Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Declining Applicants and Declining Standards

Hello Friends, sorry I have not been as active a contributor in the last two months as I have been previously, as work in particular has been heating up and cutting into my scambloggery (Yes, skeptics, many scambloggers are fortunate to have actual work and careers, such as they are).
 
Many others, including yours truly, have lambasted the ABA for their tone-deaf, self-serving attitude and utter disregard of the "working people" in the legal profession.  Yes, if you are a LawProf or ScamDean with friends in high places, or are a fourth-generation progeny of BigLaw, then the ABA certainly has your interests at heart, as the chairpersons, officers and directors of the ABA generally come from the same pool.  All you lower castes, move along.
 
Clearly their ears have been burning, because in an attempt to "level the playing field," lol skewls will apparently be allowed to admit up to 10% of their class without an LSAT score.
 
 
Why, you may ask?  Why remove the burden of a gate-keeping exam, the LSAT, one that was originally intended in decades past to keep the great, unwashed masses out only admit the best, most qualified applicants?  Have our Promethean Betters had a change of heart?  Do they have another plan for how to best apply legal education in a new century?  Instead of an outdated, meaningless exam, perhaps the ABA wants to try a new methodology to control the flow of applicants into the nation's law schools?  What possible pressure could lead the ABA to adopt such a clear reversal of decades of  prior policy?
 
Look no further than right here:
 
 
Oops.  Applicants are down 7.8% over last year, and prior years saw even more precipitous drops.   Just like the Fed running the printing press in order to juice the system with more cash, the ABA is trying to juice the faltering legal profession and law schools by removing any semblance of standards.  Like a NINA loan during the subprime crisis, you don't need "income" or "assets"...just a pulse.
 
Which could be fine, maybe, in some universe, if (1) there was an extreme shortage of lawyers, (2) tuition was reasonable, and (3) if a test like the LSAT was keeping qualified people out of the profession by arbitrary and capricious standards.  Last time we all looked, it was nope, nope, and.....nope...well, mostly nope, because some of those logic puzzles can be gamed and are dumb, frankly, and don't really indicate anything.  Just ask Kaplan.
 
As applications continue to drop, and the ScamDeans head for the hills and the LawProfs sweat, watch for an "open enrollment" policy.  Because nothing says "ethics" and "professionalism" than duping people into going to law school who have no business being there, not necessarily due to drive, passion or smarts, but due to lack of experience with the game.  This is all about the Benjamins, remember that. 
 
Law Schools have been overproducing law grads to available jobs for decades, so why stop now?  The solution to declining applications is to throw open the flood gates.  Put a little more fodder onto the fire, as these sweet no-work salaries with benefits do not grow on trees. 
 
The upper echelons demand and expect nothing less, and it is apparently your job, 0Ls, to make their self-serving dreams come true.

93 comments:

  1. It is CLEAR that the vile bitches and hags are simply trying to extend the scam for as long as they can, i.e. the Boomer swine merely want to reach retirement and they don't give one goddamn what happens to the "profession," let alone the graduates. For them, the diseased mentality is "I got mine. You get yours."

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILQepXUhJ98

    This reminds me of the old Carlin bit, where he talks about the average IQ dropping each year to the point that all you'll need to get into college is a pencil. At some point in the near future, low-ranked law schools/toilets will essentially have an open enrollment policy.

    I can picture it now. Law schools will simply mail out surveys, asking questions such as "Why do you want to go to law school?" Answering "I like lamps" should be a sufficient answer. After all, the pieces of garbage who run the commodes simply want someone with a pulse.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. For the boomers, the entire world exists to satisfy their needs. They do no care what happens after them. Why? Because they will be dead. That's their logic.

      Delete
    2. I hate Boomers.
      They perfected the art of Narcissism in the 60's and 70's, and have been rampantly stealing from their kids and grandkids ever since. The law school scam is just one particularly lurid example of how badly we got fu#$ed by them.

      It's the Gen X'ers, Y's and Millenials like myself that are going to have to clean up all their messes. Except it's getting more and more difficult to fix things like Social Security, Medicare, dwindling energy resources, global warming, etc.
      You know, I was having a (brief) discussion with a Boomer yesterday and he told me not to worry about global warming because "the earth does what she does. It heats up and cools off just like it always does."
      Asshole. He'll be dead long before his grandkids have to deal with it.

      And don't let there be any global warming deniers reply to this post because you're full of sh*t. It exists. The science is irrefutable.

      I hate Boomers.

      Delete
    3. Dying Polar BearsJune 11, 2014 at 10:59 AM

      "The science is irrefutable."

      Until it isn't. Polar bears were first to the US AGW-based endangered species list based on science that has been irrefutable for 14 years, until (about last week), it suddenly was no longer irrefutable, when the folks who'd been providing information on polar bear population decline said, "oh, wait, you can't actually RELY on our information".

      Not a boomer, by the way.

      Delete
    4. Global warming is NOT irrefutable.

      I agree with strict environmentalism, but I think G warming is all about politics ... establishing carbon taxes for bureaucrats and scientists who want research grants.

      It's always something ... acid rain, ozone depletion, shutting down nuclear power plants, and Malthusian economics that the left uses an excuse to bring in excessive regulation.

      Environmentalism is one thing, pseudo-science to bring in a Marxist government is another.

      Delete
    5. "pseudo-science to bring in a Marxist government is another"

      Exactly. When Pol Pot's evil became known, you could almost feel the shift on the left from classic Marxism to 'environmentalism'. They still wanted to destroy capitalism, but realized they had to find a new approach.

      Delete
    6. "I hate boomers" . . I suppose that is better than blaming your problems on other races or religions like the Nazis. Just hate an entire generation without distinction and you can feel all better about yourself, how your being unemployed and in debt is everybody's fault but your own. Really, I do feel for the way current students are being forced to pay high tuition for questionable educations . . but on the other hand, the younger people are so incredibly entitled and shallow, I do wonder about where our country is going. So many of them care only for themselves . . . and nothing else it seems. How did that happen? Coddled too much as babies?

