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YOUNG AMERICANS: FORGET YOUR STUDENT LOANS AND MOVE TO GONZO TOWN

June 14, 2011

By Stone Pinkerton
Gonzo Town
June 14, 2011

Getting ahead? Going to college? Whether they know it or not, millions of young Americans are joining the ranks of the over-qualified and under paid and unemployed. But heck, you can still give it the “old college try” anyway, but be informed of the pro’s and cons of your decision.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, there is only one job available for every five college graduate applicants in America today. And with most jobs in the US being off-shored to the Far East and Latin America, it’s a safe bet that stat is not changing anytime soon, at least for the next 10 years, unless of course you are going for a position under the Golden Arches.

In the last 12 years, college tuition in the US has risen a staggering 900%, while wages have jumped an impressive… well, err, an average 10%. For the bright, young, and gifted, this equation should really be studied very carefully. Regardless of how bleak the outlook is, America has always been the land of positive thinking and no wonder, as there is no shortage in the queue of 17 year olds dying to (literally) sign their life away to JP Morgan, Citi Bank and Wells Fargo in exchange for, in many cases, around $80,000 in student loans.

STUDENT LOAN SUB-PRIME BUBBLE: Cheap loans can really stack up, but the benefits don’t.

Before we rush to judgement, let’s be fair and breakdown what the kids are getting for their 80K. First and foremost, they get that golden fleece, the sheep skin also known as The Degree. In addition, millions of young Americans will be given a four year window in which to master the fine art of drinking beer and how to both hold and suck cannabis smoke from a perspex cylinder. If they have spent their 80K wisely, they will also be gifted cheap tickets to Division I football and basketball games and their fantastic after parties. As a keen sportsman myself, perhaps to best value for the money was the free campus gym membership and intramural sports programs which kept me fit enough to withstand non-stop weekends of partying. On top of all this fun stuff, it’s also a bottomless trough of free time to play computer games in your apartment, eat pizza, screw around with your guitar, and of course, ample opportunities for scouting out members of the opposite sex. Apparently, it all looks good on your CV.

So in summary: lots of beers, drugs, sports, parties, games, sex, and 80K in the hole, with little chance of landing a job after four years. In fact, you will most likely be competing for lower level jobs against seemingly uncool debt-free people who never graduated from university. You might consider that you could achieve all that, and more, by simply going to Thailand for two years… at a cost of $5k.

For those fortunate sons and daughters, the Degree may hold some potential value, but for most its value is purely vestigial. In days gone by, this parchment represented the pinnacle in academic achievement and was your passport to career liberation.  In a Darwinian race to land that 1 out of 5 jobs, you will need more than “a well-rounded CV”. This remains the case- only for 20% of the graduate herd, the lucky ones, and the ones with the best connections. The other 80% will unfortunately be disappointed, and will opt for a less glamorous career path like waiting tables, making cocktails or capucinos, lifeguarding, ‘delivering’ things, ‘guarding’ things, lap dancing and/or other forms of prostitution.

STUDYING HARD: College students will likely learn more about beer than anything else during their 4 year degree.

Even if you are an A or B student, it’s likely that you chose a degree that your high school career advisor told you would be “useful”, or your friends promised would be “easier” in the end analysis. If you fall into this category you would have chosen to pursue a degree in the following: communications, media communications, media studies, public relations, human development, psychology, sports psychology, marketing, advertizing, “management”, business management, human resource management, occupational therapy, entrepreneurial studies, sports management, sociology, climate change, international relations, journalism, “art”, philosophy, or even (God help you) the once celebrated holy grail of qualifications known as the MBA.

All these degrees mentioned, for the most part, are either completely useless, or they are subjects one could learn in a year to 18 months as an intern in the working world. We could also say safely that none of them are worth $80,000 in student loans, credit cards and other institutional debt that will follow you long into life as your college experience becomes a fleeting, distant memory as you reach 50 years old- wrinkled, sans hair, overweight and kids to feed and cloth. They probably won’t tell you that at your College Orientation Day. That’s the reality of it though.

