Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Higher Education Rant

When I enrolled in Mohawk College's Chemical Engineering Technology program in 1981 I had already been heavily influenced by free market advocates like Milton Friedman, FEE, Frederic Bastiat, etc.

The relevant thesis, in this case, is that government economic intervention causes economic distortions that lead to mis-allocation and wasted resources.

On the first day of the course, in September, 1981, there were over 40 students in the class. Part of the reason there were so many students was because of the politically contrived incentives to be there. Artificially low tuition, government backed loans, and outright grants all made the program more attractive than it would have been in the absence of government intervention. (Does the word, "bubble" come to mind?)

Within a few short months a lot of the students had already dropped out, having no real interest in the subject, and having spent their grant and loan money on booze and partying.

By the time graduation day rolled around, there were only about 12 students left. Some of them were not even from that first class. It had taken them more than the two years to complete the program.

And guess what?

There weren't even any jobs for those who reached the finish line.

At the time I was marveling at the colossal waste from this government created circumstance, including the amount of time (years,) and the grant and loan money that the students had wasted, and the amount of money that was wasted on infrastructure and equipment. Labs, classrooms, and spectrometers, distillation columns, and so on....

all for nothing.

It was almost funny, except it wasn't.

As it turned out, I was one of the "lucky" ones. Perhaps the only lucky one. I still had some contact with a few of my fellow grads back then, and the word was that ONLY ONE OTHER GRAD found a job "related" to the program. Some barely minimum-wage gig, that required a commute to Toronto, to mix paint or something.

What a joke.

I landed a job in a research center. I was pretty excited at first, until I found out that the actual job required little more than about a grade 8 level of skill.

What a disappointment that was.

So out of the forty or so students from day one, all of those taxpayer resources had been spent so that ONE graduate could be paid to weigh the amount of molten polyethylene that was extruded through a small die in 30 seconds.

Something seemed seriously out of whack, wouldn't you say?

Multiply this experience over the millions of young people pursuing "degrees in worthlessness," as Gerald Celente puts it, and the costs to our economy become astronomical.

"In 2015, there were more than two million students enrolled at Canadian universities and colleges, compared to almost 800,000 in 1980." -- see attached article.

That's why, whenever I hear some *bonehead* like Bernie Sanders advocate free, and universal higher education, it makes me want to puke.

Here is the article that sparked this rant.

Coincidence or What?

Immediately after writing the above rant I opened my email to discover a new vlog by Stefan Molyneaux titled, "DON'T GO TO COLLEGE."

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