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    7. Correct, Jon. As is the case with all liberal causes, all discussions of global warming end with someone saying "You have to give us the money you earned, and you have to do whatever we say."

      And as George Will once observed, the Earth's temperatures have been rising and falling in cycles for eons, but just happened to be at a perfect level in the late 1960s when Al Gore first became interested in the topic. I can provide irrefutable proof that my Connecticut backyard was once covered by a glacier. Whose SUV caused that to melt?

      And OBTW, @9:31, people in possession of irrefutable evidence do not demand that no one question them.

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    8. It's really ignorant to try to blame the boomers for the higher education scam. True, some of them helped monetize the degree process like never before. So did some people older than them. Other boomers mortgaged their homes or delayed retirement to pay the outrageous tuition for their children. Most people of any generation are simply victims of the prestige scam.

      Delete
    9. The boomers benefited from the scam—theirs was the first generation to attend university in significant numbers—and then set about ruining it for Generation X and subsequent generations by turning it into a cash cow so that tenured boomer asses could occupy hackademic posts forever at atrociously inflated salaries while doing fuck all. Meanwhile, they also fucked up the economy so that even those of us who go through the hackademic scam find ourselves unemployable. Boomers still do the hiring, and I can tell you that they don't want anyone from Generation X (my generation); just about every opening that doesn't go to a boomer goes to one of their millennial spawn.

      Delete
    10. It's hilarious seeing people apply political analysis to a scientific question. "Does global warming exist?" and "Is it man made?" are both scientific questions that have been answered in tremendous detail by actual scientists.
      But go ahead and think it's all a "liberal conspiracy" if it makes you feel better. LOL at citing an idiot like George Will for something. "Psuedo-science" squawked the idiot with a poli sci degree...

      Delete
    11. "The boomers benefited from the scam—theirs was the first generation to attend university in significant numbers..."

      Aside from the GI Bill after WWII, and the surge in higher education starting in the late 1940's...................

      In general, 90% of the 'Generations' arguments are from people who are so ignorant of history that they probably imagine that Columbus discovered Australia, using a map from Noah's Ark.

      Delete
    12. There was an upsurge in the late 1940s, yes. But still very few people from that generation got university degrees. The real upsurge occurred in the 1970s. So, no, I'm not wrong.

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    13. So someone above claims that "the boomers benefitted from the scam" by attending universities. But there really wasn't a scam back then, not in the sense that most people care about it. The scam consists mostly of wildly inflated tuition charges funded by non-dischargeable government loans. That's a product of the last twenty years, and very few boomers benefitted from it. Deans and professors are a tiny fraction of the baby boom generation.

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    14. Tell me, C, whose SUV melted the glacier in my back yard? Do you deny that the Earth's temperatures have been rising and falling in cycles for eons?

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    15. C, there was a time when science wasn't funded by gubmint grants. Back then I'd have given a lot more credence to science. But now most scientists are incentivized to tell politicians what they want to hear in order to get funding. Remember East Anglia? Remember how no one can explain that warming stopped about ten years ago despite no significant change in human behavior? Notice how the liberals now call it "climate change" to avoid having to address a few "inconvenient truths?"

      Delete
  2. This trend will not last long, because the students who enter law school without an LSAT score will run right into the Bar Exam. Michigan was the most recent state to raise its standards. Illinois has threatened to do the same (both states are homes to lower ranked schools churning out grads).

    However, the poor students will have to wrestle with the bar exams AFTER incurring six figures of non-dischargeable debt. This is a very inequitable result.

    The powers that be are already pounding on the drum to do something, anything about crippling student debt (see Obama's promise of PAYE for everyone).

    This will not end well. Law schools, read the writing on the wall-- cut enrollment, lower tuition, stop lying.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Iowa is trying to eliminate the bar exam, to remove that little obstacle....

      Delete
    2. The trend of increased restriction of letting people pass the bar has been going on for some time:

      1. Full background checks, including law school app, undergrad disciplinary shenanigans, etc.

      2. Credit scores

      3. Any non-law license issues

      4. All labor history and boss contact info...?

      5. Who knows what else (not even a lawyer here)

      Delete
    3. Actually, Wisconsin waives the bar for graduates of its two in-state law schools, but neither would qualify as a full-fledged TTT. I don't think it has caused any big problems, but again, there are no bottom feeders there, at least not yet.

      Delete
  3. The LSAT is still useful even if it can be gamed. The ability to game that test correlates with law school grades. The ability to game college classes is far less meaningful.

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    1. I'd argue that any test has some predictive value in how test-takers will perform on subsequent tests/exams, similar or otherwise. I bet the SAT, GRE and MCAT also predict law school performance to some degree, and probably as effectively as the LSAT.

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    2. Probably not as effectively, that's absurd, but I'm sure they have some predictive value as well.

      That would be a good reason for the ABA to allow a certain percentage of students to apply and be admitted with GMAT or MCAT scores. Remember how Rutgers got in trouble with the ABA for not asking permission to admit students with GMAT scores at the last minute? It would be in the immediate financial interest of many law schools to have such a permanent exemption in place. The ABA won't allow it though, because the LSAC makes lots of money from the LSAT. And frankly, while allowing alternative tests is better than allowing no test at all, I'm opposed to any rule change that would lead more students to incur life-destroying debt at law school.

      If they really want to go, let them take the LSAT, do research on law schools, and do it right. No one should make a last-minute decision to go to law school.

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    3. "If they really want to go, let them take the LSAT, do research on law schools, and do it right. No one should make a last-minute decision to go to law school."

      100% agreed. Law school admissions should be made far harder, not easier.

