I sat down to read yesterday after wrangling with my computer all morning. My intention was to slump into my easy chair and be carried away by the thoughts of someone else. Unfortunately, I picked up the latest copy of Harpers. In it, Thomas Frank was railing against the high cost of a college education, its dubious value in finding a job in today’s economy, and the subsequent growth of diploma mills and bogus institutions that accredit these mills.
Not only does today’s education cost more than ever before, but Frank calls its quality into question, noting that too often classes are taught by adjuncts and graduate students. Despite this degradation, the institutions of higher learning have no qualms “about tying a one-hundred-thousand-dollar anvil around the neck of a trusting teenager.” (“A Matter of Degrees,” by Thomas Frank, Harper’s, August 2012, pg. 4.)
Normally, I search for any good that can be extracted from bad news; but I can’t lie to myself or a reader of this blog. Money changers have corrupted academics just as they have the financial system and government. It may seem a cliché to say that a democracy requires an informed electorate, but it is also true. Unfortunately, I see no light at the end of this tunnel. As the costs of education soars, the number of those who can afford it is on the decline — a situations that fosters the growth of bogus institutions and accreditations. As Frank explains, the paper chase is about to endanger all of us.
Never has the nation’s system for choosing its leaders seemed more worthless. Our ruling class steers us into disaster after disaster… But accountability, it seems, is something that applies only to the people at the bottom… (Ibid. pg. 7)
(Courtesy of Georgedelapaz.blogspot.com)