American Education – Dead Poets Society



Margaret Mary Vojtko, an 83-year-old adjunct French professor at Duquesne University died earlier this month with no health insurance, no heat in her home and, for the first time in 25 years, no job.

As the cost of education reaches alarming rates in the US, many students already saddled with excessive debt, no jobs and limited opportunity have resorted to methods of survival ranging from underemployed in service and retail sectors to homelessness. It is not wonder that the education system has also failed in it’s attempts at providing economic stability for it’s esteemed faculty.

As this trend progresses, then the underlying result could be a sharp reversal in the perception of higher education providing immediate dividends in terms of achieving monetary success.

American Education


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The following quotes are in relation to the original story published in various news websites and blogs. Incidentally, I make it a habit to not only read corporate spun articles but also the underlying comments which often present more insight and analysis then the primary source.

American Education

Interesting comment regarding some observational differences between priorities.

 

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If those statistics on US students are true then the future generation will complete the devolution of the US into a complete Idiocracy.

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Further evidence that the educational system and the resulting impact will have grave effects on the future adult voting population.  Society is it’s anti-educational stage will thus become more easily manipulated by the political establishment.

 

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Depending on your sources and research, this was done by design as political and wealthy elite in the US were historically aware that a bread and circus culture, self absorbed with trifling matters was far easier to control.  A distracted compliant and unmotivated people are the making of a slave culture who are unaware of their political and social lot in life.

American Education

Although an isolated incident it represents yet another glaring example that serves as a stark warning how successful this anti-educational, ghetto mentality culture has progressed in the US.  You will find this perception extremely prevalent in both urban and rural areas where pop culture has youth has become enamored with moronic idiocies and sustaining a dire predilection for all that is irrelevant in life.

American Education

A complete reversal of scholastic and academic priorities, spearheaded by the administration and compounded by faculty and students.  This system is fueled by hierarchical greed.  A top to bottom disaster that is the very antithesis of what a formal educational such exude and support.  If this is the accepted blue print for the idiocracy, then the output will indeed be a generation of easily misled lemmings, easily polarized along the usual hate and fear mongering perpetuated by mass media and Hollywoodism.

Consider Hollywood and it’s usefulness as a medium for the transmission of propaganda and cultural values.  Perhaps the movie, Wall Street was a precise summation of what the situation in reality has become in terms of greed and it’s underlying influence as well as it’s ability to infect all facets of society, especially the educational model.  What we are witnessing is the after effects of this infiltration, the transformation of something universally beneficial to the individual as well as society to something inherently the polar opposite of what was intended.

The iconic dialogue between Gordon Gekko and Budd Fox is a good summation of this prevailing attitude.

It’s all about bucks guy the rest is conversation.

American Education

This painting here. I bought it ten years ago for $60 000. I could sell it today for $600 000. The illusion has become real and the more real it becomes the more desperate they want it. Capitalism at it’s finest.

The richest one percent of this country owns half our country’s wealth, five trillion dollars. One third of that comes from hard work, two thirds comes from inheritance, interest on interest accumulating to widows and idiot sons and what I do, stock and real estate speculation. It’s bullshit. You got ninety percent of the American public out there with little or no net worth. I create nothing. I own. We make the rules, pal.  The news, war, peace, famine, upheaval, the price per paper clip. We pick that rabbit out of the hat while everybody sits out there wondering how the hell we did it. Now you’re not naive enough to think we’re living in a democracy, are you buddy? It’s the free market. And you’re a part of it. You’ve got that killer instinct. Stick around pal, I’ve still got a lot to teach you.

You’re walking around blind without a cane, pal. A fool and his money are lucky enough to get together in the first place.

American Education
How much is enough?

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It’s not a question of enough, pal. It’s a zero sum game, somebody wins, somebody loses. Money itself isn’t lost or made, it’s simply transferred from one perception to another.