      Medical schools have managed to do this - some kind of volunteer medical experience is a bare minimum, and gives schools some kind of insight into the applicant's dedication and research into the demands of the profession. Surely the ABA (and state bar associations) could stop focusing on bullshit mandatory volunteer hours for newly-licensed attorneys and start focusing on making sure that law attracts the right kind of person by introducing stringent standards right from the very start, rather than relaxing them, to include strongly suggesting that schools admit only applicants who have already shown a significant commitment to the profession.

      Of course, like everything else to do with law, if someone higher up the pyramid can make money by lowering standards, then the standards will be lowered.

      Delete
    4. The LSAT differs from the MCAT, GMAT and GREs in that it does not test, at least in part, specific, acquired knowledge. It is thus, taken to its essence, little more than an IQ test. I think a high score on the MCAT or GMAT would be a pretty good predictor of law school success, as a high IQ is needed to score well on those.

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    5. The LSAT seems a lot like the SAT .... you can 'prepare' for it like a standardized test. I test prepped for the MCAT when I was contemplating med school, while my roommate was doing his LSAT prep. The LSAT looked more tedious than difficult.

      He joked that if he had studied the LSAT from ages 18 to 22, and taken all General Studies classes from the local state university, he would have been accepted to Stanford.

      I'm surprised more prospective JDs don't do this. Take some joke major ... and study up for the LSAT for half a decade.

      Delete
  4. Just in time for schools to start accepting late applications from LSATless applicants for the undersubscribed class of 2017?

    My guess is that the 10% will be clueless last minute apps from college grads with no jobs (or planning skills) who will happily pay full tuition for the privilege. The 10% sure isn't going to be the cream of the crop.

    But $$$ trumps dignity in the legal profession, right?

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    1. You're right, Charles. It's just in time to admit some rush cases trying to escape the job market. Students in that situation won't be too particular about tuition discounts, employment stats, or educational quality.

      Incidentally, it gives the schools another chance to turn the tide and show that admissions are trending up again. Fools being fools, some of them will think that law school is a better idea if more people are deciding to go there.

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  5. I just spent half an hour on law school lemmings which appears to the right of this page on the blog roll. I am perplexed that the law school applicant pool appears to be populated with morons who have no clue what the legal business is all about. I saw talks about "making stacks of money," "buying a Bugatti Veyron" and living like a fat cat after law school. These kids are disconnected from reality and the preying deans are just capitalizing on their unicorn "dreams."

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    1. And you would be surprised how many teens I know still going to private liberal arts colleges to study Political Science and Anthropology. They aren't on scholarship and don't have rich parents.

      Meaning, they are going in debt for at least 60k for a worthless peace of paper, despite all of the twenty-somethings out of work right now.

      The whole educational system is a lie sold as some sort of 'American dream' in a box ... wow, waking up from that at 25 or 27, when you finally figure out that your life is ruined ... just wow.

      Major in engineering, have connections, or don't go to college.

      Delete
  6. I do not get how this will "juice the faltering legal profession." It seems to me that the best thing that could possibly happen to the faltering legal profession would be to cut by more than half the annual output of law graduates. You won't get there by lowering standards to keep the seats filled.

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  7. By the way, I enjoy lurking at Top Law Schools, which really is much more reform-conscious than it was even 3 years ago. I find that InGenius Prep, run by our friend David Mainiero, is now advertising there. Should I click on his big ads to get his hopes up?

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    1. Why not? It might at least drive up his expenses.

      Delete
  8. I admit to knowing little about how the ABA operates, but it's important to remember that while 10% sounds small, it can always be incrementally increased (next year it's 15, then 25, etc).

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  9. The University of Texas, with its undeserved prestige, admitted someone with a 128:

    http://watchdog.org/146432/128-lsat-ut/

    That's only three points better than what one would expect from random guessing.

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    1. 128 is a scaled score. What's the raw score? Worse than chance.

      Delete
    2. Chance (20%) is about 125, which is why I said that 128 is only three points better than random guessing.

      Delete
  10. There is nothing stopping colleges from handing degrees out to everyone. Oh wait, they do that already! The JD, MA, and MBA will be the new bachelor degree.

    My IQ is in the top 5 percent, but I choose a trade over white collar work. Does that sound crazy? Not really, when you consider that you have more control over how much you make based on initiative and planning, and you have job stability.

    100k is easy for an ambitious plumber, electrician, welder, or carpenter. And you can start at the age of 16 or 18, make real money at 25ish.

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    1. The bachelor's degree is the not-so-new high-school diploma.

      I wish that I had never gone near a university. And I attended university in the late 1980s.

      Delete
    2. Dying Polar BearsJune 11, 2014 at 11:02 AM

      "My IQ is in the top 5 percent, but I choose a trade over white collar work. "

      Not at all crazy. To each his own.

      No clue on the IQ thing, though. The results seem so random.

      Delete
    3. Same here. The only reason to go to college is if you want to become an engineer, doctor, or lawyer (I'm not including teaching, because babysitting isn't a profession). Technical schools take care of the rest.

      There was a time in the 60s and 70s, when a generic college degree got you a nice corner office job at a big corporation.

      Delete
    4. Try practicing accountancy without having studied it at the college level, Jon. I don't know where you came from all of a sudden but the comments you are posting are some of the stupidest I have ever read on OTLSS.

      Delete
    5. "Studying" accounting? Accounting isn't a skill, it's a mind-numbing exercise in basic addition and Excel.

      I understand what you're saying, but back in the 50s you could go take the CPA exam out of HS with no college and become an accountant. So clearly going to college is just a formality ... the same goes for computer science. My CPA and programming friends learned most of what they know outside of class. Same can be said of actuaries.

      Why are nurses forced to take Organic Chemistry? From my experience, none of them remember any of it. Not even the basics.

      Point is that's all just credentialism, not learning any real skills. There is no real need to attend college unless you are pursing a difficult STEM degree.

      The ego of people makes them want to say I LEARNED SOMETHING at college ... when in point of fact, very little skill is developed and critical thinking occurs, much less retained.

