What A Mess We Got Ourselves Into

Certainly in the Western world there have always been so-called elite universities that have the best professors, the best educational programs, everyone working to make the student the brightest, smartest in their chosen subject and when you graduate from them you will get the most impressive jobs, paid impressive wages, become the most wanted professors in other elite universities.

I did not go to an elite university. Most college graduates did not go to elite universities. Are we dumber for it? Are graduates from so-called elite universities smarter for it? There is one fact no one can get around, those who graduate from elite colleges have privileges the rest of us don’t simply because their diploma has embossed on it Harvard or Yale or Dartmouth or MIT or Columbia and they are offered top jobs. “Oh, he/she is a graduate from Harvard Law, or Yale Business School or . . . I’m so impressed!”

Did you know the first colleges in America were founded by Christians? Harvard and Yale and Dartmouth were founded by Puritans; Colombia founded by the Church of England; so-called Ivy League Universities. In fact, schools from kindergarten on up were began by Christians because Christians believed in knowledge. Those Ivy League Universities soon spread their educational wings and broadened the academic courses far beyond religion. These schools had high standards for learning and began promoting that fact to attract students. It was a reputation well-earned and because they were the grandfathers of colleges and universities naturally stood above all new colleges established. It’s like when you think of coffee you first think of Starbucks because they were the first to promote premium coffee drinks. There are a host of other wonderful coffee companies but Starbucks won the brand name for coffee. So these first colleges earned the brand name, Ivy League, because they were the first and they did promote serious academic study.

Now, in the 21st Century these universities have long lost the shine of their brand as houses of intellectual elitism and just kept the title “elite”. Yet, as our first thought is to go to a Starbucks to get a great cup of coffee our first thought for what college to go to is an Ivy League university to get a great education and a great job. While the myth of elite education is still prevalent—calling it a myth, of course, is saying it’s not true—the degree will still get you in doors others with other school degrees can’t get in.

Bryan Caplan, a professor of economics at George Mason University wrote a book we should all read: The Case Against Education: Why the Education System is a Waste of Time and Money. We’ve always thought going to college was a good goal to have for many of us. Not me, not my friends, not a lot of people. Were we doomed to be the bottom feeders of life? Here are a few who didn’t either go to or didn’t finish college but were, you might say, top feeders:

  • Ellen DeGeneres: net worth, $400 million

  • Ted Turner: net worth, $2.2 billion

  • Larry Ellison (Oracle): net worth, $61.1 billion

  • Steve Jobs: at time of death worth $10 billion

  • John D. Rockefeller

  • Dave Thomas (Wendy’s)

  • Henry Ford

  • Bill Gates

  • Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook)

Just to name a few. I’ll admit, my mind was never as great as these people so college would benefit me. But we’ve been sold the snake oil bottle that we must go to an Ivy League school to get great jobs and be somebody, not just attend the school down the street.

The first postcast that former Britebart writer Patrick Courrielche and his wife Adryana Cortez put on in their podcase Red Pilled America was about their experience in elite Hollywood and the fight to get their kids into the most elite preschool so they could move up to the elite grammar school and all the way upwards to an Ivy League school. OMG you wouldn’t believe all that went on in this quest and the battle with other parents who were doing the same thing.

Even my granddaughter’s religious grammar school is caught up in preparing the kids to make it to these elite schools. And so we come to the latest headline in the news: Federal Prosecutors Charge Dozens in College Admissions Cheating Scheme. Melisa Korn writing in The Wall Street Journal says:

“Prosecutors said the operation involved paying admissions-test administrators to help the students raise their test scores, by either having someone else take the test, or correcting their answers before they were submitted. Prosecutors also said some of the people conspired to bribe varsity coaches and administrators at elite campuses to admit their children as recruited athletes.

“Joseph Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Boston field office, said Tuesday that those charged established a “culture of corruption and greed that created an uneven playing field for students trying to get into these schools the right way, through hard work, good grades and community service.”

A favorite actress I’ve been following on Hallmark, Lori Loughlin, evidently was obsessed with ensuring her children would get into elite universities and got caught in this growing scandal. I guess when you are thought of as an elite like the elites of Hollywood and Washington DC you have the right and duty to see your children are also elites. I hate to burst their bubble that those elite schools are so caught up in politics that academics are not what they used to be. But I also guess it doesn’t matter because the myth will still get their children privileges the rest of us won’t get.

To read this story from the WSJ go HERE.