Follow Up To Student Debt Post. Government Creates The Problem, It Isn’t The Solution.

Higher education -- Remember young man, your f...

Higher education — Remember young man, your first step in the REAL WORLD is just 8 feet ahead. Best of luck !!! …item 2..Men and women both have different ways to get from A to B (2 May 2012) .. (Photo credit: marsmet471)

In a previous post, “Young People Get Hooked Into Huge Debt When They Take The Student Loan Bait”, we talked about how high school graduates are becoming debt serfs thanks to the Government. Lets analyse a couple of articles that talk about the rate of illiteracy for N.Y.C. high school graduates, and see if the evidence leads us to the same perpetrator, Government.

The first article’s headline is,” Shocker: 80% of NYC Graduates Unable To Read“. This headline is misleading. What is really being said is that 80% , or 10,700, of NYC high school graduates who take a test to get into community colleges failed to meet basic skills they should have learned in high school. But don’t worry, City University (CUNY Start) is riding to the rescue. For a mere $1000 dollars or more they are providing “immersion classes”, for these students, in order to help them get qualified for these community colleges.

The second article’s headline is, “80% Of NYC High School Grads Not Illiterate”. This headline is also misleading. This headline is saying that if 80% of NYC high school grads are not illiterate, they must be literate. Lets learn from these two articles that you can’t trust the headlines, you have to dig into the articles, and in some cases you have to look up the truth yourself. Lets try to find some truth.

In the stats I found for the year 2010-2011, at New York State Kids’ Well-being Indicators Clearinghouse, there were 41,247 NYC high school graduates going to college, or 70% of NYC graduates. We know that 13,375 of the 41,247 students are going to community colleges. 80%, or 10,700, of these 13,375 graduates don’t meet the standards for entry. That leaves 27,872 students going to colleges other than these community colleges. We don’t know how many of these students have to take remedial classes in order to reach the standards of the colleges they are trying to enter. Of these two groups we don’t know how many are illiterate, but there is a percentage of these students who are illiterate. There are 17,677  NYC high school graduates who are not going to college, and we know that a higher percentage of these students are illiterate compared to the students who are going to college. There were also 17,568 dropouts and we don’t know what percentage are illiterate, but we know it is higher than the other two categories. These drop-outs don’t count in graduation statistics however. We know that high school standards have been lowered, we know many students have been given grades and pushed through school, and we know teachers have been cheating on standardized tests in order to raise their districts test scores. Standards have also been lowered for college admission, which means that the standards for graduating from college has to have been lowered in order to meet the declining academic level of the incoming students.

Does anybody really know how many high school graduates are illiterate? Is this even the important question?  Why have we lowered standards for high school and college students? There are a couple of possible answers to this question. One answer we have covered in a previous post, “Young People Get Hooked Into Huge Debt When They Take The Student Loan Bait”. Higher education has turned into a crony capitalist business. Government has made it easy for students to go into debt to pay for the increasing cost of college. The cost of college is a bubble like the housing bubble, the tech bubble, and the present stock market bubble. When government can counterfeit money, hold interest rates low, and steer this money into a particular industry, it creates inflation in these specific areas of the economy and blunts a general inflation that would happen if the money was spread out over the whole economy.

Counterfeiting benefits the people who receive the money first, in this case the banks, the schools and colleges, the teachers and professors unions, and the teachers and the professors, at the expense of the people who go into debt, a debt they wouldn’t have been able to afford under normal market interest rates and a money system that couldn’t be expanded. A business or an organization normally competes in the market for customers, and has to provide a good or service that consumers want or they won’t be in business very long. When businesses or organizations get in bed with Government it is crony capitalism not a free market in competition. The business or organization tries to protect or expand their position with the help of Government regulation, making it hard for competitors to compete, on the one hand, and receiving subsidies or printed money, which makes them less accountable to consumers demands, on the other hand.

Government benefits from lower academic standards in another way. Lower standards produce individuals who don’t know how to think or analyse logically, and therefore will be fooled into thinking that Government has the answer for every problem. This means they are easily manipulated by emotional arguments from verbally talented politicians. The result of this manipulation is everywhere around us, from supposedly “affordable” health care, college, housing, energy, and anything else that should be “affordable”. Has anything been made more affordable through Government intervention? We are all smart enough to analyse that question.

Teachers, administrators, and staff have benefited at the cost of students declining ability to think. This chart shows what has happened  since 1950, from Mark J. Perry at

Chart of the day: Administrative bloat in US public schools

Originally posted in January, now re-posted…

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