The Great College Debate

American Exceptionalism: The US Dollar Still Flying:

We have some degree of equality under the rule of law, but that’s as far as it goes and should go. As another blow to equality ,for things such as socioeconomic status, biological determinism means some people will be better than others. The left cannot come to terms with this reality, so they create bogus narratives about how IQ is not important or they try to soak the successful with wealth redistribution. The left seeks equality of outcomes, even if that makes everyone worse off, not equality of opportunity. We live in a society that increasingly rewards wealth and status for those in the top 5% or so of intelligence, with not that much for everyone else.

From Taki Magazine: The Tyranny of the Bookish

This article is really going viral compared to Derb’s other ones. Education is always a hot button issue, as the comment volume on the NYT on such matters would suggest. Pretty much everyone in American has attended school and can lend their own experiences or their children’s experiences to the discussion, and there’s no shortage of opinions from lay people and experts alike, unlike, say, topics like quantum physics or philosophy that require more requisite knowledge before one can lend their opinion.

Not being bookish is fine if you enjoy working a crappy job the rest of your life or you have the connection to join a guild. The evidence is clear: those who read more books (which I guess could include technical books) tend to make more money and without the need for as many connections. In Britain (and the rest of the world) during the years Derb’s youth there was an abundance of good-paying factory jobs that didn’t require much book learning; nowadays, not so much. In the post-2008 economy, cognitive capital translates into financial capital, and this leftist yearning for an earlier era when this wasn’t so won’t change reality. Republicans understand this, it’s the left, in their lack of understanding of economics, who wants to bring back the obsolete, overpaid factory jobs.

Regarding the recent spate of college bashing, the diploma helps get your foot in the door. It’s not a measure of the totality of your knowledge or a guarantee of success; it’s just an expensive piece of paper that signifies you are competent enough to complete college, the possession of which improves your odds of at least entering the middle class. People are getting worked up about this, like on the NYT and Huffington Post you see a similar us (the proletariat) vs. them (the ivy tower elite) trend trend of liberals saying that college grads lack street smarts, that college is a scam, or that college is useless. If you major in good-paying stuff like STEM and don’t take on too much debt, it’s a good deal. The average debt per student is around $20-30k, or about the same as a new car – except the college degree doesn’t lose 1/2 its value after your drive it off the lot.

The issue of expensive tuition and credentialism can be ameliorated to some degree by ending disparate impact lawsuits and expanding the use cognitive tests to replace costly diplomas, but of course this will run into much opposition from the left, who insist that such tests are racist because the wrong people score well.