What’s the alternative? If you live in a socially advanced and utopia society like Gonzo Town, you would be provided with a number of viable and more economically sound options.

Firstly, instead of over-hyping the alleged status of the over-priced university education con, we would advise our little Gonzo Sprites to get a job and go to Community College for two years. By doing this you have the following advantages over your mostly deluded elite counterparts at a four year university. You will have no debt, you can earn money, perhaps live at home and save money, get more or less the same curriculum the university college offers- at a fraction of the cost… and you will save your liver from getting hammered by a barrage of cheap beer every weekend. The draw backs are simply less parties, and you have to put up with your parents for a while longer. But, you can still gate crash spring break and with more money to throw around chasing girls or guys. Quids in, as they say.

Second option: Learn a trade and become a ‘skilled worker’. Here is a truly revolutionary concept, so radical in fact, the entire US and European modern economies were built upon it. Question: who earns more than a lawyer, a resident physician, or most company directors? Answer: a plumber. Do an apprenticeship and complete your training, as a plumber, electrician, roofing engineer, X-Ray technician, or a building surveyor and you could probably save up enough money by the time you are 35 to fund a dotcom start-up, netting you another few million. Get it? I wish I had (I got my degree in art and philosophy and remain poor, but happy, to this day).

Third option: enlist in the armed forces. On paper the GI Bill looks like a brilliant option- all your bills paid for by US tax payers, no heavy student loans and you get a dose of that legendary “military discipline” we all hear about. Air Force, Navy and a few smart grunts and jarheads excluded, what they don’t tell you before you sign on the dotted line at your local strip-mall recruitment office is that you are now essentially running corporate security for the likes of Beaty Balfour, KBR, Haliburton, Unocal and Exxon. You may also risk having certain areas of your brain de-actived, and possibly removed. These include your moral compass, capacity for creative and original thought, flickering trance-like states induced by the American flag, national anthem, and a loss of your ability to distinguish Osama bin Laden from Ali Baba in Disney’s Aladdin. True hazards of the job.

Fourth option: buy guns and start a survivalist colony in Oregon.

In the end, one can only feel sorry for all those bright young American students who have been sold the perpetual lie that a college education is somehow worth its weight in gold. If you are still a student, you should really be asking your elders and teachers why the last four US Administrations sold out the economy- aka your future jobs, off-shore to China and the like. And then go ask your Professor or Career Guidance Councilor if they themselves would pay $60,000, $80,000, or $120,000 for a college degree with no job prospects at the end of the line? Send their replies here to Gonzo Town.

Question: Are students, like home buyers pre-2008, being lured into a huge Sub-Prime trap of easy loans and inflated asset (the asset here being a university degree) values?

Consider still, the richest dudes and babes (mind you, mostly divorced) I’ve known… never did graduate from university.

There it is kids. Go to the Debt-Slave Land of no jobs where you will be unwittingly lining the pockets of shameless banksters (and serving them drinks at the same time), or come study and work in Gonzo Town. Any questions?

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57 Comments leave one →
  1. Dr. Richard permalink
    June 14, 2011 2:34 pm

    Better yet, learn a trade AND setup a survivalist camp…

    In a decade, you will be able to get a degree (in something useful like engineering) by taking night classes paid using cash earned from your day job.

  2. Winston permalink
    June 14, 2011 2:39 pm

    “What they don’t tell you before you sign on the dotted line at your local strip-mall recruitment office is that you will have certain areas of your brain de-actived, and possibly removed. These include your moral compass, capacity for creative and original thought, flickering trance-like states induced by the American flag, national anthem, and a loss of your ability to distinguish Osama bin Laden from Ali Baba in Disney’s Aladdin. True hazards of the job.”

