We Don’t Need No Education


My namesake (Klown Jr.) just earned his master’s degree in computer geekery from an accredited online university. He’s also a Dilbert fan.

Scott Adams:

On college education, I think the country should be working toward creating inexpensive online alternatives. Like Bernie Sanders, I think college should be nearly free. But I think the free colleges should be online. That way the government can fund one college, in effect, and broadcast it to the entire world.

Silly rabbit. If college is free and available online, who will pay the salaries of all those “educators” like tenured professors and school administrators?

Who will provide the social status signifiers to replace Ivy League diplomas? What about the networking opportunities of the Greek system fraternities and sororities? Will NCAA basketball and football become farm systems for the NBA and NFL?

That’s a lot of money, political power and social status that would be upset by a universal free online college education.

You might as well wish for world peace.


About Myiq2xu™

"If you hit an artery, somebody can bleed out in two minutes."
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71 Responses to We Don’t Need No Education

  1. Myiq2xu™ says:

    Education (K-Post Grad) in this country is trillion dollar industry. It’s also a virtual monopoly.

    • DeniseVB says:

      Is that why the voucher system’s so popular with parents but not with the government? Why not just send the “annual cost of educating a student” directly to the parents and let them put their child in the school of their choice? A little competition might make a yuuge difference. Get rid of the teachers’ unions and put the parents back in charge via the PTAs. Nothing more scary than an angry bird parent 🙂

      I was the ultimate room mother, I gave the parents a choice, help me out or send me $20 and I’ll never bother you again. (It worked as a Soccer and Skating Club Mom too). Anything left over went to the teacher or the coach at the end of the year/season. I got the best helper bees that way, and if anything was left over in my “slush” fund, teach/coach usually asked for gifty in wine or beer, Special Greg’s teachers asked for hard liquor 😀

      • Myiq2xu™ says:

        Right now most people have to take what the system gives them. How many people really can afford to pay for private school or have the option of home schooling? Most people get told what school their kid will be going to and who their kid’s teacher will be. If they don’t like their school/teacher assignments they can ask for a different school/teacher but there is no guarantee they will get something different and even if they do it may be no better or even worse. Unless you can afford to move you’re screwed.

        • elliesmom says:

          We sent our daughter to Catholic school for 7th and 8th grade although we aren’t Catholic. She was the youngest kid in her public school class, and while she was near the top of the class academically, she wasn’t ready for the social scene in our local junior high. We wanted to give her some respite from being “odd” as she put it. To help lower the cost, you could agree to work at the attached church’s BINGO game on Friday nights. They had a monthly budget plan where you spread the payments out over the whole year. While there isn’t always a way to get your kid into a different school environment, lots of parents assume it’s impossible when it isn’t.

  2. Ann says:

    Kids graduating high school really should consider the trades like plumbers, electricians, carpenters, etc., instead of immediately thinking college. Jobs that cannot be outsourced and actually produce something. Not everyone is college material, not everyone needs a college degree.

    My son – who listens to our words of wisdom very closely – is now heading back to school for his second master’s degree. This time, an MBA. (headbang) Eh, it is his money.

    Yes, hubby and I have college degrees. He has an undergrad from an (evil) Ivy League school as well as his MBA. My degree is from an economical state school. In the long run, hubby’s education and connections paid off for us exponentially and the costs were worth every penny. My education? Not-so-much (purely my own fault).


    • Somebody says:

      Actually Ann, the trades can be outsourced and they are being outsourced so to speak. They are being outsourced to immigrants from other cultures, both legal and illegal. Lumber yards, plumbing supply stores, home improvement centers are all seeing a major shift in the trade field. Their employees are having to learn Spanish, as well as other languages to be able to communicate with their customers.

      This demographic shift has been taking place for decades, at first just the laborers but more and more it’s foremen, supervisors and now many business owners. Americans have abandoned the trade fields and instead opted for white collar jobs. It’s actually a shame that we’re losing those skills among our native citizens, society needs tradesmen and craftsmen.

      So many of our young people think a college degree equals a high paying job. What many of them don’t realize is that everyone needs plumbers, electricians, HVAC technicians etc., and when you need one you pay a pretty penny for their services. In other words many of the college bound kids would make more money if they looked at some of those options. Our society for the most part doesn’t value those kinds of jobs though.