      Delete
    6. For that matter, I could easily have taught myself law just by reading. But law skule is the sine qua non of joining this shabby so-called profession.

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    7. I don't know where you guys are going to school, but I studied accounting and business at a State flagship and I learned a hell of a lot. Going to college and being away from home with others my age was a far better experience than becoming a plumber's apprentice. In short, its a shame that some of you are so negative that you see little positive in anything.

      Delete
  11. Great post, but I disagree with the point that the LSAT was originally intended to keep out the great unwashed. Tests like the LSAT are a boon for people without connections and who didn't go to top undergrad schools. They enable you to show that you're more qualified than JFK Jr., even though your last name ends in a vowel and you went to a mediocre public U.

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    1. Dying Polar BearsJune 11, 2014 at 11:03 AM

      Ends in a vowel?

      Delete
    2. Except that JFK, Jr, will still get in while you are shunted off onto the waiting list or rejected outright. See my message above about the rich fuck who got into the U of Texas with a 128 on the LSAT.

      Delete
    3. Well, "Kennedy" too ends in a vowel. But I think that the reference there was to Latino names (although many of those end in a consonant).

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    4. I have two friends right now at Stanford and UVA. They didn't have connections, but they did work hard in school and crush the LSAT. Looks like they will score a big law job, but both already don't like Law School and aren't looking forward to lawyer work.

      The nepotistic hirings certainly exist, but it's not as bad as the gov't hiring.

      Delete
    5. Dying Polar,

      WASPs' last names often end with a consonant, (Roberts, Stevens etc) while Italians' etc. (Scalia, Alito etc) last names often end with a vowel.

      Anonymous, but not 7:14 am

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    6. Jon, if you think government hiring is free of nepotism you should immediately get someone to drive you to a mental health facility that can provide long term placements.

      Delete
    7. @ 2:55

      I think you need to re-read what I stated. I'm saying that law jobs aren't as nepotistic as gov't jobs, because more competence is required.

      Delete
  12. This movement should collectively think about who it can recruit and whether we can recruit enough victims of higher education to form political majorities.

    Conscience, duty, morality, decency, honesty, humility, generosity, legality. None of those things restrains the ABA or law schools or the federal government in what it has been up to for decades now. None of those things restrains the higher education cartel.

    We need a political majority and we need retributive justice.

    That justice should be absolutely merciless as this system now is to student debtors...to the kid with the genetic disorder that leaves him legally blind and crippled and still unable to qualify for bankruptcy. FUCK THAT.

    We should isolate on these guilty participants as numerous in kind and severity of suffering as gleefully inflicted on others for the sake of obscene profit.

    If the guilty die before they can be punished, take their estates. Visit their consequence on their kids and spouses. Tyranny of the majority is all cool when it's against this particular MINORITY of once and future students who get fucked before they can even vote, so it should be fine against the scammers.





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    1. This is not an issue of politics, it's generational warfare. One generation (the baby boomers) made higher ed into a cash cow for lazy professors, and the younger people are left to suffer. Vampirizing the young and innocent.

      Education was never a business (more like a fake country club) in any time in history that I can find, until today. Of course, education used to be very exclusive, but never before was the education so expensive and totally useless. This cannot last because once the middle class is gone, there will be no one left to trick and sign into debt slavery. The college system exists because some people still believe in the American dream that their parents had.

      I'm a huge supporter of the humanities in general, but I can't wait until all of the humanities programs go under. Because they have become worthless (See Alan Bloom). It's coming.

      Delete
    2. I'm sure it is generational warfare, but what are the weapons of that warfare? Laws are the weapons. Laws have been systematically turned against and used against a minority that was not and is not equally protected by the law by fucking design.

      The weapons are a source of credit, where the funds that are lent are not tied to production in the economy, and the removal of bankruptcy protection, all consumer protections, etc. etc. etc. They created the perfect growing conditions for this bubble, indeed as you say, in accordance with the desires of the higher education lobby.

      No one had to produce a surplus, make a profit, deposit that profit in a bank, for the funds to be lent to a student under the Higher Education Act. Costs did not have to be tethered to economic health of the country or MEDIAN WAGES or anything crazy like that. It's unchecked, overly-available credit by law that drives the price of the only thing you can buy with such credit through the roof way faster than the case-shiller index of housing prices diverged from median wages.

      Instead, the federal and state governments - through taxation - seize dollars that people need to redistribute them to the educational industry. The federal government can ensure that everyone has to participate in this program by 1) driving up tuition and price-fixing the market with a tuition floor which is none other than the standard eligibility of each student through subsidization AND 2) giving private lending a monopoly umbrella under which to operate.

      They turned laws against us meticulously and for decades. 1976: introducing waiting periods on bankruptcy for federal student loans ON NO EVIDENCE OF "ABUSE." Various and sundry further limitations in the intervening two decades. 1998: remove bankruptcy protection altogether for federal loans save for undefined "undue hardship." 2005: remove bankruptcy protection from private loans AND ANY INSTRUMENT USED TO RE-FINANCE A STUDENT LOAN. 2007: created unlimited, uncapped, unsubsidized GradPLUS loans and allow students to borrow the nebulous "costs of attendance." Fair Labor Standards Act: lawyers are not protected by minimum wage; almost every state is the same. My state is the same.

      This bubble was created by overly-available, corrosive, government credit, unchecked price inflation in a centrally controlled market, and LAW. They did this to us on purpose.

      So, to me, the question is, what are we now going to do in return?

      I'm not a believer in reincarnation. I think we get to do this living thing one time, and if someone is oppressing you, you should throw him over.

      Delete
    3. If you want to reform the humanities and restore them to their former dignity, hit the impostors where it hurts--in the pocketbook. Make sure the third-tier universities aren't hiring PhD's, and the PhD programs at second-tier universities will die on the vine.

