Paul L. Caron

Monday, October 11, 2010

Peter Thiel on the Higher Ed Bubble

Wall Street Journal, Technology = Salvation:

[Peter Thiel, an] early investor in Facebook and the founder of Clarium Capital [,] on the subprime crisis and why American ingenuity has hit a dead end.

Liberals, he says, blame our education system, but liberals are the last ones to fix it, just wanting to throw money at what he calls a "higher education bubble." "University administrators are the equivalent of subprime mortgage brokers," he says, "selling you a story that you should go into debt massively, that it's not a consumption decision, it's an investment decision. Actually, no, it's a bad consumption decision. Most colleges are four-year parties."

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When I was in college, I couldn't imagine NOT graduating in 4 years, given the sacrifices my parents were making to send me to college. Todays parents are much too easy and expect too little from their children.

Posted by: Mary | Oct 12, 2010 3:38:33 PM

Not 4 years, usually 5 and not uncommonly 6, from the completion stats I've see.

Posted by: Marty | Oct 12, 2010 2:27:30 PM

I have been so disgusted with many of my friends and their college age students. The only thing they care about (the parents) is if their child is in a sorority, on the dance team, how good the football team is and whether their child is "lucky enough" to not have to live in a dorm. Then they say they will treat them with this, that and the other if they do well (as if their is a good possibility they won't) which means not failing. Nowhere in the discussion is their a hint of the caliber of the school, what they are majoring in, what interests the child etc. They don't care if their child shows up for class hung over, as long as they pass (and schools are happy to oblige them in an effort to keep the product coming), What they really want is to pay for a degree so their child will be a success, education is not even a consideration. It really is the 13th grade, or four year summer camp. Disgusting

Posted by: Jacqueline | Oct 12, 2010 1:33:28 PM

Rebel... I can (and have) visited DC ... Got face to face time with all three (2 Senators/1 rep)up to 30 minutes... including staff ...
They are very happy to see anyone who travels all that way ... I have proof ... Autographed photo with Don Young ... his arms around wife and me... 1st thing into his office... Take the photo...when you leave, he gives you the autographed photo...
But don't even think about moving to Alaska ... We like the attention you southerners give us... but do not need (any) more of you immigrants moving up here... It's just too cold for you... I mean you can barely leave the house in winter without a dog team and a 3 day supply of food and wood ...

Posted by: toes192 | Oct 12, 2010 11:46:08 AM

Ah yes, college. Where children go to binge, fornicate, and become indoctrinated. What's not to like?

Posted by: Al Fin | Oct 12, 2010 11:23:00 AM

Unless, of course... you are an Alaskan... Our (2) Senators and (1) Rep are so happy to see anyone who has traveled to DC... that you can get face-to-face time with all of them when you visit ... PLUS ... a bonus discussion with staff ...
(I have a "personal" pic of me & wife with Don Young's arms around us ... Heh ... Votes count up here...Can't help but love that... FIRST thing into his office... Picture...THEN interview...THEN before you leave... the "autographed" photo is given to you)
That being said... Don't move here... We like it without you foreigners moving in ... heh ...

Posted by: toes192 | Oct 12, 2010 10:17:59 AM

the total college experience doesn't only mean parties. It can also mean late-night conversations about politics, or going to community meetings of various clubs. I'm of two minds about it. On the one hand, first yera students who need to get core curriculum out o fthe way and pre-requisites may not be ready for the lack of external discipline of the campus environment and may be better off living at home; on the other hand, by their junior year, campus people may be over the whole experience of staying up all night unless they're partying. So maybe students should get their year to experience college life as a sophmore.

Posted by: Nora | Oct 12, 2010 10:17:38 AM

I can only translate "total college experience" to mean "parties."

Just remind him of the old line from "The Cosby Show": "My money is a terrible thing to waste."

Posted by: Larry J | Oct 12, 2010 10:08:06 AM

Bad for your health when you are partying there for four years, bad for your wealth after four years. It is a bad consumption decision, and a worse investment decision.

On the other hand, parents and students, like subprime mortgagees, should bare a big chunk of the responsibilities for believing in snake oil salesmen, hopium dealers.

In my research for colleges, I found out there is at least one good state college in each of the 50 states. None, regrettably, in Obama's other 7 states. State colleges are much more affordable. We paid a little more than $10,000 a year (generous Illinois taxpayers chipped in quite a bit, thanks) for my daughter's Computer degree from U of Illinois. She graduated in 2007, and is making $100,000+ a year now. Clear conscience, expanding bank account, no debts.

Posted by: ic | Oct 12, 2010 10:03:00 AM

finally, people are beginning to see how broken our educational system truly is... I am not a religious person, I don't go to Church, I don't even have a Bible, but the decline started when religion was banned from the public square, and it won't get better until religion is put back in it's proper place in our culture.

do I want my local Deacon to be telling me how to live? NO!
but I'd rather have a local Deacon telling me how to live than a group of distant Elites who control the National Government.

I can walk right up to the Deacon and tell him to go to hell, I can't do that to any of the 535 Paragons of Arrogance in D.C.

Posted by: Stacey Shoemaker | Oct 12, 2010 8:55:39 AM

As the father of a college-aged student who has been living at home for the past year-and-a-half and attending a local branch of our state university, I have been hearing him complain constantly that he needs to transfer to the main campus and live on site so that he can get the "total college experience."

I can only translate "total college experience" to mean "parties."

Posted by: Niantic Rebel | Oct 12, 2010 7:33:03 AM