Editor's note: This episode was released on October 14. The transcript of it was written by Jeremiah B. Leonard, to whom the SFRB is grateful.
America is a bitterly-divided country right now, and there is little -- if any -- serious prospect for change on the horizon. The reasons why the United States has reached this low are numerous; too vast for mention here. One thing worth asking, though, is who shoulders the blame for this. Aaron Clarey, a prolific blogger, one of our time's most outspoken economists, and a former ballroom dance instructor, believes that conservative fathers have done incalculable harm to the nation. Clarey, a man of the right, explains his perspective on this week's episode of 'Cotto/Gottfried.' Clarey's website: http://captaincapitalism.blogspot.com/ Article he wrote about education: http://captaincapitalism.blogspot.com... SEE more interviews HERE: http://www.sanfranciscoreviewofbooks....
COTTO: Nowadays America is a generally unhappy, bitterly-divided Country. Just who though is principally at fault for ruining it? Aaron Clarey, one of our times most-outspoken economists who is also a former professional ballroom-dance teacher believes that conservative fathers are the culprit, even though he himself is a man of the right. Exactly where does his perspective come from? He explains on this week’s episode of Cotto/Gottfried. I’m your cohost, Joseph Ford Cotto editor-in-chief of the San Francisco Review of Books. My cohost is Paul Gottfried, head of our editorial board.
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COTTO: Aaron, your perspective that conservative fathers are ruining America is, I think, something that most conservatives, if not all, would find to be somewhat disturbing and disagreeable, but at the same time as someone who is not approaching this from the left where do you — what feeds your perspective here? What did you notice that made you first latch on to this idea?
CLAREY: The first and very painfully-obvious example is — there’s a talk show in my neck of the woods called Garage Logic, and these guys have for years — I mean, quite literally a decade, minimum— have been on the higher education bubble and the insanity going on in academia, and the cohost he’s “this conservative,” and he’s “got kids,” and “yeah, man” — and I’m thinking, if there’s somebody on my team, someone ideologically aligned with me and they’re going to do what’s right for their family and they’re going to — what they preach is what they practice it’s going to be these guys. Well then St. Kate’s, which is a small little all women’s liberal-art college in the Twin Cities — they have a women’s leadership symposium every year and they invite women leaders from the community to come and talk to the female students, and makes sense because had an all-girls school and all women’s leadership symposium, well they canceled it because there were not enough minority women. There were too many white women and asian women that they canceled this. And these guys are talking about how this is hypocritical, “it does not benefit women” — all the other standard hypocrisies and you can say lies embedded in that move. Well then it comes out that the cohost’s daughter goes to this school! And you guys know my background about how I’ve warned about worthless degrees and the liberal arts colleges and all that, it almost felt like a betrayal, getting stabbed in the back — not personally, I don’t know this person personally, but if I can’t expect a cohost on a conservative talk show program who is fully aware and cognizant of the dangers of worthless degrees and the leftist indoctrination and sending your kids to overpriced “colleges” and the cost of tuition, then sends his own daughter there, it kind of makes you wonder — what am I doing this all for?! Why should I keep fighting?! So that was merely just one data point, one anecdote, but then I started seeing this in other friends and other acquaintances, or just simple people I knew who I knew they were conservatives fathers, but when it came to the most important thing — your children, they fumbled the ball when it came to passing on conservative, or at least free-market libertarian-type ideas and principles, and especially when it came to sending your kids off to college. And I guess the, not necessarily the straw that broke the camel’s back, but another straw that was certainly added on to it. A while ago I run a — I hate to use the word because this is really isn’t what it is a militia, but more of a survival group where in cases of emergency, electricity goes down, whatever, the first thing you got to do is — there’s safety in numbers. So, if this were to happen, we all get together, and what we would do is — we would train hunting, survival, weaponry, defense, construction, first aid, health — just in case things get like really bad, we’re going to come out of it alright — and all my friends were like, “yeah let’s do it, let’s do it,” and when it came time to show up and do that, nobody’s showing up, nobody wants to do it. I had dreams that there might be a physical component where