Scam in your Inbox

The tuition and fees listed below go into effect on July 1, 2017 for all degree programs at our Hyde Park, NY campus.

First Semester Freshman  
Tuition* $14,690
Application $50
Supplies $755†/$620††
Board**  $1,775
General Fee+ $740
Total $18,010/$17,875

I’m not what you’d call a “mathematologist”, but according to my iPhone, $17,875 * 8 = $143,000 to learn to cook. Don’t worry, though–you can borrow the money at a mere 7.9%, meaning that at $1,500/month, you can pay it off in 30 years. This will cost you a further $82,000 in interest.

$1,500/month is $18,000/year. It’s hard to put a price on education, but on the other hand, you can put a mean annual wage on a cook, and that wage is $24,410. Let’s be reasonable, though. A graduate of a CULINARY INSTITUTE surely won’t be stirring vats of prole chow in the basement of a Sodexho factory! They’ll be 90th percentile and earn the princely sum of $35,090. (Of course, that’s 42nd percentile overall.)

So let’s recap. If you go to cooking school, you borrow full freight, and you get a prestigious cooking job when you’re done, you get to keep $17,090 after your student loan nut. For a single, childless person filing in Illinois claiming the standard deduction and the maximum educational tax credit, there’s tax liability of about $5,000/year, so make that $12,090. You’ll be living on $1,000 a month for 30 years. Of course, that’s $10,680/year more than you’d make if you were a median cook earning $24,410. In that case you’d owe $4,338 in tax, leaving you with $2,072 to live on for an entire year. (This is about the GDP per capita of Uganda).

How’d this happen in the richest country in the world? No, not Qatar, the USA! Some would have you believe that this happens because kids don’t do enough chores. These people are imbeciles. What they’re doing is like trying to bail out a ship that’s been hit by a torpedo. The truth is that the USA has a highly productive population, but very few “producers” are allowed to keep much of what they’ve produced. We thus have the strange spectacle of a rich nation full of hardworking people who are poor.

I’m singling out schools for this treatment because the social function of schools is education, not profit. Obviously the faculty and staff need to get paid, but there’s a sort of social consensus that schools are places to get help. This consensus is reflected in law — Harvard isn’t taxed as though it were a huge investment company, though maybe it should be. But there’s an inchoate sense in which hospitals, doctors, universities, schools, etc. are places where people used to be able to go for help, but no longer can. They’re no longer havens in a heartless world, only another venue for incessant, hostile competition.

This has been a long time coming. Financial institutions are also growing increasingly scammy. Perhaps it’s no wonder that one of the most famous movies ever is on just this topic– or that it’s a fantasy.

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One thought on “Scam in your Inbox

  1. People will soon learn to not trust the universities once this generation gets screwed over by them. It is already happening with college enrollment declining over the last 4 years. http://hechingerreport.org/college-enrollment-declines-for-fourth-straight-year/. Kinda sad that people need empirical evidence from people already failing with these paths to realize what a scam it is, but most people don’t have the analytical skills to think through future and present situations that have never happened in the past.

    The default mindset you need to have is that every institution / company / government entity is out to scam you (because they are). You need to carefully scrutinize every transaction / contract and ask what is in it for me and what risks am I facing from this.

    Like

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