College isn’t worth it anymore

It would appear that the value of a college degree is actually about one-third of its previously estimated value. And that’s without factoring either opportunity cost or 4.5 years of lost wages into the value equation.

If there’s one truism that goes virtually unchallenged these days, it’s that a college degree has great value. Beyond the great books, beyond the critical reasoning skills, and beyond the experience itself, there’s another way that a college degree has value: Over the course of a working life, college graduates earn more than high school graduates. Over the past decade, research estimates have pegged that figure at $900,00, $1.2 million, and $1.6 million.

But new research suggests that the monetary value of a college degree may be vastly overblown. According to a study conducted by PayScale for Bloomberg Businessweek, the value of a college degree may be a lot closer to $400,000 over 30 years and varies wildly from school to school. According to the PayScale study, the number of schools that actually make good on the estimates of the earlier research is vanishingly small. There are only 17 schools in the study whose graduates can expect to recoup the cost of their education and out-earn a high school graduate by $1.2 million….

One-third of what was previously estimated… that sounds familiar somehow… ah, perhaps this is why.

Like most things, it comes down to supply and demand. Full-time college enrollment has increased 44 percent since I graduated in 1990. The US population has increased 20 percent, thus rendering a generic college degree approximately 24 percent less valuable while the cost has risen 63 percent in constant dollars. Even if you assume that you graduate successfully, your education dollar is worth about 28 percent of one spent in 1990.

Let’s face it. Scientific studies are largely superflous when you’ve got a superintelligence handy.

Let the slaughter begin

Australia has an atheist leader!

As a child, she was a Baptist, now she’s an avowed atheist. Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard this week completed the image of a thoroughly modern Australian leader by telling the nation she doesn’t believe in God.

Oh relax, all you hyperventilating godless pansies. Not all ambitious atheists are mass murderers. There’s only a 3 in 5 chance that she’ll be bathing in the blood of Australian virgins as Australia’s Dictatrix-for-Life ten years from now.

Mailvox: a female one-two punch

AC babbles, as women who are desperate to avoid accurate criticism are wont to do:

Still looking for anyone who has anything good to say about women…(prove me wrong, someone, please!) What is the most grievous part about this blog? For it being written by a Christian, it does nothing to build up relationships between men and women. It builds men up by destroying the character of women. For someone who writes about the destruction of society, Vox is doing his fair share of it.

This is precisely why so many men find women to be contemptible and do not respect them. They are CONSTANTLY demanding approval and cannot bear even the slightest criticism. The merest factual observation is immediately transformed, in the average woman’s fertile imagination, into an unjust prosecution motivated by evil ulterior motives. Given that the subject is the ongoing female war against men, why on Earth should anyone expect anything good to be said about women in this context? This absolutely does not mean there is not anything good about women; many women wrote to thank me for my ode to mothers a few years ago and tell me how it made them cry. But when Admiral Nimitz was discussing the various weaknesses of the Imperial Japanese Navy with his officers in order to take advantage of them and win the war, I tend to doubt he spent much time praising the snappy Japanese uniforms, the excellent aeronautics of the Mitsubishi Zero, or the Japanese knack for electronics wizardry.

And it is simply stupid and all too typically female for AC to attempt to turn around my sound demographic, economic, and socio-sexual arguments about the way in which women’s collective and unconscious acceptance of feminist ideology is destroying Western civilization and claiming that I am doing my fair share of destroying society by “destroying the character of women”. That completely misses the central point! I am first and foremost observing that modern women have collectively destroyed their own characters and this is to the detriment of society; how can I possibly do to them what they have already done to themselves?

Women, the point of my criticism is not to make you feel better about yourselves, it is to tell you that you collectively need to change your behavior if you wish to live happy married lives surrounded by children in a reasonably free and wealthy society. If you’d rather be mounted by a cavalcade of pagan thugs before being abandoned to raise your bastard spawn in grass huts constructed amidst the ruins of a once-great civilization, then by all means feel free to ignore it. I’m certainly not going to stop you. But regardless of which fate you prefer, stop whining. I don’t define reality, I merely observe and comment upon it.

While MomProf doesn’t grasp the vital point, she is at least wise enough to dip a toe in before leaping to embrace the crocodiles:

I have read VD’s columns for some time now, and I find his economic observations, in particular, to be quite astute. But this one, I admit, baffles me.