      • Ann says:

        How do you outsource a plumber for your sewer repair? An electrician for your electrical box? (Wait, I see your next two paragraphs agreed with me… I am now confused.)

    • DeniseVB says:

      I married the poor kid from Fall River, MA who figured out a way to pay for college was join a USMC reserve unit (Platoon Leaders? I know it wasn’t a ROTC). Not only did he get scholarship money, they gave him 2 years seniority, so he got to retire at age 49 at a 30 year retirement pay. As an 0-6. (Not bragging, he earned it, a Silver Medal, 2 Bronzes from Vietnam guaranteed it, but those where the days, not anymore).

  3. Myiq2xu™ says:

  4. Myiq2xu™ says:

    FYI: CMT Music is playing lots of Merle Haggard today.

  5. Myiq2xu™ says:

    Today is #1 Grandson’s birthday. Ben is ten years old.

  6. leslie says:

    OT . . . I will most likely have that dreaded back surgery sometime this spring. To prepare my kitchen for it, I've been encouraged to purchase a toaster oven that can sit on my counter to eliminate reaching above my shoulders (to use the mounted microwave) or to bending down (to use the stove's oven). I purchased a fridge last year that had the freezer on the bottom (based on the rave reviews TCHers gave) and now I need some feedback on small toaster ovens. Does anyone use them? what make is good ? I've read the reviews of users at Amazon and Consumer reports. they are, of course in conflict. The only people I know who have them are my dd and my dil. They love theirs. Different makes, and several years old, of course.
    So if anyone has suggestions, I'd appreciate your comments. Thanks.

    • Somebody says:

      I don’t know about small ones Leslie. I recently got a new toaster oven that I like. I got the black and decker extra wide one. It actually holds a 13 x 9! I use it mostly as an overflow oven and I’ve been quite happy with it. My son bought the exact same one and he’s happy with it too. He only has one oven, so he uses his a lot more than I use mine.

      • votermom says:

        We got a toaster oven from Costco a while ago. It’s an Oster. Works great.
        Daughter bought a tiny microwave last year from Bed Bath & Beyond with one of those 20% off coupons they mail out occasionally. I forget what kind it is.

        • leslie says:

          That 20% coupon is the reason I stopped at BBB this morning. It’s a significant discount. I spoke with the manager who said if I were unhappy with the oven, I could return it “any time” as long as I had the receipt.

      • leslie says:

        It sounds like you are very happy with yours. I have only one oven, but my kitchen – despite being recently renovated – is quite small. And all my cookware is stored in the oven. So when I want to use the oven, I have to unload all the pots and pans, take them to another spot, and then cook. That will be too much bending and reaching after the surgery, (I’m such a delicate flower don’t cha know) at least for the first couple of months – per another *much* younger person I know who had similar surgery. This is so scary, but if I get things ready early, I’ll be able to do well, I think.

        • elliesmom says:

          When I had back surgery, the most difficult thing for me was loading and unloading the dishwasher. Standing in one spot long enough to wash dishes by hand was not an option either. if you don’t have someone you can guilt into doing them for you, I’d invest in some paper goods and aluminum foil. My husband and son didn’t need me to nag them about loading the dishwasher, but unloading it was a different story. They’d go off to school and to work in the morning leaving me with what I needed for lunch on the bottom rack of the dishwasher.
          If you’re going to have physical therapy after the surgery, you might want to see if you can schedule a visit beforehand. My physical therapist showed me the best way to get in and out of bed, how to raise and lower myself from the toilet, how to bend down to get something small off the floor, etc, before I went in for the surgery. It made the first few days of post-op a lot less painful.

          • leslie says:

            Thank you for all your thoughtful suggestions. I hope I can find the right doctor and then a PT person I can meet with ahead of time. I hope my surgery and recovery are as successful as yours seem to have been. I had surgery once before and I was taught then how to get up and down and in and out. But it wasn’t back surgery and I am really aware of the differences.
            Fingers crossed my surgery and PT will turn out well. (and my back problems will be gone.)

