Monday, September 5, 2011

The Education Trap

The problem with old bastards like me is simple. I spent my first 25 or 30 years chasing alcohol and drug induced criminals around. Man, without booze and drugs, we wouldn't have an economy at all. No bureau of prisons, no army of lawyers, judges and court clerks, cops, DEA, FBI, or all that other government waste. No rehab. Booze and drugs are big business. But I digress.

I can't chase drug induced idiots around anymore. It's just not do-able. I've seen people re-invent themselves. I even know what I want to do. I am just not sure that at age 50- I want to go play nice with teachers that are 20 years younger than me and get new credentials. All of those bullshit courses, humanities, fucking math you'll never use.

Enter the education trap.

In California, two years ago in the alcohol/drug rehab biz, I actually saw employment ads offering 10 bucks an hour in exchange for your master's degree and 5 years of experience. I am not kidding. How do you like that return on capital?

You wanna hear something really funny? I heard a CEO state recently that his company does not really care what your bachelor's degree is in. They just want to know that you can start something and then finish it. Proof positive that virtually everyone realizes that the substance of education, that vast majority of shit which you will learn and immediately forget, is not really important. Sitting in classrooms for 4 years and taking orders is far more important. Interesting. Of course that makes sense.

They don't want free thinkers. They want obedient workers. Ala George Carlin.

There's one other slight problem. College is expensive even though nobody pays for it anymore. It has become socialized. The government, bless their hearts, have rewarded all of those left thinking liberal faculty members with free money for higher salaries. Gone are the days when you could actually pay the tuition. Now days, without a job, you cannot pay the ridiculously high tuition. You have no life because there are no jobs. So you go to school. You borrow the money, play nice for four years, and then find you can't get a job when you are done. Now you owe some five figure, maybe six figure gawd awful loan and now the government wants you to pay them back- government vultures waiting to extort a 40-50% tax bite out of your hide for the next 50 years.

It reminds me of fattening cattle and then slaughtering them. The cattle think they have it good for awhile- right up until they figure out why they were getting all that free corn. Pow. 

So the student loan bubble, over a trillion and now higher than all credit card debt, is another bubble ready to burst.We are going to have the most intelligent society ever assembled- a society which accomplishes virtually nothing because we have no jobs. That's the world I find myself in. Like some Brooks Hatlen from the "Shawshank Redemption" bagging groceries at age 70. Except that they make you do it yourself now.

So the education trap is a theory that there will be a job waiting for you after you've spent a shit ton of money and a few years of your life. You'll have a bunch of debt and a vulture government more than happy to strip about half of your earnings away forever just in case you do get lucky and land a decent paying job. Just thinking about all of that has suddenly made me feel grateful once again. I'm going to close that Craig's List help wanted page and surf on over to my bank statement. Make sure my retirement check got deposited.

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