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The College Bubble

Despite my recent post calling out NIA’s unethical schemes, they do put out some great information as long as you ignore their penny stock suggestions.  Most of NIA’s documentaries on YouTube are definitely worth watching and their latest one, College Conspiracy, exposes some important issues that everyone should heed, especially the future generation.  This film completely shuns the common notion that everyone should go to college if they want to succeed in life and warns that the next huge bubble in our economy will be our colleges.  Very few people have spoken out on this issue, but as of late it’s starting to become discussed by more prominent figures such as Peter Schiff, Gerald Celente, and Adam Kokesh.  For instance, Peter Schiff has been saying that unless you go to college with a specific career in mind, you’re better off going directly into the job market.  This way you avoid piling up student debt, you can start generating revenue immediately, and after 4 or 5 years you can probably be in a position that’s just as good as one you’d get out of college.

College Conspiracy starts with a little history lesson by showing how after WWII college degrees were a prestigious achievement that set employees apart.  No matter what subject a student studied, when they graduated they were able to find work in any number of fields.  Nowadays, almost everyone goes to college right out of high school and holding a college degree doesn’t set you apart from anyone.  Due to ever growing demand in colleges and government subsidized student loans, the price of college tuition has risen exponentially.  The film highlights one lady who went to nursing school back in the 90’s and accumulated over $200K in student debt and ten years later she still can barely make her minimum payments.  She was told that nursing jobs will always be in high demand, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case.  If she had the choice to do it all over again, she would have never chosen to pursue nursing school.

Student loan debt in the US has surpassed total credit card debt.  This is caused entirely by the government’s loose lending standards to students and their push to make college tuition “affordable” for everyone.  If you haven’t already noticed, this is exactly the same policies that lead to the housing market crash.  Instead of Sallie Mae, it was Fannie and Freddie guaranteeing people’s mortgages and the government promoting a home ownership society via tax breaks and other incentives.  This fueled a housing market mania, shooting up home prices to unsustainable levels and causing the bubble to inevitably crash.  As a result our nation is still in one of the worst recession’s in history.  Sadly when unemployment started to jump over 10%, many people who feared the terrible job market opted to go back to school in an attempt to come out more employable in the future.  Unfortunately, when most students graduate they will be faced with mountains of debt and few jobs to fill, and unlike credit card debt, student loan debt has no escape clause and one cannot just declare bankruptcy to default on it. In fact, if you saw the news recently, a SWAT team barged into a family’s house when a wife owed money on her student loans (you can find the article here).  This is what the country is coming to when government gets in bed with education.  Their indoctrination will enslave the youth with mountains of debt that they’ll have to work like slaves to pay off, and if not they’ll send in their goons.

Eventually students are going to stop paying for such highly inflated tuition costs and once enrollment begins to drop, the bubble will pop and colleges will start going bankrupt in droves.  Like most government programs meant to make something more affordable, our government’s meddling in education has done the exact opposite and has completely stifled any good innovation or progress (health care is another classic example).  Technology, on the other hand, will fill the void when colleges are exposed as poor investments.  For a fraction of the cost, online virtual courses can teach students just as effectively as physical classrooms.  They can offer lessons by world class professors and let the students learn at their own pace.  This is the future of learning, and one that is much different than the stale model that’s currently our educational system.

Recently, entrepreneurship and creativity have been on the decline, while the financial sector,  lawyers, and beauracrats have been on the rise.  As our country’s trade imbalances continue to grow and our nation is faced with a looming debt crisis, these are not the kind of jobs we need.  We need innovators, not drones; producers, not parasites.  If you take the majority of self made millionaires and business owners today, most will tell you that college did nothing to aid in their success.  To put this idea to practice, the founder of Pay Pal, Peter Thiel, has recently offered a $100K scholarship to 24 candidates to skip college and to work on entrepeneurial projects in Silicon Valley (this was recently discussed on Adam vs The Man here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvVkoPOkBSk&feature=youtu.be).

Although I’ve taken a critical look at colleges, I should note for some people, higher education is definitely recommended.  For those who want to be doctors, there is pretty much no avoiding many long years universities.  But the idea that college is a guaranteed path to success should not be taken for granted and hopefully we start taking a serious look at them using a cost benefit analysis.  We are in the Age of Information, and it’s definitely not because of our higher education.  It’s because of technology that we’ve increased our knowledge capacity.  With the world wide web available to just about anyone via their smartphone, computer, TV’s, and gaming systems, we have unlimited information at our fingertips.  Using this wealth of information, students need to follow their passion and creativity so that it can be developed into a career in which they can best succeed.  Being forced to take college classes the government feels is necessary to make us well rounded individuals is not the ideal approach to learning and one cannot expect students to fully appreciate the subject.  For instance, I hardly learned anything about the true nature of politics while in school, and it wasn’t until after I graduated did my passion for it spark.  After researching the subject intensely, my views of the world changed and I developed a political ideology of libertarianism.  At that point forward, I began to follow politics very closely and became involved with many national and local political campaigns.  My growth in this area is entirely self motivated and possible because of the Internet, and if I pursue something further in the field then its because of what I’ve learned after college.

For your reference, here’s College Conspiracy:

Peter Schiff calls out NIA (National Inflation Association) as pump and dump scammers

Just recently on Peter Schiff’s radio show, Peter called out NIA (National Inflation Association) as a pump-and-dump scam and this has caused a bit of a controversy in the liberty movement.  NIA (which can be found at Inflation.us) puts out some great documentary videos and newsletters warning people about hyperinflation and promoting a lot of the same Austrian economics that Peter Schiff does.  However, a day or two after NIA puts out one of their newsletters or videos, they will typically send out some mining stock recommendations afterwards, preying on the libertarian folks who’d be interested in these types of investments.  These stock recommendations tend to be for illiquid, junior mining stocks and once the NIA newsletters go out, their trade volumes spike up the next day.  Schiff knows a bad mining stock when he sees one, and has claimed that the owners of NIA are getting paid to promote these speculative stocks in their pump and dump scam.  But what pisses Schiff off most is that they are using his rhetoric to defraud perfectly good people who are not savy stock market traders.  In addition, if anyone has heard of Jonathan Lebed (the 15 year old who was arrested by the SEC in 2000 after perfecting the dump and pump scam), I just discovered that he has been working with NIA on their newsletters and documentaries.  As a subscriber to both Peter Schiff and the NIA newsletters, I found this revelation quite eye-opening (despite some creeping suspicions about the NIA in the back of my head).  If any of you are also subscribers to NIA, let this be a forewarning about their stock advice.  It’s sad because the NIA has a lot of good information, but unfortunately their owners do not have the best moral character.

As of today, I’m removing NIA from my recommended links.

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