          • elliesmom says:

            I had a disc re-sectioned in the mid-90’s. As long as I behave myself, I’m fine. When I get cocky and move heavy furniture by myself, sit at the computer or sewing machine w/o getting up and moving around a bit every so often, or try to shovel the driveway in one swell foop, then I might wake up in the middle of the night with some leg pain. But a few stretches and a walk around the house, and I’m pain-free in a few minutes, and it stays that way if I don’t push it again too soon. I would rather delivery a baby then go back to where I was before the surgery so the little reminders are a good thing.

      • Lulu says:

        I have a cheapo Black and Decker which does great for toast and heating leftovers that don’t microwave so well. It is handy and works very well and is several years old. We like “baked” sandwiches (hoagies wrapped in foil to crisp the bread and melt cheese) and heated up in the toaster oven for lunch and quick dinners. I have a big range and oven and don’t need to turn it on for small stuff with the little toaster oven sitting there. It will even bake canned biscuits.

    • elliesmom says:

      When I was without a kitchen for several months during a remodel, I went with a small tabletop convection oven instead. I thought it would be something I’d like to have after the kitchen was done more than a toaster oven. I really liked it, It cooked things quickly w/o a lot of fuss. When the kitchen was done, I found I didn’t use it because my new stove had double ovens so I sold it. Now I’m kicking myself because I’m back to a single oven. I had this one, but you can get them for less money. I knew I’d be using it for quite awhile, and I cook a lot so I went for a known brand and a lot of features.


      • leslie says:

        Thanks, em. I was looking at Bed Bath & Beyond on my way home from the eye doc this morning. I didn’t even think of KitchenAid. Since my dd has a Breville and my dil has Cuisinart I stuck to those. I’ll have to give this a look.

    • John Denney says:

      We have this one, and my only complaint is that the timer only goes up to two hours, so I can’t do, say, yogurt at 120 degrees for 8 hours overnight. Pricey, but works very well and cleans easily. Big enough to do pizza or a whole chicken. There are smaller, less expensive versions, too.


      • leslie says:

        Thank you, JD. Have you had it a while? I actually looked at this one this morning. I should have had my iPad instead of my phone so I could easily look up evals of different models.

    • Mt.Laurel says:

      I had a small Black and Decker for years for those items that were not worth turning on a hot gas oven. Came in handy after kidney surgery and then the hysterectomy. It finally died. When Mom moved in with me, she was afraid of my gas stove and I purchased a larger Warring toaster oven based on recommendations on Amazon. It is large enough to bake things like a whole chicken breast – and make cupcakes/muffins (one small 12 count or regular 6 count pan) or a loaf of bread. It has been a nice addition to the kitchen. Some food should never go near a microwave. My microwave has always been a counter top model so that was never a problem reaching.

      Another hint that might work – depending on your counters. I turned the microwave and toaster over so that the doors opens toward the counter top rather than over the counter’s edge. This way my mother could move things in/out with greater ease and not have to worry about losing her grip on a pan/dish that might be hotter than expected and loose her balance bending over to try and retrieve.

      • leslie says:

        Thanks, Mt Laurel. You sound like a thoughtful person – and skilled at remodeling things 😉 I imagine your mother was really grateful to you.

        I do have a spot for the oven. So I’ll be set at least post-op. I’m not a great cook, but there are so many things – even convenient foods that don’t go in a microwave and I’m finding more and more of them. So even without surgery as an underlying reason, having a small oven makes sense to me.

    • DeniseVB says:

      I’ve fallen out of love with the Black and Decker brand. We had an undercounter for several years, when she pooped out, we went with the counter top and it sucks. She sucks so bad, I hope it eventually burns down my kitchen so I can remodel 😉

      Sidebar: Sweetie, ❤ and luck to you on the back surgery, have your surgeon/ doc write a script for post surgery rehab facility for a coupla weeks or so. I did the home rehab thing for dh's hip and shoulder replacements, nevermore.

