August 04, 2010

I Believe This Is What They Call A "Vulgar Capitalist Mindset"

From Daily Finance: Seven Reasons Not to Send Your Kids to College

In a particularly insipid "column" on Daily Finance yesterday — insipid even by the admittedly Great-Depression-trough-low standards of Daily Finance — investment writer James Altucher explains why college is a scam (quote: "self-perpetuating Ponzi scheme"), and why we really ought to stop sending our kids there.

His seven titular reasons are of course provocative, in that special way that only people who depend on click-throughs to make a living can pull off, but let me boil them down for you:
1. Money.
2. Money.
3. Money.
4. Money.
5. Money.
6. Money.
You'll notice I've only listed six there, not seven. That's partly because reasons three and four are actually one reason that's been arbitrarily split in two — reason three is actually a common argument for college on its own — but in fact I'm willing to give him that one because reason seven does, ever-so-slightly, depart from the otherwise ridiculous logic that the only purpose of a university education is to increase your future financial well-being.
7. Alternatives to spending $200,000 per kid so they can waste four years of their lives:

Give them $20,000 to start one to five businesses. Most businesses fail but that's ok. The education from the process lasts a lifetime and the network you build when you start a business will lead to many future jobs and possibilities.
I'm sorry, so the alternative to "throwing away" money on sending your kids to college is to throw it away on an underfunded start-up?
Travel the world. That would be an education that pays many dividends and is much cheaper. Your kids can then go to college with a much more mature view of the world.
Oh, so now you want them to blow a couple of thousand dollars on travelling and then throw away all that money on college as well? Another great money-saving idea! Now, if only there were some way we could convince people to take a year off between high school and university. That never happens.
Work. They won't get the best jobs but they can make money, network, get a "hands-on" education, learn the value of money and go to college in their 20s when they can afford it -- and make every dollar worth it. Plus your kids will have a more clear idea of what they want to do in the world.
You know, you talk about the importance of networking a lot. So if you'll permit another sarcastic aside: if only there were some way we could get our kids to spend several years making personal connections that would last the rest of their lives. That never happens.
Do nothing but read. Get the benefits of a college education without paying the $200,000.
But you already said a college education HAS NO BENEFITS!!!!

FFS, SMITF, etc.

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