Republicans think colleges are harming the U.S.

dublinbay z6 (KS)

Republicans--the anti-education party. Here's the proof in a recent PEW poll.

It therefore shouldn't surprise us that T. appointed Betsy DeVoss as head the Dept. of Education. She wants to undermine American education--but who cares. Education is not important!

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"A new survey from the Pew Research Center finds that a majority of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (58 percent) now think that colleges and universities are having a negative impact on the United States. That’s up from 45 percent last year.

For comparison, most Democrats and Democratic leaners (72 percent) think that institutions of higher learning are having a positive effect on the country, which is consistent with poll results from recent years.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

This is the first time a majority of Republicans expressed disapproval of higher education since the Pew Research Center started asking this question in 2010.

Between 2015 and 2017, Republicans with positive views of higher education’s impact on the nation dropped 18 percentage points, from 54 to 36 percent. The drop affected most demographic and ideological groups within the Republican Party. There was little change in opinion based on the level of educational achievement." (SOURCE)

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Another reason I'm proud to be a Democrat.

Perhaps the anti-education Republican Party should officially re-name itself the Neo-Know-Nothing Party.

Kate

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subtropix

LITERACY is dangerous to the Republican party!

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MtnRdRedux

They are HARMING THE U.S.!

By charging more than the average family makes in a year to attend, in an economy where you are hosed if you do not have some skills beyond the rudimentary teachings of high school.

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joaniepoanie

That's why vocational schools are important. Not everyone has the $ go to college, or the ability, or even the desire, but we still need auto mechanics, Heating/AC, plumbers, etc.(many junior colleges have two year programs for the trades). By the same token....like it or not.....we are now a technology economy. Gone are the days you could graduate high school, start in the mail room at IBM and work your way up the ladder. People who don't get some sort of advanced schooling after high school will be left behind....in today's social media world this should be common knowledge. And most public high schools discuss post secondary education and there is a wealth of info provided by guidance counselors.

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Ann

Well, Liberal Arts programs are suspect by name alone! Plus low-wage jobs are being taken up by college grads leaving the rest scrambling for even worse jobs.

I found this comment interesting. If those college grads taking low-wage jobs were in a Liberal Arts program, that's not saying much for Liberal Arts programs, right? Maybe Liberal Arts programs should be suspect if those degrees cost the same fortune as more marketable degrees but often only provide a path to low-wage jobs.

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Mimou-GW

David Brooks has a thought-provoking opinion piece in the NY Times, "How We Are Ruining America". I don't happen to agree with him on most points but I'm willing to reflect on some of his positions. Here is a bit:

Over the past few decades, upper-middle-class Americans have embraced behavior codes that put cultivating successful children at the center of life. As soon as they get money, they turn it into investments in their kids.

Upper-middle-class moms have the means and the maternity leaves to breast-feed their babies at much higher rates than high school-educated moms, and for much longer periods.

Upper-middle-class parents have the means to spend two to three times more time with their preschool children than less affluent parents. Since 1996, education expenditures among the affluent have increased by almost 300 percent, while education spending among every other group is basically flat.

...The most important is residential zoning restrictions. Well-educated people tend to live in places like Portland, New York and San Francisco that have housing and construction rules that keep the poor and less educated away from places with good schools and good job opportunities.

...Reeves’s second structural barrier is the college admissions game. Educated parents live in neighborhoods with the best teachers, they top off their local public school budgets and they benefit from legacy admissions rules, from admissions criteria that reward kids who grow up with lots of enriching travel and from unpaid internships that lead to jobs.

...American upper-middle-class culture (where the opportunities are) is now laced with cultural signifiers that are completely illegible unless you happen to have grown up in this class. They play on the normal human fear of humiliation and exclusion. Their chief message is, “You are not welcome here.”

...We in the educated class have created barriers to mobility that are more devastating for being invisible. The rest of America can’t name them, can’t understand them. They just know they’re there.


Ruining America

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Marshall C.(7b and 4b (formerly 9 and 10))

After 80 years (62 being associated with higher education and work and avocation around centers of higher education), I can tell you that Liberal Arts is not designed to prepare one for a trade or special skill set but to prepare the student for life and self-improvement and contributions to society. Employment is only one goal of any education, an even MIT requires its engineering students to take "liberal arts" courses so that they are graduated as better rounded engineers and mathematicians. Students coming out of secondary schools are often ill prepared to take on course material as undergraduate students. Many 2-year colleges have programs and courses designed for remedial training in basic language and math.

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Marshall C.(7b and 4b (formerly 9 and 10))

Brook's description of upper middle and higher classes' exclusionary customs and manners are nothing new to America. i resented deeply the many slights and outright rejections I experience when I had the good fortune of attending an Ivy League college in spite of coming from small-town NH from Polish Catholic immigrant families.


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Ann

even MIT requires its engineering students to take "liberal arts" courses

Marshall, this is interesting. Both my kids have degrees in Mechanical Engineering and I don't recall them taking a single liberal arts class. Both got their degrees from the University of Colorado and the only way to even enroll in any engineering classes at that school is to be accepted to the College of Engineering and Applied Science which is an entirely separate entity from the Liberal Arts portion of CU. Not that there would be any problem with liberal arts classes but the engineering curriculum is so heavily loaded with math and engineering requirements, that there wasn't room/time for other classes in the curriculum.

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Oaktown

Expanding on marshallz11's comment, exclusionary customs and manners exist in many situations in addition to economic ones. Personally I believe most often it is unintentional. In my experience most of the time when people are made aware of a discrepancy in knowledge or experience etc. they are welcoming and inclusive (even going far in the opposite direction). Not always, but mostly. Maybe I am just lucky.

I thought the reader comments to the David Brooks piece also were interesting. Thanks for sharing Mimou-GW.

Discussion at Heterodox Academy re college professors and the "bipartisan nature of intimidation": https://heterodoxacademy.org/2017/06/28/professors-must-now-fear-intimidation-from-both-sides/

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azmom

David Brooks is a whining cry baby!

As marshall said, "Brook's description of upper middle and higher classes' exclusionary customs and manners are nothing new to America." There are hundred and thousands high achievers who are not from upper middle class American families. They have encountered obstacles, slights, discriminations...etc, yet they keep their heads down, work hard and achieve what many upper middle class families' children could not.

Brooks forgot opportunities provided for children from "none middle class family" in this country are at least 10, 100 times better than majority of the children in the world. They perform way better than American kids among all type of education performance tests. Here is one latest stats.

Money is not the most important element for having a "good education", it takes parental, family and schools' influence, culture belief, society value system, work ethic, tenacity, effort and persistence. Brook is barking at wrong trees.

Source: U.S. students’ academic achievement still lags that of their peers in many other countries

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Ziemia(6a)

Ann, have you asked your kids about that? Yes, engineering is a heavy load but does usually include humanities core requirements. When I went through, I took several (often using the P/F option on those to lighten my academic load).

Found this at some UC site: an engineering department advising page (eta: just checked --- from Boulder campus- referred to in my daughter's time as a grand party school).

Humanities, Social Sciences, and Writing Requirements

You need at least 18 credit hours in humanities, social sciences, and writing in order to graduate from one of the College's 14 Bachelor of Science degree programs. Some degree programs require more credit hours in this area. You can learn more about the courses below, including course descriptions and prerequisites, in the University Catalog.

The following minimum requirements apply:

A. Writing: 3 credit hours. Choose one of the following:

HUEN 1010 (first-year freshmen only, Fall 2011 or later)

HUEN 3100, WRTG 3030, WRTG 3035, or PHYS 3050

And

B. Humanities and Social Sciences: 15 credit hours of approved courses, of which 6 must be at the upper-division level (3000 or higher). A non-official alphanumeric listing of approved HSS courses may be found here.

Explanation of Categories on the H&SS Course List

Any course included in any of the following seven categories of courses in the A&S Core also counts as an H&SS elective in the College of Engineering and Applied Science:

Contemporary Societies

Human Diversity

Foreign Language

Historical Context

Ideals and Values

Literature and the Arts

United States Context

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azmom

"MIT requires its engineering students to take "liberal arts" courses"

It surely brought back fond memory. Our family all went to engineering, or science undergraduates. I recalled I had to take long list of liberal art courses ( the most dreadful one was Metaphysics), one child had to take world history (in the US) and architect appreciation (in France), the other had classic literatures and humanity courses (in UC Berkeley). Those stimulated our intellectual curiosity and gave us courages branching out to other none engineering and technology fields in graduate schools or later in our careers.

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bry911

Both got their degrees from the University of Colorado and the only way to even enroll in any engineering classes at that school is to be accepted to the College of Engineering and Applied Science which is an entirely separate entity from the Liberal Arts portion of CU. Not that there would be any problem with liberal arts classes but the engineering curriculum is so heavily loaded with math and engineering requirements, that there wasn't room/time for other classes in the curriculum.

From University of Colorado (CU)

The undergraduate curriculum in mechanical engineering incorporates engineering science, physical science and mathematics, as well as the humanities and social sciences. The engineering science component provides basic theoretical and practical concepts in solid mechanics, materials, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, design and manufacturing. Required courses in engineering science, physical science and mathematics are interwoven throughout the curriculum to provide a balanced education in the fundamentals of the profession and comprise three-fourths of the minimum curriculum requirement of 128 semester hours; they are complemented by four technical electives, five electives in the humanities and social sciences, a junior-level writing course and a free elective.

Although the number of classes may have changed a bit, they have had a similar standard for at least 25 years.

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Kitchenwitch111

The Republicans have been dumbing-down the base for years – I can remember in 2008 Sarah Palin getting cheers when ridiculing the Democrats and their “snooty educated ways”. They still sneer about elitism. Most of the STEM college students in this country are immigrants or on visas from foreign countries. Why don’t Americans aspire for this education? It’s the future. Instead, they want the coal mines re-opened.

Not everyone has to go to college, but our public high schools used to prepare students for some kind of working life after graduation, and employers didn’t make a college degree a minimum requirement for employment like many do now. We need tradespeople like carpenters and car mechanics and shop classes have disappeared in many schools due to budget cuts. Unions used to train apprentices, and now there are no longer any on-the-job training programs and very few technical schools. Time isn't going backwards and people in the rust belt need to acquire new skills -- waiting for a factory job is not an achievement.

Personally, I don’t have a college degree but that doesn’t mean that I’m uneducated.

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Oaktown

Partisanship on college campuses? John McWhorter (Columbia prof and Democrat):

What college is about is partly career preparation, although that's a whole different conversation; partly that you learn who the fifteenth president was, James Buchanan; but then you're supposed to learn that there's many different ways of looking at life in this world and that the ones you've been trained to think are evil might not be.

When I was in college in the eighties Republicans were thought of as ridiculous. I remember living in a hall at one point and there were Republicans down at the end. And you were supposed to think of them as some sort of vermin. Nobody questioned this. It was during the Reagan era. And I couldn't help noticing that they were also some of the nicest people on the hallway. Over the years I learned that I was not a Republican, but I could see how you could be one and have a coherent worldview.

And it happened from listening to them and eating lunch with them. And now they're in my swimming pools! That is an experience that I don't think students are having as much these days. That means education is failing them. They're thinking life is much simpler than it is. They're not learning how to think …


https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/06/a-columbia-professors-critique-of-campus-politics/532335/

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Oaktown

Here's one article from a conservative publication guessing at possible reasons behind the Pew Research poll results:

https://thefederalist.com/2017/07/11/heres-many-republicans-view-americas-colleges-universities-negatively/

Totally out of touch? Or some truth in there?

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Marshall C.(7b and 4b (formerly 9 and 10))

Most secular colleges and universities strive to prepare their students for lives one, two, three decades in the future. This process includes exposing the students to wide ranges of historic and contemporary thought and actions, some of which might run counter to a prevailing theology or ideology. The question should be who is/are out of touch and for what reason(s). This is not a cultural divide although political and ideological scamps will have you believe this.

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Nothing Left to Say

I cannot imagine a college degree from any accredited college that does not require some liberal arts classes. My school required every graduate,mregardless of major to take a selection of classes from a core curriculum that included literature, science, history, math, etc. And every single graduate had to have taken and passed two writing classes, a public speaking class and a physical education class.


The University of Colorado even has the Herbst Program for engineering students:


The Herbst Program of Humanities for Engineering Students is a unique program that encourages engineering students to develop thinking skills that incorporate humanities disciplines such as literature, philosophy, music, art and more.


Since 1989, the Herbst Program has equipped engineering students to engage in the great ongoing conversations of human existence. Our core classes are small and emphasize the development of communication and thinking skills that will enhance your life and career. All Herbst classes count toward Humanities and Social Sciences requirements in the College of Engineering and Applied Science.

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Ann

five electives in the humanities and social sciences, a junior-level writing course and a free elective

Wow, 5 classes in humanities and social sciences in a complete four or five year degree. Lol:) I'd say that's a pretty darn brief introduction to anything besides one's degree program. But, the good news, that challenging to complete engineering degree WILL lead to a job with good pay. I'll bet there aren't too many of us that could make it through a diff eq class (I sure wonder if I could), but it's all about supply and demand, right? Not everyone has what it takes to become a doc or an engineer and the resulting pay corresponds with the effort and intelligence required, as it should. The college of arts and parties might result in a different job preparation outcome - that's not always true but far too often for the associated cost of that arts and parties degree.

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Nothing Left to Say

Never going to admit you were wrong Ann?

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bry911

Wow, 5 classes in humanities and social sciences in a complete four or five year degree. Lol:) [...] I'll bet there aren't too many of us that could make it through a diff eq class (I sure wonder if I could), but it's all about supply and demand, right?

Well for starters, 5 is more than none. About 5 more, actually. :)

To be fair, Colorado only requires ten philosophy courses for a philosophy degree and four for a minor in philosophy.

The college of arts and parties might result in a different job preparation outcome - that's not always true but far too often for the associated cost of that arts and parties degree.

Again to be fair liberal arts degrees start well behind science and technical degrees, but they do tend to outpace other degrees. Midway through their career liberal arts degrees will catch most others and pass them after that. A worker with a liberal arts degree is 20% more likely to get a senior level promotion. It turns out that how to think is still a hell of a lot more valuable than what to think.

I have a chemical engineering degree and an accounting degree from a decent school. I found the accounting degree to be a lot more interesting than my chemical engineering degree. It wasn't quite as difficult to be sure, but I assure you that my peers were not slackers either.

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Ann

Never going to admit you were wrong Ann?

Crl, I was wrong, oh so wrong. Five is definitely more than none!

Again to be fair liberal arts degrees start well behind science and technical degrees, but they do tend to outpace other degrees. Midway through their career liberal arts degrees will catch most others and pass them after that. A worker with a liberal arts degree is 20% more likely to get a senior level promotion. It turns out that how to think is still a hell of a lot more valuable than what to think.

Bry, please provide sources about the liberal arts degree leading to a 20% higher likelihood of getting a senior level promotion. Additionally, please provide sources as to a senior level promotion in what type of organization and the associated pay. I'd love to see your info of an engineer vs the liberal arts graduate say 15 to 20 years into their career (including salary info). I'm not surprised about your comment about engineering vs accounting. I am very familiar with someone who dropped out of engineering school (too challenging for this individual) and did very well getting a masters in accounting.


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Ann

Bry, also, I'm not surprised by your "interesting" comment. One of my engineer children followed their engineering degree with a Juris Doctor degree and she found that one more interesting than her engineering degree. But, also as you mentioned, easier than the engineering degree.

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Nothing Left to Say

Thanks Ann.

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SandyC.

In my neck of the woods in Silicon Valley, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, real estate, finance, sales and marketing are much more successful than the drudgery of engineering and tech.

Sure tech is exciting ,for some, but many engineers are stuck in mid level paying jobs, with not a lot of chances for advancement. Also most lack basic inter personal skills, which imho is the most important part of business.

People that have the guts to start their own business and not work for corporate America, have much more flexibility and less stress imho.

THE MILLIONAIRE NEXT DOOR, is one of my favorite books. All about, you can't tell a book by its cover.

I know lots of broke doctors, and lots of hard working successful, small business owners.

My husband started his business years ago, quit a job he hated and has flourished. He is a born salesman, has a psychology degree, and is the smartest person I know. He is a reader and a lifelong learner. He is a salesman ( not a liar like Trump btw) and gets all his business through referrals.

Most kids never use their actual college degree for a specific profession.

College is a time to expand your mind, learn to be a critical thinker i.e. tell the difference between real and fake news.

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Ann

:) crl

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bry911

I don't want to be rude here or anything but I have these discussions all the time and I have a file full of studies in my office because parents always want their kids to get degrees that come out of college making a lot of money. I get a little tired of them, not that it is your problem or that there is anything wrong with your question, but it does exhaust me a bit.

I teach at a school where the average SAT is well above 1400. Probably 60% of the parents come in talking about wanting their son or daughter to be an engineer or a doctor and since I am the only idiot who has so damned many different degrees, I get to talk to just about every one of them.

The three most common degrees among Fortune 1,000 CEO's are History, Political Science, and Economics. When we add the other C's (COO, CFO) to the mix Accounting and Finance jump in there. Not engineering. At that point engineers become managers so they should be looking for promotions yet they are underrepresented.

I can keep going with tons of evidence that support the idea that the subject of your degree matters a lot less than most parents want to believe, but really I don't. Who gives a crap? If you want to break the entire point of your existence down to how fast you can money, then rob a bank or be drug dealer. Too many people seem to believe that happiness has something to do with the money that gets deposited in the bank. Once you make a decent salary, things like work life balance and peers become a lot more important.

----------------------------

Engineering as a subject in college is incredibly rigorous, not because the subject itself is difficult, it really isn't. There is just a tremendous amount of assigned work, that is all. When I said I found accounting more interesting, I meant I had to think more about accounting than I did engineering. Engineering took me 40 hours per week to learn and accounting took me 15. However, the engineering was solving technical problems and the accounting was learning how to look at people problems.

As a career engineering is much less nuanced than business fields. Accounting gets a reputation as a boring career but compared to engineering it is exciting as hell. I lived in half a dozen different countries, traveled all over the world meeting and working with clients to solve problems. Most people I work with will only be in the office 3 days a week and in the field the rest of the time. Meanwhile, the engineers are heading to their office 5 days a week to solve some small problem again. It is important work and I am not belittling it. But there is nothing wrong with people who are absolutely brilliant deciding they don't want to spend the rest of their life doing that.