Very well, let’s consider the two primary options here. Either I have suddenly and uncharacteristically lost my ability to correctly analyze a complex situation, or an intelligent and educated woman is unable to separate her analytical capabilities from her emotions regarding a subject that directly concerns her on multiple levels. Anyone care to have a whack at factoring the probabilities here?

I share Vox’s loathing of the feminists’ war on everything male, the feminization of men, and the mockery and marginalization of fatherhood. I despise the Left’s worship of abortion, and their rallying cry that it is the high watermark of ‘femaleness’ to destroy your own children. Any number of social pathologies have spun out of this depravity. But the answer, at least if I understand the arguments made here, is not to “go back” to a time when women were ignorant and dependent, and to remove the procedural and political protections to ensure that they remain that way.

A very bad start, and not one that bodes well for MomProf’s subsequent arguments. MomProf is seeking to rule an answer out of bounds, which does nothing more than demonstrate her personal biases. If we are to take her words seriously – and everyone here knows my position on that – she would prefer mass societal depravity to women being ignorant and dependent. Of course, most regulars already know what my rebuttal will be – do you SERIOUSLY think they are not ignorant and dependent now? They have simply traded dependence on their husbands and fathers for dependence upon the federal and state governments; given her profession, MomProf’s own job likely, though not necessarily, renders her at least partially dependent upon government largesse. I fail to see how this is supposed to be an improvement, even in comparison with MomProf’s mythically dystopian past.

I am afraid I must disagree vehemently with the gender-distinctive personality characteristics Vox ascribes to women and men. Yes, I know plenty of frivolous, shallow, petty and gossipy women. But many women are hard-working, virtuous, rational, intelligent, analytical – and yes, good at math and science (for what that’s worth). Taking away (or relinquishing) the right to vote is no panacea, particularly when our country is filled with ignorant, violent, irresponsible, addicted, and stupid men – and THEY’LL vote?

Great, now she’s revealing an inability to understand statistics in favor of her personal experience of women at the highest levels of education and intelligence. Yes, many women are virtuous and rational and good at math. The problem is that a lot more of them are not. Furthermore, men proven to be violent don’t vote in the USA and all men weren’t supposed to be enfranchised anyhow. Only the top quintile of men proven to be responsible were originally eligible to vote; I am as opposed to the universal male franchise in a democratic republic as I am to female suffrage. That being said, no doubt my position on democracy will confound MomProf; I only support universal male and female suffrage in a true and direct democracy. Does she really believe in the will of the people? Is she willing to do likewise or are we just quibbling over her hourly price?

Just as some women will tend to take advantage of a system that affords them freedom by exploiting it, so men will (and have for millennia) tend to take advantage of a system that affords the women in their lives little freedom. There is far too much proof to believe otherwise.

Yes, that’s precisely why women can’t be permitted to vote in a democratic republic. They are ALWAYS the core of the electorate that gravitates first to the Napoleons, the Mussolinis, the Hitlers, and the Obamas. The point is that women are always going to give their rights away to someone, hence the need to restrict suffrage in order to prevent them from giving away their freedom, and everyone else’s, to the sweet-talking monsters for whom history shows they inevitably fall.

The problems in our society are not caused by more freedom, more political power, or more access to education. The problem is the corruption of the educational system, the complete ignorance of the political structures that hold liberty in place, and a culture of licentiousness and complete abdication of personal responsibility.

She’s wrong because she doesn’t grasp the connection. The latter stems from the former.

All of this blather about “I’d give up my right to vote,” from certain women (who, I hope, are speaking hyperbolically) is nonsense. Will you give up your right to own and inherit property, too? Your right to attend school? Your right to defend yourself in a court of law? Your right to shield yourself and your children from an abusive spouse? (And please, spare me any claims that men are more abusive because they’re angry at our feminized society.) Why not just don the burqa and be done with it?