      Support public officials who want to trim the number of humanities majors as a prerequisite for funding your local universities. Support them when they close down mediocre PhD programs in history or philosophy, which certainly don't pay for themselves. Those PhD programs are a money-sucking racket for the faculty. They get higher salaries and much lower teaching loads for being at a "research" institution.

      I took some grad courses in philosophy at a major public university, back when tuition was $700 a semester. The grad students were like squabbling children, conceited and ignorant. One of them is now a tenured professor and published a book about zombies. If his ridiculous program quit offering a PhD, he'd actually have to show up every day and teach, which is what he claimed he wanted to do. I hope he's able to have that pleasure in the near future.

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    4. I understand the anger, our parents were rubes and the whole Western social justice movement, with centuries of inertia was left to rot because the boomers had 'theirs' and didn't need unions, coops, political clubs, etc.

      However, the boomers did pay into what ever 401k sham they had, and taking it away now would just be another way for certain minded people to justify budget cuts and we would pay for our elderly parents' upkeep. We should be fighting to keep all benefits intact.

      Delete
    5. @ 2:06

      There's nothing you can do. The problems our generation faces are insurmountable.

      Forget student debt, look at the job market. Do you really think there are such things as 'careers' waiting for you? Haha. Perhaps in some health care jobs (I think this another huge bubble), IT (if you're really good), skilled programmers, high end law, public sector jobs (if your daddy is chief of police), engineering and CPA accounting, but that's about it.

      EVEN IF YOU DO MAKE GOOD MONEY, as in my case, I don't have any debt, but, roughly 43 percent of what I make goes to the government when everything is subtracted. SS and Medicare I include in that number, because I will never see that.

      Bust your ass for what? So your post-tax income can be confiscated or inflated away one day?

      What about Obamacare? Talk about raping the youth ...

      Where do I invest? In a crumbling real estate market that is on the verge of collapse once the boomers sell off? In the stock market that is way over priced, and on the verge of being wiped out?

      We're all f*cked. Don't have children, don't get married to the wrong person if at all, stay out of debt. Try to live in the present. Try to make good money to do what you would like to do.

      That's all you can do. Otherwise you are just gambling.

      Delete
    6. Hey @ 4: 48 PM, it's 2:06 PM here.

      I hear you, man. You're not wrong.

      Anyone who has toiled to accumulate wealth is a sitting duck. How about a Q1 GDP revised down to -1.6% by J P Morgan Chase as the real numbers roll in an replace the rosy estimate components? But, but stock market at all-time-history-of-the-country-highs and the real estate market is over hot on RMBS purchases by the fed.

      Cash is probably safest place to be despite eating losses on inflation. Definitely don't park it in a functionally not FDIC-insured bank account so you can expose it to whatever somebody like Jon Corzine might do for 6% less than real inflation. Put it in your mattress.

      All this 6 years into trillions in printed "stimulus"...we're fucked. I can't find work of any kind. Over-qualified, under-qualified, "must smoke meth to fit in here" type jobs. Nothing. I might as well blow my head off. I can't move 1/2 inch economically.

      Anyone with wealth that is modest and not in the 0.001% is going to lose all his wealth. I don't really see how there can be a question about that. There's no question the biggest "takers" are Boomers. This is my favorite stat to quote to "why don't you network?" baby boomers: the average delta on medicare (benefit in excess of lifetime tax contributions), just the average, is 300k...now how long does it take an average worker to accumulate that much in savings?

      We got fucked. We are getting fucked. We will get fucked. There are culpable parties.

      The vast majority of the USA are just like the law school lemmings.

      You say, "look man, your own Congressional Budget Office says the current tax / spending / borrowing status quo gets us to a collapsed economy by 2027...that's just about 10 years from now. Think about that."

      And they're like, "What? No way. We're such a rich country. America is number 1!"

      And they you're all, "Um, before we default on our national debt - that is what the CBO was talking about essentially - do you think all remains quiet? Or, do you think that maybe things get worse before they get full-collapse-bad?"

      And they're all like, "Can't talk. I'm watching Jon Stewart, because I'm really more than averagely informed."

      And I'm all like, "Okay. Sure you are. Good luck in the collapse."

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  13. Jon - I disagree that it is not an issue of politics. The academic industrial class is overwhelmingly liberal, to an extent which surpasses that even in the media, and they are the best rent seekers on the planet. I cringe when I see student loan programs like the one Obama just announced. I don't cringe because it might give some student loan debt holders a break, no, I cringe because the proposal does nothing to lower the cost of education, which has risen orders of magnitude greater than inflation over the last 25 years. The liberal apparatchiks who run and dominate the schools feel, well, entitled, and it bothers them not that their students, errr. I mean mammalian loan conduits, assume all of the risk in the education transaction. Very little or no attention is paid to efficiency or value. Law school just happens to be one of the worst culprits. Law students today learn the same thing as I learned in the 80's (T10 law school, fancy pontification emphasized), yet it costs 3.5 times as much? For what? With the benefits of technology and the appurtenant ability to scale, and the need for previously very expensive attributes like law libraries considerably diminished, there is absolutely no reason law school should be anything other than 1/3 the price today that it was in the mid-80's. Yes, you can say this state of affairs is not political, but the people who run these institutions, and indeed, discourage any kind of diversity of thought, are overwhelmingly liberal and vote that way. You cannot ignore the elephant in the room. Don't take this as a vote of support for Republicans - I am not sure they care. But this is one instance where doing nothing - i.e., avoiding the deadly arrangement between big government loan programs and the academic industrial complex - would have been far better for students. This state of affairs was well known and predicted in the 80s's - one of the reasons the loan limits then were, relatively speaking, conservative.

    The reason this problem is so difficult to address is that many people have a herd mentality, i.e., a notion that the Democrat party is for the middle or working class. On this student loan issue, nothing could be further from the truth. And it is very difficult for people to criticize the status quo as a result.