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labrea_gw

It was sad after2008 I used to interview people with advanced degrees for entry level jobs..! I couldn't recommend them as they would spend most of their time trying to get out of the job they were applying for.

If we are looking at degrees or Education one need not go any further than the President

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Nothing Left to Say

bry911, during my college orientation week, one of the speakers was the head of the accounting department. He said he had students and parents frequently ask him why the accounting majors had to take the core curriculum and the required writing and speaking classes. He made a strong case that his accounting graduates were easy to place because we had a reputation for turning out accountants who had a broader education and were stronger in critical thinking skills and most importantly could produce well-written documents. I had zero interest in accounting, but obviously his talk made an impression on me.

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ninamarie(4Ont.)

Republicans’ stance against higher education couldn’t have anything to do with self-interest, could it?

After all, who votes for Republicans? The educated elites whom Trump and the
Republicritters are doing so much to undermine or the uneducated, unemployed and underemployed?

Not all educated people go on for higher education. This is not under dispute. But if I were looking for information on quantum physics, would I ask the man on the street to explain that science to me?

Again, Republicans put their own interests in gaining and maintaining power above the interests of the country. They want the votes, but do not give a damn
about American citizens, their quality of life or the future of their country.
But what I do not and cannot understand is the blind acceptance of such self serving stupidity by some Republican apologists on this forum.

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Ann

Bry, the world is comprised of a great variety of personality types. Some people thrive in the world of math and engineering and love every second of their work life. My mom always thought socializing with my dad's engineer friends was a big bore, but he was in heaven in his work and among his engineer peers. Each to their own, right?

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cait1

When you learn to think for yourself you become less authoritarian, ie, less republican.

So Patrick Henry, George Mason, Tench Coxe, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson etc were ignorant authoritarian rubes while Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Castro etc were masterminds?

HOOT!!

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labrea_gw

Your setups to amuse only you become more strained?

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Marshall C.(7b and 4b (formerly 9 and 10))

Yes, Joe, Cait has out-bowlerized herself with that one.


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Oaktown

Maybe it is worthwhile to take a step back and think about how can/does higher education prepare one for life 10, 20, 50 years in the future?

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/2013/05/09/what-is-higher-education-for/

The problem is that there’s little agreement about what universities’ core competencies actually are. Students want them to emphasize personal growth and amenities; the faculty favors pure scholarship and graduate education; politicians want job training and economically productive research; and so on.

I looked at some articles trying to get a sense of conservative/Republican views. What I saw primarily were pragmatic/cost-benefit approaches (e.g. "what kind of job can you get") and a growing dissatisfaction with colleges related to perceptions that the college experience often is negatively impacted by partisan bias (e.g. "they're not teaching critical thinking, they're promoting liberal viewpoints").

Career preparation? I think folks from both parties can agree that a 4-year degree is not always needed.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/01/31/obama-becomes-latest-politician-criticize-liberal-arts-discipline

Critical thinking for responsible citizens? Here's what an author in one conservative publication says:

http://thefederalist.com/2015/04/22/why-conservatives-dislike-what-passes-for-the-liberal-arts/

In theory, a good liberal-arts education is a strong antidote to authoritarianism. So it is unsurprising that conservatives have traditionally extolled the virtues associated with receiving one. What, then, has changed? . . . But perhaps some conservatives are questioning the value of the liberal arts because they see a slew of indications that what’s offered under that banner at today’s universities may be increasingly less likely to produce a well-informed, critically engaged citizen.

Or just generally for making better decisions in life ("good for you")? To the extent this might be the main benefit is it worth the price tag?

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/2012/11/26/are-the-liberal-arts-useful/

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

You're right, Oaktown. All you working folks on HT should quit your jobs, delete any info. on your resume that you have any post-high school education, and go get that dream job you have always wanted.

After all, the conservatives have told us that college education is not needed any more--so run with that glorious high school degree and see what it gets you! (But don't expect to get by on Food Stamps when you can't find a decent job. The Republicans want to cancel Food Stamps to pay for The Wall--you know which one I mean!)

Thank goodness I'm retired!

Kate

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Nothing Left to Say

If the sole purpose of an education is to get a job, that's vo-tech training. Why call it college? There's nothing wrong with vo-tech, it's just not he same thing as a college education.

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Ann

Agreed, there is nothing wrong with vo-tech training. There is also nothing wrong with college, as long as one chooses a marketable degree which is not the same thing as the many worthless degrees.

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Ann

Getting a good job with good pay that will lead to one's ability to support themselves, their family and their retirement is also a fine primary or sole purpose to go to college.

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

"a fine primary or sole purpose to go to college."

To you, Ann, I'm sure it is, but you are really defining what is vo-tech. To others, your definition of a college educationis the very opposite of what a college education is for. But after all the explanations above, you haven't moved one inch off the position you took in the beginning.

So why did you bother to initiate this long discussion--when you knew your final conclusion would be identical to your opening premise?

Kate


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Oaktown

Maybe in part one should do a better job of marketing whatever degree one has ;-)

Critical thinking skills are valued in many professions. If one has an art history degree (since that's what President Obama mentioned) I think a case could be made that background would be useful in advertising, editorial design, etc., for example.

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bry911

There is also nothing wrong with college, as long as one chooses a marketable degree which is not the same thing as the many worthless degrees.

[Deleted some material because it is just too personal and too much]

Life is too short and way too full of pain to define what you want to be the rest of your life by the marketability of your degree.


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Oaktown

What I think is interesting is the sudden shift in Republican attitudes from only a couple of years ago.

>>>Between 2015 and 2017, Republicans with positive views of higher education’s impact on the nation dropped 18 percentage points, from 54 to 36 percent.

Any Republicans care to offer different explanations?

I would like to see more done in primary education to better position students for higher education and to help students determine whether a different path is right for them.

Some history and data here though it's a bit old ("Higher Education" starts p.63).

https://nces.ed.gov/pubs93/93442.pdf

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Oaktown

This is a few years old but goes to some of the discussion Ann and bry911 were having above:

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/01/22/see-how-liberal-arts-grads-really-fare-report-examines-long-term-data

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Marshall C.(7b and 4b (formerly 9 and 10))

Bry, thanks for the short but so pregnant critique of Ann's assertion that the degree one receives will set the work schedule for the rest of one's life. I have several degrees in both social and physical sciences but enjoyed a wonderful work life which I never anticipated.

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SandyC.
Do you suppose the OP has to do with right wing " conservatives" not republicans. Right wingers who are religiously intolerant, anti gay and anti Muslim. Right wingers who are anti legal immigration and anti science?
Our colleges ( except evangelical) have a diverse population with diverse viewpoints.
Many conservatives are fearful of their kids opening their minds and learning critical thinking skills.
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SandyC.
Fox are struggling to fill their prime time tabloid talk shows tonight, lol.
Tonight the outrage de joir is nut job Dr Murray on Middlebury College, old news. They are showing film of the back bloc rioters , not students but outside agitators, at Berkeley. Gotta keep the. base angry with
" liberals" while Trump jr has been caught in a lie.
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Ann

Life is too short and way too full of pain to define what you want to be the rest of your life by the marketability of your degree.

Life is too expensive to waste a hundred thousand dollars or more on a useless degree, unless one has money to burn. One's chosen degree path is a very important decision and can set one up for success or failure (or self reliance vs frustration) at a young age. I'd hate to come out of a degree that cost me or my family $100,000 and be equipped for little more than a minimum wage job. Even worse, I'd hate to be an individual and then needed to depend/rely on welfare to support many of my needs throughout my life - even if I spent the rest of my life saying my degree choice was "interesting".

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purrmichigan(5)

My take on the op is that part of the GOP that's gone extreme consists of politicians with a clan mentality. Possessive and territorial. Their family and close friends are very similar people - sameness is the most important factor. Children who want more in their lives must have a heck of a time breaking free. Tiffany trump may be one of those people.

Going away to school, to these parents, is losing control. Who knows - those children may become "too independent". Not my words or thinking, but verbatim quote about this very topic. The kids will no longer fit into that homogeneous family unit and parents both resent and fear this.

My family is full of engineers - many with multiple degrees and one an exec at Exxon. My mother was an artist. She kept interesting, different people coming to the house and parties. I'm so thankful for that - I listened in on their conversations and ended up with a big world view. Not constrained, not living in a bubble.

We have a poster who doesn't think children should get the arts curriculum. Not unless they have a proven talent. Very communist type thinking. And no wonder, that same thinking follows thru to college. In my experience, overly controlled children find ways to assert themselves and may disrupt their own lives in the process.


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marquest(PA zone 6)

puremichigan60(5), You may be right, I saw an interview on CNN last week it was in a very depressed area and that was the reason they were saying they voted for Trump. They wanted the coal mines to come back so their children did not have to leave home. I really could not understand how you could live that life and wish it on your children just to keep them in the same state.


I have always thought every parent wanted their children to do better.

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Oaktown

I find the sudden shift in Republican attitudes troubling for a number of reasons. Among them, guess who has a great deal of influence over government spending for public education?

Poking fun at Republicans is one thing, but on a serious note a growing perception gap about the value of higher education is likely to signal future problems so I don't take it lightly. I would like to know the reasons behind the negative reactions and what it is that Republicans would like to see changed about higher education. I expect I would not agree with some of it but I wouldn't know without hearing. Public education is supposed to be for all of us so if there is a large portion of the population that doesn't feel well served I would like to give them a listen (speaking for myself, others might disagree).

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maddie260

I'm frankly upset that people would send children to college to essentially learn a skill set. Probably most of the children graduating today will have careers not yet invented. And, Sandy, ha ha ha!! if they don't know the difference between real and fake news by graduation day, NO diploma!

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SandyC.

My SILs mother sat one night and asked my husband if he thought her son was using his expensive east coast college degree and MBA, since he quit his boring, extremely stressful job at Lockheed and became an independent contractor. She is a far right wing, Republican and it really bothers her they spent all that money and he hated his job, hated it.

After 10 years of drudgery, he finally took a chance , started a new career, has a great job, has bought a house and makes about 4X more ( not that it is the most important factor) than a corporate job. His parents are only concerned he is not using his " degree".

I could not believe the lack of support, they showed. I want my kids to be happy, and most of all decent, considerate, generous, empathetic people.

I could care less what they choose to do in life as long as they are happy and can support themselves.






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SandyC.

I became an artist in my fifties. I wish I had taken more art and art history classes earlier in my life.

My kids are both very artistic, one a poet, one a musician, but they can't make a living at either, even though it is their true love.


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bry911

Life is too expensive to waste a hundred thousand dollars or more on a useless degree

There is so much wrong with this statement it is hard to know where to start.

First, college graduates are at least twice as likely to have a job, and much less likely to lose a job than non-graduates. Currently, only about 2.5% of college graduates are unemployed, while slightly over 5% of high school graduates are unemployed.

At the height of the recession 5% of college graduates were unemployed while 10% of high school graduates were unemployed. Having a job, even one that pays less than you hoped, has value. It doesn't take a college education to realize that $25,000 is still more than 0.

Additionally, just because your degree wasn't vocational enough to lead to a job doesn't mean your degree doesn't have financial implications at your job. People with college degrees are generally much more likely to be supervisors even at jobs that don't require a degree. For example, we all like to talk about about the college grad Starbucks baristas, but in reality a manager at Starbucks pulls down a salary that most high school grads would envy, and a huge percentage of those have college degrees. College degrees and the skills learned in those degrees promote faster advancement.

Next, how much money you make is a lot less important than how much money you spend. Once you make enough money to afford a small house, small car, food, clothing, etc., savings power far outweighs earning power. Those with broad rather than deep education tend to spend less. They tend to need fewer material goods to be happy. Falling in love with a book is still cheaper than falling in love with a car.

Speaking of love, women with college degrees are half as likely to get a divorce. If you think college is expensive, I assure you, so is divorce. This is especially telling because women are twice as likely to have a liberal arts major (proving once again that women are smarter than men). Not that correlation is causation and we are working on changing that but at the moment it is still relevant.

Also, college teaches you a lot more than how to make money. I truly pity anyone who goes to college just to make money. Humans are generally terrible at understanding what really makes them happy. I can't tell you why, but we know this to be the case. If you ask most people what would make them happier, money is very high on the list, however, if you ask them about the happiest moments in their life, those related to money are very low on the list.

This goes back to the spend less money a little bit, but happiness is driven by experiences and we somehow believe that more money would lead to more experiences, however, in reality more money leads to the same experiences but with better stuff. People who graduate from college tend to travel more and experience the world. Knowing how much of the world our liberal arts students see, I have to assume that liberal arts degrees value experiences slightly more than technical and professional degrees.

Finally, my experiences as a college professor tell me you are wrong. I left a university that is nationally recognized for its business degrees and went to a top liberal arts college. I made the move because I think that a liberal arts degree is better for students than a professional degree. Employers are starting to agree with me, the number one complaint I heard from employers was a lack of writing, communication and "soft skills." No employer ever complains about the ability of accounting students to do accounting, it is the other abilities that are lacking.

I was amazed at the recruitment for grad schools that goes on at a liberal arts college. Grad schools tell me employers would much rather have a 4 year liberal arts degree and a professional graduate degree than both degrees being professional. If you want to be a successful CPA today I advise that you consider a liberal arts undergrad and a masters in accounting. You will advance farther and faster with a liberal arts undergrad.

P.S. The myth of college unemployment and underemployment has been addressed many times in many forms. I am not going to rehash that here as we know that college degrees lead to higher pay at all levels. Here is a Forbes article on it but it has been reported on many times.

ETA: Ann I realize I am not going to convince you, and that nothing I say will change your mind. But if you will not consider testimony from someone who has taught in both environments, worked professionally in both the accounting and engineering fields and hired quite a few people, then maybe you aren't open to persuasion. The hardest thing to do in a classroom is to remove a baseless assumption. Knowledge that is so obvious that it needs no proof, is very difficult to counter no matter how much evidence you provide against it. I assume it is even harder to do on a forum.

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Vith

A new survey from the Pew Research Center finds that a majority
of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (58 percent) now
think that colleges and universities are having a negative impact on the
United States.
That’s up from 45 percent last year.

For comparison, most Democrats and Democratic leaners (72 percent)
think that institutions of higher learning are having a positive effect
on the country, which is consistent with poll results from recent
years.

I agree with Repubs.

Students come out of college with massive debt, and some of them are in a pointless specific field of study with limited amount of jobs.

One problem is big name colleges. You get people that start college at these expensive schools for no good reason and the tuition is huge. The only reason to go to a big name college is for graduate work that is not available elsewhere and for a job that you know has demand and will pay a return on your education investment. If my kid wanted to go big name college as a freshman, I will not co-sign the loan end of story. Then if he doesn't get to go to that school, he is better off and will thank me later when he doesn't have 100k of loans as a new grad. I graduated in 2010 with around 28k in loans and have like 700 left to pay on it.

The second problem is a lot of kids go to college with zero direction. You ask freshmen what they are there for and "oh im just taking generals right now." Why. If you have no focus or direction there is no point. Everyone is better off knowing what they are doing BEFORE they do it. Time and money is wasted. A lot of those "general" takers never end up graduating or doing anything with the education. After a couple years they drop out. They go to college just to go, not really to gain a career. Focusing on what career to seek should be a main objective of high schools. Instead they focus on math, reading, science, and literature as their core objectives.

A third problem is people for some reason think skilled work is beneath them. Things like plumbers, electricians, heavy equipment operator, auto mechanics, HVAC. Many people would benefit from these jobs, and the amount of school is less, a couple years and then some internship working in the field. If these people were suggested these jobs, shown how fulfilling they are and how much they get paid I have a feeling many would go down that road.

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Bookwoman(7a PA)

"the number one complaint I heard from employers was a lack of writing, communication and 'soft skills.' "

bry, my husband just retired after 30+ years in the corporate world (he was a humanities major in college). In the fall he's going to begin teaching a writing and communications class to graduate students in a top-5 MBA program, because the professors there are appalled at how poorly these kids write. As someone with degrees in the humanities, and the mother of one classics major and one journalism major, both gainfully employed, I applaud your defense of the liberal arts.

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azmom

"My mom always thought socializing with my dad's engineer friends was a big bore,"

Could it be possible mom was the reason made the socialization bored instead of those engineer friends?

In my circle of family and friends, the most interesting ones all have engineering or science undergraduate and advanced degrees. They are incredibly open minded, have substantial knowledges on various subjects, and world travelers. Following analytical, critical thinking skills, and broad background, they are good at parsing things thoroughly, connecting facts and theories, providing convincing evidences and rationales to support their point of views and postions on issues. Having conversations with them is like having a mental, spiritual feast.

I often found myself get bored with people offer malnutrition discussions, one could only handle so much inputs based on their emotion and personal bias.

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bry911

The second problem is a lot of kids go to college with zero direction. You ask freshmen what they are there for and "oh im just taking generals right now."

I don't know how someone who is 18 or 19 years old, who has lived at home their entire life could actually know. I am in my late 40's and I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. But I sure as hell am having fun finding out. I am also very glad that my college education was broad enough to let me do whatever I want.

Things like plumbers, electricians, heavy equipment operator, auto mechanics, HVAC. Many people would benefit from these jobs, and the amount of school is less, a couple years and then some internship working in the field.

This is my favorite thing to respond to, because as I have mentioned many times before my father was a plumber. My mother had a college education in a business field and helped my father run the business and really advocated hiring college educated help.

Jobs like plumbers, electricians, heavy equipment operator, auto mechanics and HVAC will benefit from a college education.

Again, this is just a different version of the same assumption. A college education is more than just the job you get after college. It affects how you spend and save money, it changes how you charge and how you understand cost vs. benefits, etc. There are lots of non-financial reasons to go to college but the financial benefits typically still outweigh the cost even for skilled labor.

