Home > Critical Thinking, Current Affairs, Dystopia, Musings, Philosophy sans Sophistry, Reason, Secular Religions, Skepticism > On the Necessity of Being a Multi-Millionaire under Late Capitalism: 3

On the Necessity of Being a Multi-Millionaire under Late Capitalism: 3

In the previous part of this series, I wrote about how housing polices of countries in anglosphere are optimized to benefit those who have lots of money rather than satisfying the housing needs of everybody. That is why, in the past 40 years, housing prices and costs have gone up far faster than the “official” rate of inflation. This is also the reason why developed countries outside the anglosphere have a far wider range of housing and why anglosphere countries have unusually high number of homeless compared to other developed countries. Now let us talk about the cost of education under late capitalism where, once again, we see a very similar trend. FYI- I plan to cover the effects of late capitalism on medical costs in future parts of this series, however that subtopic is almost certainly going to require more than one post.

Anyway.. back to the topic at hand, have you ever wondered how the cost of higher education rose so much in certain “developed” countries during past four decades? Some of you might not believe it, but there was a time when attending public universities in this country cost very little. Boomers such as MikeCA could attend well regarded public universities for the equivalent of less than five thousand dollars in today’s money, while doing so right now would cost approximately 20-40 thousand per year. But there is a even bigger question- namely, why hasn’t attending universities in other developed countries (especially outside anglosphere) become similarly expensive during the past 40 years? What explains this most peculiar difference?

While I encourage you to confirm it (with Google, or even better- Bing), the yearly fees at public universities in countries ranging from Italy, France, Germany to Japan, South Korea, China are between 1-5k dollar equivalent (or adjusted for purchasing power). They are even lower in most central and east European countries. In other words, university fees in rest of world retain the same relation to income as was the case in USA between 1945 and mid-1970s. And let’s face it, the quality of undergrad education at a decent public university in one developed country is pretty much identical to that in another. To put it another way, the student who spends 20-40k per year for attending an undergraduate program at UCSD or Berkley is not learning anything different or better than his or her equivalent attending a similar university in France, Germany, Japan or in any other developed country. So what is the ‘murican student paying extra for?

1] The first reason for the higher fees at universities in USA (and anglosphere in general) comes down to the changing employee composition of universities in these countries. Forty years ago, the number of teaching (and research) employees at these universities were almost always larger than the rest, and administration-types were typically outnumbered 2:1 by faculty. Today, almost every single university in ‘murica has anywhere between 2 to 4 times more administrative-types than faculty. To make matters worse, these parasites typically get paid almost as well or better than faculty. So how do universities try to control costs? Well.. by not hiring faculty positions and increasingly replacing them with temporary sessional “instructors” who are often paid wages below the poverty line. Universities in anglosphere are, nowadays, run as employment schemes for administration-type parasites. Providing higher education is, at best, a very secondary goal.

While universities in non-anglosphere European countries have also seen some administrator bloat, it is noticeably smaller. Moreover, the differences in pay-scales between them and faculty combined with the generally higher degree of government funding for higher education in those countries have kept things far more reasonable in those countries. But how is administrator bloat in anglosphere universities related to late capitalism? One of the distinguishing features of late capitalism aka neoliberalism aka financialism is its very strong emphasis on performative bullshit rather than actual results. There is a reason why LIEbrals in this country think Obummer was a great president, when at best he was a failed mediocrity. That is also why companies in the anglosphere are constantly talking about “empowering women”, “elevating black voices”, “celebrating trans” etc rather than paying their employees a decent wage.

Administrator bloat is about creating the optics of doing something rather than actually doing anything useful. It is about creating the illusion of work through endless meetings, conferences, seminars and reports by people with borderline parodic job titles. It is also about late capitalism obsession with “metrics” and other minutiae that are irrelevant in real life. So why does this administrator bloat keep growing. Well.. how many of you would refuse an office job which paid well, had a nice pension plan etc even if it required you to perform totally useless “work” and maintain ideological conformity at the workplace. Also, administrator-types hire more underlings to enhance their status even if it means destroying the original institutional mission.

2] The second reason why the cost of universities in the anglophone (especially USA) has gone up a lot in past forty years is also linked to late capitalism. See.. in late capitalism, government’s main function shifts from maintaining an equilibrium between money and labor to facilitating the looting of everybody else for the benefit of a select few super-rich people. Part of this process involves the government cutting taxes for the rich while simultaneously funneling more money towards them. One of the main reason why government support for universities has declined over past 40 years in certain countries has to do with reduced taxation of large corporations and the rich. Guess how universities in those countries make up for that funding shortfall..