like you actually have to work out — let’s go run — get in somewhat decent physical-condition, and these people couldn’t walk a block or a mile. So, what I ended up finding out — somewhat saddening to me, is that — here you got these people on the internet or on the right or online or on the news and “yeah, we’re gonna, we’re gonna!” — and it’s all words! It’s all words. Where when it actually comes time to put up or shut up, these guys don’t put up they shut up. And so, that then sent me off on this tirade — which is the article that you read — where look, I know — liberal fathers, leftist fathers, these cowards and spineless “men” who kowtow to their wives — “whatever you want sweetheart — oh my daughters’re little precious kids — and they can’t do no wrong — and you do whatever you want …” I have no expectations of them. But when I start seeing people on my own political aisle fail and make the exact same mistakes and not tell their kids, “no, you’re not going to get a degree in English, we live in an English-speaking country,” it’s kind of like, “wow, what am I going to do?” If you guys aren’t going to do that for your kids, why should I be standing here writing articles about economics making the case for freedom, making the case for low taxes, making the case for capitalism, if you guys aren’t even going to invest in the future and your own flesh and blood by preventing them from making these horrible mistakes? And so, I really wanted it to get people angry. I really wanted these sheepist little chicken hawks if we can call them that in a certain different regard where — you talk a big game on the Internet about how “oh … let’s do this — we’re for freedom, we are for guns — dah dah dah dah dah” — but then when it comes time to actual action, they’re hypocrites! And so, I wanted to wake people a little bit, and insult the people who just fail when it comes time to perform!
GOTTFRIED: I’m listening to your tirade and I think if anything it’s excessively subdued. If you know anything about me, I devoted about the last forty years to of my life to attacking the conservative movement. It’s not just that they’re hypocrites, they are repulsive careerists, there are spineless cowards, and they’re always turning on their own as soon as the enemy attacks. I’ve been one of their victims — and many other victims. They’re constantly purging people who talk out. And if you turn on FOXNews, you find that they have to bring on black conservatives in order to attack black race-hustlers because the whites are terrified of the doing anything like this. If they have on a woman they are very careful to explain, “we are second-wave feminists, we’re not third-wave feminists.” What they do is capitulate piecemeal to the enemy. They’ve been doing this for the last 40 years. And I would expect nothing from them. I think that a major problem that we face here and in other western liberal democracy — to use that silly term — is that the right is gutless. There is no right. It’s purely functional, because the system requires some at least nominal opposition to the left that’s in power. And this is basically the role that the so-called conservative movement fills. I agree with what you’re saying, but I think the problems are so deep and so systemic, that they go well beyond anything that you’ve said.
CLAREY: Well, it could be. This is just fathers in relation to their children, and specifically education. But I know in attending what handful of republican party meetings I have, that is equally depressing where to tell you another story — not to keep telling stories …
GOTTFRIED: No no, I agree. The Republican Party is depressing.
CLAREY: Oh, it’s sad! It’s a joke! We walked in and they explicitly wanted me to consult them on — “how do we get younger men into the Republican Party?” And I put together some research, I put together dah dah dah dah — and they were appalled, they were just almost trembling when I said, “well you’d better go get some hot, young girls, because if you want young men — it’s like a bar. You’d better go get some hot girls. And how do you get hot girls? Well, I don’t know that, but that’s your strategy there.” And I never heard from them again. Never again. And it’s like, what are you going to do? Sit there with your group therapy session? That’s essentially what it’s become now is this group therapy session where they talk and they mope and they maybe post something, but nobody actually does anything.
GOTTFRIED: No, no I agree. You have to also factor in that the average viewer FOXNews is approaching seventy. And the average reader of National Review is almost that old. Being seventy six though these people seem young to me. I’ve probably I’ve been around longer, but the reality is that you’re dealing mostly with older people. Most millennials are not interested, and of course they’ve been indoctrinated by the left. And if they work for the conservative movement it’s because somebody’s paying them. They’re not talented enough to work for the left. So, I think the situation is probably grimmer than anything that you’ve encountered so far.