    Depends upon what service you join and what career field you enter. After 21 years in highly classified and technical USAF jobs, I’ve received training that is tremendously valuable in the civilian world and am now retired at 50% of my base pay. I traveled the world, living in hotels and rented apartments and homes, not foxholes, and got an outsiders perspective of the US which has allowed me to see through the garbage that passes for “news” I’m bombarded with daily in the US. I’m onto the game being played and became a libertarian while in the USAF, one who believes correctly that both the Dems and Reps are principle-free slimbags who have sold out to the highest bidder… and that’s not the voting public.

    • June 14, 2011 2:43 pm

      Yes, good point!

    • June 14, 2011 3:51 pm

      Well said Winston. The Dems and the Reps need to go, I just don’t know how you people are going to do it. I’m not Amercican, and I feel extremely sorry for your country. What the USA needs is a totally ethic leader who has the guts of a Count Von Stauffenberg ( anti-Hitler, anti-Nazi who was tried and convicted of treason but in reality was a German hero) combined with Napolean (a man whose time had come and can command change). Once you find this person, your congress and Senate need to be neutered (in fact a great many of them need to go to prison along with some former and perhaps current high office government officials and many many bankers. Until this happens the USA will never get the world’s respect again, regardless of how much military might you flex in the years to come. The entire process starts with the young people and it will take a couple generations to completely revamp. A totally new mindset must take root and soon. First though you must eliminate (via the true and just use of the Rule Of Law) the old guard whose only interest, is their own. A 60 year old, and over, person should not be dictating the future and I would argue has no interest in actually helping establish long term sustainable prosperity. There is nothing in it for them, and very very few truly care about the nation’s kids and grandkids (they just care about their own). Good luck with this though. The corruption is entrenched and will be very very difficult to root out, but not impossible IF YOU HAVE THE RIGHT LEADER.

      • Voyager permalink
        June 15, 2011 4:34 am

        If you want the right leader, you have to make them. I highly recommend starting with the Federalist and Anti-federalist Papers. They are near the beginning, and they’re free online.

      • Steve Adams permalink
        June 15, 2011 5:01 am

        IF YOU HAVE THE RIGHT LEADER.

        Sorry you’ve got the wrong country. In America we don’t need some great leader – we simply need the bulk of Americans to wake up and demand control back. Big government controlled by republicans or democrats is still just a bunch of wieners telling the rest of is how to live.

      • Jim permalink
        June 15, 2011 5:20 am

        Yeah, a Hitler only comes around once in a century. Hey, wait, this IS a new century.

        Maybe we COULD get one of our own. Yes, yes, Godwin’s law. BUT:

        “has the guts” … Hitler won an Iron Cross. CHECK

        “combined with Napolean (a man whose time had come and can command change)”

        Hey, laid waste to Europe and eventually his own country. CHECK

        “your congress and Senate need to be neutered”

        Wiemar Republic in the trash. CHECK

        “The entire process starts with the young people”

        Hitler Youth. CHECK

        “60 year old, and over, person should not be dictating the future”

        Hitler wasn’t even 50 when he took over, and was still under 60 when he committed suicide. CHECK!

        Yep. You’re looking for Hitler. Damn Fascist.

      • June 15, 2011 11:07 am

        Are you saying that Uncle Sam caught the next Hitler already? Hmmm. I doubt it.

  3. Jessica6 permalink
    June 14, 2011 2:42 pm

    LOL I got a degree in Communications, but I went to University 20 years ago and with some hard work and a little patience (and on ZERO connections!) did end up in a related industry.

    I put myself around $12 grand in the hole to do it and even on that amount I regretted the level of debt I had accumulated though for my case, my money went on rent and food as well as books and tuition and as it was then a nasty recession in Canada in the early 90s, there weren’t the summer or part time jobs available there were for most of the late 90s and the past decade.

    Back then too, it was tougher to get up-to-date information about salaries, jobs available, industry info, etc. and ironically, entry-level jobs paid more than they do now.

    Would I dig myself in the hole 80K for the same degree now? Not a chance in hell.