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    1. Well said. You aren't allowed to criticize education. It's like how the East German government said they had to build the wall to keep western agents from blackmailing their citizens into leaving their workers' paradise. A California judge just struck down California's teacher tenure law because most incompetent teachers are in poorer school districts so it deprives those children of equal educational opportunity - the way under "separate but equal" the black schools never seemed to be too equal. The teacher union thugs are claiming that tenure is for the benefit of the students, even as they fight the firing of child molesters.

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  14. Jon, you need to let go of this boomer obsession. You do not seem to know much about human nature. Tuition is wear it is at because the gubmint will lend any amount of money to anyone who asks regardless of the odds of their being able to pay it back. There are way too many law students because universities saw what cash cows law schools were and rushed in for a piece of the action. Greed has existed in any generation that ever existed. Focus on the real issue: cutting off the flow of student loan money. Once that has been done many if not most law schools will come to grief quickly enough.

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    1. 3:09 here again, meant to say "where it is at." Sorry, long day at the office.

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    2. Well the boomers were the generation that ruined all of our institutions.

      Education, right down to the elementary school level, exists to serve the TEACHERS, not the students.

      That's sick. That's pathological.

      It began with the Boomers. I'm not saying younger generations are any better in terms of character, only that the boomers are benefiting from all of this, and the younger people hurting.

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  15. TtttTTTTTTtTTtTttTtTtTttttttttTtTTTTTTTtTTTTTTTTTTTTTTtTTTTTTT

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  16. I hate it when the comments get hijacked by one or two people. I do believe that education (at all levels) is failing many, many students in this country. Legal education is the canary in the coal mine.

    Please do a post about how the media/pop culture portrays lawyers and the legal profession. That's a major reason why law schools are still finding people. (My apologies if you've written about this recently.)

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    1. You don't see many people mortgaging their futures to become accountants, or gushing on twitter about how becoming an accountant is their "dream".

      The big difference between accountancy and law of course is that the value of a law degree has been overhyped by the media and by popular myth to the point of absurdity. It is this hype that makes it so uniquely appealing to lemmings. Almost the same prestige of medicine, but far easier to get into. The glamor of a career in film or tv, only with far greater job security (or so it is believed).

      By the time a college student reaches the end of undergraduate studies, many of them have spent years looking forward to law school and mentally committing themselves to it. This is why its so hard to dissuade so many.

      The myth of law school as being a lucrative, glamorous, exciting career needs to be dismantled so fewer kids commit themselves to the idea of going to law school. Fortunately the law school's and the ABA's insatiable greed is already doing a good job at this.

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    2. To be quite honest, 638, law school HAS proven to be a lucrative career for some. For example, most scamdeans get paid quite well. It's legal practice that usually falls short of being "a lucrative, glamorous, exciting career."

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    3. @ 4 31

      I apologize for hacking this comment thread ... I've never taken out loans to go to college ... but many of my friends have and I see the effects so I'm pretty passionate about this issue.

      My fiance has 75k in debt for a useless English degree!

      @ 6 38

      Actually I have two buddies who work at Big 4 accounting firms and they did mortgage their futures away (60 and 110k in debt) to get their accounting-finance degree, with an MBA.

      It better be your dream to be an accountant!

      Medicine SUCKS today. Ask any young doctor. I went to school for pre-med, only to find out that the specialties I was interested in are today just about 60 percent paperwork. Medicine is not about helping people, it's like being an office drone with three times the stress. Many doctors have half a millions dollars in debt after all is said and done.

      All of these "attractive" professions have been wrecked by government regulation, boomerism, student debt, lack of promotion opportunities, and credentialism.

      I suggest to any young person:

      GET A TRADE ... and then go to college later in life if you really think its worth it and you KNOW what you want to do in absolute terms.

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    4. I realized something was wrong with school, and I wish I had gone into a trade. But I knew my parents had no intention of supporting me, and in a high cost of living area and at 18 years old I had no idea what to do. So I went to college, and afterwards didn't really have a good job. I was pre-med myself. I just wound up doing retail and then temp jobs which really both sucked and were pointless.

      So after several months I figured I might as well try for law school. I did okay on the LSAT but not really T14 material. Now sure I'd be a shoo-in, probably a T8 or so, but standards were higher before the collapse of the past few years (it's worth noting that we were in a law school bubble, because historically it's a lot closer to the standards now than from 2004-2011 time frame). I didn't start getting serious interviews for decent jobs until right before I was set to go to law school, so I just went.

      Then after law school my career never got off the ground at all, and of course law sucks.

      A lot of people struggle to get that first job out of undergrad, even in a good economy. It takes awhile. And you start off low, maybe $30k, but people that stuck with it generally do fine after a few years. Law is an outlier because that opportunity may never come at all, and there really is no working your way up. In law you either start high or you never get anywhere.

      I think a stable family is key, and that's where the Boomer problems come from. Those of us that don't have supportive families are going to desperately go to school and take those student loans, because it's very expensive to live in the US. Unless you dodge creditors and don't want to pay rent I suppose.

      My friends that are doing well now from college, the vast majority didn't have a job for a long time after undergrad, and when they did get a job it was a terrible one for years. I think the media and Boomer parents are definitely to blame for being out of touch with reality and refusing to ever support people that are having a difficult time. It's disgusting how Boomer parents frequently use it as an excuse to kick their kids while they're down and don't show any type of family love towards their kids. So many are giant narcissists who are bullies. That is why so many get dumped in nursing homes afterwards, their children remember and then don't care for them.

      Life is tough. It's always been tough but adding debt on top of it just makes it really unfair to people. It's too hard to get anywhere if you struggle just to get back to even during your prime years. Debt isn't a new concept. Usury has existed for thousands of years, until major religions abolished it. And those cultures that leaned on religion generally were more successful than those that didn't. Concepts repeat over time, there is no real religion in most of the world now, so a lot of these concepts are gone.