But there is more. As part of their acceptance of the cult of neoliberalism, governments in the anglosphere have also privatized many services which once helped universities make some money. These range from meal plans for students in residence, management of residences, maintaining and renting out sports and other facilities etc. So, not only have neoliberal governments in the anglosphere reduced their contribution to the budget of universities but they have also crippled their ability to make some extra money from services which they used to provide in the past. But wait.. there is more.

Another feature of late capitalism is the strong desire to extract ‘value’ from things which either should never be treated that way or look for alternative sources of money for continuous growth once they have depleted the surrounding environment. This is where all those overseas students, especially from some Asian countries, come into the picture. It is no secret that universities in the anglosphere have aggressively recruited students from well-off families in Asian countries to fuel the latest stage of their pyramid scheme. And why not.. those students pay far more in fees as well as live in the more expensive new residences. Increased “diversity” of the student body, therefore, is not about combating racism. Instead it is about collecting lots of money from Asian students wanting to get credentialed from a university in the anglosphere.

In the next part, I hope to write about how late capitalism has created a dysfunctional and very expensive “healthcare” system in this country.

What do you think? Comments?

  1. MikeCaCa
    August 8, 2020 at 11:32 am

    “Some of you might not believe it, but there was a time when attending public universities in this country cost very little. Boomers such as MikeCA could attend well regarded public universities for the equivalent of less than five thousand dollars in today’s money, while doing so right now would cost approximately 20-40 thousand per year.”

    You chumps think I paid 5G to get muh degree????

    https://www.dailycal.org/2014/12/22/history-uc-tuition-since-1868/

    free baybeee…

  2. MisterP
    August 8, 2020 at 1:43 pm

    Another fantastic post, these series at some of my favourite blog posts of yours, it would be good if you could also connect it to the money printing / hidden inflation trickling into areas such as real estate, education and healthcare – what you refer to as financialism – useful for reader to slightly understand the underlying mechanics

  3. Jordan Peterson is a cuck
    August 9, 2020 at 12:14 am

  4. Jack Donovan
    August 9, 2020 at 9:46 am

    “you can take the nationalist out of the bath house, but you can’t take the bath house out of the nationalist…”

    Disgusting…

    What you stinky hindu muffins don’t get is it is all about love of the white man…

  5. Jack Donovan
    August 11, 2020 at 10:12 am

    I am sooo triggered Reich Now!!!!

    You vibrants pally think this is funny that conservatives are trying to teach classical culture with nude wmyns. They are leaving us gay nationalists out, how’s that for DIE-versity????

    We are being cucked!!!!

  6. MikeCaCa
    August 11, 2020 at 7:56 pm

    oh lala,

    Kamala Harris just got chosen to be Joe Biden’s VP.

    https://theintercept.com/2019/03/13/kamala-harris-mortage-crisis/

    I got mine, my big house with star panels for pennies on the dollar, bawbee….

    I spit on homeless people and then say I am a good person because democrat, hahahahahaha

    • Mr. Gaydessa
      August 12, 2020 at 11:55 am

      Oh lala, The Indian Supremacists are taking over the USA…

      • Plague Doctor
        August 12, 2020 at 3:22 pm

        Like, I know, rite????

        To bad I am in a European country and I initially looked at this blog to finally get an escort but what happened was I met up with American white nationalists who showed me that if I’m just a bit more open minded, I can enjoy the “love” of a fellow white man-“mighty whites” as good ole jack likes to call’em.

        So whilst Kamala would accomplish more of what I would like to see in MurriKKKa, I am hoping that Trump wins so I can play “Putin” when my AmeriKKKan nationalist buddies cum to Europe. Finally, I get to be on top. Everything Steve Sailer promised, White Men on Top!

        Yah anti-natalism, yah white nationalism, yah queer pride/white power…

        Oh how it intersects so nicely…

  7. Jack Sparrow
    August 12, 2020 at 12:39 am

    2 key problems with your piece.

    (1) You didn’t really answer the question of what skyrocketed tuition prices in America. How did admin staffers increase in the first place?
    (2) Your whole blog sphere is about workers being paid well, yet you spend your time bashing Admin workers for being paid well and making your own definitions as to what constitutes as “work”.