    But I find that a combination of prolonged low interest rates and a sense of entitlement among the younger set who want it all right now have made them frighteningly complacent about debt. Even math and business majors fail to understand what would happen to their debts if interest rates ever returned to historical norms and the idea of double-digit rates – common in the 70s through the 90s – is inconceivable for them. Though if history is any guide we’ll see them before this coming years’ freshmen graduate.

    • June 14, 2011 2:44 pm

      Well, as you said, you were only 12K in the hole, but these kids are looking at anything from 50K to 120K in the hole… and for what?

  4. bourque801 permalink
    June 14, 2011 2:56 pm

    Excellent article Mr Pinkerton….Brilliant!!!!

  5. david c. permalink
    June 14, 2011 3:00 pm

    Normal Process: 1) decide what college to attend. 2) decide what to study, emphasizing what seems interesting and has the coolest professors, changing your mind along the way a few times so it takes 10 semesters, not 8 or 7 or 6 to finish. 3) graduate. 4) figure out what jobs you might be qualified for and send out a bunch of resumes. 5) when no interviews materialize, consider getting a master’s degree.

    Rare, smart process: 1) discover your aptitudes early. 2) research what occupations value your aptitudes, focusing on one or two that you think you’d find interesting and or challenging. 3) figure out what kinds of training, education, or experience would get you into that occupation. 4) find the fastest, cheapest means of getting there, making sure you’re in the top 5% of people doing so.

    I have three sons who took the second process. All are debt free, and are already well employed, well paid, or (the 3rd) on track for the same. All are on the “traditional” path to success, happiness, self-sufficiency, etc.

    Others are lemmings, headed for the cliff.

  6. Ilona E permalink
    June 14, 2011 3:17 pm

    This is my JUNK BOND DIPLOMA theory. The schools and Universities and Colleges know that with all these TENURED deadbeat Profs they have – what they really MUST GET is more students. So they start in Kindergarten with the mantra – EVERYONE HAS TO GO TO COLLEGE. They make the Trades into some unacceptable way to make a living.
    They facilitate students taking on immense levels of debt and then the students major in these obscure majors that will NEVER get them a job. So their investment gives them a diploma that’s worthless. Exactly the same as investing in a Junk Bond.
    Amazingly these graduates (the majority of whom have taken 5 years for a Bachelor’s degree) that cannot find a job then decide to GO TO GRADUATE SCHOOL. So they borrow MORE MONEY and again major in some obscure subject.
    Add to this that they don’t work during summers or breaks after High School – NAH! – They party!! You know – like a never ending Spring Break.
    By the the time they are out of Grad School – they will never be hired. No skills, no knowledge, no work ethic, no respect for superiors and no ability to show up on time DRESSED appropriately. Also – they expect big salaries and titles and offer in return NOTHING.
    I truly hope their parents have huge savings accounts because they may be keeping these terminal “kids” forever.

  7. June 14, 2011 3:19 pm

    The blog is realistic – it’s hard to relate to the amount of debt that students incur these days, based upon how the costs have skyrocketed during the past decade.

    Gonzo – your point about the military is dead wrong. The ‘moral compass’ being driven is largely now through the eyes of the Reserve and National Guard troops being deployed – regular people from regular jobs, not the mindset of wholistic active duty types. And the reward IS great for service – traveling to different places, meeting different cultures, seeing and experiencing that the average Joe in America can only dream about (or play in some X-box game). The GI Bill funded my undergrad degree and a Veteran’s Grant funded my MBA. For that, I am thankful – but I have paid my penance in blood, sweat, and tears. It is symbiotic. It is far from losing “capacity for creative and original thought” – I have met MANY professionals in the Reserve who have master’s degrees and PhDs, who still serve diligently.

    As for Winston and his tall tales of the USAF and “traveling the world, living in hotels and rented apartments and homes, not foxholes” it sounds like you’ve had it pretty rough. The USAF I’ve served alongside were down in the trenches with us, living in CHUs, getting hit with IEDs and indirect fire, and running presence patrols outside the wire. Sounds as if you were cheated in your experience. 😉

  8. Jill permalink
    June 14, 2011 4:41 pm

    I knew this article would be ridiculous after the completely unfounded “And with most jobs in the US being off-shored to the Far East and Latin America” and half way through gave up. A seed of truth coaxed into insane stereotypes that are hardly applicable across the board.