      Debt is always a bad idea, as is thinking you will get away with not having to work for a living. Very few people will ever be able to actually "retire" and live off the efforts of other people, in the form of usury or stock or bonds etc. JMO

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    5. "It's too hard to get anywhere if you struggle just to get back to even during your prime years."

      2:53, great words. These are lifelong problems, not things that will correct themselves when the economy recovers. Screwed now, screwed forever.

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    6. No matter how bad things are, there is always something to be grateful for. Are you healthy? Do you have friends? Do you have a significant other? Do you have food to eat? Do you have access to modern technology and conveniences? Are you able to read and write? Do you have the freedom to speak your mind without fearing prison or death?

      "Screwed now, screwed forever." is too negative for me. (I mean no disrespect to Charles Cooper.)

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    7. Yeah "The myth of law school as being a lucrative, glamorous, exciting career" should read "The myth of law school as being a path to a lucrative, glamorous, exciting career".

      But there's an 80s move "The Flamingo Kid" set in the 1960s. I really remember a line from it, something like "you're going to college and that's that. You can be a plumber after college it you want"

      A college degree probably was that valuable in the 1960s, but as huge numbers of people have gotten degrees the value of most of them have plummeted. Probably the situation is reversed now. Your average college degree is worth less a plumber's trade certificate.

      But boomers, and society in general, are still stuck in this 1960s mindset of regarding a college degree as some kind of rare and valuable thing. They absolutely worship the value of a degree. Perhaps eventually some kind of balance will be restored and people will come to realize college isn't always the right path for everyone.

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  17. I'm surprised that Princeton never opened another law school. On the strength of the institution's prestige alone, its new law school would have gone straight to the top of the idiotic "rankings" by You Ass News.

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  18. The one thing that always happens when you lower any standards is the end result will be an improvement. So I can see why law schools would want to use this track proven model to elevate its students and the legal profession.

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  19. Great thread, guys. With one or two hateful, stupid exceptions, you've made some really good points here.

    In a way, this thread is like a really good graduate seminar, where critical thinking is taught by example and experience. Or to bring it on home to the law school scam, it's like the Socratic Method done right. That goes to show that you don't have to pay some pompous professor a quarter million a year to learn something. You can just go online and see what's up.

    I hope that no one still thinks law school is an educational process. It's a sorting, signaling, and credentialing process. Brian Leiter, Steve Diamond, and Nancy Leong don't know any more than ten million other people. They just get paid huge amounts of money to share their ignorance because they obtained some credentials. If you borrow federal loan dollars to replicate their credentials and share their prestige, you've got it backwards and you're guaranteed to fail.

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  20. Could people here anonymously post how much debt they have, what their job prospects are, and how it has ruined their life?

    I would like to see some stories.

    My fiance has 75k in debt for an English degree ... she has a good job (IT consulting) because she's attractive and articulate ... otherwise she would be at Starbucks. She has been stressed about it from the day of graduation and starting taking pharmaceutical pills to address the anxiety. I took over half of her loans payments because I saw what was happening to her health and I make enough so it isn't a big burden (650 a month isn't cheap though).

    Her decision to get an English degree wasn't the smartest, I acknowledge.

    I imagine there are others in much worse shape without a job or a spouse to help ...

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    1. $56,000 left. Work in manufacturing. My undergrad degree would have gotten me a low-ish paying job in city government before the crash (Planning and Zoning, that sort of thing) but with a JD on top if it, there is no way. I used to work in a debtor-creditor law mill for a pittance as well.

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  21. Is this cite now turning into a hate the older generations cite? Time to change the theme to something like . . . . "I hate everything and blame everyone but myself because I have not made it."

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    1. Hmm ... well I've 'made it' and I'm still paying into your ponzi scheme!

      Even for those of us who 'made it' ... there is no escape from your parasitic tentacles ... Medicare, SS, Obamacare, pensions via property taxes, an inflated real estate market and stock market thanks to your malinvestment ...

      I'm sure you will deny all of that and say its just 'whining'.

      "Lazy KIDS! Now where's my social security and retirement? Someone buy my over-priced McMansion! Who can I unload my stock holding to? Whose is going to pay for my hip replacement?"

      Thanks for that 18 trillion debt, which will look more like 250 trillion by the time you are dead.

      Thanks, I look forward to paying that back for you!

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    2. LOL. You are right Jon, the boomers set this all up to screw you. Why would I deny it. You do have a choice though. Canada, Mexico, Thailand (where Mr. Infinity is heading), all kinds of superior countries you can head for. Panama is cheap living, so is Costa Rica. Or I am sure you can find some positions in Iraq or Afghanistan. Certainly a guy like you will take up arms to stand up for freedom right? Just make sure where ever they go that they have people who can provide competent, if inexpensive, mental counseling. Anti-depressives might help also. I hear they are much less expensive in Mexico. See here's the thing. . . a guy like you who hates everything and everyone and blames everybody for his lot in life . . .you don't have to accept your life. Take charge of your own life. Leave the country. Make something of yourself . . . just somewhere else. What could possibly be stopping you?

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    3. As I am stating now for the third time, I HAVE MADE IT (economically speaking). And no, I did NOT go to law school or have any tuition debt. I went to undergrad in Pre-med, wanting to be a doctor ... while in school I starting doing a unique trade instead of going to Med School. I graduated college, and went straight into my current trade occupation.

      I enjoy my job, despite risk of injury. I net a lot more money than all of my close friends. Your greedy boomer POV makes you assume that there has to be a PERSONAL rather than OBJECTIVE reason for pointing out injustices.

      Your attitude is exactly what has condemned this country. It's not happening to me ... so who gives a f*ck?

      Again, you don't address substance ... you try to make this PERSONAL ... which doesn't even make sense, considering what I'm criticizing about tuition never directly effected me.