It is neither blather nor hyperbole. Sweet Darwin, but it never ceases to amaze me how incredibly stupid people who attempt to use the childish “well, how would YOU feel?” argument against either Spacebunny or me are. What obvious consequence of “we left the bloody country more than a decade ago” do you not grasp? Do foreigners vote in the USA? It is patently obvious that neither of us give a damn about our personal “right to vote”. And anyone capable of doing math would understand that any rational, freedom-loving woman should be enthusiastic about giving up her right to vote so long as the portion of the population that invariably inclines towards fascism of one sort or another was likewise disenfranchised. And it is grotesquely ignorant to claim that the female right to vote is connected in any way to the female right to inherit property or attend school, given that women were doing both long before 1920. MomProf simply doesn’t understand that the path she is defending is the direct route to the burqah she fears. Unless a woman is young and pretty, of course, in which case it is the brothel for the first few years.

Our country will not strengthen until its citizens begin to make choices in their personal lives that reflect fiscal responsibility, self-discipline, sexual restraint, the delay of gratification, a willingness to sacrifice for spouse and children – in short when our adults begin to behave like ADULTS and not like spoiled adolescents. But they must do these things because they WISH to, not because they HAVE to. I don’t know how anyone who calls himself (or herself) a “libertarian” can claim otherwise.

MomProf doesn’t understand the difference between libertarian and libertine. A common error.

Feminists love to shriek that if conservatives had their way, women would be forced back into lives of ignorance, dependence, and submission. I have always accused them of ridiculous, unwarranted hysteria. Speaking as a conservative (and a wife, and a mother of two children, and a professor of entrepreneurship), reading these posts, now I am not so sure.

I’m not a conservative, so this meandering has nothing to do with me. But ironically, as I have pointed out on numerous occasions, it is the feminist ideology that has infected the majority of Western women that will ensure the women of the future are forced into lives of greater ignorance, greater dependence, and far more ignominious submission than they have known in the last 400 years in the West.

Mr. Denninger is not optimistic

So much for Mr. Bernanke’s magic printing press:

Now we’re really in trouble:

The ECB failed to auction the €55bn in fixed term deposits it had planned to, and what it did auction (€31.86bn) was at a much-higher rate (0.54 per cent) than what it offered at the start of its Securities Markets Programme (SMP). The market seems to be holding tight to liquidity.

The wall has been hit.

This is a clear warning to the money-printing screamers (of which there are many adherents) and the “we can do this without impacting aggregates” crowd (commonly known as Central Banks with God complexes.) Sadly, as I have repeatedly pointed out, all Ponzi Schemes fail, and they fail at the most inopportune time, after you have spent the proceeds of your previous scamming and thus lack the ability to deal with the failure to sell your latest batch of whatever it is you’re attempting to do.

Oh, and by the way, it gets better. Much better.

See, the ECB has a rollover problem coming, in that they need to roll a significant amount of term liquidity deposits Thursday. If those rolls fail, the markets will crash. Both credit and equity.

As I have repeatedly paraphrased Bob Prechter, the problem with the Whiskey Zulu scenario is that neither Europe nor the USA have a paper money system. The debt money system requires that each new note find a borrower. But when the limits of demand for debt are reached, it’s not possible to continue to issuing more money. Furthermore, most money is created through the fractional reserve banking system, not the central bank, and creating that money also requires a constantly growing demand for credit.

Now, it’s true, the national governments could convert to a paper money system and this is one of the legitimate possibilities, but they cannot possibly do so fast enough to avoid a period of deflationary crash, especially when the politicians who would be responsible for the switch would have to brave the wrath of the financial powers who would be ruined by such a move.

Which is why it’s not going to happen. My best guess is that Plan A was another attempt to solve the problem through more centralization; devaluing the current currencies as they are converted to a regional or global currency. However, given that the global public is already furious with the banking establishment, this probably isn’t viable now. The stimulus plans were supposed to work well enough to give them time to smoothly transition to the next stage of monetary harmonization, but due to their reliance on a bad economic model, that obviously hasn’t happened.

Interesting times indeed.

Mailvox: And yet they wonder….

JH writes what I am apparently supposed to regard as what passes for a rebuttal to yesterday’s WND column. The amazing thing is that there will be people who genuinely regard this as not only a coherent reply, but a decisive one:

If men are so much more moral than women, why is it that 96% of the people in jail in the U.S. are male? And are you really suggesting that men self-sacrifice more than women? Have you ever known a mother? One last thing: when I was in the 5th grade, my teacher informed me that “boys are just smarter at math” and that was the reason there were only boys in the accelerated math group in my class. There was no testing – that would’ve been too fair – she had just picked 3 boys that she thought were “smart at math.” All of us have to deal with bad attitudes in our lives at some time; it’s not just boys. Did someone just break up with you?