-------------------------------

Personal example:

By hiring someone who had a college education to run the business my father was swayed to institute a project bonus schedule that saw employees paid specifically for their performance. It created employee ownership of their job and resulted in a reduction of callbacks, a decrease in overtime, and an increase on-time completions. He was able to develop a departmental predetermined overhead rate and a relevant cost decision making structure that allowed him to accurately know the effect on his bottom line of taking a job and not taking a job. That one was what my father called his farm money. Too many plumbers look at the labor rate as a flat rate based on assigning overhead, the relevant cost system allowed us to look at each employee's actual idle cost and maximum profitability to assure we were assigning teams based on minimizing idle hours while maximizing profitability.

My father turned two file cabinets and an old slab door in a back room into a company with annual revenues well into the 8 figures all because of someone's college education. He hired the guy to help him out part time in college and kept him, he eventually made him a partner and today he runs the company.

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Ann

My kids are both very artistic, one a poet, one a musician, but they can't make a living at either, even though it is their true love.

This is why one has both work and hobbies. Those true loves that someone can't make a living at certainly can (and hopefully will) become beloved hobbies.

Next, how much money you make is a lot less important than how much money you spend. Once you make enough money to afford a small house, small car, food, clothing, etc., savings power far outweighs earning power. Those with broad rather than deep education tend to spend less. They tend to need fewer material goods to be happy. Falling in love with a book is still cheaper than falling in love with a car.

On this, we have found a ton of common ground, Bry. Not necessarily the first sentence because I prefer the concept of preparing oneself to make at least enough money to support one's family and retirement (so the "lot less important" phrase brings me some pause), but I completely agree about the spending part. I don't know that I think education plays a huge part in one's spending habits though. I see such a range of spending habits among friends and family, and I don't see any clear link in terms of education. Some people see the wisdom in frugality at the youngest of ages and others just love to spend money (seeing more value in living for the moment). When I think of friends and family I've known since youth, I see those different spending vs saving tendencies beginning quite early and continuing for a long time. I'm happy to say that at age 62, I've never paid one cent of credit card interest in my entire life, so you can guess which category I fall into within the saving spending spectrum. This pay before interest accrues credit card choice was not because of having plenty either. We had quite a number of painfully poor years. As a result, our life choices started to become more and more sensible. Once we owned our first little log cabin, all 500 square feet of it, paying extra principal became a huge priority to me. In those years, it might have been $5 extra principal each month, but it started a lifelong habit. In later years, it grew to half my paycheck at times, but until the day our current house was paid in full, that sensible habit (to my thinking) continued.


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Ann

The hardest thing to do in a classroom is to remove a baseless assumption. Knowledge that is so obvious that it needs no proof, is very difficult to counter no matter how much evidence you provide against it. I assume it is even harder to do on a forum.

Here is where you and I run into discussion barriers, Bry. This comment would lead me to believe you have a self opinion that you are both more knowledgeable and "correct" than some others on this thread. I'm sorry, but I don't buy that. I don't think your life path and/or intelligence is necessarily superior to mine or to anyone else on this thread. Therefore, I see your comments as representative of one opinion but not necessarily the "right" or the most "intelligent" of opinions offered and expressed.

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Ann

Vith, I only got this far into your comment (so far) but wanted to make a quick comment about this part before I continue with your comment.

A new survey from the Pew Research Center finds that a majority
of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (58 percent) now
think that colleges and universities are having a negative impact on the
United States.
That’s up from 45 percent last year.

I haven't looked at this survey, but my first thought is how troubled Republicans are about the extreme liberal bias being demonstrated and taught by professors. Right leaning students are struggling with their freedom of speech rights on modern day campuses and freedom of speech from left leaning students is welcomed with open arms.

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Ann

Students come out of college with massive debt, and some of them are in a pointless specific field of study with limited amount of jobs.

No kidding!

Vith, I've now read the rest of your comment and what a great comment! It sounds like you are young and I think your perspective is a wonderful addition to this discussion.


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Ann

Azmom, I love your recent comment. You and I tangle on so many issues on HT and I love it when, if even for a brief moment, I can have a pleasant and agreeable conversation with a fellow poster with whom I usually disagree on so many political issues. Yes, my mom and dad were certainly different people! My dad was an engineer, my degree is in computer science, and both my kids have engineering degrees. I loved conversations with Dad and I love them with my kids. I think my mom was bored with all four of us, but I don't think we're the least bit boring. We are definitely an analytical group but I'm lacking quite a bit in the world travels. I've just started that in the last 2 years though, so I'm working on that part, and it is so interesting.

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Nothing Left to Say

Not all opinions carry equal weight. People with expertise and more facts to back up their opinions get more credibility.

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bry911

Here is where you and I run into discussion barriers, Bry. This comment would lead me to believe you have a self opinion that you are both more knowledgeable and "correct" than some others on this thread.

I am more knowledgeable than some others on this thread. I am actually a college professor who has both a chemical engineering degree and an accounting degree. Who worked with oil and gas research as both an engineer and an accountant. Who has taught in both a research university and a liberal arts college.

I make no claim to being right, but to say that I am not more knowledgeable is a clear demonstration of the problem. You are willing to discount my well supported and obviously qualified opinion. I can only conclude that the primary reason for this is that it runs contrary to what you want to believe.

I am not trying to be rude, nor am I questioning your intelligence. I am simply noting the problems breaking through the wall of a "simple truth." We often ignore complexity in forming our opinions and it is very hard to accept complexity once that opinion is formed. Everyone struggles with this including myself.

The real answer is that we can't assign a value to any college degree. If a surgeon comes home every night and drinks himself stupid just to sleep at night, is he more successful than an English lit major who can't wait to get home to finish reading a book? If over a lifetime a person with a unmarketable degree spends less money because of that degree, was it worthless?

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

While I have little patience with college students who attend college mainly for "fun" or because that is what everybody else is doing, I don't really worry about the large number of students who enter college with no specific career path in mind. Like many college students, I changed my major during my sophomore year--to English--although I had no idea what I was going to do with it. It just struck me as a much more satisfying area of study. Several degrees later when I realized I had to get a "career" going (I had taught part-time in college all those years of studying for advanced degrees), it occurred to me that college teaching would be a most appropriate choice and one I would enjoy spending the rest of my professional life doing.

My point is that students make these choices when they are ready to make them, and parents pressuring them, early in their college careers, to make a ("practical") decision how they will spend the rest of their lives are probably robbing their adult children of some of the best years of their lives--those years spent studying because it was interesting and and they wanted to know more about certain subjects, whether they related to a particular job application or not. Besides, no one knows for sure what career opportunities will open up 10-15 years into your professional life. That person may end up turning off on a career path they knew nothing about back in college.

Ann, you have many examples above of liberal arts majors ending up with good careers in business. Why do you ignore those examples and statistics, insisting instead that many or most liberal arts majors are underemployed or unemployed when the facts say otherwise? You undermine your own arguments when you cling to such beliefs that are readily disproved by the facts.

Kate

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bry911

I haven't looked at this survey, but my first thought is how troubled Republicans are about the extreme liberal bias being demonstrated and taught by professors

This is largely a myth. Extreme liberal bias is relatively rare and it tends to emerge in areas where the students are extremely liberally biased. Believe it or not professors are a pretty fair representation of their students. Oddly enough subjects that liberals prefer (liberal arts) have more liberal professors and subjects that are more conservative (accounting) have more conservative professors.

This happens to be because people tend to get PhD's in subjects they were interested in during undergrad.

Some of these studies that note the extreme liberal bias being taught at universities fail to weight the results. A simple count will lead to more liberal professors but weighting that by class size or graduating majors sees the conservatives come back pretty heavily (mostly because of business). When we remove moderates and look only at professors who are solidly right or left while weighting for class size we see them almost dead even.

ETA: My passion for this subject has clearly led to my over-participation in this thread. I am going to step away a bit to give others a chance to participate.

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Nothing Left to Say

Bry911, I appreciate your participation in this thread. And in every thread I have seen you participate in.

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woodnymph2_gw

I second what crl wrote.

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Ann

Oddly enough subjects that liberals prefer (liberal arts) have more liberal professors and subjects that are more conservative (accounting) have more conservative professors.

Why is this odd?

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Kathy

Right brain, left brain. That is why I think we need both in a curriculum to balance our life. People that are logical sometimes have a hard time relating to others and enjoying spontaneity. Others live in the moment and cannot seem to stick to a budget, to their detriment. If you know where you are on the spectrum of RB-LB it is wise if you push yourself to be more balanced.

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Oaktown

When posters point out drawbacks of higher education (e.g. expense) I don't think they're necessarily saying that higher education is not worth it, bad, etc. There *are* negatives. For many people those negatives will be outweighed by the positives (often by far) but for some that won't be the case.

I wonder if some of the sudden shift in attitudes among some Republicans at least partially might reflect anti-elitist sentiment fueled by partisanship.

I also don't think higher education is an either/or proposition. For example, maybe the plumber goes to a trade school initially but a few years into his career goes to night college? Maybe it is worth additional investment in community colleges and continuing adult education in the liberal arts? Might undergraduate education benefit from the participation of older adults who are not the professors? Maybe some of the newly-retired who can afford it might enjoy going back to school as students, teachers, or both?

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Ann--"oddly"--Bry was being ironic.

I often run into people who lament that they never went to college or never took piano lessons or whatever it was they did not do.

But I don't remember ever running into a person who, in effect, said something like "I really regret that I went to college and earned a degree" (or graduate degree or Ph.D.).

Maybe we should quit making pronouncements about what education/career choices are "correct" for other people-- though we could give our opinions if someone specifically solicits them.

Kate

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Oaktown

Study finds that in the long term people have greater regret for things they did not do rather than things that they did (I see the existence of this study and that I know of it as an example of higher education FTW!).

https://www.scholars.northwestern.edu/en/publications/the-temporal-pattern-to-the-experience-of-regret

In the short term, I have heard plenty of grousing from recent graduates about crushing loan debt and second-guessing as to whether or not their experience was worth it. Most of these folks do not regret higher education per se but they have expressed that a *cheaper school* might well have been a better decision.

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gyr_falcon(Sunset 23)

"...in the long term people have greater regret for things they did not do rather than things that they did..."

The problem I see with this is that people tend to think of their "didn't do"s in an idealistic manner, and don't give equal weight to the problems and downsides that would have resulted if they had actually done them.

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jillinnj

bry - please do not feel you need to step away. Your insights are always fascinating to me. Especially on a subject you clearly know a lot about and have a lot of first hand experience.

--

We should encourage our kids to pursue what they want to pursue in life. We should encourage them to branch out and find out what they love and then encourage them to pursue that love.

If they don't know what they want to be when they grow up, we should encourage them to go to college as an undecided and take a variety of classes and figure out what it is that interests them.

Pushing them to do something because we want them to do it, and we think that making money is the most important thing for them, is a recipe for disaster.

At least that's how I've raised my kids. Making a lot of money in a job you don't like will not make one happy. Period.

I have a computer science degree. I have made enough money to have a good life style. My daughter knew from the time she was very small she wanted to be an elementary school teacher. I cannot tell you how many times when we'd go shopping, and I'd buy her clothes or school supplies or whatever, she would say 'how am I going to support myself as a teacher? Everything is so expensive. Maybe I should do something else?' And we'd talk (again) about what she loves doing and it's always the same - working with and teaching young children. She is a 3rd grade teacher and she loves what she does. She's fantastic at what she does. The letters she gets from those little kids brings tears to my eyes. And she's happy. I consider that as a success in my parent column.

My son (16 yrs old) loves computers and programming (not a shock I guess since that's what mom and dad do). He's taken every CS class at his HS that he can and he wants to major in CS. Great! It makes him happy and that's what is most important. If he wanted to be a teacher or a journalist or something else in liberal arts - he'd still have 100% support from me and his dad.

I sure hope Ann's kids really did want to go into engineering and it makes them happy. I shudder to think what the reaction would have been from mom if they chose a different path, or choose a different path at some point in the future.

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THOR, Son of ODIN(2)

Don't confuse education with training.

CS is a field where academic credentials don't count for much -- unless you want to continue on as an academic.

Education can come from college courses, or it can come from a life-long interest in learning. OTOH, a person can graduate from Harvard without knowing why there are seasons.

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Marshall C.(7b and 4b (formerly 9 and 10))

Thanks, Oaktown


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Ann

I sure hope Ann's kids really did want to go into engineering and it makes them happy. I shudder to think what the reaction would have been from mom if they chose a different path, or choose a different path at some point in the future.

Jill, you will never hear me make a comment like this about you. There would be no way in the world I know you well enough from HT to shudder at any interaction you have or have ever had with your children, who I've never met or even chatted with online. This comment brought a SMH reaction from me.

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Vith

If they don't know what they want to be when they grow up, we should encourage them to go to college as an undecided and take a variety of classes and figure out what it is that interests them.

Pushing them to do something because we want them to do it, and we think that making money is the most important thing for them, is a recipe for disaster.

At least that's how I've raised my kids. Making a lot of money in a job you don't like will not make one happy. Period.

I would consider that a failure at High School. Most kids are not prepared for the real world, let alone what they should do with their future. Need more focus on their future what they plan on doing, how to survive the world, how credit works, being a homeowner, how a mortgage works, how to change a tire, how to maintain a vehicle, how to do your taxes etc. I blame parents for some of this as well, they know HS doesnt teach these things and they send their kid off into the world without a clue, good luck! Only kids with the ability to self-learn get by these days.

Money is not the MOST important thing, but if you have a kid that doesnt make squat both them and you will not be happy. Period. You need enough to survive, some dont and have a rough life. It comes back and bites parents' butts too when they co-sign the huge college loans.

I have a computer science degree. I have made enough money to have a good life style. My daughter knew from the time she was very small she wanted to be an elementary school teacher. I cannot tell you how many times when we'd go shopping, and I'd buy her clothes or school supplies or whatever, she would say 'how am I going to support myself as a teacher? Everything is so expensive. Maybe I should do something else?' And we'd talk (again) about what she loves doing and it's always the same - working with and teaching young children. She is a 3rd grade teacher and she loves what she does. She's fantastic at what she does. The letters she gets from those little kids brings tears to my eyes. And she's happy. I consider that as a success in my parent column.

A true story about being prepared for college and having a plan ahead of time. I tell you it works. And here money isnt most important but she makes enough to live a life and she gets fulfillment from her job.

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althea_gw

This article about the study linked in the Chronicle article listed by Oaktown (thanks Oaktown) says the change in Republican attitude could quite likely be an echo of conservative media who are targeting colleges and universities.

I read the study and several follow-up articles with hope of finding an answer to my primary question without success. Does anyone know what is meant by "... colleges and universities are having a negative impact on the United States."? The discussions are mostly about the perceived value of education/higher education, not an explanation of the perception that higher education is bad for the country as a whole.

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purrmichigan(5)

They're blaming higher education for fostering independent thinking which may mean a college student would come to have differing ideas than the parents. The parents may see this as bad and politicians may then extrapolate that it's also having a "negative impact" on the country. Those conformity notions are Republican ideals, not Democratic.

I would imagine that idea is bolstered if one believes educators are encouraging liberalism. Hard to prove that that's true. It's more conspiracy level probably pushed by Hannity (no college) et al.

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SandyC.
Althea, thanks.
The link says the popular base of the GOP is less and less white collar professionals and more and more white working class, non college educated voters.
Distrust of colleges are strongest in the highest income bracket and the oldest age group.
Part of what it means to be conservative and a republican is to voice opposition to liberal tendencies on college campuses. It is more of the clan tendency, not really facts.
Again, for true conservatives this means, liberals accept science, diversity, gay rights and immigrant rights.
The divides are getting worse and the negative view of colleges is an expectable manifestation of the increase in coverage of campuses by websites like Campus Reform (Breitbart for colleges) a right wing, anti immigrant, anti diversity, anti Muslim site, and on Fox talk shows like Tucker Carlson which appeals to the older, white , male "conservative."
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Ann

I would imagine that idea is bolstered if one believes educators are encouraging liberalism.

You think? That's a big duh!

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SandyC.

Correct, "conservatives" don't need facts they are fed their beliefs by Fox talk show hosts and right wing sites like Breitbart, full of Russian propaganda and bots.

The un intellectualizarion of the GOP has been on the uptick the past decade. Science deniers, racists , anti women's l rights, and bigots of the religiously intolerant are now part of "conservative" agenda.

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bry911

Need more focus on their future what they plan on doing, how to survive the world, how credit works, being a homeowner, how a mortgage works, how to change a tire, how to maintain a vehicle, how to do your taxes etc.

I don't think most adults really know this information whether or not they went to college. So I am not sure we should expect kids to know this coming out of high school. Shall we test this knowledge among us experienced and knowledgeable adults?

  1. What is a mortgage?
  2. Assuming you borrowed $100,000 at 6% interest to buy a house 20 years ago and currently owe $54,000 but only have 10 years remaining. Should you refinance with another 30 year loan at 4% if the loan origination fees are $1,000 (assuming you plan to stay in the house)?
  3. What if you plan to sell the house in 18 months?
  4. How does credit utilization work?

I will answer these things a bit later, and I will warn you, most adults will get three out of the above four wrong. You can cheat and look up the answers if you want, but even if you don't post the answers try to take this little quiz

ETA: Answers -------------------------------------------------------------------------

  1. A mortgage is a legal document that pledges real property as security. You don't pay interest on a mortgage, you pay interest on a promissory note. Most people think a mortgage is a loan, it isn't.
  2. Yes you always refinance it. If you continue paying the same payment you will pay your note off in significantly less than 10 years. It equals about $6,000 in savings.
  3. It takes about 10.5 months for the saving to be positive (more than $1,000).
  4. Credit utilization is credit card balance / available credit card balances, only certain types of revolving credit are used, mostly credit cards, available secured credit will not be used.

My point being, most experienced adults don't know these things and they are making it through their life just fine. I don't know that my kids will ever need to know how to service their own cars, change a tire, or any of those hands on skills and from an opportunity cost perspective they may be better off not knowing.

You are essentially just assigning things that you believe are valuable as important and necessary, but the fact of the matter is those things are just important to you..

----------------------

How many people above 50 years old work in career fields or with resources that didn't exist as a college choice when they were in High School?

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purrmichigan(5)

I love those one liners when you got nothing. :)))

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bry911

I think there are several reasons that education has fallen from favor among Republicans.

