The above greeted me as I opened my mail this morning. My almost alma mater shaking a tin cup in my face. Again. What’s wrong with this message?
First, private colleges aren’t hurting for money. They have allowed their costs to balloon way out of proportion to inflation. Tuition, room and board was about $1200 when I started with the class of ’64. Now it is about $50,000 for the same school. That’s a compound annual rate of increase of 7.7%. My salary when I graduated in 1966 was about $8,000 per year, five times the tuition. Today’s college grad is lucky if he can earn as much per year as his tuition cost.
Looking at it from the other end, being a tenured professor today is a highly paid position. It was not then. Being a college president is a gold mine. And there are now more administrators than teaching faculty at almost every school. They don’t need more money – they need to do more with what they have.
Secondly, I don’t believe in their product. The pitchwoman here exemplifies much of what I find wrong in society today:
- Self righteousness
- Abandonment of tradition
An alumnus of Bowdoin College has written a damning critique that seems to apply fairly well to liberal arts colleges across the board, mine included.
Our intrepid fundraiser is an avid mountain climber. This pursuit seems to have eclipsed other pursuits such as family. Her web site mentions a daughter, still with her maiden name, who must be in her 40s. No mention of husband or grandchildren. A couple of women in her party perished on one of the mountains she tackled.
As a good progressive, she seems to believe that only selfless watchdogs such as herself are capable of protecting the public against evildoers. Progressives have no faith in the marketplace to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Invited or not, they use the courts intrude themselves into the marketplace. In this case, harmful flame retardants. I cannot argue the merits of this particular instance, but progressives are quite consistent in overblowing the supposed dangers of whatever they fight to combat. They earn the right to considerable moral preening, as well as a fairly good paycheck, from shaking down the supposed evildoers. They were probably guilty of little more than naiveté, trying to do the right thing, protecting kids from burns, and inadvertently exposing them to chemicals that may or may not have been very dangerous in the first place. DDT and alar fears have been judged in retrospect to have been overblown. This may have been as well
How much worse is a society where this does not happen? Not much. The former Soviet Union had no such consumer activism, and they seem to have gotten along quite well, thank you. The people, after all, and despite the fears of the bien pensants, are not total idiots.
As evolutionary psychologist Kevin MacDonald has pointed out, seconded by many Jews such as David Gelernter, there is a religious/ethnic cast to this. Progressives, the fault-finders, skew Jewish. The nuts-and-bolts entrepreneurs who built the smokestack industries progressives criticize skew towards Christian, and the poor and downtrodden progressives claim to be defending skew minority. Through the civil rights movement, for instance, Jews are claimed to have brought down white Christians in the name of equality. The case is weaker today, as computer and internet businesses are more likely to have been founded by Jewish entrepreneurs like Sergei Brin, Mark Zuckerberg and Larry Ellison. Nevertheless, it seems to me that they get somewhat less grief from professional do-gooders than the likes of MacDonald’s, Walmart and the oil companies. The financiers, guys like Jaime Dimon and Steve Cohen, get a pass despite the fact that they are almost universally considered to be criminals.
Beyond a doubt, the ability of white Christians to reproduce themselves has been severely impacted. Their institutions have been shattered, their schools ruined, and their jobs threatened by diversity. The claim that it is the Jews’ fault is weaker, and the idea that they did it on purpose seems wholly unsupported. The best evidence is that the sea changes in society have impacted the Jews’ ability to reproduce just as badly, if not worse, than the Christians. Our fundraiser here is a case in point. She is absorbed in climbing mountains to the apparent exclusion of a healthy family, and absorbed in righting the wrongs of productive members of society in lieu of making any constructive contribution herself. Her Orthodox Jewish grandparents must have had strong opinions about a grandchild who did not carry on the faith and the three millennium old bloodline. My opinions are the same as I would impute to them. What a waste of human potential! All that investment in raising and educating such a daughter, and for what? An evolutionary dead-end.
No, I’m keeping my wallet closed. If my genome is to succeed – narrowly construed as my direct descendants, or writ large via all of Christian society – it will be despite, not due to colleges like this.