Are American Universities Sustainable?
At what point do the competitive business practices of higher education cut against the public good it is intended to serve? The nation's system of student loans needs reform.
What's the Latest Development?
With interest rates on federally subsidized student loans set to double, at what point do the business practices of higher education harm the social good it is meant to serve? Competition among America's universities has become fierce, as evidenced by the exposure of many endowments to risky investments at the time of the financial crisis. The search for capital also includes "a high level of expenditures on student amenities (to attract rich kids), on intercollegiate sports (to stimulate alumni donations), and on faculty 'stars' who can attract research grants and impress parents and alumni."
What's the Big Idea?
Jurist Richard Posner and Nobel economist Gary Becker, two free-marketeers at the University of Chicago, support a more market-based approach to student loans. "If loans, not being subsidized, were more costly, tuition would be lower; and promising students would still receive scholarships and low-cost loans, financed by the universities themselves, because universities want to have good students," said Posner. It is also important to allow students to discharge student loan debt through personal bankruptcy, said Becker, "the way other debt can be dischargeable through bankruptcy."
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Is it "perverseness," the "death drive," or something else?
A disturbing interview given by a KGB defector in 1984 describes America of today and outlines four stages of mass brainwashing used by the KGB.
- Bezmenov described this process as "a great brainwashing" which has four basic stages.
- The first stage is called "demoralization" which takes from 15 to 20 years to achieve.
- According to the former KGB agent, that is the minimum number of years it takes to re-educate one generation of students that is normally exposed to the ideology of its country.
It's up to us humans to re-humanize our world. An economy that prioritizes growth and profits over humanity has led to digital platforms that "strip the topsoil" of human behavior, whole industries, and the planet, giving less and less back. And only we can save us.
- It's an all-hands-on-deck moment in the arc of civilization.
- Everyone has a choice: Do you want to try to earn enough money to insulate yourself from the world you're creating— or do you want to make the world a place you don't have to insulate yourself from?
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