    To expand on (1), government intervention is the main cause of the problem. Specifically “LIEberal” politicians who came in and wanted to win the younger voters by telling them that they no longer needed to do summer jobs and should instead focus all their energy going to school and the government would “help” pay for their schooling. What they did was allow young people to get approved for loans without any scrutiny, and financial institutions that loaned the money to these kids had no worry because the government guaranteed to back these loans (2008 Mortgage backed securities scam anyone?). Do you think these banks would loan kids money for college if the government wasn’t promising to back them? Hell no! So now every kid and their mother is trying to enroll into college. Colleges see demand go up so they charge higher rates. Why do they care? They know the government is backing these loans. The students don’t care. They think they are getting free money just like an 18 year old kid who gets their first credit card and goes on to a spending spree. When more students enrolled, universities had to expand to accommodate. Thus, more construction and more administrators were hired. Not to mention, the American college culture is so drastically different than other countries. Most other countries have a 3 year undergraduate program where the focus is just academics and go out to the workforce immediately. In America, it’s 4 years and heavy into the partying and college sports culture. Not to mention, the college sports is one big expensive thing to maintain for a university. Some college coaches are being paid more than NFL coaches!

    Government backed loans was the real reason tuition in America skyrocketed. Not hiring Administrators. Get it correct.

    • Cheers
      August 12, 2020 at 9:28 am

      Government backed loans was the real reason tuition in America skyrocketed. Not hiring Administrators. Get it correct.
      Jack crushes the student loan issue with 1 sentence.
      I paid the same amount for my CS degree that everyone else paid for their History, English, etc. degrees.
      Guess which degree had positive ROI?

      If government funding was the reason for increasing university fees, why are they still so low (and holding there) in countries such as France, Germany, Italy, Japan etc- where the government transfers account for significantly higher percentage of their budget? Now ask yourself.. why are governments in Anglosphere so willing to support “student loan” programs than directly support universities.

      FYI- With a CS degree you will either not have a job by 40-50 in your field or be reduced to doing some managerial bullshit.. if you are lucky.

      Rhetorical.
      Non-government backed loans in a non-subsidized free market would charge egregious rates for liberal arts degrees (assessed on the individuals ability to pay the loan back, among other metrics that the government does not care about..) thus discouraging folks from pursuing degrees with no ROI. This issue would solve itself over time without government intervention (loans), like many other issues.

      The tuition bubble in America was created from government backed loans for ANY degree regardless of worth.

      • Cheers
        August 12, 2020 at 10:06 am

        If government funding was the reason for increasing university fees, why are they still so low (and holding there) in countries such as France, Germany, Italy, Japan etc- where the government transfers account for significantly higher percentage of their budget
        Not sure of the details as I do not know how the government dosh is doled out in those countries for student loans. However, one thing I do know about German & Japanese schooling:
        “college material” is well sorted out in early childhood and they do not see everybody as “college material”. The school loans are likely handled accordingly (worth and need within society).
        Now ask yourself.. why are governments in Anglosphere so willing to support “student loan” programs than directly support universities.
        Liberal parties buying votes and seeing where this all leads to far out, before the masses (Socialism and debt-enslaved populace).
        FYI- With a CS degree you will either not have a job by 40-50 in your field or be reduced to doing some managerial bullshit.. if you are lucky.
        Lol.
        Try 10 years post grad for at least half of my graduating class. Not me yet.
        Good thing I save/invest > 50% since graduating.
        🙂

      • P Ray
        August 12, 2020 at 5:56 pm

        Not sure of the details as I do not know how the government dosh is doled out in those countries for student loans. However, one thing I do know about German & Japanese schooling:
        “college material” is well sorted out in early childhood and they do not see everybody as “college material”. The school loans are likely handled accordingly (worth and need within society).

        When I did my Comp Sci. degree in New Zealand, there was also a German exchange student there on a one-year study abroad scholarship.
        From what I’vo seen, he was only interested in marijuana and fucking. And claimed that wireless signals gave him headaches.
        The guy failed every single paper he took. I know this because he was laughing as he handed his transcript around saying “I didn’t pay to come here, so why should I work hard?”

        He’s now working at Fraunhofer IIS.

      • Cheers
        August 13, 2020 at 5:13 am

        @P Ray: Nice anecdote but the German exchange student described is not representative of how the German school system actually operates:
        Ref: First google link “german school system”

        Children aged three to six, may attend kindergarten. After that, school is compulsory for nine or ten years. From grades 1 through 4 children attend elementary school (Grundschule), where the subjects taught are the same for all. Then, after the 4th grade, they are separated according to their academic ability and the wishes of their families, and attend one of three different kinds of schools: Hauptschule, Realschule or Gymnasium. Grundschule teachers recommend their students to a particular school based on such things as academic achievement, self-confidence and ability to work independently. However, in most states, parents have the final say as to which school their child attends following the fourth grade.