First, I think political ideologies have become more insular, and we are less receptive of other ideologies. Democrats are wrong because they are Democrats and they just can't understand how Republicans see. That also happens vice versa. We used to view the same news and filter it through our ideologies and today we seem to be tapping our ideologies to find news we agree with.

If you are geek like me this should be interesting in the future. Politics is unimodal by nature, bimodality shouldn't be able to exist for too long. It just doesn't work. We become a country with two different truths and politically that shouldn't work for long periods. Politics is actually the fight for the 51st percentile in a normal distribution. So it will be very interesting to see what the future holds.

Next, I think the moral conservatives have gotten a stronger hold in the Republican party and the moral conservatives are a bit of a Fundamentalist movement. Fundamentalism and college have never gotten along very well.

Also, college has gotten expensive and we just went through a credit crunch. Fiscal conservatives are very much centered around the idea of tighter budgets.

Finally, and I think this is the big one, college tends to be important to everyone in a recession. When recession hits, it always hits those people without college education first, and so ask anything shortly after a recession and people will believe college is very important. Ask when we are at full employment and everyone with a pulse is getting 30% above minimum wage and college is just not as important.

Anyway that is just my 2¢.

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THOR, Son of ODIN(2)

Funny, (public) college is free in many other countries.

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bry911

Thank you all for the kind words, I do see them, and I do appreciate them.

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Vith

1. Technically it derives from the word mort meaning death and gage meaning debt. So its debt till death! :D Didnt look that up, knew it.

2. Depends on your philosophy if you want it paid off before you retire or if you want to continue with it into retirement. As far as the numbers go, I dont know the equation for the amortization, but I know amortization is a thing and could look it up if I wanted to.

3. Most likely not.

4. Compares total credit available to total used. Having higher credit available always helps, having less used always helps. If you have a high utilization you will have a lower score. (means you dont pay off your debt and are a higher risk)

For some reason I get deja vu with those questions, have you asked those to me before LOL?

What I was going for with asking for them to know what a mortgage is, there is a complicated process for obtaining one and if people had a basic understanding about it, it would help in the process. Things like there is an appraisal involved (house has to be worth what they will give for the loan), debt to income ratio check, credit report, taxes, survey, title insurance, etc all part of closing costs. Also different loans available with different benefits (USDA, FHA, VA). PMI is a good thing to know about before you get locked into it. If people knew they would save a lot of money with that 20% down payment and not pay PMI they might wait a few years before buying. I have had this discussion with a few people and got this feedback.

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purrmichigan(5)

I'm going to assume that the FRW has no coherent thought about their own party's aversion to higher education. Maybe they need more education.

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Bookwoman(7a PA)

Vith, while your etymology is correct, the meaning is more along the lines of 'the debt is dead', i.e. once it's paid off. I know this because I studied that useless language, French. ;-)

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althea_gw

Thanks for you input Puremichigan & Sandy. Many people have interpreted this to mean political views.

I looked at the PEW report again and this time also looked at the linked pdf. It has the question people were asked which lead to the conclusion in the headline quoted above. It says:

"Q.A14
Next, (is/are)
[INSERT ITEM, RANDOMIZE]
having a positive or negative effect on the way things
are going in the country these days? How about
[NEXT ITEM]
[INTERVIEWER: IF DEPENDS
PROBE ONCE WITH:
“Overall do you think (it is/they are) having a POSITIVE or NEGATIVE effect on
the way things are going in this country today?”
IF STILL DEPENDS ENTER AS DK]"

Without knowing what "things" - political, economic, environmental, medical care, and so on, I would have to answer "DK". I would ask the questioner what "way" they are talking about. I think the question is ill phrased.

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Ann

Funny, (public) college is free in many other countries

I love this - "free". How about more accurately - paid for from higher tax burdens on the country's citizens.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

I don't regard the taxes I pay for public education as a "burden."

Monies thrown at illegal wars definitely qualifies as a "burden."

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Vith

Vith, while your etymology is correct, the meaning is more along the
lines of 'the debt is dead', i.e. once it's paid off. I know this
because I studied that useless language, French. ;-)

Ah yes! Dead debt. I like it. Makes more sense that way too. I guess I heard it called debt till death as a joke LOL. Although some people do have it till they die...

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bry911

I thought of something today while I was taking a break from posting.

I don't think there are good college degrees and bad college degrees. I think the real tragedy is parents and community who sell this idea of good college degrees. Because while I don't think there are good or bad degrees, I do think there are right and wrong degrees, and unfortunately, kids too often find the wrong degree when looking for the good degree.

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joaniepoanie

I don't think any degree is worthless. I got a liberal arts degree and enjoyed every minute, especially studying abroad. Haven't there been studies done that the college educated will earn substantially more over their lifetime than high school only?

I would have never made my kids major in a field of study they didn't like just so they would be guaranteed a job upon graduation. We told our kids to find a way to make a living doing what they enjoy or a field that interests them. Doesn't mean every day on the job will be nirvana, but they won't dread getting up and going to work everyday......been there and it can suck the life out of you. Two are happily employed in their chosen fields. The other one majored in something that is a concrete skill but he decided he didn't want to work in that profession half way through but stuck it out anyway. I still wouldn't say it is a useless degree because just having a degree puts you at an advantage over those who don't....doesn't matter what it's in. He is happily employed in the non-profit sector working for a cause he is passionate about.

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haydayhayday

"JUDY WOODRUFF: So many people look at you and they think, oh, my goodness, this man, he’s accomplished so much. He’s been so successful. He’s 86 years old, and he’s still going strong.

WARREN BUFFETT: I love it.

JUDY WOODRUFF: So, what do they — so, what’s the secret?

WARREN BUFFETT: The secret is to find what you love to do.

I mean, I tell the students look for the job that you would take if you didn’t need a job. I mean, it’s that simple. And I was lucky enough to find it very early in life. And then the second thing is to have people around you that make feel good every day, and make you a better person than you otherwise would be.

I have more fun doing this than anything else I can think of in the world, and I have seen a lot of other things you could do in the world.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Warren Buffett, thank you very much."

Computer Science degree?

Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard.

Steve Jobs dropped out of Reed.

Hay

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haydayhayday

"The problem I see with this is that people tend to think of their "didn't do"s in an idealistic manner, and don't give equal weight to the problems and downsides that would have resulted if they had actually done them."

I realize that and use it a lot.

I came home one day and my neighbor greeted me down the street with the news that my parked car had been sideswiped. Which meant that I wasn't going to be going on that little trip the next weekend.

"Oh, well, I probably would have had an accident and totaled the car."

Hay

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haydayhayday

Slow but steady wins the race.

Start early. Work hard.

Coast down to the finish line.

Hay


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jillinnj

CS is a field where academic credentials don't count for much -- unless you want to continue on as an academic.

I don't understand what you're saying here. Can you explain?

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jillinnj

I love this - "free". How about more accurately - paid for from higher tax burdens on the country's citizens.

Funny. Education (for those darn others) is a burden to you.

Yet paying for your messiah's almost weekly golf trips to his Florida resort at approx. $3 million a pop (OF OUR MONEY) is no problem for you.

Someone has their priorities very wrong.

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Marshall C.(7b and 4b (formerly 9 and 10))

I have a relative that is playing the Lotto-type games (to the tune of $10-20/day) so that he can become rich and retire young. Coasting along, eh hayaway?


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haydayhayday

"I have a relative that is playing the Lotto-type games (to the tune of $10-20/day) so that he can become rich and retire young."

Small world. I worked alongside a young man for a day or two a few years ago. He told me the exact same thing about an uncle of his.

"His retirement plan is to hit the lottery one day." He was quite serious.

"Coasting along, eh hayaway?"

I never had great expectations. I made it to the top of the bunny hill and that's just fine with me. It's all relative. No matter where you want to end up, start soon and work hard.

Seriously.

That's my, "invest a $1,000 when you're 20 and you'll have $32,000 when you're 70. Invest a $1000 when you're 70 and you'll have $1,000 when you're 70."

The most successful people I know started early and stayed at it. Not hard work. The unsuccessful ones want to "enjoy their youth".

Fun at 70 is just as much fun as fun at 20. Eh, Marshall?

Hay

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Ann

Since so many of you feel any and all college degrees are worthwhile even if one never works in a field remotely related to that degree, I'm even less interested in tax payer funded college for all than I was before (not that so called "free" college ever appealed to me). It's unbelievable to me that so many people actually believe there really doesn't need to be any relationship at all between college and career. Just spend tens of thousands of dollars "enlightening" oneself. No wonder this country and it's citizens are in debt and entitled!!!!!! After reading this thread, I've never been more proud to be a conservative and a logical, practical and frugal person. Feel free to waste your own money, possibly put yourself in a major financial jam as a result, and then whine about your salary and say how entitled you should be to everyone else's sensible choices and years of hard work. But, I'll remain thankful that, at least for now, our government agrees a lot more with my way of thinking than yours (and so called "free" college is not a current bill in congress ready to be signed into law). I have no desire to pay for everyone's child to go to college for little more than interesting personal enlightenment and an opportunity to think about what they might just love being when they grow up 20 or more years after college while some of them might even require social services in the meantime because, hey, they are still "finding themselves". This has been the most eye opening thread about the very fundamental differences between liberals and conservatives regarding personal responsibility and, gosh, am I ever glad to be conservative. No wonder Trump won!

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Ann

Exactly!

I never had great expectations. I made it to the top of the bunny hill and that's just fine with me. It's all relative. No matter where you want to end up, start soon and work hard.

Seriously.

That's my, "invest a $1,000 when you're 20 and you'll have $32,000 when you're 70. Invest a $1000 when you're 70 and you'll have $1,000 when you're 70."

The most successful people I know started early and stayed at it. Not hard work. The unsuccessful ones want to "enjoy their youth".

Fun at 70 is just as much fun as fun at 20. Eh, Marshall?


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Nothing Left to Say

It is interesting to me how much "I think it so it is true" logic I see.

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Margo

puremichigan60(5)

I love those one liners when you got nothing. :)))

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SandyC.
"I think" makes it true.
Half of the country's voters don't vote! Half of our population are not political.
Most of our country are working hard, struggling to put food on the table.
This Fox narrative is getting old. Just because a senior that has a lot of time on their hands and is brainwashed by liars and bigots on Fox, "thinks" something to be true, it proves how far we have fallen.
" Conservatism" not Republican, has become a heartless, soulless, term.

A person that "thinks" something to be true by offering no evidence of such has no credibility.
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Ann

And liberalism has become a term of entitlement, no need to work, everything is "free" for me and anyone else that doesn't want to work, and if you earned it I get it.

ETA: Reading this thread is unbelievably revealing as to why our country is where it is right now and why we have no where near the work ethic and personal responsibility our parents and grandparents didn't even spend a second pondering.

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chase_gw

Ann, I suspect every single liberal on this forum has a good work ethic, set good examples for their kids, worked hard to get ahead and took care of their needs themselves.


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Nothing Left to Say

Blue states contribute to the federal coffers. Red states take from the federal coffers. Just who is it that takes "free" stuff? Lazy, entitled Republicans.

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Ziemia(6a)

CS is a field where academic credentials don't count for much

This may still be true. Doesn't 'compute' to me but I have seen this. It wasn't that unusual way back in the 70s. But I have two examples to share.

Both are now 35 yo so still not 'current time'. Came out of a challenging home and got a food at a grocery chain. He did try college but just didn't feel it was worth anything. His job was just someone who stocked the shelves. Did what he was told. Given more types of jobs in the store. He was good at computers (big gamer) and since the company has a policy of treating good staff well they gave him a chance at it. Promotions led to having a position at regional HQ. Big changes in main office made him feel the future of the office was shaky so found a job - pretty easy to do and seems to be doing quite well. Great benefits and very good salary.

Second one does involve college degree but the salary is way outsized considering the effort put into school. He keeps getting put into being in charge of his dept. Hated HS though did OK - well enough to earn an academic scholarship in a nearby state that needed to diversity in a rural campus (because the kid went to an urban HS they wanted him at this remote which was working to be known by more than a teacher prep school. Tiny remote public U campus with a tiny CS dept. but the campus was into teaching not research so the kid thrived. Took as few courses as possible did as little work as possible but his CS courses were taken seriously - maybe because he managed to design many of them (independent study). I know it worked because his advisor 'got' him. Sounded like a scam. But when he got out, he used some HS contacts to get a job then another. He currently works for a big name fancy insurance company running a staff and hiring people. He said on his college graduation day how happy he was to be finally done with school. He figured out that he needed that degree to get the first job and then that job would get him his next job. I'm still stunned at how correct he was. He makes a lot of money and he expects and gets needed time off to be a fully engaged dad. Sometimes it's his wife's turn sometimes his. Sometimes both. So, still college but the minimal effort did him extremely well. He is very well paid.


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Margo

chase_gw

Ann, I suspect


SandyC.

A person that "thinks" something to be true by offering no evidence of such has no credibility.

I suspect and I think .... same difference;)

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Kathy

The Republican Party has come up with the most ridiculous excuses to justify hoarding their money and soothing their conscience for not giving back to the country that gave them so much. That is the height of entitlement in my mind.

I look at Jimmy Carter who will be working for others til the day he dies. That is an example of a Patriot.

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Kitchenwitch111

I find it so sad to hear someone say that enlightenment isn’t worthwhile; that education is only for practical purposes. There is so much more to life than a job and paying off a mortgage.

An educated, healthy society makes a strong country.

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Ann

The Republican Party has come up with the most ridiculous excuses to justify hoarding their money and soothing their conscience for not giving back to the country that gave them so much.

I'll borrow these words of Kathy and add some changes to reflect my opinion. Now, clearly, this isn't the life choice of every liberal, but reading this thread would lead one to believe it's at least their attitude and thought process.

The Democratic Party has come up with the most ridiculous excuses to justify taking the money (of those that earned it) and thus soothing their conscience for never personally contributing to the country that gave them opportunity and hoped for contribution to the country's prosperity in return.

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Margo

OH geez Kathy, now saving your money to NOT have to rely on government hand outs is hoarding and unpatriotic? I find it just the opposite.

As much as the Carter's are good people, Jimmy Carter did NOT make a good president!

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Ann

An educated, healthy
society makes a strong country.

Yes, and fiscally stronger if the majority of citizens in the country are capable and willing to support the needs of themselves and their families.

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Margo

This says it all;)


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Ann

I agree about Carter not making a good president, but I sure like him!

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Marshall C.(7b and 4b (formerly 9 and 10))

J. Carter wasn't a "good" President because he didn't pander to the "conservative" US-firsters.

ETA: nor to the Israel-firsters as he sought successfully to bring some degree of peace to the Palestine Region.


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SandyC.

The opposite of liberal is illiberal.

Most people are not political. The Conservative party of the republicans have been taken over by the Kochs, and I hope before anybody defends them , you have read Dark Money.

If you agree with anything in that book, then you deserve what you get.

These are not good men. They have stood on middle America's back to decrease regulations for huge profits. They have preached smaller government and decreasing regulations for one purpose, and it is not to help the middle class.

Fox and Limbaugh are a direct line to racists and bigots. For eight loooong years their base were told of the horrors of the "liberals" and we see a perfect example of low information base who have drunk the kook aid. It rang true to them when Limbaugh said the ACA ( or the renamed Obamacare by "conservatives" who found the name distasteful) was nothing more than reparations. We have many "conservatives" that perpetuate the welfare queen, racist scenario.

The time was right for Trump, as Roger Stone says, Trumps supporters can't tell the difference between politics and Hollywood. They found a con man to peddle their racist crap to the people who were open for the taking. The forgotten man, as Sessions and Bannon found out were ready for a con man to tell them what they needed to make America great. Sad.

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catspa_zone9sunset14

In a snit there, Ann? People do disagree and may not entirely agree with you, though having valid viewpoints that do not deserve denigration (ETA, to be clear, I am talking about gross generalizations and attributed motives like this, "Just spend tens of thousands of dollars "enlightening" oneself. No wonder this country and it's citizens are in debt and entitled!!!!!! ").

I actually agree with you that college should not be universally free and would not mind seeing student loan programs scaled back, reserved mostly, perhaps, for higher-level, professional training.

The purpose and meaning of higher education seemed to change post-WWII when going to college came to be seen as a generic ticket to a higher-paying job, in tandem with corporate America gradually coming to expect colleges to train their employees for them (the GI Bill likely contributed to that). This has led to the now thoroughly-imbedded expectation that the average person needs to be college-educated to get a desirable job, reinforced by employers favoring those with college degrees, which, since those who are merely middle-class or lower can't afford college with their own funds, has led to disastrous amounts of debt being taken on by students as they compete for that limited number of "good" jobs that many of them will not get. Along the way, education has been degraded to mere job training in many cases, with colleges essentially operating as diploma-granting businesses that try to attract "customers" with now-expected amenities (don't get me started on the money wasted on high-end dorms, fitness centers, sports and the like at colleges...) that also increase the cost of education without making a student more educated.

Liberals despair that those of lower means will be shut out without aid and want to pour vast sums into education; conservatives expect utilitarian return on their dollar and only want "useful" things taught (whatever those are -- whatever agrees with their agendas, I suppose). What is being lost with both these perspectives is respect for, and dedication to, knowledge itself and in general, the traditional and highest role of education, which used to be why students went to college (albeit sometimes in the guise of training for the clergy). If government monies for colleges were focused on basic research and merit scholarships that cultivate pursuit of that kind of knowledge, not comfy lifestyles, some of the distorting aspects of money directed at the other goals might be removed. Easily-obtained student loans seem to have created some bad dynamics in education: mercenary motivations and upward pressure on costs that creates ever-greater indebtedness, plus disdain for worthy, albeit less "marketable" disciplines.

As noted on earlier threads, my husband and I both pursued graduate degrees (PhD and MS respectively) with no expectation of wealth and careers. We took out no loans and were not supported by our parents, even at the undergraduate level. We are both still happily employed in our fields and most likely will never retire completely (though we could, financially) as long as we can still do the work.

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Kitchenwitch111

Yes, and fiscally stronger if the majority of citizens in the country are capable and
willing to support the needs of themselves and their families.

So when are the residents of the Red states going to start supporting themselves? Or are they just going to sit and wait for the local factory or coal mine to re-open as they’ve been doing?

