Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"College Conspiracy" presents college debt and educational "oversupply" as part of the financial crisis

National Inflation Association (“InflationUS”) has a 1 hour (plus) YouTube film “College Conspiracy”.  The website is this

The documentary starts out by stating that grade school prepares for high school, which in turn prepares for college.   It talks about academic learning as “regurgitation” (or as I once said in an Enriched Chemistry class in 12th grade, “All learning is memorizing”.  Well, maybe for trigonometry identities.) Then it turns to the new and used college textbook market as part of the “scam”.

Gerald Celete from Trends Research Institute speaks about “having to think their way.”  He then goes to talk about the scam-ness of student loans, which amount to setting young adults up for servitude.  Total student loan debt now is $830 billion.  Only hyperinflation would help them pay if off.

In the 1960s, during the Vietnam era, college was a ticket to draft deferments, or to less combat-exposed assignments for men if drafted or otherwise in the Army.  I remember when teaching math as a graduate assistant instructor that failing courses was a very sensitive issue because of the draft. (I even told students, "there are too many people going to college" then, 1966.  But I recall that somewhere around 1957, a women's magazine had asked of it housewives' readership, "Who would you want to have a college degree, you or your husband?")

In graduate school, I had a roommate (at the University of Kansas), who extolled the virtues of entrepreneurialism without a degree.  He followed Ayn Rand.  But Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard and look at what he did with Facebook.

In the Army, after graduate school in my case, in 1968, I remember a drill sergeant's telling me that I had "too much education."  No common sense, no social graces, etc.

The film takes the position that a college degree doesn’t mean a lot when everybody has one. It mentions grade inflation.

It also talks about prods to sell certain professional schools, such as pharmacy, and law.  “The law has become an excuse for bureaucrats to regulate every aspect of our behavior”, says a law school graduate in Arizona (including marriage and property use).

Toward the end, the film starts to link the "college scam" with the overall problems of debt and unsustainability in our national economy, and the lack of natural correction from the Collapse of 2008 because of all the bailouts and TARP. 

“Everybody can’t be a college graduate, somebody has to grow food.  Not everybody can ride in the wagon, somebody has to pull it.”  Somebody has to do the real jobs, even in the 21st Century. Pay your dues. There's a touch of Maoism in this rhetoric, remarkable in a conservative film. 

And, “the US Dollar is the world’s reserve fiat currency, backed by nothing… The entire US economy is a Ponzi scheme.” The film gets into bubbles (of which college is one), and artificially low interest rates. It predicts a hyperinflationary, Weimar-style great depression.  So all Americans should enter the workforce as young as possible to accumulate physical gold and silver.

The film could have been a better platform for examining “for profit” universities, but it does extoll online learning.

It’s directed by Greg Parker, produced by Gerald Adams.

Remember, however, how the WB show “Jack and Bobby” presented a college professor as saying, college is the start of your adult life.

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