Putting the Boo in Boolah-Boolah
A long-cherished belief held by Americans for decades is on the verge of being upended. A quartet of stories is the latest indication that a college “education” has become the most-overrated commodity on the planet, save for the elitist institutions whose primary mission is to keep our ruling class populated with like-minded Masters of the Universe. For the rest? A stupendous waste of time and (taxpayer-backed) money.
We begin at the epicenter of institutional quackery, more familiarly known as the University of California. The UC Student Association Board, representing all 233,000 students enrolled at the10 campuses that comprise the UC system, passed the “Resolution Toward Socially Responsible Investment at the University of California” by a lopsided vote of 11-1-3. Much like the popular and anti-Israel Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) resolutions ginned up by the likes of Muslim Student Associations (MSA) determined to turn many colleges into anti-Semitic wastelands, this resolution demands a similar divestment.
From the United States of America.
“The government of the United States of America is engaged in drone strikes that have killed over 2,400 people in Pakistan and Yemen, many of them civilians,” the resolution stated. “The government oversees, by far, the highest rate of imprisonment in the world, and racial and ethnic minorities are disproportionately targeted by law enforcement agencies, particularly for drug-related offenses. 400,000 undocumented immigrants are held in detention centers every year, and millions have been deported since the current administration took office, and the government is directly supporting and propping up numerous dictatorships around the world with weapons sales and foreign aid.”
While they were at it, the student board added the governments of Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia, Russia, Turkey, Israel, Sri Lanka and Mexico to the list.
“This resolution aims neither to condemn entire countries, peoples, or communities nor to determine political solutions, but is solely aimed at ending our university’s support of governments that directly engage in and enable human rights violations,” it stated.
Naturally they passed a second resolution aimed at Israel, not because separate UC campuses have failed to do so, but so that UC could boast about being the “first multi-campus student association to vote in favor of divestment.” That one passed by a vote of 9-1-6.
Cornell Law School professor William A. Jacobson notes the utter absurdity. “Think about that. If they had their way, the student government of the U. Cal. system would require divestment from U.S. Treasuries and most of the world,” he writes. “The U. Cal. student government has proven a point I’ve made repeatedly in terms of the academic boycott: If you are going to boycott Israel, then you need to apply those standards to the whole world, which will result in boycotting yourselves.”
Estimated costs for attending UC? For the 2014-15 school year, CA resident, on-campus living costs are $33,100. Off-campus, $29,200. Non-residents? A whopping $55,978 on-campus and $52,078 off-campus.
Moving on to the University of Michigan brings us to the latest assault on free speech, better known as the “right” not to be offended. An “Inclusive Language Campaign” has led to the spending of $16,000 to pay for posters pasted all over campus, urging students to avoid certain words that may hurt peoples’ feelings. The posters warned students that “YOUR WORDS MATTER,” and pose questions such as: “If you knew that I grew up in poverty, would you still call things ‘ghetto’ and ‘ratchet’?”
Additional words that are frowned upon include “crazy,” “insane,” “retarded,” “gay,” “tranny,” “gypped,” “illegal alien,” “fag,” “ghetto” and “raghead.” Other insensitive phrases, such as, “I want to die” and “that test raped me” are also frowned upon.
Junior Kidada Malloy helped promote the venture and is known as an “Expect Respect program assistant” in reference to a program that began on campus in 2005. She is worried that program won’t be as impactful as it once was because most of the students who promoted it have graduated. She’s hoping the Inclusive Language Campaign will pick up the slack. “I’m really happy we have the ILC this year that does more action around campus,” she said. “A lot of students know about the Expect Respect pledge and they know that on campus they’re supposed to be respectful of people of different cultures, but I’m not sure if they actually do that. The ILC actually gets them to do those things that Expect Respect wants from the community. I’m excited to bring it back.”
No doubt. Students have also been asked to sign a pledge to “use inclusive language” and to help their fellow students to “understand the importance of using inclusive language.” A Facebook page is also dedicated to the effort, described by The College Fix as a “variety of inclusion-based material, inspirational quotes, personal stories, and even a video that details how to address a person by the correct pronouns,” that “operates in conjunction with…Expect Respect and Change It Up!”
Additionally, students in dormitories are “urged” to take part in the Change It Up! workshop, a process that includes filling out surveys before and after taking the program, in which they are supposed to reflect on “internal biases” that may roil the campus-wide Utopian tranquility sought by their oh-so-sensitive peers.