CLAREY: Right. Well, and it almost pushes the discussion — you being older and certainly wiser — is it even worth getting worked up about? Or is it — you’ve got a finite amount of time on this planet and again, maybe I should just go golf, or maybe I should just go sit in a hot tub or something, and not get worked up about it. But it’s almost impossible — try and be as indifferent and robotic as you can, when you’ve got somebody who’s a professional conservative — we could almost put it that way, a professional conservative sending his son or daughter to a leftist indoctrination-camp and then they’re shocked, shocked! It’s kind of like …
GOTTFRIED: That person is a conservative because it’s a career decision. Sending your kids to a leftist university that brings prestige is also a career decision. You want your kids to make out well. You send them to these schools and if they become leftists as long as they marry well or have a homosexual partner who earns money or something like that, it’s OK.
CLAREY: Or, one thing that I’ve found — and this is sad and depressing — is the number — I run a consultancy where I help out younger men and women as it pertains to college, career and education, and one of the more common problems I’m running into is where they’ve gone to college, they’re approaching graduation, they’re a year or two out, and they find out they don’t want to be in college. They don’t know what to do. They don’t like their degree, they find out their degree is worthless, or whatever like that, and they can’t tell their parents “I want to quit college until I figure out what I want to do” which is a very wise and mature thing to do — why keep wasting the money and the time? And their parents are like, “no, you have to go to college.” Because there’s like this shame or dishonor that they’ll bring to the family. And I’m like — well, that’s not love, that’s your parents using you and living vicariously through you and that’s not in your best interests. So, it’s a mentality or a selfishness or something that I’m fighting against, but I’m trying to let go and zen-out and not let it bother me as much as it has.
GOTTFRIED: I’ve encountered, by the way, the same thing. And something which my wife — it’s my second, wife my first wife died, but it’s my — she’s noticed that most of my kids place excessive value on attending certain universities. Like — if you go to Yale or Stanford, someplace like that, and I’ve noticed that among neoconservatives, many of whom are Russian Jews who come to the United States and so forth and they’re upwardly mobile, sending their kids to an Ivy League school is really a sort of a rite-of-passage to become part of the new aristocracy. We no longer have a WASP aristocracy but whatever has taken its place is something you can join if you send your kids to a certain university — live in a certain neighborhood. So, I’m not surprised that John Podhoretz would send his kids to some leftist school. Although, occasionally I do hear from people who are asking me, “what is a decent school to which I can send my kid?” And then I really have a problem. Once I get beyond someplace beyond like Rogue City, or — Bob Jones is academically not very good I’m afraid. University of Chicago seems to be the least corrupt of the institutions, but it’s very expensive. And if your kid does not want to go to college and has managed to luck into some decent job or goes into a vocational school I think that’s fine. I tell this to my grandchildren now, having been a professor for forty years, I have utter contempt for American universities. So, don’t come to me and expect me to talk them up, because I want to do that.
COTTO: To play devil’s advocate here Aaron, some conservative fathers might say that you’re using your limited experience and then imposing that onto conservative fatherhood as a whole across the country. What would you say to them?
CLAREY: Explain that again? Like I’m painting with a broad brush?
COTTO: Exactly, correct.
CLAREY: OK, well — most Asians are short. Most basketball players in the NBA happened to be black, and most fathers in America — Democrat or Republican, conservative or leftist — are failing their children. There are some fathers I know who are good fathers, and they are not failing their children, but it’s not the instance or even the principal of failing your children, especially as it violates your politics. It’s that it’s just so common in my own personal life. And if you look at it — it’s just me and you could say “Aaron that’s still selection bias,” you would think with the at least decade-long chronicling and documentation of the insanity going on at these universities, that at least — we should half the enrollment we do now. But every year we keep getting more and more, and breaking record number of children enrolling into college. My question is, “where are the fathers?” If there’s Republican, conservative fathers out there people should be tapering off. There should be an exodus, a huge exodus from these colleges, especially from the humanities and the liberal arts, but it’s just not happening. So, despite having a Rush Limbaugh coming on the scene in the eighties and nineties, the advent of the Internet, other notable media personalities, the creation of Fox news, websites like The College Fix, The Chronicle of Higher Education, or just having even your main stream media publications sometimes can’t not publish stuff going on like say at Evergreen State College or Mizzou. You’d think with all of that there’d be some Ward Cleavers out and say “oh wait, no you’re not going to that school, that’s not going to be happening.” And there are some, but nowhere near enough. Unfortunately, they’re are the exception to the rule, not the rule.
