial job
    It isn't just that people woke up one day and said "hey, lets consider college like we used to consider high school". The world has changed radically. 100 years ago our economy was driven by farming. You didn't really need anything beyond grade school to do that work proficiently. 50 years ago it was driven primarily by manufacturing. Most of the jobs in a manufacturing economy only require enough education to operate machines and assemble things, and you get there in high school. But today we are in an information economy. Software companies, pharmaceutical companies, high finance, etc. These fields require a much, much, higher level of education, but have much, much, much, greater rewards.

    One way to think of it is like this- in the olden days how much work you accomplished in a day was mostly a function of your level of effort. If you put in a solid 10 hour day in the fields you'd accomplish 25% more than somebody who put in 8 hours more often than not. But as technology has advanced, the productivity of a farmer has steadily had more and more to do with how smart they work. Maybe they will be 40% more productive if they make the right call about making a particular adjustment to the mix of fertilizer they use and the farmer that works 8 hours might dramatically outperform the farmer that works 10 hours if he is making smarter decisions. That's true in every field. Accountants used to be mostly measured by the amount of time they put in tabulating columns of numbers and re-checking it, but now all that is done by computers and they are mostly measured by strategic decisions they make. Computers and machines are steadily shifting more and more of the emphasis in most fields to how smart people work more than how hard they work. A database engineer might be at his most productive spending a whole month researching a particular setting in the database and only making one minor tweak. The same thing plays out on the larger scale. A worker might be more productive spending 10 years preparing to work as smartly as possible and 30 years working than they would be if they just spent 40 years working. As time goes on that ratio will keep skewing more and more that way. For example, we will reach a point where the only human involvement in farming is programming various machines. If the last guy studied how to optimize that programming for 20 years, the odds are that you'll need to study it for 21 years to be able to improve on it.
    Total tax rates- People living in poverty: 16.2%. The median American: 27%. Working people who make over $140k/year: 31%. The top 1%: 30%. Super rich investors: around 15%. Help the democrats retake the house.

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    Re: A Generation Hobbled by the Soaring Cost of College

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Invisible View Post
    I have to argue that as the US is moving from an industrial to a knowledge economy, thus if most people have degrees, it will be better for the economy as a whole.
    Just think that the reality is people have different skills. Not everyone will be smartest like not everyone is the strongest. We still need all sorts of skills that do not require a college education. Look at the German system, where there are strong technical schools for kids to learn the trades. Wish that was stronger here in the states.

    On the college front, my sense is that the state universities should be both for the students mainly from their state and materially less expensive than they are.

  3. #203
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    Re: A Generation Hobbled by the Soaring Cost of College

    I support the idea of public education and I think the economy would benefit from it, but I think it's a bit extreme to suggest that EVERYONE should have have a college degree.

    It's a bit depressing to read science and tech journals these days. You see all these interesting discoveries and innovations coming out of US universities, and swell up with pride a little, and then you look at who's doing the research and so often its a student from India or China or wherever. And then, due to our idiotic immigration polcies, we send those folks who've taken so much from our university system back where they came from and lose the benefit of their learning.
    "The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. They find it difficult to get food, and the greater part of their little revenue is spent in getting it. The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess. ... It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion."

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  4. #204
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    Re: A Generation Hobbled by the Soaring Cost of College

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinKohler View Post
    Cars also used to run on mechanical devices called carburators, that most handy men knew how to fix/tune, etc...now they are fuel injected, and require RATHER technical, detailed expertise to work with, not to mention equipment beyond a flat head screw driver and a basic socket wrench set.

    Times have changed. Things aren't as simple anymore. As technology increases, so too does the demand for what employees are expected to deliver. This all points to more precise skill sets, and more specific educations. We are leaving behind the age of generalists, in favor of specialists. Highschool level education is exactly general education.

    As for people doing crap jobs, who have diplomas for specific jobs...that's a sign of a couple of things, foremost of them, technology reducing the need for as many workers. Fewer employees are doing more. Forcing others to take work where ever they can find it.
    When things became too technical to learn on the job, employers made a big mistake to not continue earning-while-learning. College education must be replaced by paid professional training. It is as dysfunctional as offering someone a good job if he will spend four years working for nothing. As for the objection that such an employee actually produces something immediately available to the company while the college student doesn't, short-term thinking is damaging in the long run. Besides, it may take a year or more for a researcher to produce something marketable, but he still gets paid.
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    Re: A Generation Hobbled by the Soaring Cost of College

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    What? Of course it does... Not sure what you mean there... Obviously an education makes an employee more productive... Why do you think employers pay so much more for more educated people?
    If you redefine productivity perhaps. But in reality, the amount of education one has, has nothing to do with how productive they are. I've seen high school graduates up to PhD's waste away time and be anything but productive.