I realize that many Republicans don’t agree with Darwin, but the single most important thing for the continuation of a species is the ability to adapt to changing environments. The people of the Rust Belt don’t seem to be too interested in doing that. Too cool for school?

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woodnymph2_gw

"A healthy educated society makes a strong country."

I completely concur with Kitchenwitch, in that I feel sad that so many consider love of enlightenment to be an unnecessary, costly "frill." The liberal arts education is meant to prepare one for the future decades of one's life. Liberal arts is centuries old, going back to the Middle Ages. Why throw over that valuable tradition?

As for others in European nations paying higher taxes to obtain free college or university education, perhaps many Americans might consider this worth their while as well. It is a question of values.

I have no words for what I perceive to be an increasingly anti-intellectual attitude on the part of so many Rightwing Trump supporters. There is often such a disdain of critical thinking as well as a smugness. We see it here at HT sometimes....

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bry911

i guess I am failing to understand the argument. The case made against college is logically inconsistent. It really only work if you make a concerted effort not to think about it.

We know for a fact that all majors (even the lowest paying ones) will out-earn high school graduates without college. Even allowing a fair discount rate they will have positive net present value. We also know that some majors pay more than others.

The case made by some people here seems to be - Because STEM and professional degrees make more money, don't bother going to college unless you pick a STEM or professional degree.

However, logically this doesn't make sense!

So given three choices - (1) STEM and Professional degree, (2) Other degree with less earning power, (3) no college. If (1) is better than (2), and (2) is better than (3), how in the hell can you say if not (1), then (3)?

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Oaktown

I think some might say the attitude is not motivated by anti-intellectual views but rather by anti-elitism?

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woodnymph2_gw

Oaktown, are you speaking of class systems? Could you please elaborate a bit?

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althea_gw

IMO, education is valuable in and of itself, not strictly a means to an end (big bucks!!!). Concerning the argument between Ann and, well, everyone else, colleges and universities are flexible enough to satisfy the needs of both those who are highly focused on the end and those who focus on the means, and those in between. It is a both/and "equation" rather than either/or. Technical schools focus on learning a specific marketable skill, like professional schools - law & medicine for example..

Italian University, the only one I know anything about, is free to those who qualify. In Italy, students are on a career path starting in high school. Those who are better academically are put on a college prep path. So while college is free, it isn't necessarily open to anyone. I don't know if people who didn't do as well academically in high school can attend university by paying sky high tuition.

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bry911

Personally, I am not a fan of free college and this does make me a bit of a pariah in education but I have a well supported and documented reason for this that we have discussed before.

That is not to say that I am against Federal and State funding of education. I am, however, uninterested in discussing that point with people who can't accept complexity.

In my opinion, you need to look no further than the modern Republican party to see the effects of career prep education. The truest tragedy of our time is that an engineering student can walk out of college never having studied John Locke. The ideologies of Republican economics are rooted in classical liberal thought, yet I suspect that even saying "classical liberalism" makes most Republicans think of old Democrats.

Today, too few Republicans understand the underlying theory and believe in the simple idea, it is my money, I earned it, so I get to keep it. It is very hard to have a reasoned discussion without any understanding of the underlying principles of Republicanism. At its heart Republicanism believes that if we remove all barriers to advancement, that people who want more will be able to get more, and people who are satisfied with less need not work as hard. It really is the idea that everyone is lifted up when individuals are free to reach their full potential, rather than groups being pushed up.

From that to... "Don't learn anything that you aren't paid to learn."

I am honestly saddened.

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Nothing Left to Say

Oaktown, I'm not following the distinction you are making, but I'm interested. Could you explain what you mean about anti-intellectualism vs anti-elitism?

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

bry--good point ("classical liberal [Republican] thought" to "it is my money, I earned it, so I get to keep it").

Kate

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Vith

Bearack Obearma!

Anywhoo, I agree with continuous learning, there is always room for improvement. Now does that have to happen at the college? Hell no. Lots of information on the information superhighway (internet), just need to check in a few different locations for credibility. Learn whatever you want.

College is a place to get a career. Not a place to spend expensive time learning randomness. They make you learn plenty of randomness already with the generals.

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catspa_zone9sunset14

From that to... "Don't learn anything that you aren't paid to learn."

Akin to a frequent question from my students, "Do we have to know that?" My reply, "Well, why not?" At the community-college level, those just out of high-school are often still in compulsory-education mode, having not realized yet that, in reality, one educates oneself.

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haydayhayday

"If you've got a businessyou didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen."

Why bother?

Hay

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

"Will that be on the test?"

After 50 minutes of lecture and class discussion, that invariable question from certain college students (and not just community college students) is enough to discourage many a teacher/professor!

Kate

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Ann

However, logically this doesn't make sense!

So given three choices - (1) STEM and Professional degree, (2) Other degree with less earning power, (3) no college. If (1) is better than (2), and (2) is better than (3), how in the hell can you say if not (1) then (3)?

Bry, you left out one very important factor, the cost of that college education included in choices 1 and 2 and not necessary in choice 3. Earlier in the thread, you mentioned a Starbucks store manager as a job with pretty good pay that one with a liberal arts degree might get whereas a non-degreed person would have less chance at it (since the liberal arts college graduates get the management positions according to your previous comments). OK, so a Starbucks manager makes around $49,000/year. Not too bad, right? That happens to be the same salary as the average salary of a plumber. The education costs for a plumber are significantly less that that of a four year college degree.

So, how in the hell could you find it reasonable to leave out the associated costs of education/training when discussing the overall financial outcomes of three choices. Also, how in the hell could you find it reasonable to not include other quite valid and common choices (like trade school) in a comment that mentioned STEM and professional degrees, other college degrees, and no college degree.

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SandyC.
I agree with bry in most everything.
Most students are not taught history or the humanities.
40% of voters got their "news" from FB. This is frightening to me. We have many "conservatives" who have become this flock of followers of right wing bigots, who are not dealing with facts.
Locke is said to have established the method of introspection, or observing the emotions and behaviors of one self.
I highly recommend Hamilton , both the book by Ron Chernov, and the play, it is awesome!
It reaffirms ones faith in our country and that we have a constitution to protect us from an abomination like Trump, and the separations of governmental power he taught. He believed revolution is not only a right but an obligation in some cases.
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Oaktown

woodnymph2_gw and crl_, here is Chris Arnade re differing perspectives:

https://twitter.com/Chris_arnade/status/827161942452101122

(Be sure to read to #19.) There are gross generalizations and simplification -- after all it is Twitter -- but I think worth considering. From my limited personal experience I would guess some who hold unfavorable views of college are not opposed to higher education/intellectuals per se. They might say they object to college education as a marker *used in an exclusionary manner* = elitism.

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Ann

Bry, I've never met you but, from reading your comments, your level of, shall we say, "self-confidence" is phenomenal!

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purrmichigan(5)

As opposed to your unwavering beliefs in whatever you "think"?!

Not only is bry informative, she/he is confident. Why not? Many people here are reading and learning something. Ooops .... there goes that anti-education thing for the FRW.

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Margo

Well, let's just say this. I was hired for Starbuck's management. I have NO degree in anything. I left the position due to their inane management style. Never did I think to file a class action law suit against them for that. Someone did. I of course signed on and was compensated. NOW just how would a liberal arts degree have helped me? lol lol

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Margo

NOT everything is what it seems;))

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Ann

Margo, how dare you take a management job reserved for the enlightened college graduates with all that student loan debt.

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Kitchenwitch111

Both my children have college educations and my youngest graduated in the spring of 2008. Many Federal and State loans, grants and subsidies helped us pay the tuition, and although both my kids have some student debt, it’s a fraction of what graduates have today. The colleges they attended are now shockingly much more expensive than they were 10 – 15 years ago because government help has been cut. The subsidies my kids received from taxpayer money have allowed them to become well employed, and they pay taxes and also volunteer and give to charities. People who say they don’t want to pay for someone else’s child to go to college are missing the point – it all comes back to our country’s economy. The I, me, mine mentality of the American individualist does nothing for the good of our society.

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Oaktown

>>>in reality, one educates oneself.

Great observation, catspa. One of my middle school teachers gave a variant of this advice in connection with higher ed decisions and I think it helped me a lot. [This doesn't mean teachers aren't valuable! It means "getting" an education from college is not simply a matter of colleges "giving" one an education.]

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Ann

Kitchenwitch, it's certainly helpful when it does come back to the country's economy.


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purrmichigan(5)

Maybe Starbuck's management program wasn't for you, but there are many good things about it. Free college education, I believe. Sometimes you wanna look to yourself first before knocking a well run program.

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purrmichigan(5)

The I, me and mine is myopic. We all benefit when every citizen gets a good education. That's such a Duh! it's ridiculous to have to make that statement.

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bry911

Bry, you left out one very important factor, the cost of that college education included in choices 1 and 2 and not necessary in choice 3.

No I very specifically didn't leave it out.

We know for a fact that all majors (even the lowest paying ones) will out-earn high school graduates without college. Even allowing a fair discount rate they will have positive net present value.

Not only did I not leave it out, I assumed the cost of college was paid for in cash year 1, during college no earnings at all, and that high school graduates immediately began earning their average salary. I also used the out of state tuition rate. If anything, I way overestimated the cost of college.

ETA:

So, how in the hell could you find it reasonable to leave out the associated costs of education/training when discussing the overall financial outcomes of three choices.

Net present value is a great tool and you should really Google it.

Also, how in the hell could you find it reasonable to not include other quite valid and common choices (like trade school) in a comment that mentioned STEM and professional degrees, other college degrees, and no college degree.

These are not part of the discussion, this is the part of the discussion you seem to struggle with. Just because something has more value doesn't mean something else has no value. Just because I could have bought my house cheaper in a different city, doesn't make my house a bad purchase.

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Margo

PRO

puremichigan60(5)

Maybe Starbuck's management program wasn't for you, but there are many good things about it. Free college education, I believe. Sometimes you wanna look to yourself first before knocking a well run program.

So, what first hand knowledge do you have about Starbucks Puremicigan?

They LOST a class action law suit against them for this poor management style. You know squat of which you speak. You look within lady!

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Margo

See all Purmichigan had to do was read the word *free* college education and she bought it. FREE FREE FREE is NOT FREE!

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Margo

Now- I did make a fun Barista;))

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

I'm glad to say that I've never entered the door of a Starbucks--nor have I ever wanted to.

Kate

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Margo

It is a big world out there....

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Ann

Bry, I saw your "positive net present value" sentence followed by your choice 1, 2, and 3 paragraph (which didn't include any associated cost, expected salary, or specific comparison between any of the three options) - but rather couple vague and simple one is better than the other statements, with no supporting evidence of any kind. Now, you say you assumed several factors and overestimated costs?

I'm thoroughly enjoying your comments! HT hasn't made me smile so much in days.


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purrmichigan(5)

Nope, again. The "free" was used as a word for benefit. You see, if you paid attention to the context you could have saved yourself from looking silly. That is something an education should have given you - reading within context is what reading comprehension is about.

My cousins's son had a good experience there and did get an education out of it. But then, he made the most of the situation, and didn't bail when it got difficult.

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purrmichigan(5)

I'm thoroughly enjoying your comments! HT hasn't made me smile so much in days.

Margo, how dare you take a management job reserved for the enlightened college graduates with all that student loan debt.

Passive aggressive ^^^^^^^^^. Sad that you don't have a strong voice to say what you're trying to say.

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Margo

puremichigan60(5)

Nope, again. The "free" was used as a word for benefit. You see, if you paid attention to the context you could have saved yourself from looking silly.

If you would have paid attention to the context of my comments, you could TRY and save yourself from looking *outraged*.

I was hired with NO education, that was point!! I guess I just have a way with interviewing:))))

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Ann

Kate, I'm not a coffee drinker so I've only been in Starbucks very infrequently, but I'm curious as to why you're glad to have never entered one? I'm not looking to agitate with my question or criticize your answer, but I read your comment and was super curious as to why you're glad about that. If the answer is because Starbucks is expensive, I sure get that. But, other reasons might be interesting. Since I'm not a coffee drinker, Starbucks and it's popularity is kind of fascinating and foreign to me.

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Margo

I think Ann made her point with target precision, she ruffled your feathers but then that is soooooo easy.

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Ann

Sad that you don't have a strong voice to say what you're trying to say.

Lol, PM, maybe as you suggested to Margo in the comment just above your attempted criticism of me, you should heed your own advice, "You see, if you paid attention to the context you could have saved yourself from looking silly.".

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Nothing Left to Say

Oaktown, I read your link no it was interesting but I'm still not sure I understand the distinction between anti-intellectualism and anti-elitism.


BTW, I'm not sure I'm really either a "back row kid" or a "front row kid".

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Ann

Lots of feathers have been ruffled lately, but that's expected, since 6 months in, Trump still hasn't been impeached. But, there are bound to be at least a few current threads discussing how impeachment is imminent.

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haydayhayday

"BTW, I'm not sure I'm really either a "back row kid" or a "front row kid"."

If you want to see what the right handed teacher writes on the board, sit in the front right.

If you want to sleep, sit in the back left.

Just one of the many valuable things I learned in school.

Hay

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bry911

Bry, I saw your "positive net present value" sentence followed by your choice 1, 2, and 3 paragraph (which didn't include any associated cost, expected salary, or specific comparison between any of the three options) - but rather couple vague and simple one is better than the other statements, with no supporting evidence of any kind. Now, you say you assumed several factors and overestimated costs?

Associated cost - You could Google this yourself - $24,930*

Expected Salary - A pdf that has salary data averages by major

High school education -

  • 21-24 = $22,000
  • 25-59 = $36,000

College graduate - liberal arts degree (which is lowest upon graduation).

  • 21-24 - $29,000
  • 25-59 - $51,000

Net Present value formula -

Let's use a 5% discount rate. This means that the money you have this year is 5% more valuable than the money you will make next year and 10.25% more valuable than the money you will have in two years.

Let's also extend the $22,000 that High school graduates make back 4 years to those college years.

Note that I am not using room and board etc in the calculation but I am also not subtracting that from salary. In other words you may have to pay some housing and feeding costs in college but you also have to pay for those things when not in college.

Also most college students do work part-time and summer jobs while many high-school graduates don't get jobs that pay $22,000 per year right after they graduate.

So the cost of college is 4 yrs @ $46,930 ($24,930 for tuition and $22,000 that might have been earned).

The benefit of college is 4 yrs @ $7,000 and 35 yrs @ $15,000.

When we plug that into the formula we get a net present value.

We get a Net Present Value of a liberal arts degree of $276,866. This means so long as the application fee wasn't $276,866 then a liberal arts degree is still financially better than a high school degree. However, if the application fee is $276,867 it is not financially better. We would then have to get into quality of life issues to prove it was better.

ETA: This is the value of going to an out of state institution with no financial assistance. In state gets a whole lot better.

To be fair, I think their salary data is a bit low but it was pretty convenient to use. I suspect liberal arts majors remain low for a few more years and then take off a bit to higher salaries where high school stays the same. I could look at that but honestly there is no need to. The NPV is so favorable that there is simply no way for High School to reasonably catch it.

This has been done many times before and the information is readily available.

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Oaktown

crl_, I generally don't think people fit into neat categories. Wouldn't it be nice if discourse could better reflect that reality? I do like the way Arnade ends his posts with a cat. ;-)

There is a view that anti-elitism is just anti-intellectualism, disguised. I think sometimes that is the case but I think they can be different things. Maybe look at it this way. I am pro-intellectual if anything but I am anti-elitist in the sense that it really bothers me when I hear remarks akin to "Trump won among people who didn't go to college, see he is supported by dumb people." If one wants to say "voting for Trump = dumb", that's understood to be a political opinion but I think the further implication that "not going to college = dumb" takes it somewhere else.

[ETA: I think having a higher education is a great thing, but using the existence of that degree as a cudgel is not. This part of Arnade's Twitter string:

10. Back row kids flip out by anger/exclusion. Embracing populist. Strength is keyFront row kids flip out by condescending. Casting scorn.

11. In both cases it is to deny validity as they define it. Back row says Front row is "Weak/unAmerican." Front row says Back row is "Dumb"]

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haydayhayday

Re all this talk about whether it "pays" to go to college.

Re your "proof" of that is that college grads make more than non college grads.

What happened to "correlation is not the same as causation". Do they still teach that?

Smart people go to college. Which came first?

Hay

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haydayhayday

The richest people in the country live in Connecticut.

That's why I moved here.

So far, I'm still poor.

What am I doing wrong?!?

Hay

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SandyC.
I think Trump voters are not well informed as they live in a bubble. Never called them dumb. I call them easily lead by an agenda of right wing extremists like Lingaugh, Breitbart and InfoWars.
Ailes hand chose his very right wing talk show hosts back in the 90 s when the anti intellectualization began. Things are black and white to the senior set. No nuance is needed.
Bias confirmation is addictive and they got it on Fox 24/7.
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Ann

Bry, are you suggesting that tuition costs for a total of 4 years (out of state) averages $24,930 or just over $6,000 per year? I started reading your figures and reached a complete stop at that figure. Let me go back read your comment and check your link. That seems very far off. I must have been reading too fast.

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bry911

Smart people go to college. Which came first?

Does it matter? If there is a selection bias into college why is there not the same selection bias coming out of college?

Let's forego the idea that college teaches you anything and look only at the financial aspects (as ludicrous as that sounds). If smarter people go to college doesn't that create the presumption that smarter people graduate college and therefore still make more money? I don't accept heard immunity against the presumption of stupidity as the reason that college graduates earn more, but OK.

Unless you are saying that smarter people tend to make more money in which case I will ask where you worked because I never found that to be the case...

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Ann

Bry, is that 24,930 not an "annual' cost rather than a total 4 year cost?

ETA: The more I look at your numbers, while I'm not seeing the actual numbers you plug into the formula, I'm now assuming you are plugging this in as an annual cost. I'm wondering if you are making the assumption of a 4 year degree? If so, don't statistics show that it takes a majority of students a bit longer than those 8 semesters? As a professor, I imagine you know that info very well and so I'm wondering if the average length of time taken to complete a degree is being plugged in.