GOTTFRIED: There’s a very interesting book by Byron Kaplan which is intended to be an argument against sending your kids to university, but I found that by the time I finished reading his book I came away with exactly the opposite conclusion. That by going to college, however you get a hold of the money — the government will provide you with loans, and there’s lots of people who do not pay back the loans, and they receive some kind of remission — but you earn more money, if you attend a university. And over a working lifetime it amounts to hundreds-of-thousands of dollars more that you will be earning, get a couple cases even more than that if you attend a university as opposed to dropping out of school, or dropping out of the educational system after high school. Now, I think that’s changing because I think as Aaron said, the price of college is really going up in proportion — one might say — to the rise in government loans. Because when the government puts more money into it then colleges raise their tuition. There seems to be a direct correlation between the two. But at least for the time being a college good degree does have financial value, no matter what you’re paying for the college, and no matter what kind of crap you have to listen to from lunatic or sexually-disoriented teachers when you’re attending the institution.
CLAREY: The only problem I have with that — well, there’s one problem and then one point that you made that I agree with — is that it’s lifetime earnings, and the problem with lifetime is that you need to live a lifetime so that you can say, oh you’d have the longitudinal study to calculate yes. And we’ve seen the studies where it was shown to be back in the eighties when I was in school — like if you drop out of high school you’re going to get the flu and you’re going to die you’re going to live under a bridge. If you graduate from high school, well you get to live under a bridge but not have the flu. You get an associates well you might make this. Bachelors and you make an extra half a million and then masters and doctorates — and doctorates make I think it was in the millions more. The problem with that data is — OK, I’m looking at that in the eighties and nineties, well that came from even the silent generation to the baby boomers going back to the fifties to that current day back in the eighties in the nineties. What I think we’ve done now is we’ve flooded the market with these degrees I think going forward you will see very little difference between a bachelors and a high school diploma. There will be very little difference between a masters and a bachelors. I’d even say there will be very little difference between a masters and doctorate because we flooded the market with all these. And then the other thing, as you pointed out, is yeah — it was great in 1962, when tuition — you could work it off and pay for it with a part-time job and any degree was a good degree, but now you’re forking over a hundred grand at the state schools and that money — you talk about opportunity costs — well, a lot of times people are forking over enough money that they could buy a house. And so the return on investment just isn’t there. I predict it will not be there going into the future.
GOTTFRIED: I think when I started college a year’s tuition at an Ivy League institution like Yale — I lived in Connecticut, and I went to Yale as a graduate student, though not as an undergraduate, but if I’d gone as an undergraduate it would’ve been twelve hundred dollars a year. It’s up to about seventy five thousand dollars a year now, and the education is in every way inferior to the one that would have been available to me back then.
COTTO: And that’s of course more than adjusting for inflation, the difference between — yeah.
GOTTFRIED: I was talking to Charles Murray once and he went to Yale as an undergraduate — he was figuring out how much — I think his son or somebody had attended it, and it was about ten or fifteen times as much as he had paid, or as his parents had paid for him as an undergraduate, and he said just looking at inflation it would have been considerably less than what he'll ended up paying for his son.
COTTO: It’s amazing, it really is. It’s because more people are going to college. That I think is the bottom line. And of course, then you have these government loans that support everyone’s desire to go to college. I think the best scheme for college is that if you get a scholarship, go. Or if your parents can pay for it, go. But otherwise there’s no point in going. Aaron is solid on this. You should go to a trade school and learn something economically viable. But now you have so many people who are getting Bachelor of Arts in sexuality studies or whatever the hell it is that it’s just totally useless economically and in burdens you with debt and it’s just a lose-lose any way you look at it. But then there’s the social status thing which you were mentioning Paul. It’s not even just the Ivy League, it’s just getting the diploma. So, it’s really a bad situation. I think that a lot of conservative fathers really overlook this, and they are using an outdated guidebook so to speak in order to make decisions for their kids. It’s sad. And then of course a lot of those kids go on to become lefties and they have a bleak economic future because they think capitalism, or the establishment has failed them. Aaron, do you have any perspective on that last point?