    • June 14, 2011 5:48 pm

      But it’s true. After the jobs go off-shore, so does the economy that surrounds those jobs, manufacturing is only the first hit, then comes the rest. It’s real, hardly ridiculous, as this is where the USA is at. It makes nothing and imports everything. Lots McDonalds jobs though, that’s a plus! Obama’s new value meal:
      http://21stcenturywire.com/2011/06/04/freak-a-nomics-in-the-united-states-of-mcdonalds/

    • JCC permalink
      June 14, 2011 8:23 pm

      Far from ridiculous! I chose the Community College route, military, more community college, then a forced bachelors degree after watching my chosen area, manufacturing, disintegrate into nothing. I used to live in a town that had well over 10,000 manufacturing jobs, today it has less than 1000. The other 9000 were shipped to Taiwan, China, or Mexico (the companies are still in business and profitable).

      After losing two long-term jobs to off-shoring, I spent a year grabbing a bachelors degree, thankfully no 80K debt to go with it, in fact no debt thanks to savings, and I’m now well out of the manufacturing area. The few I know who have stuck with it are now making little money and have tons of worries as to whether their jobs will exist next month. Many of them have 4 year degrees in engineering that they are still paying for, along with a mortgage and children.

      Let’s face it, private for-profit universities are robbing students and taxpayers blind. Politicians and the Finance/Banking Industries have stolen at least the next 10 to 15 years of middle-class earnings that were supposed to pay for these degrees and then some.

      This country is in tremendous trouble, and student debt – by the way the only increasing private debt sector in this country for the last 2 years – is just one more large nail in the coffin that our Banks and National Politicians have built for us.

      • June 14, 2011 9:54 pm

        Paying $150,000 with money you don’t have for a big University education is just like driving a new BMW 8 Series Sport- it look pretty impressive, but it’s an illusion. The guy at the light next to you is driving a used Ford Focus, and he will get there as quick as you did… without the debt. Suddenly that BMW is not so cool.

  9. petridish permalink
    June 14, 2011 8:16 pm

    the woman’s account that i am leaving this on is my mothers. I did it. I chose the college, and I went to school at a top univeristy in indiana. i joined a sorority. i went to the frat parties. i drank cheap beer and smokes from a bong. been there, done that. and now after hating her for pulling my funding because i was not making the grades and failing all my classes she decided to pull my funding the first semester. so i took out five thousand in loans. and that is the only money i will ever take out. after spending 18 months fighting, moving out, and moving back in. i am now attending the college of court reporting. i am twenty years old as of june 13 of this year. and i have no idea what i want to do with my life. but i do know that when i get out of this school, i will be able to fulfill any needs and then some in order to be on my own. and that is what i am most interested in. i am not spending 150,000 dollars to try to find myself and some university or to have sex and go to parties.

    i do that just fine on my own living at home but i do want to turn 21 and be able to say that i did theright thing. even though i am doing it now, everyone i went to high school with is down at a big university. i believed my mother and now i need her to be right. this school will take me two years to complete. by that time the people that i would have been in school with are SUPPOSED TO BE GRADUATING. and so will i. in that test we will see who makes more money, and who gets the better job. and i hope it will be me. the one who did the cheaper, get a job and go to school, live with your parents thing.

  10. Deepthought permalink
    June 15, 2011 3:10 am

    Your comments against folks serving in the US armed forces are typical elite garbage. I served proudly in the Marines and now have hard science degrees and work for a fortune 50 company. Unlike you, I am happy and making good money in management.

    Your kind disgust me, playing into the liberal stereotypes of military folks.