      • leslie says:

        Thank you. The doc I saw last week said they wouldn’t go home until after rehab. Mostly because I live alone. Made sense to me.
        Good luck with your kitchen remodel… 😉💕

    • Venus says:

      My mom has a small tabletop convection/toaster oven — not a KithenAid one like elliesmom, I think it’s a Cuisinart. Whatever it is, I promise she got it on sale 🙂
      Anyway, it is years old and my mom uses it regularly. It take a lot less time and doesn’t heat up the entire house like using the “real” oven does.
      Between that and her electric roaster oven (Oster), my mom hardly uses the regular oven at all, especially now that it is just her and dad at home.

  7. elliesmom says:

    Well, Scot’s idea of an online course isn’t really an online course. He’s suggesting more of a correspondence course. You read the material, answer some questions that can be graded by a computer, and then you get a grade. A real online course requires a teacher on the other end. That being said, an online school doesn’t need dormitories, gymnasiums and football fields, a library, and diversity deans. No rooms for classrooms, no money for student activities. No money for lawsuits when a frat party gets out of hand. You do need a state of the art computer network and a faculty well-versed in the art and science of teaching online. Those things cost money, but not as much as building and maintaining a brick and mortar school. I mean, you can run the server from someone’s bathroom.

  8. Jadzia says:

    And in my opinion (getting back to the subject of the post), the reason we can’t have free (or nearly free) online college is that the high cost of college is ITSELF a job qualification: by requiring ridiculously overpriced, useless bachelor’s degrees for every job under the sun, you make sure that only the right sort of people (primarily those who come from enough money to pay for said degree, because if there is one thing I learned working in the university system, it’s that there’s precious little learning going on) are “qualified” to be hired. An online or CC degree is a class marker, and that’s why they remain disfavored by lots of employers.

    • John Denney says:

      So one has to ask oneself, do I want an education? or do I want a document that *says* I have an education?

      Hmmm, being “authentic” is a popular sentiment. Does one desire an “authentic” education? or to just be a member of the pretense class .

      • Jadzia says:

        I don’t think it’s unreasonable for a person to want to be able to include their education on their resume. Cost aside, there is at least a significant investment of time and effort. But 100% of employers don’t take autodidacts seriously, and it’s an uphill battle for people who aren’t at least degreed from a four-year state school (outside of some vocational and nursing-type degrees offered by CCs).

        • leslie says:

          Plus, degrees from *some* four-year state schools are worth more than other four-year state schools. So even there it becomes a pretense of sorts. For example, my dd attended and graduated from the engineering college of our biggest state university. It is renowned for its engineering school. My son, OTOH, graduated from a different state university housed in Chicago, and not acknowledged as a top college overall. It took him much longer to get a good (teaching) job, even though his school was known for its education college.

          • Jadzia says:

            True that. One of my brothers has a master’s degree from either UIUC or Columbia (downtown Chicago), I can’t remember which. He works at Wal-Mart, and not in any kind of position that doesn’t require him to wear a blue vest.

        • elliesmom says:

          A lot of the top name colleges and universities are now offering online degrees, and they make no distinction whether you took a course f2f or online. The issue is they don’t discount the price of the classes.

  9. You might as well wish for world peace.

    That’s what they said about health care, all the way up until it happened.

    I don’t think college should be free. I do think the university system should be reformed. I think it’s bloated crap-trap that will soon be the next housing market, which is to say busted and bailed out. But like with the housing market, the solution won’t be to bail it out by helping people with their mortgages, thus killing two birds. It’ll be bailed out AND people’s student loans will remain intact. All the benefit will accrue to the bullshitters who made the mess, which they did knowing it would come to this. There’s a reason EDMC (the largest nationally accredited for-profit college company in the US) is a partially owned subsidiary of Goldman Sachs.

    Speaking of accreditation, which you mentioned in your post: National accreditation is worth fuckall. That probably won’t matter with a computer science degree, but that’s one of the few programs where that’s the case. I hope your name sake didn’t go to a nationally accredited college anyway, because if he did, that means his student loan debt is going to be yuuuuuuge.

    • elliesmom says:

      I worked on getting a private non-profit high school accredited, and there was a lot more politics involved than education. I can only imagine it’s more so for a college.

  10. Democrats have a new slogan, compliments of Kevin “I broke the 47% story” Drum. It’s this:

    Like it or not, the Democratic Party is all we have to compete with Republicans.

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