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    4. Well, if you truly went to college, you obviously did not learn a lot of critical thinking skills. Perhaps you should have taken more "liberal arts" type classes and less "science-pre med" You have a very simple minded way of looking at things. That to me is why college is so important and why I believe a liberal arts education is a very good thing. That is why I would want my kids to go to college. I would not want them to go through life ignorant and lacking the ability to critically examine information and draw reasonable conclusions. There are enough ignorant, simple minded people in the country already. And that is why as an employer I want college educated employees. Ignorance . . . basic inability to rationalize is really not hard to spot once you have seen a person's work product for a while. College graduates invariably are better performers, usually by far, in writing . . reading . . comprehension than high school graduates. I had a high school graduate once who could not do the most simple math problems. Fractions were beyond her. 1/10 or .10 was confusing to her. She couldn't write worth a damn, and was very gullible and easily influenced. People should go to college to become better people. To learn a little about the world. To grow up. To hopefully learn how to think. That will make life immeasurably better even if they end up in the "trades" which essentially means a more or less menial . . . non-thinking position in our society. But you have the right to send your children into the world right out of high school, or without a HS degree if you want. I think those working for Waste Management make a decent living.

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    5. So you assume because I have a trade, I'm an idiot?

      I went to a liberal arts college, majored in Chemistry (3.7 GPA), speak German and French. I went through an upper-middle class youth's existence. However, the liberal arts experience I had (at a top 25 school) was not impressive ... the professors were so, so ... worse yet THE STUDENTS were apathetic and unmotivated ... they just wanted a job, not to really learn.

      College has become a country club atmosphere of arrested development. Don't let the books and libraries fool you ... college was a major disappointment in my life, as it lacked in cultural and intellectual value. The 'classical' identity of the school I went to was a facade. A marketing technique.

      Point is the liberal arts no longer confer the experience they once were acclaimed for, unfortunately. The humanities are nothing more than a ploy to attract students into dead-end careers ... the humanities are not rigorous anymore ... very little Latin, Greek, real History, or Philosophy is taught. Add to that the student debt and unemployment rates attached to the liberal arts.

      Back in the 50s, a liberal arts degree was like an intellectual gymnasium; today it's more like MTV.

      I'm the opposite type of person you assume me to be; I read Allan Bloom's the Closing of the American mind at the age of 19, and loved his assessment of American education and the importance of the humanities.

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    6. Jon, may I ask which liberal arts college you went?

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    7. Look at U.S. ranks, it was ranked number eighteen most recently. That's all I will say.

      From my experience the college system is totally broken ... I can't blame the boomers entirely for that, as my generation is apathetic towards the past and has no real passion for learning.

      It has become, as I say, more of a country club more than a place of learning. All of my honest friends admit the same.

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    8. "Back in the 50s, a liberal arts degree was like an intellectual gymnasium; today it's more like MTV."

      I love that!

      Ten years ago a friend (1967 college graduate) who wanted his daughter to go to Princeton went there for a weekend visit. He came back disgusted, calling it a $45,000 a year play pen. My experience with college, class of 1982, was that you could get the gymnasium if you made it happen for yourself but most people wanted MTV. It seemed like the school itself had kind of reconciled itself to the idea that few students were very ambitious. Even my fraternity brother who was valedictorian of our class eschewed the honors program for fear that the requirement of two years of a foreign language might ding his otherwise perfect GPA. I will never forget the girl who asked me whether you could do alright in my adviser's classes even if you "blew off" (i.e. cut) class. I told her I did not know because I had never blown off any class. At least she looked embarrassed but jeez, what a mentality.

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    9. Exactly my experience. I went to Notre Dame '11, and I challenged myself in the humanities. I couldn't give you a list of five other classmates who were serious in the subject of the humanities in my graduating class.

      College, whether it be Harvard or the University of Southern Wyoming Tech, is YOLO and a cash cow for admins. Nothing else.

      Yes, you do get a good network at a top school. That's it.

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  22. Its hard for me not to think poorly of you given your simplistic rants against Boomers. If you blamed the government, republican conservatives, liberal do-gooders . . you would sound more rational. But rather than blame incompetence or even corruption, you cast aspersion on a generation of people. How could I think you a critical thinker under the circumstances?

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  23. I have been told that Law School doesn't prepare you to be a lawyer and that it is a tedious exercise which doesn't compare well to the real world profession.

    I'm wondering if any lawyers can answer the question whether Law School is a scam in the grander sense ... meaning that its more a ritual/weeding out process than an 'education'?

    This is certainly true of undergrad, non-STEM degrees today. Not to say Law School is as easy as undergrad, I know it doesn't compare, but just in terms of its usefulness professionally speaking.

    I think the 'MBA' is the biggest scam ever contrived. There's a greater chance you will lose brain cells than learn something.

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  24. I completely disagree with the entire premises offered to the extent they suggest higher education is not worthwhile. I went to a top High School. I then went to college in the 70s for business and accounting and learned a huge amount. I went to law school in the mid eighties and although I did not know how to "practice" when I got out, I understood a whole lot more about the law than I did before hand, and I also do believe it helps one to become a much more critical thinker as well as training one to distinguish nuances in arguments. I do not believe I could have ever practiced law without the grounding provided by a legal education, and truthfully law did not begin to make sense in many respects until I actually practiced it. In that regard, I can't believe either business or law school has changed that much. What has changed is the economy and the cost of attendance. Would I ever incur 200 K in costs to attend law school or business school? Not on your life . . with the caveat that IBR seems to make those kind of debts doable, especially if you get a top job afterwards by going to a top school. I did part of an MBA program before Law and I could not stand it, especially the "quantitative" classes, but I really did like law school and the issues. It is ludicrous to say higher education is not worth it. As I said in the posts above, college offers many opportunities for a person to grow and learn and offers a lot of intangibles that being a plumber a plumber would not. The world is a big place and the best way to learn about it is through education, and that means beyond High School imho.

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    1. Really refreshing to hear from a boomer lecturing about “education”, “intangibles” and “opportunities”
      Wan to pay 200K just to learn how to become a “critical thinker”? No, even you admited you won’t do it. So what’s your point?

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