    • June 15, 2011 11:12 am

      I’ve got nothing personal against members of the military, they are doing a job, they have to do what they’re told- it’s part of the deal. The military comment was there to show how your big Brass are using this poor economy and over-priced university tuition system to bag most of their recruits. It’s a divisive situation. The GI Bill has nothing to do with “patriotism”, it has to do with economics.

  11. June 15, 2011 4:01 am

    Why has the price risen 900%? Could it have anything to do with the existence of easy money subsidised by the government (i.e. student loans) which enable the Uni’s to jack up prices astronomically while shifting the cost of those increases onto the backs of their students? Can you say “unintended consequences?”

    The government can f*ck up ANYTHING, including a wet dream.

    • June 15, 2011 11:13 am

      BINGO! Winner, winner! Thank you for pointing that out, smart reader here. SUB-PRIME STUDENT BLOW-OUT!!!

  12. June 15, 2011 5:04 am

    Dumb Luck plays a great deal in getting into a great carreer. I know it happened to me: A month before Graduation, jungle drums said a Dude was on Campus interviewing engineers for the Space Shuttle Program. I cut class, ran home and borrowed a suit and found the interview area. I was there about 4 minutes and was called in. The recruiter showed me a couple pictures of the Shuttle and asked if I had any experience with engineering firms. This took about ten minutes when he says “I think you will fit well with the Structural/mechanical group designing the Shuttle Launch facilities.” I said great and showed up at the VAB at KSC 5 weeks later.

  13. June 15, 2011 5:19 am

    “…what they don’t tell you before you sign on the dotted line at your local strip-mall recruitment office is that you will have certain areas of your brain de-actived [sic], and possibly removed. These include your moral compass…”

    I’d much sooner trust the moral compass of a randomly selected member of the US military over an art and philosophy major… and I’d much sooner hire the US military person as well. But I do hope the sanctimony somehow works out for you……

  14. June 15, 2011 5:47 am

    What about getting a four-year degree in something useful and difficult to master independently, such as sciences, engineering, or math.

    • June 15, 2011 11:05 am

      Real science, math, history and english. Useful stuff in terms of degrees. We applaud such an academic pursuit…

  15. June 15, 2011 7:46 am

    Going deep into debt for a degree that proves worthless is bad enough when you’re talking about college, but when people do the same thing to get a graduate degree, the story goes from bad to tragic. Here are 100 reasons NOT to go to grad school: http://100rsns.blogspot.com/

    Four years of wasting your time is one thing. Fourteen years is another.

  16. June 15, 2011 9:43 am

    “…what they don’t tell you before you sign on the dotted line at your local strip-mall recruitment office is that you will have certain areas of your brain de-actived, and possibly removed. These include your moral compass, capacity for creative and original thought, flickering trance-like states induced by the American flag, national anthem, and a loss of your ability to distinguish Osama bin Laden from Ali Baba in Disney’s Aladdin. True hazards of the job.”

    Wow, written by someone who obviously hasn’t spent anytime around, you know, actual members of the military. So I’ll re-write it for you and you tell me which one is more accurate?

    Here goes;

    what they don’t tell you before you sign on the dotted line at your university admissions office is that you will have certain areas of your brain de-actived, and possibly removed. These include your moral compass, capacity for creative and original thought, flickering trance-like states induced by DNC press releases, Global Warming revival meetings, and a loss of your ability to distinguish Osama bin Laden or Hitler from any Republican/Conservative. True hazards of the job.

  17. June 15, 2011 10:21 am

    Didn’t appreciate the lame description of the military life. First, there’s nothing wrong with being patriotic and especially by the folks that will pay a much higher price than the average American. Second, the assumption that serving in the military means a total lack of moral compass is ridiculous. The military at least discusses ethics and values – something I never experienced on the civilian side. It like any organization sometimes succeeds and fails in achieving its stated values. The description overall seems like a stereotypical description based on movies and TV. If 4 years of college gives that and only that as critical thinking skills, then no wonder these degrees are worthless.