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Ann, I'm sure Starbucks is a legitimate business and that many good people go there. However, it first caught my attention as an elitist hang-out. I couldn't believe how many people thought they were "special" because they regularly went to Starbucks. I can think of a lot of things that might make me feel "special," but drinking Starbucks coffee is not one of them.

And I am a dedicated coffee drinker. But I don't need to hang out at Starbucks to prove my credentials in that respect.

I did think it a bit odd that some people who were usually not particularly interested in coffee suddenly became coffee aficionados when Starbucks suddenly became fashionable.

Don't worry--this is no big critique. Just my own personal hang-up.

Kate

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Ann

The benefit of college is 4 yrs @ $7,000 and 35 yrs @ $15,000.

Are you making the assumption that an average person works 39 years or 35 years beyond college, so until their mid 60s or so with no breaks? I wonder if SS records would show that to be the case for the average person?

ETA: I see what you are saying here but these figures need some accuracy for your formula to generate reasonable results. Clearly, many a student has not yet graduated at age 21 and thus likely hasn't yet started generating that extra $7000 for that 4 year period. Then, assuming 39 years of uninterrupted full time work seems unreasonable to me. I wonder how many of us on HT have worked full time and uninterrupted for 39 years, beginning in our 20s and continuing into our 60s. I'll do some googling about this, because while this wouldn't surprise me in the 1960s (but often just one adult working full time in those years), it would surprise me now.

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Ann

Haha, that's kind of funny Kate. It makes perfect sense to me. As a non-coffee person, I'm scared of Starbucks. I don't know how to order or behave at Starbucks?

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Nothing Left to Say

Oaktown, so is the distinction that anti-intellectualism is being opposed to using intellect to govern etc while anti-elisitsm is being opposed to only a certain class of people being allowed to govern?


I think part of my confusion stems from "liberal elite" having been used as an insult in recent times. I am liberal and I don't see anything inherently wrong with being a liberal. I don't claim to be an elite anything, but I always thought elite denoted the best of something, i.e. Steph Curry is an elite althlete. So it seems to me that this insult is scornful of liberals who are well-educated intellectuals with high achievements. Perhaps I am conflating the terms unreasonably in part as a (unjustified?) reaction to that phrase.

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haydayhayday

Hay:

Smart people go to college. Which came first?

Bry:

"Does it matter? If there is a selection bias into college why is there not the same selection bias coming out of college?

Let's forego the idea that college teaches you anything and look only at the financial aspects (as ludicrous as that sounds). If smarter people go to college doesn't that create the presumption that smarter people graduate college and therefore still make more money? I don't accept heard immunity against the presumption of stupidity as the reason that college graduates earn more, but OK.

Unless you are saying that smarter people tend to make more money in which case I will ask where you worked because I never found that to be the case..."

I'll get Labrea to translate that for me and then I'll get back to you.

"Unless you are saying that smarter people tend to make more money in which case I will ask where you worked because I never found that to be the case..."

Labrea, could you start with that.

Is he saying what I think he's saying?

Hay

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Ann

However, if the application fee is $276,867 it is not financially better.

Bry, what is the application fee referring to?

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chase_gw

What a bizarre thread.

There was never a discussion in our home that university was optional, it was a given. We also told them that you work a lot of years so do something you love. Also told them that support for them would be there as long as they held up their part of the bargain......commitment and marks,

One of our children was much more focused and had a notion of what they wanted to do....the other not so much.

Funnily the one who focused on a "job oriented " degree never did find a job he loved in his field and went on to start his own successful business that has zero to do with his degree

My daughter on the other hand , who had no idea what she wanted to do, got a liberal arts undergrad degree, travelled for a year...on her dime.....and came home to do a post grad programme in public relations. She is 29, making over 100K a year, full benefits, bonuses and a company car......and best part she loves her job. She manages the Canadian social media programme for a huge American food comany...huge.

My only point is that it is important to encourage "all our children" ... not just our biological children.... to pursue some sort of post high school educational programme. I for one am happy to have my tax dollars contribute to keeping those doors open to them. ...but they have to deliver on commitment and marks.......screw up, party on, then the deal is off

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Ann

So, you're starting that $7000 benefit at age 21? Many a college student hasn't entered the workforce yet as they haven't yet graduated. Maybe a summer internship by then, but I'd say unlikely for a liberal arts student. Very, very likely for an engineering student (which I know isn't part of your calculation) but that's where the college internships are FAR more likely.

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purrmichigan(5)

That's the American dream, chase. That and owning a home. The home thing is much less valued these days imo.

This is a bizarre thread. And all I'm seeing is the left defending a position that needs no defense. Education for the sake of .... education! Art education for the sake of .... art! Why the F not?? Who doesn't want their child to learn and grow and develop a full life? This isn't Russia or China or Japan with it's highly scripted process of educating depending on perceived potential. Some of the weirdest ideas I've seen on HT have to do with arts education. And by extension the notion of a liberal arts education.

I figure, that if the FRW really doesn't want to send their children to college, then those motivated students will have to leave the family fold/bind/suffocation. Otherwise, the majority in this country will continue to want the very best for their children. Arts, music, physical education, as well as STEM, reading, literature, etc.

Devolving into a numbers game is so silly.

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Vith

I'm glad to say that I've never entered the door of a Starbucks--nor have I ever wanted to.

Makes me think of the progressive commercials with the fancy coffee. LOL

I dont need no stinkin fancy coffee.

However, it first caught my attention as an elitist hang-out. I
couldn't believe how many people thought they were "special" because
they regularly went to Starbucks.

I have noticed this as well. I don't get it either. People spend 5-7 bucks daily at starbucks in one trip. That's like $1800 a year on the low end, one trip per day. More than I spend per year for satellite with the extra channels package (about $110/ month)

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chase_gw

"Maybe a summer internship by then, but I'd say unlikely for a liberal arts student."

Ann, not sure what your work experience was at a managerial level and it's not my business. However I do know mine. I was the Director of a very large department within Bell Canada. I managed a team of 300+

Every summer I hired 25 - 30 interns all of them in liberal arts or business programmes. My colleagues would hire the engineering and IT interns but the needs of my department were ones involving excellent written and communications skills as well as some level of artistic screen design..

You see it was our job to tell the technicians what was needed from a business perspective...their job to deliver on our specifications. Both sides of that coin are very important. Technical people cannot deliver unless they are provided a business vision to deliver on.

The other end of my responsibilities were to deliver training and documentation to the end users......again written and communications skills.

The demands of the business world are very diverse.....you might be surprised at how valuable those liberal arts undergrads really are.

...now my worst nightmare empolyee... a brand new MBA grad ! uuughhh

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Ann

Bry, I kind of like your formula and might try to locate one online to play with. As a big fan of STEM degrees, I would now find it interesting to take your formula another step (beyond the no college/liberal arts degree comparison) and compare costs and incomes of the liberal arts degree vs the engineering degree. That one is a little easier too, because one could assume a similar length of college time with maybe a slightly higher tuition cost for the college of engineering (I read today that the tuition is about $5000 greater - per year, I think). Then, I might also like to run a comparison on the trade school route (say electrician or plumber) vs the liberal arts degree. In that scenario, I read the apprenticeship route starts early and even that part pays fairly well, so that would need to be accounted for in the plugging in of numbers into the formula.

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purrmichigan(5)

progressive commercials with the fancy coffee. LOL

I dont need no stinkin fancy coffee.

Well, don't knock what you haven't tried. Seriously: "progressive commercials"????? Commercials for and by progressives? I can't believe anyone thinks this is a thing.

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Ann

now my worst nightmare empolyee... a brand new MBA grad !

Lol, why? I'm not trying to initiate conflict, but your comment made me smile and I imagine there is a funny story or reason behind it.

My management years were managing the programming staff of the IT department - the same department I worked in as a programmer and programming contractor for many years prior. I had a lot of contact with the other departments in terms of identifying and designing software application projects, but I only ever managed and hired technical staff. The employees I dealt with in non technical parts of the company were just work meetings as I never managed or hired anyone outside of the IT technical staff.

Outside of low wage jobs prior to my degree, I've never worked in any other field. Except recently, when I taught yoga for 12 years at a couple fitness clubs, lol. But that was very part time (3 classes a week) so I considered that more of a hobby than a job. But, I loved it!


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Ziemia(6a)

Yikes, I am super confused. Strange thread indeed. It seems that nearly all (if not all) posting here say college degrees have value. Ditto for STEM and prof degrees. There is respect for trades (such as plumbers and also guessing the various medical techs which may require a 2-yr degree), which do require education albeit the form generally not provided by liberal arts or 4-year colleges (around here many community colleges do prepare for some careers).

There is some disagreement on how to value liberal arts degrees.

.................................................

Sheesh - it seems several here just want to be in opposition. AND they look for the chance to be in opposition.

.....................................

The question asked is in the chart - it was asked about many topics and has stayed the same since 2010. Source (This is a link to Pew)

What really strikes me is the sharp change in trend.

The question is asked in June (mid year).

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SandyC.
It is the Fox narrative. Gotta keep the base incensed and the masses uneducated.
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chase_gw

Ann, I have no idea what type of IT work you did but generally in business, or government, there is no need for an IT solution unless there is a business problem to solve.

I don't mean that in a derogatory way at all. It is a dynamic and interesting partnership.

Here is my business problem

Here is our technical solution

Here is the practical documentation and training required to rollout the solution to end users who need it for their day to day jobs

The range of talents, backgrounds, educations and skills in delivering on these business solutions is vast. No one discipline is more important than the other if there is to be a successful delivery.

As an aside I am a liberal arts grad my DH has a Masters in Physics and a bunch of IT degrees after that. His career was focused on designing large systems for banks, telcos and the government. Mine was focused on what was needed from a business perspective

He says thanks goodness for those level headed business folk that kept the whako teckos on track or they would have been forever late and over budget! LOL

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Oaktown

Hi crl_, I don't think of "elite" as having pejorative connotations as opposed to "elitism" and "elitist." Not necessarily limited to the question of who should govern. In the very general sense the anti-elitism sentiment can be a dislike of snobbery. In some situations it might be a rejection of "elitist" notions that some small group (by wealth, social status, education, or other criteria) should be favored to the exclusion of others. (I think most people would say the answer depends on the situation.)

Kind of like this:

http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/elites-and-elitists/

I was using “elite” in the dictionary sense of “A group or class of persons or a member of such a group or class, enjoying superior intellectual, social, or economic status.” NPR’s news programming is aimed at a small strata of the overall population that’s relatively affluent and well educated. I’d consider myself as part of that strata, based on education and income.

***
Elitism,” on the other hand, is different: “The belief that certain persons or members of certain classes or groups deserve favored treatment by virtue of their perceived superiority, as in intellect, social status, or financial resources.”

***

“If you prefer to drink microbrews because you think they taste better than Budweiser and can afford to pay the higher cost, as we both do, that perhaps makes you an elite. If you think it therefore makes you better than the poor losers who drink Bud, you’re an elitist.”

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bry911

Why should we should stop at just college. I think we should judge the quality and usefulness of everything on salary. In light of this, I propose that all posters submit your annual salary so we may effectively judge the benefit of reading your post.


-----

Please note that this is a reductio ad absurdum -- please don't really submit your salary.

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Oaktown

[puremichigan60, Vith's comment made me think of the Starbucks Unity Cup (which I thought was a nice idea).]

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Oaktown

>>>The question asked is in the chart - it was asked about many topics and has stayed the same since 2010.

I think in large part it might be intentionally subject to self-definition. Such as "do you consider yourself a liberal or a conservative?"

>>>What really strikes me is the sharp change in trend.

Me too.

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Nothing Left to Say

Oaktown, thanks for the further clarification. I think I understand.

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Lot of good and interesting info. in this thread, but we haven't yet paid close attention to the point of the OP--namely, why Republicans' positive views of education abruptly dropped 18 percentage point into the negative in just the LAST TWO YEARS.

Since that time period--the last 2 years--somewhat parallels the rise of the Trumpster party, does the emergence of this new political power--the lower educated Trump base--account for the sudden switch from a positive view of education to a negative assessment of education in the Republican Party? In other words, the Trumpsters have taken over the Republican Party in a 2-year period and now define its salient characteristics and values--in this case, its new anti-education beliefs?

If that is not the cause for the sudden devaluation of education in the Republican Party within a 2 year period, then what else might account for an 18 % drop in the party's view of education?

I might add that religious fundamentalist/conservatives have long held a suspicious attitude towards higher education. Back in the early 1960s as I headed off to college, my fundamentalist mother mourned that college would probably take my religion away from me as it was known to do to any religious kids that entered its domain. My mother's attitude seems to have gained the ascendancy in the past 2 years.

Kate

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jillinnj

It is interesting to me how much "I think it so it is true" logic I see.

Yes. Even ignores all the information given in this thread. If it doesn't meet the agenda, it's to be discarded. And that right there explains the OP - why Republicans don't think college is good. It actually teaches you to think in ways you might not have thought of before, and Republicans do not like that. At all.

---

I suspect and I think .... same difference;)

Nope. Chase's conclusion is based on years of experience with the liberals on this forum. Your "I think" is more "I want it to be, so it is" nonsense.

---

Yes, and fiscally stronger if the majority of citizens in the country are capable and willing to support the needs of themselves and their families.

And they are. Imagine that! Most people actually do take care of themselves. It's that small percent that you object to helping. And that is the difference between liberals and conservatives, unlike what you think. Liberals understand their obligation to society. Conservatives feel anyone needing help is a loser so they can justify demeaning them.

---

Bry, I've never met you but, from reading your comments, your level of, shall we say, "self-confidence" is phenomenal!

Um, that's not "self-confidence". It's actually intelligence and the ability to think through a problem from all sides. I know it's hard for you to recognize, but that's what it is.


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Ann

Chase, what on earth are you saying? This is the strangest comment you've ever made on HT. Do you think code grows on trees? First you say this:

Ann, I have no idea what type of IT work you did but generally in business, or government, there is no need for an IT solution unless there is a business problem to solve.

Then in the same comment, you say this about your husband's work:

His career was focused on designing large systems for banks, telcos and the government.

So, who do you think writes code and then maintains it? It sounds like your husband does. It's 2017 and you are saying there is no need for IT solutions???? Who do you think is creating software to run nearly every function of every business that is accessed by every company employee on every computer on every desk? Part of my career was exactly like the code you have described your husband worked with, part was writing code for many functions of HR at Coors, and part was writing code to verify and validate Titan IV/Centaur flight code - code verifying that every equation was a valid equation, and code duplicating each flight code segment for verification and simulation purposes. In each case, my one and only function was the designing and writing of code to perform a business or technical function or the management of a team of programmers that designed and wrote code all day long. Along with that came the writing of occasional user docs (when a separate team wasn't performing that task) and MIL-STANDARD software development documentation (also when a separate team wasn't doing it which was a blessing because it was a tedious and time consuming task), but who do you think writes code???

I'm kind of blown away by your comment!


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Ann

OK, let's cut to the chase about the OP. Clearly, one obvious and huge reason Republican's view of college is lessening is because Republicans think it has become one big liberal biased indoctrination experience. Then in addition, it's terribly expensive and too many graduates can't find a job when they get out.

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Nothing Left to Say

As far as I can tell, Ann, you and Chase are saying the same thing. Code is a tool. It is used to solve problems. Often business problems. People write code--just like people produce all sorts of useful tools.

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Ann

Bry, sounds like you've moved on from your formula, but I'm still curious about what the application fee is? I was following what you were plugging into your formula, but hoping you'll tell me what the application fee means.

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Ziemia(6a)

For anyone interested in that significant change in Republican views the date of that year's survey was

Sep 16-Oct 4, 2015

(Trump announced 6/16/15 so there is correlation --- we can only guess at any causation.)

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purrmichigan(5)

So, 18 years of indoctrinating them to be FRWingers isn't enough?? 18 + year olds are so malleable?? Why aren't they supposed to think for themselves?? That's a rather ignorant opinion of human development. If your kid hasn't inculcated your values and opinions by 18, I think you've lost them anyway. Lost, in the sense that they aren't going to be your replica.

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jillinnj

It's 2017 and you are saying there is no need for IT solutions????

Chase did not say that.

She said there has to be a business problem to solve.

I have a computer science degree but of course had to take many liberal arts credits to satisfy my graduation requirements.

Even in my CS program, we were taught how to think. We were not taught specific coding languages, though we used many. We were taught how to think.

I was a developer for many years. Then I managed the entire IT department for the product I worked on. Then (and still now) I moved to the business side. I found that I enjoyed devising the solution to the business problem. It also turns out I could speak both languages (business and technical) very well thanks to my college degree teaching me to think and communicate. That made it easy for me to take the business problem and explain it to the developers/testers. This produced the best product for the end users.

Chase hit the nail on the head with this:

He says thanks goodness for those level headed business folk that kept the whako teckos on track or they would have been forever late and over budget

Made me laugh! Sometimes the solutions those wacko tech geeks come up with just makes me shake me head. Um, no that's not what we need. Other times, they come up with brilliant solutions I hadn't thought of. It's a two way street.

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Ann

Crl, this is the part I'm completely confused about. How on earth could we live in 2017 and not think there are millions and millions of problems to be solved with IT solutions?

there is no need for an IT solution unless there is a business problem to solve

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Thank you, Ann, for responding to the OP question, but you didn't address why Republicans dramatically lowered their view of education TWO YEARS AGO. Why not three years ago, or 10 years ago, or 5 years from now?

My question has two parts:

1. Why Repubs decided two years ago that education has little value.

2. Why there was a dramatic drop of 18 percentage points (from positive to negative) two years ago. Why the BIG drop? Usually we expect changes to evolve more gradually, don't we?

Kate

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Nothing Left to Say

I think--no support, just purely my speculation--that at least some part of this is the rise of extreme right wing media. The Breibart and even fox type outlets pounding on how horribly liberal colleges are. No matter what evidence there is to refute that--whether it is stats or extensive personal experience--the right wing outlets are believed and all other sources are not.

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chase_gw

Ann. settle back. reread my posts.

Code is code and it does not grow on trees.

It is developed by skilled people who take business requirements from business people and develop IT solutions.

Code is not developed in isolation of a business need...

