The college rip-off

This is exactly wrong, and the writer points out why it’s wrong in the very first graph:

One idea that elite universities like Yale, sprawling public systems like Wisconsin and smaller private colleges like Lewis and Clark have shared for generations is that a traditional liberal arts education is, by definition, not intended to prepare students for a specific vocation. Rather, the critical thinking, civic and historical knowledge and ethical reasoning that the humanities develop have a different purpose: They are prerequisites for personal growth and participation in a free democracy, regardless of career choice.

I think reporters and editors sometimes conspire to concoct counter-counter-intuitive story ideas just to see if we’re paying attention (we’re mostly not). The idea that the dearth of importance given to the liberal arts and humanities didn’t have a great amount to do with the present state in which our society finds itself would be laughable on its face if it wasn’t dispicable by its implications. You can’t know what green means when you’re tangled in the artifice and complexities of business jargon and technical rationales. The extent to which the business and engineering vocations have not been more informed by the humanities defines their finite reach, their very lack of sustainability.

If you went through a four-year college, were awarded a degree and were not required to learn a foreign language, you got ripped-off.

If you went through a four-year college, were awarded a degree and were not required to take any history courses, you got ripped-off.

Same with economics, the social sciences, literature and art history. The whole fascination with value in education has been about as wrong-headed as little towns begging W*l-mart to come in and destroy their downtowns. What’s it worth? You tell me. What’s trading how little you know for all the emptiness that comes with things you can be sure about worth?