U of M's tuition and fees for the 2014-15 school year are a relative bargain, at least for in-state students. They pay a modest $13,977. Out-of-state students? Not such a bargain at $41,811.
And then there’s UC Berkeley. Next week the Center for the Study of Sexual Culture at the University of California, Berkeley, is offering a presentation entitled "Queering Agriculture.“ "This talk highlights vital ways queering and trans-ing ideas and practices of agriculture are necessary for more sustainable, sovereign, and equitable food systems for the creatures and systems involved in systemic reproductions that feed humans and other creatures,” their website states. “Since agriculture is literally the backbone of economics, politics, and ‘civilized’ life as we know it, and the manipulation of reproduction and sexuality are a foundation of agriculture, it is absolutely crucial queer and transgender studies begin to deal more seriously with the subject of agriculture.”
This bunch is concerned that since 9/11, “the growing popularity of sustainable food is laden with anthroheterocentric assumptions of the ‘good life’ coupled with idealized images and ideas of the American farm, and gender, radicalized and normative standards of health, family, and nation.” One is left to ponder the true meaning of such mindless jargon, but I’m guessing the current images that embody one of the American heartland’s most valuable contribution to the nation’s sustainability aren’t “queer” enough to satisfy UC Berkeley’s LBGT community.
Where’s a gay Mr. Ed when you really need one?
Kidding aside, Americans should be very concerned about this ongoing educational deterioration masquerading as enlightened thinking for one very big reason: they are ultimately on the hook for it. And we’re not talking about peanuts. Right now there is more than $1 trillion dollars of outstanding student debt, with each student from the class of 2013 amassing an average of $28,400. The current default rate has fallen to 13.7 percent from 14.7 percent the previous year, but the Obama administration was still forced to raise its estimated cost for student loans by $22 billion.
Why? Because the Obama administration is rigging the payback system. “The government is on pace to forgive billions of dollars more in student loans than previously thought as droves of borrowers enroll in federal repayment plans,” the Wall Street Journal reports. The additional $22 billion is needed “due to plans that peg monthly student-loan payments to borrowers’ income and permit balances to be forgiven in as little as 10 years.”
That’s not a repayment plan. It’s nothing more than welfare, ultimately backed up by the taxpayer.
Why the taxpayer? Because universities themselves have no skin in the game. They get paid in full, no matter how many students default on their loans. And that’s because the Obama administration nationalized the student loan program in 2010 – as part of ObamaCare, no less.
So what do universities who have no worries about the bottom line do? Pay professors more. Hire legions of worthless “diversity” specialists that now inhabit the bureaucracies of campuses across the nation. Build more expensive and fancier campus facilities designed to attract more students – all of which contribute to tuition costs that are completely out of control.
How out of control? In the last 30 years, the cost of tuition has skyrocketed by 1,120 percent.
Forget high-minded political solutions. This is one stunningly easy: put these America-hating, speech-squashing, gender-bending Marxist finishing schools on the hook for some or all of the defaults incurred by students who take out loans. There isn’t a single reason why taxpayers, including hard-working Americans who have never been able to afford going to college, should be underwriting the costs of college tuition – much less the salaries of blowhard and overwhelmingly progressive Ivory Tower elitists who hold most of Middle America in utter contempt.
The quarter of a million dollars or more that it costs to attend four years of college is not only outrageous in and of itself, but also an unmitigated disaster in terms of its so-called payoff: a January 2014 report by the New York Federal Reserve reveals that 44 percent of recent graduates between the ages of 22-27 who obtained a B.A. degree or higher had jobs that did not demand a college degree. More than 40 percent are working at jobs that pay less than $45,000 per year, with 20 percent making $25,000 or less.
Parents: imagine the same quarter of a million dollars invested directly in your child’s training in a genuinely lucrative skill, or a small business, much like the ones that form the backbone of this nation, and maybe, just maybe, you get a genuine sense of perspective regarding the “cherished” belief that a college diploma is an absolute necessity.
It’s time to put some “boo” in the boolah-boolah. For those of you still enmeshed in the fog that currently passes for a college education, it’s called a free-market solution to the problem. Colleges are still free to engage in whatever pernicious nonsense they choose to abide. Just not on someone else’s dime.
It’s an idea whose time has come. But trust me, you’ll never hear about it in college.
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