        College material is well sorted in German society.

      • P Ray
        August 13, 2020 at 5:30 am

        Just for your information, but the plural of anecdote is data.

        Many different data points, build up a model of reality.

        Also, despite “superior” German education, they also have 1 year of Pre-University education … which would really be unnecessary if they were really so ready out of the gate of secondary school, correct?

        P.S. If you’re trying to make this a fight, let me know.

        Because Europe is well-known for acting as if they know a lot, the pandemic certainly made it clear that they know how to die …

      • Just A Programmer
        August 13, 2020 at 1:05 pm

        In many other countries the government funds the universities directly, and tuition is free or quite nominal.

        It’s the loans, which detach the cost from the student’s immediate cash on hand, which funds the every growing administration.

    • Cheers
      August 13, 2020 at 6:39 am

      Your “data” is from a single individual (German foreign exchange college student).
      You can’t infer anything about German schooling or german society from your story except that you went to school with a german guy who apparently wanted to fuck & smoke alot while attending college in New Zealand.
      Lol
      I posted how the German school system actually sorts “college material” in early childhood. We don’t do this in the USA (I’m American).
      Fight about what? You skipped over all the relevent details I posted…

      • P Ray
        August 13, 2020 at 7:01 am

        Lel, university is not a school, maybe you can’t tell the difference though.

        That’s all right, Americans think colleges are universities.

        In New Zealand, the colleges are secondary schools.

        The German school system is itself a piece of puffery. As I said earlier, if they were so good at preparing and sorting people, why is there a 1 year Pre-University course?

        It sounds a lot like, when you’re desperate, pick another white civilisation and then say “hey, look at our success story!”.

        P.S. German efficiency/ability is also overhyped, see: Germany’s new Berlin airport set for take off, nine years late

        And how about the Gerald R. Ford carrier? 20 incidents of launch- and landing failures.

        Can’t infer anything? All these big stories say that a lot of the history of the world, is the history of cover-ups and racism.

        Again, Corona-chan is setting things right.

      • Cheers
        August 13, 2020 at 8:28 am

        *Facepalm*
        There are syntax/cultural differences between the countries (yours and mine) but you are babbling and taking things way off topic.
        A remark from AD, who initially posted that hiring administrators are the reason tuition skyrocketed in the USA.
        If government funding was the reason for increasing university fees, why are they still so low (and holding there) in countries such as France, Germany, Italy, Japan etc- where the government transfers account for significantly higher percentage of their budget
        No, it was actually government backed loans for any/every major in the USA, regardless of ability to pay the loan back or any other student metrics. e.g. I paid the same amt for my CS degree that folks paid for their liberal arts degrees (many with no ROI).
        I provided factual evidence of the German system sorting folks differently.
        This is true.
        The people who attend “university” in Germany, what they major in, and their “university” attendance outcomes are different in Germany when compared to the USA.
        Nobody here really cares about the german guy who fucked all the girls at your New Zealand “college” with a devil may care attitude who now works at a well known german company for all sorts of reasons that you probably don’t know (e.g. nepotism, changed behavior in Germany while fucking around in new zealand <- probable, etc.).
        The anglo countries and Germany obviously sort "college material" differently.
        This is a viable answer to AD and may explains partially why college fees remain low in germany.

      • P Ray
        August 13, 2020 at 9:33 am

        I like how you say I am “babbling” and “taking things off topic”, when the focus of AD’s column is inequality of outcomes and discrimination.

        Then again, don’t forget the Germans also have a welfare state that the US doesn’t.
        So their tolerance for higher fees is much lower too.

        And Germany definitely has a good deal of nepotism, but many Europeans like to act as if their countries are free of racism.

        P.S. He “was interested in fucking around and marijuana”, but that only translated into only ONE early-morning cowgirl fuck from a drunk girl from Whangamata, that was also witnessed by me and a visiting Indian mother at the rental home we (4 students) were in. I’m a light sleeper.

        That girl, who graduated with a Bachelor’s in Social Sciences … is now a primary school teacher.

      • P Ray
        August 13, 2020 at 9:43 am

        Note: by nepotism (and that also includes a certain amount of racism), I mean hiring someone from the same background as you, which in Germany almost always means racism, as very few Germans speak understandable English AND even if you can speak German well you are excluded – look at the Turkish underclass there.

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