My DH would be the first person to say that IT exists to solve business problems not the other way around...he designed huge systems TO MEET A BUSINESS NEED...as defined by the people who needed that solution.

So tell me Ann...did you just sit down and write code with no specific business purpose in mind? Or did you design code based on specifications from a business partner?

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Nothing Left to Say

Ann, I don't know why you think Chase's statement means she thinks there are not problems that need IT solutions. I take it to mean exactly the opposite.

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Ann

Meanom, please explain what you think Trump announcing had to do with Republican views of college. I don't remember Trump talking a lot about college while he campaigned. Could it have to do with frustration of Democratic indoctrination which I think grew in colleges during Obama years?

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purrmichigan(5)

Kate, it's the trump effect. Which no one needs to explain, except that the FRW is now happy to be dumbed down. Just check out trump's behavior, his attitudes, his apparent lack of thinking and extrapolate.

Sometimes the answer is much more simple than we'd expect.

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purrmichigan(5)

Code is not a creative thing or act. It's a response to a need.

in·doc·tri·na·tion

inˌdäktrəˈnāSHən/

noun

  1. the process of teaching a person or group to accept a set of beliefs uncritically.


We're back to critical thinking skills. Maybe the FRW doesn't want their children to have critical thought. Is that why they believe they're so easily indoctrinated?? Because they didn't learn critical thinking and therefore would not challenge "liberal indoctrination". All of this sounds that poor parenting, imo.


If you can't send your child away at 18 knowing they have good common sense and aren't going to be "indocrinated" by anyone or thing - then that parent hasn't passed along good life skills.

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jillinnj

The subsidies my kids received from taxpayer money have allowed them to become well employed, and they pay taxes and also volunteer and give to charities. People who say they don’t want to pay for someone else’s child to go to college are missing the point – it all comes back to our country’s economy. The I, me, mine mentality of the American individualist does nothing for the good of our society.

My brother and I are the perfect living examples of that!

I've told this story before...my parents could not afford to send us to college. Housing, food and the essentials ate up their pay checks every week.

We both got excellent grades in high school because we worked hard.

I went to an undergraduate state college almost completely on financial aid. I did have a small student loan that I paid back. But the vast majority was financial aid.

I have paid that back to the government many times over in the taxes I've paid. I got my job a few months after graduation and have worked continuously since then.

My brother went to undergraduate at an ivy league school. He too received a lot of financial aid. His loans were a bit larger than mine because his school was much more expensive than mine, but they were not huge. He then went onto medical school. I don't remember if the got aid or scholarships for that. And he had loans.

He got a job right out of medical school and has worked continuously since then. He has also paid back in taxes many times over what he was given for schooling.

People who have that 'you're on your own and I'm not willing to pay one penny of mine to help you' are extremely short sided.

We are a society and the stronger our society is, the better we all are. That means you might have to help someone you perceive as below you. You would have perceived me and my family as below you because my parents didn't make enough money to pay for college. And that is why I can say people with that attitude make me sick to my stomach.

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Ann

My DH would be the first person to say that IT exists to solve business problems not the other way around...he designed huge systems TO MEET A BUSINESS NEED...as defined by the people who needed that solution.

Did I or anyone ever say or imply it was the other way around? If so, please quote where I said anything at all about that.

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Ann

So tell me Ann...did you just sit down and write code with no specific business purpose in mind?

Did I ever say this? If so please quote where I did.

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Ann

Code is not a creative thing or act. It's a response to a need.

Did anyone say otherwise?

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catspa_zone9sunset14

Republicans think it has become one big liberal biased indoctrination experience.

I wonder why they think that? Indoctrination is not what the large majority of us college instructors want to do and, in fact, we tend to avoid doing that like the plague (unless one LIKES teaching hostile, sullen classes...). Selective reporting, perhaps? It's not like teaching itself has abruptly changed over the last 2 years, so it must be the perception that has changed.

Then in addition, it's terribly expensive and too many graduates can't find a job when they get out.

Too expensive, I agree, for reasons I mentioned earlier plus others, like the pullback in state government support of higher public education institutions over the past few decades, which has also forced tuition higher. Too many graduates not finding a job -- on that I am doubtful. I'm sure there are many anecdotes (and that Fox actively seeks them out!), but overall statistics, as cited by Bry, on economic advantages conferred by a degree, indicate otherwise.

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Ziemia(6a)

Ann, the "application fee" is the amount you have to send it with your application. He mentions this just, I *think* to be complete in identifying all the cost. It's sort of in jest, I suspect.

The NET current value is quite high, of all that liberal arts college degree work.

But we'll wait to see what bry says

......................

Here's a similar analysis - fairly old (2005 maybe) but the numbers are similar enough and comparisons include HS, 2-yr degree, through advanced degrees

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everdebz

I don't think a person's 'brain' is fully developed by 18... haven't read all, but a few.... guidance is ok.

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Ziemia(6a)

Ann: Meanom, please explain what you think Trump

I did include that ---- all that stuff about correlation and causation.

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everdebz

Plenty of good people, who taught good values - young ones dead from drugs... true? So young they had lack in their own process of inner knowledge/ in communicating/ in emotional intelligence.... [hoping this pertains though seemingly off the topic].... how to live - which can take decades of experience.

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Ann

I wonder why they think that?

One possibility would be because maybe it has become one big liberal biased indoctrination experience.

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jillinnj

Ann: Republicans think it has become one big liberal biased indoctrination experience.

catspat:I wonder why they think that?

Ann's answer: One possibility would be because maybe it has become one big liberal biased indoctrination experience.

Do you think if you keep repeating it, it will be true.

It's not true. It's what you've been fed and you bought it hook line and sinker. You really should stop watching so much Fox News.

So, did your kids turn into nasty liberals, indoctrinated by those big bad liberal profs in college? Do you think your grandkids shouldn't go to college 'cause they might actually come out thinking for themselves?

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

That happened all of a sudden 2 years ago? Why?

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Ziemia(6a)

Ann, I answered your question to me. Maybe you can offer some explanation for that clear, sharp turn in the fall of 2015. Others are asking you for any insight you offer. Why did things about colleges and universities change so much then? Or why did the attitudes of Republicans change so much then.

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Nothing Left to Say

I wonder if part of it might be that as college became more necessary to getting a good job it also became more expensive. And this makes it seem like a trap? I'm not sure why this would only apply to Republicans though? Perhaps those things hit at the same time as the far right wing media's push against education. . . . .

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jodik_gw

Every day, it seems, something entirely bizarre and off the wall falls out of republican mouths.

An aversion to education... it sounds about right. We probably shouldn't be surprised by anything they say or do.

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bry911

I don't want to dwell on the formula... I posted that in response to your evidence claim but quite honestly I don't think it furthered the thread for most anyone. I am afraid that explaining the formula will just cause further drift, but here goes.

I'm still curious about what the application fee is?

Most colleges require an application fee to apply to the school. It is typically between $25 and $100. It usually costs more for grad schools. It will never reach anything approaching the number I gave, which was the point.

Bry, are you suggesting that tuition costs for a total of 4 years (out of state) averages $24,930 or just over $6,000 per year?

No I said $24,930 per year (which is way more than the average college costs).

So, you're starting that $7000 benefit at age 21? Many a college student hasn't entered the workforce yet as they haven't yet graduated.

That is not how averages work. Additionally, to allow for any friction I only ran the calculation to the day you turn 60. In the end, the NPV assumed 39 years of work for college grads and 43 for high school grads. If I added the change you want, I would end up with a higher NPV.

Are you making the assumption that an average person works 39 years or 35 years beyond college, so until their mid 60s or so with no breaks? I wonder if SS records would show that to be the case for the average person?

Aside from the fact that this is included in the average... This doesn't matter in the least. We are looking at differential costs. We only need to calculate numbers that would be different among the two. To be relevant college grads would need to take more breaks. Since, we know that college grads are approaching the frictional unemployment rate while High school grads are not we can safely say that High school grads take more work breaks.

I see what you are saying here but these figures need some accuracy for your formula to generate reasonable results.

No they don't. They very much err on the side of High School graduates. More accurate numbers are going to drastically increase the value of college. For one thing I assumed that High school graduates immediately started full time work and saved all that money. This assumes that not only do college students spend $24,930 per year but that high school graduates will save $22,000 per year. Which isn't realistic. If we were to look at the actual net worth of high school graduates after four years, I assure you it would not be $94,823.

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Do notice in the chart above that the Democratic assessment of the value of education stays consistently high--no sudden dramatic dips or even gradual declines to precipitously low levels.

It is just the Republicans who, beginning in 2015, suddenly turn on education in large numbers, resulting in a sudden and dramatic downturn in their attitude.

The difference there is curious--and the dramatic Republican downturn all of a sudden is surprising to say the least.

Kate

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Ann

Thanks for the additional info, Bry.

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Ann

Meanom, I don't know what the correlation with the year 2015 might be.

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Ann

Do you think if you keep repeating it, it will be true.

I think it is true, regardless of your disagreeing with it.

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purrmichigan(5)

Kate - what I'm not understanding is why you can't see a direct causation between trump and the FRW (please don't say Republican or conservative, it isn't true) attitude towards higher education. And apparently, it's very unfortunate, they also think they know what's best for primary students. No arts curriculum for those untalented kids!!

This is just not that complicated. 2015 + trump campaigning and presidency = conspiracy theories, fears (poor things) of being "indoctrinated", and a fear of their kids going away to school. It's super clear!! Ann has never been so informative on HT - if what you want to know is about FRWingers fear of education.

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Ann

This is a rather interesting article I just ran across and read.


http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/article/2016/12/20/liberal-professors/

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catspa_zone9sunset14

I think it is true, regardless of your disagreeing with it.

That statement speaks volumes, right there. As I keep telling my students, hypotheses without rationales are useless.

ETA: Okay, belated, potential rationale. I will read with interest!

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Ann

Catspat, it's a long article I just posted but it's interesting says an awful lot of what I'm proposing as a reason. I know liberals don't want to admit that universities have become a place loaded with and only accepting of liberalism, but it's more than obvious to others.

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Ann

I'm also wondering about the number of youth that are quite interested in Libertarianism. I'm beginning to think that political party will gain more and more in popularity with our country's youth.

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althea_gw

When I was growing up I had now deceased relatives who loved to criticize college graduates. Their favorite condescension was calling them "educated fools", saying the people who went to college couldn't repair a car, and stuff like that. Many conservative people held the same view. It could be possible that that attitude never went away, but it has only been in the last couple of years because of the awful U.S. president that they feel comfortable expressing their long held, multi-generational views more openly.

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Oaktown

During the recent campaign, college cost was really one of Bernie Sanders' key running points. Trump didn't really say much except that he loves the poorly educated. He received a lot of ridicule for that, which I think was deserved but I also would guess that the ridicule might have heightened anti-intellectual and anti-elitist sentiments among some without college (or even high school) degrees.

Re the David Brooks article above while searching on this topic I came across this NPR interview with Nikole Hannah-Jones that some might find interesting (I did).

http://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=509325266

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Margo

It could be possible that that attitude never went away, but it has only been in the last couple of years because of the awful U.S. president that they feel comfortable expressing their long held, multi-generational views more openly.

Glad to hear you thought Obama was awful too;) We know you could not have meant Trump as he has only been in for 6 months.

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Ann

Althea, college was a big deal in my Republican family. My father was the first person in his family to graduate from college. He came from a very poor family and following his time in the navy, he made good use of the GI Bill and graduated with a degree in engineering at the age of 30. He worked full time all during college and had 3 kids at the time. My brother and I both got a degree and both my children did as well (my daughter has multiple degrees - engineering and Juris Doctor). So, I have never experienced conservatives being opposed to education in a family of multi-generational Republicans (my dad, us, and both our children). Taking it one step outside my immediate family, my Republican uncle had a very similar background to my dad (also an engineer) and his three children are all doctors. Again, no resistance at all to college. One of my uncle's three children is a Democrat and the other two are Republicans.

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SandyC.
This report seems very skewed and the republicans polled may have been right wing "conservatives" like Ann that have been indoctrinated by Fox talk show hosts and bigots and racists like Limbaugh and Gingrich.Not all republicans are conservatives, but those incapable of critical thinking and just posting stupid remarks like colleges have become "liberal" don't know what they are talking about.
Fox "news" is called "conservative, which is not the opposite of democratic. Illiberal is opposite of liberal.
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Ann

Do any of the liberals on this thread have evidence that the majority of colleges are not quite liberal leaning?

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althea_gw

Margo, Trump started campaigning a year and a half ago. It may have only been in the past year, not necessarily over the past 2 years that the people who hold these views started to feel more comfortable stating their beliefs openly.

I do think in many ways Obama was an awful president, but that is beside the point and another topic. He did support education and most definitely doesn't advocate for less education.

Oaktown, I think that comment may have been what won our awful president the presidency.

Ann, I was only speaking of my personal background, no one else.

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SandyC.
Why on earth would colleges be solely liberal. . Half of the country don't care about politics.
There are " conservative" colleges which prefer religious indoctrination, anti gay and religious intolerance.
Bry has addressed the issue on other threads with the same "conservatives".
Colleges are not so much liberal, they teach open mindedness, critical thinking and how to argue a POV.
People like the anti legal immigration bigot Ann Coulter have furthered their pr calling all colleges liberal.
Not so much liberal, but against racism and bigotry. Colleges are melting pots, many foreign students bring a wealth of diversity to our campuses.
" Conservative" parents may fear their kids, like them may become a minority, as our society diversifies.
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Ann

Sandy, so you don't think the majority of colleges (not all but a majority) lean liberal?

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Nothing Left to Say

Ann, Bry911 already addressed that question above in this thread. I'm copying his post for your convenience




bry911

I haven't looked at this survey, but my first thought is how troubled Republicans are about the extreme liberal bias being demonstrated and taught by professors

This is largely a myth. Extreme liberal bias is relatively rare and it tends to emerge in areas where the students are extremely liberally biased. Believe it or not professors are a pretty fair representation of their students. Oddly enough subjects that liberals prefer (liberal arts) have more liberal professors and subjects that are more conservative (accounting) have more conservative professors.

This happens to be because people tend to get PhD's in subjects they were interested in during undergrad.

Some of these studies that note the extreme liberal bias being taught at universities fail to weight the results. A simple count will lead to more liberal professors but weighting that by class size or graduating majors sees the conservatives come back pretty heavily (mostly because of business). When we remove moderates and look only at professors who are solidly right or left while weighting for class size we see them almost dead even.

ETA: My passion for this subject has clearly led to my over-participation in this thread. I am going to step away a bit to give others a chance to participate.

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SandyC.
No colleges are neither liberal or conservative, they are not political.
Being inclusive, tolerant of all religions, races , sexual orientation and creed is American not liberal.
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Ann

Crl, do you agree with Bry's assessment?

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Ann

Sandy, do you think college campuses/professors/administrators are tolerant of Republican/Conservative students?

ETA: You mentioned religions, races, sexual orientation and creed, but not political differences. That's why I'm posing the question, since you didn't address political views.

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Ann

Oh sorry, Sandy. I see you did address political differences and your opinion is that colleges don't have a political bent.

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purrmichigan(5)

Why would any of us on the left defend a negative? It's your supposition that there's a liberal monolith that will seduce and brainwash our youth, so prove it. It isn't true, but I bet Hannity and that bunch think it's a fact. Critical thinking is what this comes down to.

@everdebz You're the only one who thoughtfully replied regarding how vulnerable or not youth are. A research based and personal viewpoint based opinion is that 18 somethings are still impulsive (to address your concerns about youth suicdes) and immature. One reason I hold strongly to believing than 27 and up is best when choosing a marriage partner. Stats support this. Impulsive and immature do not add up to easily "indoctrinated". Those characteristics do mean other things are likely to happen, but sitting in a classroom and participating in discussions is not akin to indoctrination. That's an outrageous and unsupportable claim.

Parents get 18 years to prepare their children for life. Why do the FRWingers believe they're entitled to control their child's life beyond the age of majority. That's infantalizing your child. imo that mindset is so controlling it's almost abusive.

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Ann

Do any liberals think there is glaring evidence that the left's resistance to the right on campuses along with campus suppression of conservative freedom of speech is causing the issue of the OP? Anyone at all?

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Nothing Left to Say

Ann, my experiences in higher education certainly do not support the proposition that colleges and universities in the US are some kind of liberal indoctrination camp. Those experiences are some time ago and of course limited. If you have evidence to support your proposition by all means present it.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

^^^^ Shorter Ann: When did you stop beating your spouse?

.

Edited to add: If one is very conservative, the middle looks left.

My cousin's husband gave me tons of grief when I was attending UCLA which he insisted on calling the "little red school house." From a John Bircher viewpoint, most universities would have been "red." (I never understood what my cousin saw in that guy.)

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Ann

The next thing I'd wonder is if any think this type of resistance does exist on college campuses, do you think it's worth consideration as upcoming elections approach? Are the left in all areas of our society and country trying to suppress speech from the right? Is the right trying to do the same to the left? I actually think this could be an interesting conversation if we could keep it civil. Is anyone game?

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Ann

Crl, did you read the two articles I posted? If yes, did you agree or disagree with the points made?

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Nothing Left to Say

Ann, the Bloomberg piece is a lot of opinion with no data. I could write the opposite piece pretty easily using rules, statements, etc from places like George Mason, Liberty University, BYU . . . .

I don't know what other piece you are referring too. Honestly, I'm getting tired of this circular thread and scrolling up and down to replicate answers already given and so on.

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joaniepoanie

I think most college students aren't politically active. A majority just want to have fun, go to class, meet people. While most campuses may have a Dem and Rep club...these are probably very small in proportion to the number of students on a college campus. Yes, you may hear of cases now and then of people protesting a conservative speaker when it's someone famous like Ann Coulter, but that's certainly not the norm. So the notion that Republican students are being "persecuted" just does not ring true to me and sounds like another RW talking point to instill the idea that colleges are just filled with liberals and a college education is pointless.

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Ann

I get that. I'm thinking the thread is wearing out too. We're (conservatives and liberals) clearly not going to have a useful conversation on this thread as it is evident it will be nothing but firm disagreement. I don't mean you and me per se, but any conservative and any liberal.