The education industrial complex thrives on this zero sum game business premise.  The winners are obviously the institutions with there ever increasing tuition costs, grandiose salaries and enormous bonuses for administration.  Not to mention the adverse use of marketing strategies to effectively dupe the mindless consumer students, selling the package of education at all costs vis-à-vis student loans and false promises of stable employment opportunities.  This in turn has the downward spiraling effect of creating mass wealth inequality and the growing disparity between the haves and have nots.

American Education

Unfortunately, wealth inequality has never been as great as it is today. During the 18th and 19th centuries, wealth inequality increased, especially during the birth of capitalism in the mid-19th century and the massive industrial revolution in the early 20th century. The concentration of wealth by the wealthiest one percent, increased over this period to about 40 percent of the total wealth prior to the crash of 1929 and onset of the Great Depression. Wealth inequality gradually decreased until the late 1970s, but it began to increase again in the 1980s.  The most pronounced increase in US wealth inequality occurred between 2001 and 2007 when the wealthiest one percent managed to take  43 percent of the country’s total wealth. In 2013, only seven percent of the wealth is left to the bottom 80 percent of the population. The middle class have become poor, and the poor are now destitute.  College students and unemployed graduates, severely drowning in debt are unable to make payments on their student loans, resulting in defaults which have compounded the economic crisis.

According to numerous sources, total student loans have basically tripled since 2004 and are now at the $1 trillion dollar level. They have easily overtaken credit card debts and car loans.

Consider the following excerpt, an example from a recent Wall Street Journal article.

James Roy, 26, has spent the past six years paying off $14,000 in student loans for two years of college by skating from job to job. Now working as a supervisor for a coffee shop in the Chicago suburb of St. Charles, Ill., Mr. Roy describes his outlook as “kind of grim.”

“It seems to me that if you went to college and took on student debt, there used to be greater assurance that you could pay it off with a good job,” said the Colorado native, who majored in English before dropping out. “But now, for people living in this economy and in our age group, it’s a rough deal.”

Grim would probably be considered an understatement when you factor in the following harrowing facts:

In the United States today, there are more than 100,000 janitors that have college degrees.

In the United States today, 317,000 waiters and waitresses have college degrees.

The student loan default rate in the United States has nearly doubled since 2005.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, 11 percent of all student loans are at least 90 days delinquent.

During 2011, 53 percent of all Americans with a bachelor’s degree under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed.

At this point about half of all recent college graduates are working jobs that do not even require a college degree.

Is it any surprise when you consider the correlation that exists between secular education and the incentive of gainful employment that in 2011, SAT scores for young men were the worst that they had been in 40 years. If the educational system no longer adheres to the stipulation of providing it’s graduates with sustainable employment upon graduation, then the ill effects will obviously reflect a DE-motivational response from students prior to completion of their respective studies.

In other words since education is really a prerequisite to obtaining monetary success vis-à-vis a job, then the absence of future employment prospects will negatively impact a students desire to become educated. Obviously this does not address the other end of the spectrum of America’s anti-intellectual social bias. I am of course referring to the media perpetuation of idiocy reflected by modern pop culture: Hollywoodism, sports obsession and celebrity worship. It is one thing to want to be educated and another to staunchly defend your ignorance through blatant complicity.

If western society and the educational industrial complex perpetuates the myth of higher education as a means towards purely monetary pursuits, then future generations will continue in a viscous cycle of endless debt accumulation, unemployment and or underemployment and worse, a fundamental lacking in the development and cultivation of real education, stemming from self driven passion for pure knowledge and the abstract and UN-quantifiable wisdom it provides.

Consider again one of the defining moments in Wall Street. Perhaps a stark reminder for our current generation, an inciting incident to illicit a passionate response towards a new Zeitgeist or awakening.

American Education
Man looks in the abyss, there’s nothing staring back at him. At that moment, man finds his character. And that is what keeps him out of the abyss.

If not, the alternative can only become more unimaginable as time progresses. As one comment eluded to in this statement reflecting utter hopelessness.

American Education