dumbing us down is expensive

A story up at the NYT on recruiting Chinese students:  another effect of neo-liberalism and globalization  means that at the local state university, the one that isn't on any list, a large number of students are foreign now as middle-classes across the globe can come and get college educations here while local students cannot afford it.  It is not an issue of immigration but it is an issue of class and the stark fact is that the majority working class will usually fail to complete the six years needed to graduate, paying privately for what is provided for free in many other countries.  And we need ever more schooling  in order to weed out the competition and thereby justify the vast salary discrepancies of excessive inequality.

Of course, the working classes still pay their taxes and pirated corporations and the government-in-league use citizen dollars for many programs most citizens cannot access.  These tax dollars help make all those good jobs within the school bureaucracies where pay for community college presidents and other top-level bureaucrats is escalating,  unrelated to efficiency or performance (from the Pathways to Prosperity report, Harvard, 2011):
Only 56 percent of those enrolling in a four-year college attain a bachelor’s degree after six years, and less than 30 percent of those who enroll in community college succeed in obtaining an associate’s degree within three years. [These graduation rates were calculated using 2006 graduation rate data from the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems and NCES/IPEDS.]
But the corporate-funded media keep reiterating that these low graduation rates are completely the fault of unprepared students,  just as poor people caused the housing bubble and financial collapse by trying to buy houses they couldn't afford.
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