  18. Brian permalink
    June 15, 2011 10:30 am

    Clearly the other thing apparently learned in the pursuit of the sheepskin is a disdain for the military.
    In my yoot it was fashionable to embrace similar thoughts but thankfully age and experience have brought sufficient perspective to cut through that nonsense.
    After plenty of experience on both sides of that coin I can safely say that those who suffered the fate you describe via enlistment have to frequently fared similarly in institutions of higher learning.

  19. June 15, 2011 10:43 am

    My creativity hasn’t been impacted at all and unlike most bloggers I have a better understanding of how the world really works.

    • June 15, 2011 11:00 am

      Perhaps, but often the phenomenon of “understanding how the world really works” is often just giving in to the status quo. Like the vaunted college degree, Military service is often overrated too.

      My point here is that the military brass sometime use this poor economy and over-price tuition to bag scores of signers. It’s a divisive situation to say the least.

  20. Jeff permalink
    June 15, 2011 10:50 am

    I heartily agree with Gonzotown’s points – except the gratuitous and ignorant anti-military stereotypes. In my (fairly long) experience, art students are more likely to be mind-numbed ideological Borg-bots than soldiers. But I digress. Gonzotown is right that the USA is creating a kind of asset bubble in college credentials. Say, fifty years ago, a BA or BS really set you apart. Now, it’s a me-too. Germany limits the number of degrees it issues (all U’s are government-run) in fields not directly economically beneficial to the country, or that are over-staffed already. We might do the same thing with college loans here, especially now that our gov. has taken over lending. Gonzotown’s recommendation to pursue a marketable skill in community college is excellent advice. Given the state of our K-12 system, as an employer I have near-zero confidence that a high school grad can read, write, and perform basic and essential math.

  21. Willis permalink
    June 15, 2011 11:01 am

    “…you will have certain areas of your brain de-actived, and possibly removed. These include your moral compass, capacity for creative and original thought, flickering trance-like states induced by the American flag, national anthem, and a loss of your ability to distinguish Osama bin Laden from Ali Baba in Disney’s Aladdin.”

    ——————–

    Twenty three years serving America in the Marines. I was a pilot and an analyst. I retired from the military at age 45 and began collecting a $55K annual check. I earned a masters degree while on active duty and now work as an analyst making an additional $160K. My health care is fantastic and costs $230 a year. I am a Eucharistic Minister at my church. I would not have murdered Bin Laden and would not have started illegal wars in Libya and Yemen. I love my family, my parents and my country. God Bless America!

  22. littleunky permalink
    June 15, 2011 11:02 am

    Misinformation piled on the top of BS. If you knew how to use Google, you could quickly find out that “Two-thirds (65.6%) of 4-year undergraduate students graduated with a Bachelor’s degree and some debt in 2007-08, and the average student loan debt among graduating seniors was $23,186,” nowhere near $80,000.

    • June 15, 2011 11:38 am

      If you can read properly, we never quoted 80K as an “average stat”, but you did. You must be a college graduate:)

      I’m not talking about State College level debt. Much more interested in the hard-core cases, plenty of kids are up to 60K, 80K, 100K, 120K… It’s called a “TREND”.

  23. gus3 permalink
    June 15, 2011 11:58 am

    It’s the soldier, not the art student or the MBA (and much less the “community organizer”), who defends your right to trash the military with your drivel.

    Try thanking our soldiers instead.

    • June 15, 2011 12:36 pm

      Maybe that was true in days gone by, but in the cases of Iraq and Afghanistan and Libya et all, sadly for America, political hacks and corporate CEO’s have been using the US military to secure their personal fortunes, you’re running corporate security for the likes of Haliburton, Beaty Balfour, KBR, Blackwater, Unical, Exxon and the list goes on. Take a good long look and make sure the critical part of your brain hasn’t been switch off by these political elites and corporate parasites… do you see my point???

  24. Brian Macker permalink
    June 15, 2011 12:08 pm

    “These include your moral compass, capacity for creative and original thought, flickering trance-like states induced by the American flag, national anthem, and a loss of your ability to distinguish Osama bin Laden from Ali Baba in Disney’s Aladdin.”

