Adam Piggott

Gentleman adventurer

Mandatory college at your own expense.

The problem that every large scam or con eventually runs into is when word gets around as to its true nature. Small scams can be kept going for a very long time as long as the con men do not get too greedy. The university and college degree scam is very big indeed. And people have got very, very greedy. Your average Australian university vice chancellor is on a salary of more than $1 million per year.

In order to keep those numbers universities have to demand more money from governments. Last year New Zealand elected a socialist government because, free money! Or to be more precise, no more tuition fees for students courtesy of the taxpayer.

Universities and academics in New Zealand have broadly welcomed the government’s commitment to abolish tuition fees, but fear that it will lead to university funding being cut …

Stuart McCutcheon, vice-chancellor of the University of Auckland, said that “it has certainly been our experience that when governments set out to be more generous to students they compensate for that by being less generous to universities”.

What an extraordinary statement. The sheer gall and arrogance on display here is incredible to behold. Apparently governments need to be generous to universities, not just to students. It seems the two are mutually exclusive. Universities need to be funded in of themselves, students notwithstanding. These people have careers, you see. They have tenure.

The other thing that universities have done is to throw open their doors to anyone with a pulse who wants a degree. Stories abound of Chinese students graduating from Australian universities who can barely speak a word of English. The degrees themselves are really of not much importance as far as the university governing bodies are concerned; it’s the number of research grants that the university receives that really counts.

The worth of an item is based on its scarcity relative to demand. Its value is also determined by its quality. As far as university degrees are concerned, both of these factors have gone into the shitter but the cost of a degree continues to rise. That’s because the last determiner of an item’s intrinsic value is what people are prepared to pay for it. If you price college degrees very highly then people assume that they must be worth that amount of money.

They’re not, and people are beginning to wake up to this fact. And as a result university attendances have begun falling. So what do you do when your degree pyramid scheme is in danger of falling over? You turn to the government this time, but not for money; for legislation.

New Mexico considers forcing students to pay for college.

State lawmakers in New Mexico recently proposed a bill that would force high school students to apply for college unless they provide the government with alternative post-graduation plan.

House Bill 23, sponsored by Republican state representative Nate Gentry and Democratic state senator Daniel Ivey-Soto, would require high school juniors to “file an application with a college or show that the student has committed to an internship or apprenticeship or military service.”

So much for those carefree summers after graduation; you have to provide the authorities with a plan. No Reconnaissance Man style wanderings for you. You gotta get with the program. Land of the free indeed.

By the way, I said that this wasn’t about money but I was wrong:

According to USA Today, the proposal is a response to the state’s decline in college enrollment, which dropped 14 percent between 2010 and 2016, with Gentry predicting that requiring students to file applications—which cost $25 at the University of New Mexico—will induce more of them to actually attend college.

And net the university $25 per high school student regardless of whether they go through with their plan to go to college.

But look at that – a 14% drop over the last 6 years. That’s the sort of figures that have been giving NFL team owners the cold sweats at night. Nothing like forcing the population via legislation to partake in a scam that they want nothing to do with. It’s almost Soviet-like in its awfulness, except that the Soviets never came up with the bright idea of charging the people for their own indoctrination, (the Chinese came close by charging your family for the cost of the bullet that went into the back of your head).

All that’s missing is some good old fashioned propaganda.

Oh wait.

Additionally, the bill mandates that local school boards must ensure that all students are “reasonably informed” about “the financial benefits of graduating a college and the availability of financial aid.”

Expect more of this. It’s too big and there are too many vested interests to just fall over all on its own. They’re going to want to rake in as much as they can before it falls to pieces. I predict that in a few years it will be a felony if you do not attend college on graduation. When I graduated high school in 1988 it was a big deal to get into university. 30 years later and it’s a big deal to get out.




Podcast #74 – The breasts episode.


Another one of those darn posts about comments.


  1. If making people buy health insurance against their will is legal, then this is too, unfortunately.

    Need a couple Aztec descendants to go Apocalypto on those pols.

  2. TechieDude

    Another problem here in the US is we have way, way too many colleges for far too few students even before the current crisis. This is why they are infatuated with foreign students. They come here, pay retail rates. Although I’ve read a few stories in the last few weeks where Chinese students felt cheated. That they could have gotten a better education for less money at home.

    Too many colleges, teaching way too useless courses, making our kids debt serfs. It’ll fail, sooner rather than later.

    Back in 1981, it wasn’t a huge deal to go to college. In my school it was sort of expected. That said, I did the cost benefit analysis and decided a community college was a better bet. I may add that back then, borrowing for college was rare and I would have had to pay at least half.

    Far as I could tell, from comparing my friends in 4 year schools studying what I was studying at community college, I had to endure way less compulsory humanities classes, had more classes in my major, and way more hands on, practical instruction.

    It was a good investment. I’ve had good jobs and good careers since 1985.

  3. Agree that college market is vastly over-served from a practical sense, but since the Duke Energy case and with the disappearance of our manufacturing base and the move to a FIRE economy, the “need” for that piece of paper was justifiable before costs eventually spiraled out of control.

    Community colleges still offer a better deal for many fields, such as nursing. You can get an RN with an Associates degree, but now hospitals compete with each other by saying their nurses at least have a bachelors.

  4. RS

    The college scam is a means of destroying the middle class by holding out hope of an improved life for its children, if only it would borrow lots of money and send the kids off to college. Of course, the universities and colleges have no skin in the game and can “graduate” the multitudes with no discernible skills, but those debts incurred remain non-dischargeable and collectible by the U.S. government forever basically.

    “But college is free in Europe,” they cry. Well, yes. If you’re in the top 25 percent of your class and you pass a multitude of tests, are competent in three languages and give up all the perks of the modern U.S. college experience which turn it into a four year, all-inclusive resort vacation. By all means, bring on that system! Alas, such is “racist,” of course because it is based upon, *gasp*, merit and not merely the ability to borrow the cash.

  5. Axis Sally

    The ongoing collapse of the U.S is accelerating by the day. Fun to watch.

  6. Funding universities as a place where research gets done and ivory towers are constructed is basically a good thing. You probably want a place where very clever people spend their days being very clever at one another. Occasionally they uncover something useful.

    The problem is the diploma mill money machine. Degrees for people that really oughtn’t have them. That’s what’s imploding, and it might be taking an important institution with it.

    My favourite solution is to go back to the method that worked for hundreds of years to keep everyone out of university but the children of the elites (who bribe their way in) and the genuinely brilliant: Latin. Require every prospective baccalaureate to do a Latin exam as a prerequisite for entrance into a University. Make ’em sit a high-school (say, year 10) calculus exam as well: being educated these days means at least a passing understanding of science, and that means mathematics.

    All the vocational degrees they are handing out belong in TAFE. The rest of the degrees are basically a certification that a person belongs to a certain social class. They can be replaced with a neck tattoo and biometric chip to be purchased with the same money (which is to say: debt) as a student now needs to spend on tuition. Way more efficient.

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