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bry911

Do any liberals think there is glaring evidence that the left's resistance to the right on campuses along with campus suppression of conservative freedom of speech is causing the issue of the OP?

I believe that some conservatives struggle in college and many professors are not tolerant of unsupported opinion. I think that is actually hurting the right more than the left these days, but it isn't inherently a right or left issue. I can't tell you why it seems a bigger problem for conservatives, but I suspect it is part of the fundamentalist influence in the Republican party. In my experience, Republican students tend to reject things they don't agree with faster than Democratic students. In an academic setting rebuttal is acceptable but simple rejection isn't.

Please understand that I am generalizing and talking about slight tendencies and my experiences with students.

I was pretty economically conservative when I was a student and I had a lot of professors challenge my ideas. I had a political science professor who would actually email me ahead of time asking me to present the conservative case for things. I never felt ostracized for my views when I was a student, and I actually felt like they were appreciated (I was concerned that other students resented the relationship). I have taken a lot of college classes (a stupid number of them) and never have I seen a professor who dismissed the well reasoned ideas of students because they were in opposition.

ETA: My experiences tell me the liberal bias is an overblown story.

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catspa_zone9sunset14

After reading article you cited in Boston Magazine, Ann, my first thought was that the article only discussed people in the particular disciplines where political bias was apt to be more obvious, e.g., political science, economics, etc., with nearly nothing said about the sciences, and also zeroed in, with myopic, laser-like focus on New England, where an incredibly extreme bias was found by Prof. Samuel Abrams' survey (28:1 liberal:conservative, vs. 3:1 in the South, 6:1 in the West and 6:1 nationally -- which is interesting in and of itself: why there and not the rest of the U.S.? Many parts of N.E. are predominantly Democratic, but it's not a monolith, by any means, especially in little towns like where I lived when living in MA. In your neck of the woods, CO, liberal professors slipped from 2:1 to 1.5:1 from 1989 to 2014.). Most annoying is the article's title which implies this trend will somehow ruin all colleges everywhere.

Prof. Samuel Abrams wrote an article in the NY Times Sunday Review (here) about a year ago discussing this same survey, and his expanded observations are not so dire as the article in Boston Magazine makes out and line up pretty much with Bry's observations in the re-post that crl just provided. Percentage of conservatives do vary by discipline, with business and engineering professors currently being 51 and 52 percent conservative respectively (have become more conservative since 1989) and liberals more common in fields like political science. In my field, ecology, science is science and political views are not pertinent; some are liberal, some conservative, but it's whoever has the data who wins. As conservatives do not accept evolution (the central theorem of biology and ecology) at a higher rate than liberals, that may somewhat limit their presence in these fields.

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bry911

If liberal bias is such a big issue, then conservatives should start some PhD grant programs aimed at conservatives.

The idea of writing off college because of a suspected liberal bias seems a bit counterproductive to me.

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Ann

Catspat, I first googled "Are colleges more liberal than conservative?". Then, I googled "Are colleges more conservative than liberal?". The Bloomberg article was the one that popped right up in the second search. That one interested me because it was so recent, just a few days old. Then I wondered if Bloomberg was considered liberal or conservative (I guessed neither) and my google search about that indicated a slight liberal leaning for Bloomberg. I'm actually finding these articles interesting and if others find some pertinent ones, I'd enjoy them as well.

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Ann

Bry, I think it is likely a big issue (currently) but it appears you and I have a different opinion on this.

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bry911

Bry, I think it is likely a big issue (currently) but it appears you and I have a different opinion on this.

What informs your opinion?

The Bloomberg article was the one that popped right up in the second search

You do understand that your article was just an opinion piece, right? I mean it wasn't any kind of investigative journalism. I could write an opinion piece on why ice cream is better for you than fruits and vegetables.

Then I wondered if Bloomberg was considered liberal or conservative (I guessed neither) and my google search about that indicated a slight liberal leaning for Bloomberg.

Just look at her other stories for Bloomberg, the important question is about the author's bias rather than Bloomberg's.

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Ann

I don't believe I've seen any current opinion piece (other than your opinion piece type comment, Bry) or factual piece that disputes the theory of left bias on campuses. I'm happy to read current and pertinent data or opinion pieces that dispute this.

ETA: or investigative journalism.

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everdebz

Partly what drives fear of concerned parents, etc., is the lack of mature passion of living and of thinking among educators, wherever they may be; society is quite the teacher in all its ways of modeling.

I think the impulsive person can become - prey is too strong a word usually - of the heady and self-driven. The maturely passionate educator would teach from deep morals and ethics, yes? and would present perspective surrounding 'doctrine' - giving the student something to thing about, to question / and not just follow cause it's presented so forcefully, with 'the smart ones are with us' attitude. Kids don't typically want to seem out of it, out of touch, and can be swayed by pressures... correct? no?

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everdebz

Hard to articulate it -- integrity will try to round out a position, and not be all dogmatic.... correct? no? yes... what...

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everdebz

However many times a founder wrote of separation of church and state, the dogmatists of extreme don't answer why our government buildings have so much of the Bible on them.... ? One answer is that the Constitution doesn't use that term - it does say, from what I understand: Government cannot enforce the practice of any religion. The Fathers wanted Christianity recognized -- how can there be any doubt? They recognized it, and were not ashamed. Anyone in academia or anywhere who doesn't get it, is hurting their chances of making real and lasting influence.... ?

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Ann

Everdebz, I'm a little uncertain as to some of your points, but I do think a college environment should welcome varying points of view ("not be all dogmatic").

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Ann

Then you mention the passionate educator. I think it best if a student has no clue what the political leanings are of an instructor because they've heard convincing pros and cons of both sides of the political spectrum from the same instructor (assuming political talk is even appropriate in a particular class). If the class subject is completely unrelated to political ideas, principles and policies, I think every student in the class should have no idea whatsoever what the political leanings of the instructor might be as the topic should not be introduced at all.

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SandyC.
It's difficult when one lives in an echo chamber of Fox propaganda and tabloid shows. Often the outrage de jour to fill airtime, with anything other than Trump and his campaigns collusion with Russia is some inane " liberal" outrage story. The "illegal " high school rapists story was good for a week or so and ginned up the base, until all charges were dropped.. Funny I never hear outrage about US rape cases, especially the high incidence of college date rapes.
Then it was Kathy Griffin, as if she is representative of all non Trump voters.
The other night they had racist guy who was protested at Middlebury College months ago, and of course there was anti legal immigration racist Ann Coulter and Berkeley who milked that story for weeks.
What I don't see from "conservatives" is the denouncement of the uptick in hate crimes since Trump was elected, the hundreds of hate crimes against minorities, and the alt right that have been given a voice by racist cries from this administration.
The silence is very telling.
BTW, many many people that did not vote for Trump are not "liberal". Most people are moderate, and non political.
Believe it or not, Trump is supposed to be president for the entire country even the 51% of people that do not vote.
Most people are not political. Most people do not have the luxury to delve into topics, they are busy working and taking care of their families.
Kids don't care if a college is liberal or conservative, they are interested in getting a quality education that will lead them to a fulfilling career and happy, successful life.
College is for opening ones mind, getting away from parents and exploring other POVs.
As bry said "conservatives" may have difficulty if they have no support for their POV.
As one of our racist "conservatives" said on another college thread her daughter felt she was picked on by professors because she was white.
If that girl truly felt that way, as it was pointed out , it was probably a lie to cover her bad grades. All professors are evaluated both by students and peers. There's a review process yet, the mother never mentioned that.
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joaniepoanie

"College is for opening ones mind, getting away from parents and exploring other POVs."

Bingo. Students of liberal parents are prepared for this and open to hearing different viewpoints. And their parents welcome it. Kids who follow in their conservative parents' footsteps are probably less open minded and more rigid in their beliefs, especially if raised in a very religious/Christian environment.

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purrmichigan(5)

College IS for opening one's mind! Getting away from parents - the good ones, the bad ones, the control freaks. I could practically guarantee that this recipe for keeping the kids on the FR, will backfire. Everyone gets one life and it is theirs to live their own way. Parents who don't want full lives for their children and try to hold them back, just in case they turn out to be liberals, are reprehensible.

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Ann

I wonder what Joanie or PM will do if one of their children ever decides personal responsibility is a great quality and becomes a conservative? That thought definitely brings a smile.

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chase_gw

Why on earth would you ever suggest that their children are not personally responsible in their life choices

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Ann

Do any liberals believe in the virtues of personal responsibility? Don't you think government control of everyone's life and choices is far superior to personal responsibility and self sufficiency?

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chase_gw

Not a question with answering

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bry911

Ann - Since you are very big on personal responsibility and one being accountable for one's own actions, can you please explain why you think that trolling is the best way to win.

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Marshall C.(7b and 4b (formerly 9 and 10))

Insanity rules afterall. I have been declared a liberal many times on HT but have started and run my own successful businesses for more than 40 years.


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Margo


Well, marshall, per Obama, " You didn't build that business"


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SandyC.
Most business are small businesses. Again most people are not political! Get over it.
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azmom

"Do any liberals believe in the virtues of personal responsibility?"

Ann,

You are deteriorating, over the time you have asked tons of dumb questions in the HT, this one takes cake.

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Nothing Left to Say

Do any liberals believe in the virtues of personal responsibility?


Do any conservatives believe in the virtues of personal responsibility? All those whiny irresponsible red states who just take from the federal coffers while the productive hard-working blue states actually contribute. And then the conservatives have the gall to try to lecture about personal responsibility.

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Ziemia(6a)

Do any liberals believe in the virtues of personal responsibility?

.....

If this is a serious question ... that speaks volumes.

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Margo

Liberals have shown that they do speak volumes when it comes to personal responsibility. They stand there with their hand out and when the hand does not get greased, they protest. They protest loudly and violently.

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Nothing Left to Say

Margo, give me some data to support your position.

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SandyC.
Ignore the ignorant baiting, I suggest.
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Ann

You are deteriorating, over the time you have asked tons of dumb questions in the HT, this is one takes cake.

Lol, I disagree. I think I've grown to understand HT quite well!


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Margo


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Marshall C.(7b and 4b (formerly 9 and 10))

Trolling for Trump-eters


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Oaktown

I think there is a huge perception gap, and partisanship on both sides.

There is research on "liberal bias" in higher academia the results of which indicate (to me at least) that meaningful answers are not simple. I'll try to post some links later if I get a chance.

I think colleges and universities are easy media targets, though. Stories about trouble in the ivory towers and hallowed halls of learning! From the Christakis situation at Yale (2015), campus speaker controversies, Bret Weinstein and Lisa Durden recently, even Harvard's recommended student org policy in the past day or so. Some say that the media made the Trump campaign, well it hasn't been doing many favors for colleges and universities. I think these happenings on campus are newsworthy but it's so easy for media to report the same story skewed with a political angle, isn't it?

Interested in the timing question, I checked and saw that Heterodox Academy was formed in 2015. I don't think the website is particularly influential as I suspect the readership is quite small but its existence lends support for the view that higher education can do better on viewpoint diversity. So as some have suggested, a combination/confluence of factors have influenced the changing opinions?

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Ann

Margo, the Obama business meme was one heck of a timely and clever response to Marshall's comment! I thought it spoke volumes in the midst of discussing personal responsibility and self sufficiency! Good catch!

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SandyC.
"Personal responsibility" is a code used by the far right.
They have lost their moral compass and have attracted all those with the same racist biases.
It is a dog whistle aimed at minorities and the disenfranchised.
I don't recall any of my thousands of critically ill babies I cared for, having personal responsibility.
The Koch Brothers, truly despicable human beings, have preached personal responsibility and moral supremacy, by promoting small government and decreased government regulations for years. They attracted a base of believers, of right wing evangelicals and racists.
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jillinnj

I think it is true, regardless of your disagreeing with it.

You think a lot of things with not a single shred of evidence to back up your thinking. And, even when evidence is given to counter your claim you just go right on believing. Certainly your right to do so, but don't expect others to respect it.

And it went right over your head that you answered the "why?" question with your original statement. Perhaps more liberal arts classes in college would have helped you understand that.

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Oaktown

There is a huge gap in perception and partisanship on both sides.

Ann, sometimes when I read posts here by "conservative" posters I agree with the core values expressed but for me those core values ultimately lead me to take a different position on the issue. Sometimes I read posts by "liberal" posters and while I might agree with their conclusions, I might not not agree with their underlying reasons. What this suggests to me is that there is room for common ground and/or reasonable discussion of differences. Of course there is plenty of frustration on both sides but I hope folks are willing to slog through.

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Ann

I think suppression of free speech (when it isn't liberal speech) and unfounded arrogant elitism are two factors liberals would gain value from the recognition of. Neither sound complimentary (and they aren't), but the recognition of either or both could go a long way toward garnering needed support for the Democratic party. Just my honest 2 cents. It's better for me if liberals all deny and vehemently protest the reality of these two rampant (IMO) liberal occurances.

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Marshall C.(7b and 4b (formerly 9 and 10))

Ann

Margo, the Obama business meme was one heck of a timely and clever response to Marshall's comment! I thought it spoke volumes in the midst of discussing personal responsibility and self sufficiency! Good catch!


HOOOOT!!!! Amazing what passes for clever in some people's (small) minds


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jillinnj

Do any of the liberals on this thread have evidence that the majority of colleges are not quite liberal leaning?

I think when conservatives say this, liberal = taking in new info and perhaps rethinking one's opinion on something. Yes, that is a very liberal concept. And yes that's what college teaches you. There's a big world out there beyond one's insular world. Learning about that and having an open mind is very liberal and that's what colleges teach.

And conservatives think that's a bad thing.

ETA:

As usual, bry said it better than I did:

I believe that some conservatives struggle in college and many professors are not tolerant of unsupported opinion. I think that is actually hurting the right more than the left these days, but it isn't inherently a right or left issue. I can't tell you why it seems a bigger problem for conservatives, but I suspect it is part of the fundamentalist influence in the Republican party. In my experience, Republican students tend to reject things they don't agree with faster than Democratic students. In an academic setting rebuttal is acceptable but simple rejection isn't.

That is exactly what I meant. Republicans/conservatives tend to not want to change their opinion of something, regardless of any new evidence provided. They just dig their heels in deeper. Democrats/liberals are much less likely to do that. If something shows my thinking about something is wrong/backwards, I sure as heck want to know that.

many professors are not tolerant of unsupported opinion.

I think the same is true here. I think any thinking person should be intolerant of unsupported opinions. And that's what we get here all the time.

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catspa_zone9sunset14

I think every student in the class should have no idea whatsoever what the political leanings of the instructor might be as the topic should not be introduced at all.

Decided to switch the topic, Ann? Well, I will continue on-topic with a response to one of your recent posts above. As far as politics in the classroom goes, my political views are not mentioned or relevant in mine, unless you want to call discussions of the mechanics of conservative targets like evolutionary theory, the Endangered Species Act, climate change, and the Clean Water Act "political". While these ideas seem to have become "politically incorrect" to many conservatives, it's sort of difficult to teach a practical ecology course without them. If laws and scientific concepts get politicized and opposed by conservatives, is it still okay to teach them without being branded a "liberal"? Note that debating whether they are "right" or "wrong" is not relevant to the classes I teach, where scientific weighing of the evidence prevails.

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jillinnj

unfounded arrogant elitism are two factors liberals would gain value from the recognition of

Are you serious?

There is no one, NO.ONE, who displays more unfounded arrogant elitism than Trump and his spoiled children. Yet you worship everyone of them. Amazing.

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jillinnj

Do any liberals believe in the virtues of personal responsibility? Don't you think government control of everyone's life and choices is far superior to personal responsibility and self sufficiency?

Wow. This is why it's impossible to have a rational intelligent conversation with you.

Do you think all the liberals here don't have any personal responsibility and we all just rely on the government to support us?

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Ann

Marshall, Obama made it clear that anyone who was self sufficient, well actually, wasn't (according to him). At least in Obama's mind where he was annoyed by anyone in the country that believed in personal responsibility. Those with "(small) minds" saw right through his I want to be dictator of a socialist nation BS.

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Oaktown

I think suppression of speech and arrogance aren't partisan issues and aren't confined to one side or the other.

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Ann

Catspat, after reading your comment, I bet I'd find your classes to be dripping with political innuendo. True, some of those topics weren't always political (like abortion once wasn't as it is now), but they are now!

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Opinion, unsupported by any facts.

President Obama was such a lousy socialist -- working to save capitalism during the devastating Great Recession.

.

Also, Ann's statement is a clear indication that she has no idea what socialism is.

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Ann

Jill reminded me that I don't believe anyone has yet to post even one link indicating there is conservative bias in the majority of colleges. Not even a single opinion piece. I'd love to read it if someone can find one.

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jillinnj

Marshall, Obama made it clear that anyone who was self sufficient, well actually, wasn't (according to him). At least in Obama's mind where he was annoyed by anyone in the country that believed in personal responsibility.

You clearly didn't have the ability to understand what he said in context.

Or you just got the info from Fox News and didn't listen to it in its entirety.

Either way, not good, Ann, not good.

This is where that open mind thing comes in. Try listening to the whole speech and see if you can understand context. I doubt you will, but you should.

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jillinnj

I don't believe anyone has yet to post even one link indicating there is conservative bias in the majority of colleges

Huh? Nobody said there is.

I think the majority here don't believe there is any liberal or conservative bias in college.

There are profs who lean one way or the other, but for the most part that doesn't ever come into play in their teachings. What difference does it make what my calculus professors political leanings are?

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SandyC.
Maybe some people should go back and take a few of those "liberal" college classes, lol. Or perhaps read a history book, instead of getting disinformation from racists and bigots for the past eight looooong years on Fox "news". It is apparent Trump supporters agree with the agenda and are totally closed minded, something bry said is a problem for "conservative" students who'd don't have a leg to stand on. Repeating falsehoods and racist propaganda does not make it true.
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Oaktown

Ann, I dislike most political memes (also Twitter's tendency towards snark).

OT but here's what Obama said; it's pretty clear to me that "you didn't build that" refers to the roads and bridges and other infrastructure which facilitate and support businesses.
http://www.factcheck.org/2012/07/you-didnt-build-that-uncut-and-unedited/

Obama, July 13: There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me — because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t — look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who