CLAREY: I’d like to say the fathers, they don’t know any better, and they could say “well, any degree’s a good degree.” But today’s fathers are not the baby boomers. The baby boomers are in their sixties and seventies now. Today’s fathers are my generation, and my generation — or at least I remember it, I don’t know what happened to the rest of my cohorts and my generation. Apparently, they forgot everything that happened — any degree was not a good degree. You graduated into the dotcom recession, then we had the housing bubble — of course most of us were in our thirties or early thirties by that time. And this was — a college degree, especially to us, was not this magical ticket to a stable nuclear family with a white picket fence and zero debt. I still have some people my age who still have student debt twenty years later on. College certainly was nowhere near as expensive as it is today but it was not cheap either back then. And so, I don’t think we can even forgive fathers of today unless you had an oopsie-baby and you’re sixty-two and you’re like, “oh, that Richard Nixon sure was a crazy fella!” Most people, most fathers today are in their early thirties and their forties, maybe their fifties if their kids are going to school, and they darn well should know better. You don’t even have to be a generation — you just got to look and say — like for example this Saint K — Saint Catherine’s — I think it was fifty-three thousand dollars a year. A year! You should look at that and say that’s two-hundred thousand or two-hundred twenty-five thousand by the time tuition’s done being jacked up — you should be able to do a cost-benefit analysis — like if I asked you guys, you went to McDonald’s, and the McDonald’s person said, “oh a big Mac will cost seventeen dollars,” you might say, “hey wait a minute, something fishy’s going on here,” because you intuitively know the value is not worth seventeen dollars. But apparently nobody blinks. Even parents are cosigning their kids’ student loans for doctorates in theater, and now it’s crippling their retirement! I run into a couple clients like that. So, I cannot — I’d like to find out some kind of rhyme or reason but unfortunately, I’m just going to go with ignorance and stupidity. That’s all I’m going to go with — ignorance and stupidity and laziness.
GOTTFRIED: I think one could actually make a cost benefit analysis in some cases. I worked at a college which is located across the street from where we live. It is a sort of fairly mediocre, general college which sort of styles itself a liberal arts college. It attracts mostly kids from the suburbs of Philadelphia, Baltimore, some kids come from Long Island. Some kids come from Connecticut. We’re not that far away from any of those places. Typically, one parent is Irish and the other one is Italian and they both work full-time and — I don’t know — some of them own restaurants or laundromats or what else. And they typically send their daughters here. Their daughters are usually pleasant-looking but not particularly bright. They major in education, social work, things that are not too intellectually taxing, then they demonstrate for Black Lives Matter something like that. And they get all of this for about a four year cost of about two-hundred thousand dollars. Now Aaron would say “this is a hell of a lot of money,” but for them it is not. Because to them coming to a college in Pennsylvania with pretty buildings in a safe environment, one that is predominantly white-protestant where they’re going to meet a significant other who’s not probably very different from themselves. These things are worth a great deal in terms of the social prestige of the parents. They come here, they take pictures of the school, they’re very happy that the school features quaint graduation ceremonies. So, for those people it is emotionally worth the investment, socially and emotionally, worth the investment they’re making. I wonder how Aaron would respond to this attempt to find, I suppose, some kind of economic rationality in the decision to send their kids to what seems like an overpriced college.
CLAREY: I won’t even call it economic, I call it math. Because economics implies some philosophy or thought. It would be fine if you send little Susie Q off to the liberal arts college and she’s going to go protest and do whatever and she gets her worthless degree, and maybe she gets her MRS degree and finds her husband, and she works a part-time job at the local elementary school teaching kids that there’s seventeen gender and that communism is great.
GOTTFRIED: I see you’ve been here!
