Friday Movie Night - College, Inc.

hot buttered popcorn It's Friday Night! Party Time!   Time to relax, put your feet up on the couch, lay back, and watch some detailed videos on economic policy!

 

More great documentaries have gone from PBS Frontline than I can count. This week they have done it again. In College, Inc. Frontline investigates for profit universities. Anyone considering going to school should watch this.

In College, Inc., correspondent Martin Smith investigates the promise and explosive growth of the for-profit higher education industry. Through interviews with school executives, government officials, admissions counselors, former students and industry observers, the film explores the tension between the industry -- which says it's helping an underserved student population obtain a quality education and marketable job skills -- and critics who charge the for-profits with churning out worthless degrees that leave students with a mountain of debt.

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Comments

College Inc. - Yes! Absolutely 'to big to fail'!

Great “movie”. Thanks. For some reason I always miss Frontline. I appreciate you bringing them to my attention.

As to this one in particular, I absolutely believe that College Inc., and the ‘higher education system generally, truly are “to big to fail” from the point of view of the political/economic oligarchs. We have seen this past week how a relatively few workers “reentering” the workforce can cause the unemployment rate to increase. What would happen if a significant percent of college students dropped out of college and entered the workforce. The unemployment rate could easily go well past Depression levels. The student loan program keeps the workforce size down while providing students with a nominally comfortable standard of living.

I took a community college course recently and I was impressed with the numbers of cars, computers, ipods, clothes, recreation money, etc. they had. I became intrigued and did some non-random surveying and checking of published enrollment numbers. It seems the majority (perhaps overwhelming) were in vocational programs and many students were enrolled in a second Associated Degree program after finishing one (e.g. first Food Service and then Tourism). There are no full-time life-time career-tracking jobs, so they work part-time in retailing or restaurants, collect student loans and live at home with parents.

All to the advantage of the oligarchy class! If these young people got serious about getting ‘suburban middle-class family-supporting jobs’ like their parents and grandparents had in the post-war boom years, then there would be a revolution on a scale that would shock Marx and Lenin.

Indeed, if Marx were here I think he would say: “ ‘It ain’t over until it’s over’. You thought that the fall of the Soviet Union proved me wrong? Well I say the fall of the Soviet Union proved Lenin wrong. But as to my philosophy of history, ‘the match is on’.”

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Frontline enable sharing which is even better

and unlike PBS main, which sucks. Honestly they are the best documentaries but I think PBS needs a better business model. They need to enable sharing online but also create some revenue generator. I think they are still trying to get $25 bucks for a DVD on some of these. But it's Frontline and then the BBC overall for the best documentaries.

What they do not talk about is one can say the same for things like Computer degrees. they are so busy labor arbitraging Americans, it doesn't pay out, long term, potentially to go into debt, get a degree. Same can be said for a host of college degrees.

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“College education not needed” at Wal-Mart

“College education not needed” at Wal-Mart, Home Depot etc. In short if one is content with low wages and no benefits. However, if one wants a job that supports the typical post WW II suburban family standard of living and life style, then 'no-college' is 'no-option'.

From the late 1940’s through about 1990 high school or less education could get one a manufacturing job on a production line that paid enough to support a ‘middle-class’ standard of living. Clearly, those jobs are gone either ‘off-shore’ or replaced by automation.

There are still many jobs that don’t require college education, but they support a standard of living far below what we use to call a middle class suburban standard.

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jobs which require education

that's my point. We had plenty of people with education whose careers and financial livelihood have been destroyed. Thinking it's just blue collar or manufacturing isn't accurate. When I referenced that study on 2.4 million jobs being lost to China, the surprise was most were advanced tech jobs. Those are degree requiring jobs. It's the technical areas which have been hit hardest. But overall, there are a host of jobs which require a college degree that are paying maybe a couple of dollars an hour more than pumping gas, if that.

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