    That’s funny my moral compass wouldn’t allow me to write lies like this. I was trained by the army and I don’t remember the course called Amorality 101. I don’t remember any of this “indoctrination” you describe. I think someone indoctrinated you.

    • June 15, 2011 12:43 pm

      I indoctrinated myself thank you very much. But as so many blindly marched wrapped in Old Glory, few of them bothered to question the morality of enforcing a doctrine of lies which your brave Bush and Cheney, and now O’Bomber pushed into the faces of Americans, securing corporate interests in the Middle East and Central Asia. For those who still believe Ole’ Bin Laden had anything to do with 911, well, we can only feel sorry for them. Mission Accomplished. Ignorance is bliss.

  25. June 15, 2011 12:35 pm

    I work with a lot of lawyers who deeply regret their career choice. Most have more than $100,000 in student loan debt.

  26. June 15, 2011 2:49 pm

    Stone[d] said: “Third option: enlist in the armed forces…. what they don’t tell you before you sign on the dotted line at your local strip-mall recruitment office is that you will have certain areas of your brain de-actived, and possibly removed.”

    That’s far more likely to happen if you attend a prestigious college and go into liberal politics, as illustrated by our current president, who thinks we have 57 states, that Austrians speak Austrian, and that Afghans speak Arabic. He’s so witless, he can’t even follow the simple protocol guidelines the State Department gives him when he meets with foreign dignities.

    No, you are simply wrong. Some of the smartest people I know are in the military. In the military, if you don’t think well and quick, you die. In academia, if you can’t think, they give you tenure.

    What is Gonzotown anyway? This is my first time on this website and, if this article is indicative of its content, I won’t bother to come back.

    • June 15, 2011 5:23 pm

      Read the rest of the comments above, Ive explained my views on military largess…

  27. kay1990 permalink
    June 15, 2011 2:50 pm

    HI YOU.. CAN SEE BLOG ME
    http://worldhotmovie.wordpress.com/

  28. June 15, 2011 3:29 pm

    School of Hardknock aka working in society is a better teacher sometimes 🙂

  29. McGuire permalink
    June 15, 2011 7:23 pm

    Occupational therapy is neither “generally useless” or learnable “in 18 months.” It requires a master’s degree and state certification. OTs work in health care through hospitals, nursing homes, and private practice, helping stroke victims, people post-surgery, people with severe disabilities. It’s not a “fluff” degree by a long shot; average salaries are $80-$90K.

    Community colleges offer OT assistant associates’ degrees (usually 2 and 1/2 years, including clinical training for licensure.) There are waiting lists for many programs. OT assistants help patients with the therapeutic regimes designed by OTs.

    Also, in your section on apprenticing: sorry, you can’t apprentice your way into an X-ray technician job. In many states, radiology technology also requires professional training, a clinical practicum, and licensure following a certification program.

    Please inform yourself on health care professions before making these claims about how “useless” they are, or how one can just walk into one.

    • June 15, 2011 11:43 pm

      I need some occupational therapy… a Scotch on the rocks would do for now.

      • June 16, 2011 1:45 pm

        WOW. The military lobby has suddenly gone silent… it appears they see my point.

  30. August 1, 2011 3:52 pm

    Hitler was the ultimate evil. Always use him as the gold standard of totalitarian tyranny when commenting in the blogosphere. Remember what you have been taught from the cradle. Hitler bad. Roosevelt & Churchill good. Stalin good then bad. There you go, Tiger!
    Now go analyse current events with true perspicacity.

Trackbacks

  1. Instapundit » Blog Archive » HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Young Americans, Forget Your Student Loans And Move To GonzoTown. …
  2. YOUNG AMERICANS: FORGET YOUR STUDENT LOANS AND MOVE TO GONZO TOWN « 21st Century Wire
  3. "…one can only feel sorry for all those bright young American students who have been sold the perpetual lie that a college education is somehow worth its weight in gold" « Economics Info

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