CLAREY: And then kids say that’s prestige. What I’m looking out is the reality is can that family, including the student and the parents, digest those costs. Because what is very real now is that — and we’re going into uncharted territory, I think with the millennials were going to see what happens here — where you have, I consider, life crippling debts. Their financial lives are crippled. And so now the student becomes a pariah upon the parents either through living at home or constantly needs money. The students don’t understand, quite literally do not understand compound interest and they’re shocked that at six percent their student loans that was fifty thousand are now seventy-five thousand seven years later — however the math works out like that. And then this postpones other things that I say here than prestige, like do you want to start a family? Forget financially successful. Forget rich. Can you pay your bills? Are your wages getting garnished? Are you in [an] arms race now because you’ve got a worthless degree and now you’ve got to get a masters or a doctorate just so you can maybe make some track and headway in your career or your professional? All of a sudden, you’re fifty-eight. You still have student loans from your master’s in public health administration. You got divorced because frankly you’re a spinster and no guy can tolerate your blathering about feminist indoctrination and how great — whoever is the latest thing. They’re ruining lives. So, I can understand this temporary prestige, but I’d say that the prestigious and pride and comfort is the exact same thing as buying a luxury or a sports car. Yeah, you have prestige. You’ve got the nice comfy Mercedes and it’s got heated seats or cooled seats or seats that are just nice and friendly and they talk to you. Whatever seats they are, in the end that seventy thousand dollar Beamer or the eighty thousand dollar Mustang crippled your finances and all it is is transportation. And so, I would argue that if you’re going to “school,” go to school so you can get an education so you can get a job. Just as when you buy a car, you get it for transportation, not prestige. And Joe I don’t know if you guys may like this, the article that I wrote is The Economic Nature of College Degrees, I equate it to a wedding because these kids are no longer going to college for an education or for a career or some kind of return on investment. I wouldn’t even say they’re going for prestige. The parents might get the prestige out of it. I’d say these kids are going for the college experience, and I liken it to a wedding where it’s a girl’s — her day, and it’s the most uneconomic, irrational financial decision to make because you blow all this money on one day, and you get nothing tangible out of it. It’s the same thing I think with these kids, is they view the college experience as their birthright — coming out of a prison system known as K-12 public schools, and they just want to be free and this is all they’ve ever been sold and told. This is like the land of Canaan — and “yeah, here we are, we’ve made it to the promised land,” but they view it as the promised land, not “no, you’ve got to work and study to get a degree here so you can apply for jobs and survive and have a good long term life.” So, it is a luxury good. It’s a very luxury good as it’s being treated right now.
COTTO: I have two things. Number one, what Paul and Aaron — you were both discussing about what Paul mentioned, how there are some families who think the social capital from sending their girls to a liberal arts college is great. Those parents — really it’s the old saying, “a fool and his money soon parted,” and I have no sympathy for them and the troubles they’ll have to endure because of their poor decision making. And if any of those people call themselves conservatives I think it’s total disgrace, and that’s coming from someone who doesn’t consider himself a conservative movement, but you know it’s in appalling thing and I guess Aaron could write books upon books upon books about that sad phenomenon. Getting back to what Aaron was saying about that article — no, I haven’t read it. I would like to read it and if you send the link to me I will include it with this episode so other people can read it and get it handle on what you were saying because it’s very true and just as interesting.
CLAREY: Yeah, I’ll send a link to you. But, yeah it’s…
GOTTFRIED: Yes, please send us the link because I am interested in educational issues, and write on them occasionally.
CLAREY: Yeah, it’s just an observation I had about the temporary, fleeting, luxurious and ultimately unproductive manner, or nature rather, of college degrees where they reflect temporary — it’s like bottle service in Las Vegas. It’s like, well you had your fun, and now you’re hung over. Without the cute girls.
COTTO: For the last question Aaron, do you think that in the future, the foreseeable future at least, conservative fathers will become more I guess you could say that they’ll man up about this? Or do you think that this trend will persist? And Paul, of course add your two cents after he’s done.
