The Scam That Is 140K For College Degree
Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – “I was talking about this, was reading this piece and just tying this back to last week’s discussion about the utter uselessness of most of what passes for higher education today, and about how the government is trying to take it over, is probably going to succeed — they already have succeeded partially in taking it over and in directing it so that the university system, if you will, the education system will crank out the autobots that they wish to have cranked out.” Check out today’s transcript for the rest….
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: I was talking about this, was reading this piece and just tying this back to last week’s discussion about the utter uselessness of most of what passes for higher education today, and about how the government is trying to take it over, is probably going to succeed — they already have succeeded partially in taking it over and in directing it so that the university system, if you will, the education system will crank out the autobots that they wish to have cranked out. This is all part of the plan. This is not a conspiracy. This only makes good sense, especially if you’re one of those that is part of that august group of individuals that benefits from this.
The moral problem of the four-year drunken debauch is not the only concern out there. [Mike: Then he went through the whole thing about getting your degree.] With all those credentials, he will be in a position to make a real dent in the world of academia . . . Serious students often fail to recognize that the intellect is capable of its own peculiar debaucheries, of which high-end political correctness is but one lurid example. [Mike: Then I gave you some other lurid examples.]
Of course, a diploma can open doors. A number of employers require a degree, and a number of influential employers require a particular kind of sheepskin. No need to mention them by name, but such résumé-boosters rhyme with Yarvard and Hale. If you have such a degree in hand, and if you still have an intact soul in the other, you may really be ready to make that aforementioned dent. But again, what are the odds of this happening? [Mike: This is why this is a productive line of reasoning and discussion and thought.]
In some ways, it really is like playing the lottery, but with this difference: Instead of costing a dollar, each ticket is 140K. You might really win big, but you are virtually certain to lose big. And then when you don’t win big, you can reflect on the seven or eight ski boats you could have bought instead of that major in communications. The odds of getting a door-opening degree while retaining a robust affection for the permanent things are about the same as the odds of winning Powerball. It is great when it happens, but it seldom does.
This is looking at the outcome after it has come out. But parents and students have to make their college decisions before anything has happened, before freshman year. If we make no pretense to clairvoyance, what are we supposed to do?
Mike: This is a good question, one that I had to wrestle with. Some of you may have noted, if you were browsing about the Facebook page on Saturday, that I had uploaded some photos of daughter number one, Madison, who just moved into a dorm at Louisiana State University, popularly known as LSU. Someone had remarked: Dude, weren’t you just talking about this the other day and you didn’t think this was the greatest, the smartest thing to do? I said: As a matter of fact I was. I was talking about it. That doesn’t mean that she was actually listening. I had done all I could do to try and prevent the occurrence. Once the child made the decision and knew that I was not on board with it, she fled to the — I don’t want to get into all of this.
In any event, I’m really left with no choice, as many of you are left with no choice if your kids decide that’s what they’re going to do because all their friends are doing it and they want to do it. Despite your efforts — and they’re young adults now at 18 years of age — what are you to do other than support them as you would support them in anything else? That’s all that remains. Continue to preach and pray upon a different outcome. That’s the course that I take now. I’m not going to — just full disclosure there before anyone says, [mocking] “Well, didn’t work out for you, did it, buddy?” I fully expect to hear that.
One of the things I do as a pastor is meet with all graduating high-school seniors in our church. I talk to them about their plans, where they are going and why. I talk to them about their circle of friends—who will they run with? I give each of them a copy of Alex Chediak’s Thriving at College. I talk to them about their spiritual life. One of the crucial things is to have a faithful church close by their college, because college students desperately need a connection to a real community of normal people. The dorm doesn’t count.
More broadly speaking, I tell them that our system of higher education has fallen from a great height, and no longer represents what a classical liberal-arts education in the Christian tradition was designed to provide, and could still provide if it were being done right. I am talking about the travesty of the liberal arts as they currently are, not as they should be.
The university should not be a place where you train for “a job.”
Mike: This is the point that I was trying to make to my daughter and I’ve been trying to make here on this show. This is not to say that vocational training does not have a purpose because it most certainly does. I think only a fool would say that it doesn’t. That’s not what we’re talking about here. If vocational training were to be
pursued as we identify vocations and you would see that the market would dictate or markets would dictate how the training was to be done, how you would measure whether or not it was a success, what particular field, what length of time. This would all be determined — government would have no role in this. The only role the government would have would be in ensuring that there was no theft, there was no fraud committed, just like it would have the same role in ensuring the same practices in grocery stores.
What Wilson does here, though, is to make a distinction, and it’s a good distinction. There are some things that are distinct from what they are viewed to have as a monetary value. Most things today are viewed by most Westerners as whether or not they meet some ill-defined criteria of what their material or monetary value is. That’s how things are judged. That’s how men are judged. That’s how people are judged. It just becomes necessary then, and that’s how college is judged. That’s the criteria. You go in. What kind of a job can you get when you get out? It’s not how much you’ve learned? Not whether or not you picked up a little philosophy and some actual liberal arts training along the way, none of that. That matters to almost no one. All that matters is that I got the diploma that might open some doors. That’s what his point is here. That’s the point we were making last week when we talked about this. We’ll continue, while we’re in August here and there’s lots of talk about school, will just continue along the same lines.
The university should not be a place where you train for “a job.” A university education was designed to help us understand life, not how to make a living. [Mike: This should really hit home.] But having said that, the status quo of higher education can be broken down into two categories, and in this comparison vocational training actually comes out ahead. Vo-tech training—fine in itself, but not what college really should be—is closer to the kingdom than the depths to which education in the humanities has descended. Publicans and harlots go into the kingdom before the chief priests and elders.
There are majors where most of what you learn is true, and other majors where most of what you learn is false. A student who majors in mechanical engineering will learn mostly what is true. A student who majors in English lit will learn mostly what is false. This is not why we cannot have nice things. It is why we have mountains of nice things that nobody understands.
End Mike Church Show Transcript