    Second, it means increased demand. More educated people make more money, they buy more products, that creates more high end jobs, those employees buy more products, etc...
    I never said the pool of jobs was fixed, I said it was driven by demand. And giving everyone a PhD means you have a lot of people with a 'high education', it does not mean that magically there are high paying positions for all of them. BTW, when people 'buy more products', it most often requires more unskilled employees (or minimally skilled) to make all that stuff. Just try to get a PhD to take a job on the assembly line.
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    Re: A Generation Hobbled by the Soaring Cost of College

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    I know, but since you quoted the key quote of her's that I cared about I just stripped down to her comment...that's why I left the " "'s around it to make it clear (failed at that) I was talking about her statement, not your view
    Sorry, my bad, I just didn't see it at first.
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    Re: A Generation Hobbled by the Soaring Cost of College

    Quote Originally Posted by cmakaioz View Post
    Again, with the illiteracy. I never said everyone should get a degree. Rather, that college education should be free to the student. Note: free to the student doesn't mean free...it means the expenses are not billed to the student. Students would still pay indirectly (through taxes and other contributions) before and after their time as students in their capacities in other roles.
    If it is free, far more people will go, a lot of them being people that probably are not suited to such things. Why worry, it's "free"

    If it was up to me, almost no one would have jobs...and that would be a good thing...
    Yes, perhaps it is a good thing to not extend the utopian dreams too far in this discussion.

    Ahh, I see...so you actually DON'T want a meritocracy after all...because you're perfectly OK with preserving artificial barriers to performance and pretending away the obstacles presented by several major demands on the time, energy, and opportunity of students.
    You know, the rest of your wall of text just isn't worth responding to. I just listened to Ed Schultz for the past hour to see what that idiot was up to, and now that I find a lot of the same thought processes, I am just to numb to care to respond.
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  8. #208
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    Re: A Generation Hobbled by the Soaring Cost of College

    Quote Originally Posted by Arbo View Post
    If you redefine productivity perhaps. But in reality, the amount of education one has, has nothing to do with how productive they are. I've seen high school graduates up to PhD's waste away time and be anything but productive.
    Not sure how you think that responds to my position... Sure, of course some people with any level of education waste time... That doesn't change the fact that more educated people tend to be more productive... What did you think the point of education was? Why do you think employers pay so much more for people with more education? Why did you think all the highest income brackets are overwhelmingly dominated by people with advanced degrees?

    Quote Originally Posted by Arbo View Post
    I never said the pool of jobs was fixed, I said it was driven by demand. And giving everyone a PhD means you have a lot of people with a 'high education', it does not mean that magically there are high paying positions for all of them.
    Well, we've been over that several times now. If you have any counter arguments, I'd be happy to hear them. Like I have said several times, it increases demand, opens up new industries and improves our ability to compete with other countries. Did you have any arguments against any of those claims? Or are you just going to keep asserting that you disagree generally?

    Quote Originally Posted by Arbo View Post
    BTW, when people 'buy more products', it most often requires more unskilled employees (or minimally skilled) to make all that stuff. Just try to get a PhD to take a job on the assembly line.
    This is just fundamentally what you're misunderstanding. Did you know, for example, that there is more intellectual property than physical property in the US? The information is worth more than the physical stuff today. When you buy an iphone you are buying maybe $2 worth of labor from China and $198 worth of software development, market research, chemical and mechanical engineering, design, financial analysis, etc, from the US. We live in an information economy. That isn't just a catch phrase- that is the bread and butter of the modern economy- information. The folks squabbling over the $2 with other economies that can provide manual labor for pennies an hour are missing the whole game. It's that $198 that matters and that is where we are set up to dominate. We just need to push harder educationally to retain and expand our edge there.
    Total tax rates- People living in poverty: 16.2%. The median American: 27%. Working people who make over $140k/year: 31%. The top 1%: 30%. Super rich investors: around 15%. Help the democrats retake the house.

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    Re: A Generation Hobbled by the Soaring Cost of College

    Quote Originally Posted by ogochukwu View Post
    education over the course of time has transcended from a commodity that only the wealthy and powerful in society can afford to the (in president obama's words) "great equalizer" but the current trend would say other wise, the prize of having a good college education makes the body go numb. the greatest asset in the global market today (a good education) is being sold in the united states at prices which the average earner can not afford comfortably. this is a great contrast to Asia and in my opinion thus the reason for the sore in the Asian standard of living and development.
    We are not Asian coolies. It is unnatural for an American 18-year-old to not have a full-time job. Our standard of living soared when we had a grow-up-quick attitude. This childish, depressing, and insulting indentured servitude of unpaid education is only fit for Asians. We started slumping when we tried to treat Americans like coolies.
    On the outside, trickling down on the insiders.
    We won't live free until the 1% live in fear.
    Hey, richboys! Imagine the boot of democracy stomping on your faces, forever.

  10. #210
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    Re: A Generation Hobbled by the Soaring Cost of College

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    It is absurd to charge people for education. It's a totally ridiculous policy on every level. The more people who get educated, the better our economy will do. That is a benefit to all of us, not just the person that gets the education, so all of us need to chip in. For somebody not to go to college because they can't afford it is just economic waste. Virtually every other first world country has figured this out...
    People who suggest free education are only going half-way and will fall on their faces. People must be paid a salary to go to college. That way we will get the most talented and get them to study. Since the ruling class imposed this indentured servitude on us, they should give us the same allowance they give their own children in college.

    A college athlete gets expensive housing, expensive food, expensive entertainment in addition to free tuition. How many of the talented athletes would go to college if all they got was free tuition and had to pay living expenses with part-time jobs? How many would have the energy to practice hard?
    On the outside, trickling down on the insiders.
    We won't live free until the 1% live in fear.
    Hey, richboys! Imagine the boot of democracy stomping on your faces, forever.

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