First, I never claimed that men are more moral than women. Second, even if I had, JH is confusing legality with morality. Yes, I really do believe that men are more self-sacrificing than women; how many female Medal of Honor winners are there? How many women have ever been known to act by the motto “men and children first”? It pains me to have to point out the obvious, but most women who are mothers very much want to be mothers. Self-sacrifice is about sacrificing your desires, not fulfilling them, and it is no more inherently self-sacrificing for the average woman to be a mother than it is for the average man who enjoys the clean lines of the unadorned female form to contribute to the college fund of a young, sartorially-challenged woman.

And since I attempt to make it my habit to answer even the most ridiculous questions, yes, I have been acquainted with the occasional mother. I did not, as it is often held, spring fully armored from the black helmet of Darth Vader. But we have to thank JH for not only demonstrating my point about women and logic with her deeply compelling tale of her fifth grade math class which apparently overturns decades of standardized math tests, but also the way in which few women are capable of considering an issue without making it personal. But no, no one broke up with me, I am not bitter about anything except last season’s NFC championship game, and I am totally indifferent your willingness or unwillingness to perform sexually for me.

Above the law

Apparently the big banks aren’t just too big to fail, they’re too big to be prosecuted for breaking all of those invasive laws that require you to turn over fingerprint, blood, and DNA samples in order to open a checking account or buy a cell phone, just in case you might be a Mexican money launderer:

Oh, so the banks don’t just bilk investors and rip off municipalities, they also help Mexican Gangs run drugs?

This was no isolated incident. Wachovia, it turns out, had made a habit of helping move money for Mexican drug smugglers. Wells Fargo & Co., which bought Wachovia in 2008, has admitted in court that its unit failed to monitor and report suspected money laundering by narcotics traffickers — including the cash used to buy four planes that shipped a total of 22 tons of cocaine. The admission came in an agreement that Charlotte, North Carolina-based Wachovia struck with federal prosecutors in March, and it sheds light on the largely undocumented role of U.S. banks in contributing to the violent drug trade that has convulsed Mexico for the past four years.

That’s nice. Guns and ammunition cost money – lots of it. Getting that money requires some means of transporting it and “laundering” it. For that, we turn to the largest financial institutions in the world, who, it turns out, have never been prosecuted for these felonious acts.

This is the salient quote: “No big U.S. bank — Wells Fargo included — has ever been indicted for violating the Bank Secrecy Act or any other federal law. Instead, the Justice Department settles criminal charges by using deferred-prosecution agreements, in which a bank pays a fine and promises not to break the law again.”

It is completely obvious that there is no longer any rule of law in the USA. There increasingly isn’t even any pretense at it. It is no longer a republic, but a financial aristocracy divided into a thousand corporate fiefdoms. Given human nature, how long can it be before the executives begin granting themselves titles like the Archduke of Wells Fargo and the Grand Count of Google?

Demographic decline

The pace of American decline and fall picks up:

An analysis of census data by the Pew Research Center, being released Friday, documents the changes in fertility rates that are driving government projections that U.S. minorities will become the majority by midcentury. The figures show that among all women ages 40-44, about 18 percent, or 1.9 million, were childless in 2008. That’s up from 10 percent, or nearly 580,000 in 1976. Broken down by race, roughly 20 percent of white women are childless, compared with 17 percent of blacks and of Hispanics and 16 percent of Asians.

20 percent of white American women are childless, and 28 percent of the children who are born to them are illegitimate. Assuming an equal distribution of childbirths among women who have children for simplicity’s sake, this suggests that white American women have around a 42% probability of being either childless or a single mother. And since both the childless and illegitimacy rates are rising rapidly, it’s probably more like a one-in-two chance for the average young woman today.

Needless to say, that is not the hallmark of a self-sustaining society. Unfortunately, there have been no winners in the long-running American war against men, and it is children who have been the biggest losers. And from the economic perspective, these demographic patterns strengthen the probability of debt-default, as children who were never born, fatherless criminals, and immigrants of non-Western heritage are not likely to be willing to pay for the massive debts incurred by aging white people.

