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Should Everyone Go to College?

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Most children do not have their future planned out like that, which is why a wide curriculum is important.
At the highest level of analysis, the curriculum should not be mandated by the state: it should be set by the school, and should be based on what the customers need. There is nothing at all shameful in going to a school that emphasises job-oriented technological skills, but it is extremely short-sighted to go to (or send your child to) a school which doesn't offer a wide range of educational opportunities. The hyper-egalitarianism problem also extends to specific classes, e.g. your English class will probably include a blend of highly intelligent and eager students, plus a dose of surly dullards who can't be bothered to do the reading. Since teachers aren't generally allowed to teach only to the upper end of the class, everybody loses (because the dullards still don't do the homework if you dumb it down).
Not many 12 year olds know that they want to do X with their career (and the ones that do will have most likely based their decision on their parents or social factors - you cant really make a rational decision about your entire future at that age).
Quite true: it would be extremely irresponsible for the parent to leave that decision up to the child. By the time you get into high school, there's a case to be made for children having a more active role in determining what path they take. Parents should pay attention to what their children's interests really are, but ultimately have to make a decision on behalf of the child, and that's a major responsibility not to be cast aside by saying "Whatever you want to do is fine with me".
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If what you really need is some kind of degree as a type of "guarantee" and you don't have a lot to spend there are two ways to do it inexpensively 1) community college or junior college (what I have done the past two years)  2) online colleges (I am thinking this might be what you meant by e-business)

Also, are you trying to get involved with ARI as a fellow there or in order to attend the OAC?  As far as I know, it is recommended but not required that OAC students be studying in an undergraduate program in addition to studying at ARI.  And the OAC is very inexpensive, especially compared to the value of learning how to think and write.

I'm interested to hear more about what you are doing, if you'd rather PM me that would be great, I think we are in the same spot to some extent with education right now.

Just to clarify, I meant studying e-business as a specific focus to my business administration degree. I also have one year in at community college and am starting back at an online college.

My interest in ARI is the OAC, and I know they don't require you to be in an undergraduate program, but they also don't admit everybody, so it is motivation for me to go ahead and get going in my undergraduate degree, but I would continue with my degree regardless of the ARI's decision, it's just a big motivator :lol:

For the sake of clarity I just posted here, and I don't mind discussing here, but others might not be interested so we should probably discuss furthur in PM I suppose. I'll send a copy of this to you PM also to get us started ;)

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Beware the welfare clause.

Therein lies the problem.

Those in power have stretched the welfare clause to the hilt, making it a carte blanche for socialization of many aspects of everyday life, including education.

Curiously, food and clothing have largely been ignored by those in power.

Except, of course, in the obvious case of welfare and aid to the poor.

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  • 4 weeks later...
why are the liberal arts even taught anymore?

The basic premis behind liberal arts education is to teach the student how to think critically and conceptualize all of their subjects.

As an "normal employee" you do not need the high degree of ability to think critically as a CEO or a business owner. If you look at the alumni information of most liberal arts schools you will find that a large number of graduates become CEO, Owner, or president of companies.

One example, Wabash college in indiana, 1 / 8 graduates become CEO, Owners, or President. Hillsdale college in MI has a similiar rate.

I agree with you that if you want to become an employee and work for some one else, then there is not as great of a need to learn the skills of a liberal arts education (they may be helpfull though); but I think that if you are to hold a high position then the skills of liberal arts are imparitive (whether you learn them in school or on the streets)

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have been facing a huge problem lately regarding my college costs. I am going to attend a private college next fall and nearly half of my tuition will be paid by the government. I realize that this is a definite contradiction to my beliefs, but I feel trapped. I know that I will not be able to afford to go to school without federal grants, and my parents would never let me pass up the money. There is no way that they would pay eight thousand per year just so I could stay true to my political beliefs. They are good parents, but they do not understand my convictions. I am definately not ready to go off on my own, and a job would be too much for me to handle with a full class load. Looking at my situation, I don't see any real way out of this, aside from winning all of the private scholarships I've applied for, which is not likely. I know that you guys will think that I'm being weak and cowardly, and I am. I just can't think of any way out of it. The last thing I want is to feel for four years that my education was stolen. Please give me any advice you can. I'm prepared for some hard slaps in the face, so don't hold back. I think I need it.

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Please take all the government funds you can get; you will not get many opportunities to do so. Moreover, take it happily and proudly. It would be wrong to ask your parents to pay a dime if you can use a government scholarship instead. Where did the government get that money anyway -- did your parents contribute? Will the government not take that and more from you in the future?

For Ayn Rand's view on this, check out the essay “The Question of Scholarships.” , in the compilation titled "The Voice of Reason"..

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  • 10 months later...
The heart of Gates' contention is that the economy has evolved to the point that it is impossible for anyone without a college education to earn what most of us would cosndier a decent living.

Has Gates never needed a plumber, or an auto mechanic, or a fridge repairman, or a carpenter, etc, etc? As a homeowner, I can assure you that people with good hands-on technical installation and repair skills are in great demand and can easily make a good living.

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To add my two cents:

"Education" stops me from actually learning anything. To me, all education is, is a way to put people into certain boxes to sort them out for employers more easily. All I get out of college is the possibility to take exams. And if I pass these exams, I get a piece of paper saying: Felix is an engineer. I can't say that I actually learn much that will help me in the job I'm planning to have. I picked all the specialization I could get - right from the beginning of college I knew what I wanted to do. Still, I have to take classes without knowing what I should ever use the knowledge for. I seriously doubt that this benefits anyone.

There's a nice quote by Margaet Mead: "My grandma wanted me to get an education, so she kept me out of school."

Basically, all my time is consumed by taking classes and learning for tests. I don't have time to learn much of what would actually benefit me and it is pissing me off by now. But hey, it's only a year left and then I'm finally free. I then have my piece of paper. And without that, thanks to the educational system, I would not be allowed to do what I want to do.

So my point here, from someone who "reaps all the benefits": I would rather pay for the education I need than be forced to get a "good education" that is nothing but a waste of time.

The thing is: I love learning, but education has nothing to do with it. And that's exactly why it has to go.

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  • 1 year later...
I don't think there should be any kind of public education whatsoever. It is up to individual parents (and later, individual individuals) to seek out the level of education that they require for what they want to do.

Most of the people I know that are any good at anything are 90% self-taught.

A good school is one that optimizes one's opportunities for self teaching. In the long run, we all -educate- ourselves, however many of us have to be schooled in order to do that. There are very few genuine autodidacts.

What this country needs is a good system of apprenticeship. In days of your, skilled workers would gain their trade by apprenticing to a master then hone their skills in the world as a journeyman. If they were any good at their trade, they would eventually become masters in their own right. Sounds a bit like a Kung Fu movie, but that is how it actually worked and it worked rather well. The labor union movement pretty well gutted the apprenticeship system.

In the professions, the schools have a achieved a virtual monopoly on the nurturing of new talent. There was a time an aspiring lawyer could read for his law license at a reputable law firm. He could take his exam and be certified as a lawyer. Now he/she has to go to a law school. Darn!

Ditto for medicine and dentistry.

Bob Kolker

Bob Kolker

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P.S and I figured it would be automatic for people to assume that if I am an Objectivist, then I am in full support of full privatization. I don't think it's realistic to assume it will happen overnight, but I feel there are steps we can take to ensure a move towards privatization. I feel that vouchers would be a reasonable step in the right direction.

Consider how vouchers are funded. Out of -tax- revenues. The government will set up regulations for which schools are eligible for voucher funding. La plus ca change le plus la meme chose.

Bob Kolker

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