CLAREY: No, and not to bring it back on me and my personal experiences but I’m pretty hard-core right, very libertarian and very type-A and my friends — you’d think these are my “we all agree, we’re here, that’s going to happen” — and then when you see your best friends and people you personally know or people you look up to or celebrities all of a sudden fail in spectacular regards — what’s the rank-and-file milquetoast Republican dad who’s on the verge of divorce if they don’t get into a good school district according to wifey-boo — what kind of front is he going to stand up against to keep his kids from being brainwashed and indoctrinated either by the schools or half the time by the wife herself? So, I have no hope for the future in this regard. And when you look at the pressure and indoctrination they’ve put on generations since my generation — I don’t want to say anti-male but certainly more effeminate male, the “be more sensitive” — and now we’ve got outright male-hatred in the form of toxic masculinity and being male and aggressive is bad. That has so been beaten out of boys. I mean have you seen Gen-Zers?! Have you seen them? They’re looking at their phones! They can’t do a push-up! The millennials — they’ve got their beards, they drink their craft beer, and they think it’s manly because they’ve got fancy glasses! There is so little testosterone in the younger generations that it is only going to get worse. So, I do not see conservative fathers pulling through for us into the future.
GOTTFRIED: I’m just going to add two points. First of all, I think the argument that there may be sort of low testosterone in some of these males that we’re seeing does not sound implausible or unreasonable. Having grown up in the nineteen fifties, I remember men were much more manly than what I’m seeing now. They would never have put up with these controls by renting feminists. This would have been inconceivable. Men would never have stood for this. The attempt to attribute this to some kind of diminution in male chemical supplies may in fact have some truth. And I have seen some data that would suggest that this is not far-fetched. The other point I was going to make however is that one of the major problems that we have a college education is that most people who go to college are not intellectually or dispositionally equipped to be in college. They have very little interest in what is real college-level work. Many of them do not have the intellectual capacity to do it, but they’re promised the college education, and there are many colleges and they’re competing for bodies — live or dead bodies, whatever, as long as these are tuition-bearing bodies. You have to do something to entertain these kids who have neither the capacity nor the interest in learning at the college level. You’re not going to teach them calculus, you’re not going to teach them classical Greek, so you have to teach them something else like human sexuality, Queer Studies, whatever. Or take what is really a kind of vocational field, a sort of low-skilled vocational field like elementary education and turn it into a real college discipline. But that’s because you’re dealing with people who are not really able to do serious college work, and who are not attending college for that. They are as Aaron said, they are there for the college experience, in which according to Byron Kaplan, less than five percent of their time will be spent on actually reading and studying educational materials or working on an educational discipline — however we define the word “educational discipline.” So, what we’re really doing is entertaining kids in I suppose the equivalent of Howard Johnson resort for four years. This is the problem we’re up against and, like Aaron, I am very pessimistic about the prospect of improving the situation.
COTTO: Any remarks on that Aaron before we go?
CLAREY: Well, Paul is very intelligent and smart like me so of course he’s right. I would say there’s one — I dare don’t give myself a lot of hope, but I do believe there is some hope in that some kids are starting to wake up a little bit, and as it turns out via the Internet — not that they’ve learned about the higher education bubbles and the waste of college and stuff. But college has gotten so expensive that the price is now pricing people out that they’re starting to look for alternatives, and now you have these online accredited schools like Western Governors University, ASUonline, some colleges themselves offer programs.
Community colleges are getting a huge boost where people are like “forget this, I don’t want to go through what my older millennial-brother went through who’s now living at home after thirty, I’m going to go get the cheap classes online, or I’m going to go down to the community college while I’m still in high school and take classes for free. So, I think there is, with the Internet or other entire professions that’re being created like digital marketing, or these programming camps, you can sidestep college altogether. So, not only did I see that — it’s beyond saplings or seedlings now. These are turning into — you start to see some leaves being sprouted in these industries and these alternatives to education. So, I think there’s a little bit of hope, especially when it comes to poorer people, poorer students. They can’t afford to go to Yale or Harvard. And we you see stuff happen at Evergreen and Mizzou, and whatever crazy thing a leftist professor get this week — that does scare five or six, maybe even twenty people away from going to college. So, the leftist insanity if it keeps getting turned up and tuition prices keep getting turned up, inevitably people will not be able to attend at a very convenient — and I say equal if not superior — you think about online colleges — you don’t have to commute, you don’t have to pay for parking, you don’t have to walk, you take it at your convenience, you do whatever, you can work security while going to school — I worked security and did my homework while working security. I think there’s a future in online education as an alternative to higher education. So, I’m not holding my breath, but I do see some hopeful signs there.
COTTO: Thanks for tuning in everyone. See you next week.