Guns are an individual right

So saith the Supreme Court:

OKAY, having quickly skimmed the McDonald opinion, a few thoughts.

First, it’s 5-4. Though a pro-gun-rights opinion may pacify the gun-rights crowd to a degree, the closeness of these decisions is likely to keep them active in upcoming elections.

Second, it shows how little influence legal academics have. Virtually all of us have been saying that Slaughter House is lousy and that privileges and immunities should be far more significant, but only Justice Thomas was willing to go that far.

Third, it really is interesting how much emphasis the majority, and Justice Thomas’s concurrence, put on the racist roots of gun control. See this article and this one by Bob Cottrol and Ray Diamond for more background. And isn’t it interesting that this is happening on the same day the Senate’s last Klansman went to his reward?

On the one hand, I am all for whatever puts more guns in the hands of individuals. Or tactical nukes, for that matter. I will never understand why people who understand the many and manifest evils of the DMV think that only government employees should have weapons of mass destruction. Today’s decision didn’t go nearly far enough to return the many laws of the land on the matter to a reasonably Constitutional state.

On the other, I am opposed to increased federalization even in a good cause. Although since the States haven’t been sovereign since the political debate was settled by mass slaughter, I suppose it’s a bit late to worry about that now. And since the federal government isn’t about to stop ruling over the state and local governments with an iron hand, this is a better decision than the most likely alternative.

And much respect to the liberal law professors whose intellectual integrity played a major role in this case. Remember them when you find yourself tempted to think all liberals are inconsistent and hypocritical charlatans. Integrity and honesty are not part of the political spectrum.

One year on, Krugman concedes

“Due to the sizeable bear market rally that began in March 2009, many, if not most, economic observers are presently convinced that the global economic difficulties of last autumn are largely behind us now, courtesy of the aggressive, expansionary actions of the monetary and political authorities. They are wrong. It is not over. It has only begun. I believe that what we have witnessed to date is merely the first act in what will eventually be recognized as another Great Depression.”
– Vox Day, The Return of the Great Depression, June 29, 2009

“We are now, I fear, in the early stages of a third depression. It will probably look more like the Long Depression than the much more severe Great Depression. But the cost — to the world economy and, above all, to the millions of lives blighted by the absence of jobs — will nonetheless be immense.”
– Paul Krugman, The Third Depression, June 28, 2010

It looks like my predictions are running a little ahead of schedule again. RGD readers will recall that I didn’t have the mainstream economists starting to whisper about the possibility of a Great Depression 2.0 until the end of 2010. This is supposed to be the time for talking Double-Dip and W-shaped Recovery. But then, Krugman has always been rather more dyspeptic than the rest of his colleagues. I await with interest for all of those who said that my forecast was incorrect because I dared to contradict a FAMOUS ACADEMIC and NOBEL-PRIZE WINNER to explain this mysterious failure of credentialism.

Krugman is wrong about the historical use of the term depression, of course, (depression was synonymous with recession until after the Great Depression ended), just as he is wrong about the reason the global economy is sliding further into contraction. Fame and credentials are no substitute for the knowledge of history combined with a reliable theoretical model. Longtime readers who are investors may recall that my 2002 recommendation to buy gold and avoid real estate has worked out just a little better than Krugman’s 2002 recommendation to buy real estate and avoid gold.

WND column

Winning the War Against Men

There is a relentless war being waged against American men that literally spans the entire extent of their lives. From the womb, in which a woman’s “right” to abort a male baby for being male is defended but a similar right to abort a female baby for being female is vehemently opposed, to the grave, wherein the disparate impact of old age is ignored despite women living 5.2 years longer than men on the average, men are systematically, structurally and unstintingly under assault.

Most men understand this on some level, but like the nice dependable man who can’t figure out why attractive women repeatedly reject him in favor of unemployed losers with criminal records, they are incapable of doing anything about it because they simply can’t believe that women truly do not think or behave like men. Because they want to believe that women are “the civilizing force,” their “better halves” or “the fair sex,” they are constitutionally incapable of seeing what is, from a rational male perspective, the seething cauldron of amoral solipsism behind the collective pretty face.