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Catholic Colleges are Part of the Problem, not the Solution

In the videos below, physicist Eric Weinstein (Harvard) asks billionaire Stanford grad Peter Thiel about the college trainwreck that is destroying younger generations of Americans by (a) giving them useless degrees and (b) sending them into adulthood in debt.

Thiel shares my opinion that elite colleges and universities are the only schools that students should be considering because they are the only schools that offer valuable preparation. Contrary to what most assume, elite colleges cost LESS to attend than inferior colleges.

Therefore, the Catholic colleges that don’t rank among the best schools are knowingly selling degrees and experiences to students, paid for with irresponsible borrowing, that are not preparing them for success in the modern market. (Any talk of “nobler aspirations” in college studies is contradicted by the tuition charged by these schools. College is business, not “liberal education”.)

Secondly, Weinstein asks Thiel what he would do to fix the current mess in higher education and he makes the case that colleges should be held accountable for loans that bankrupt students are unable to repay:

It’s worth noting that Catholic colleges are part of the problem in both of these matters. First, most Catholic colleges, especially small colleges, are schools not worth attending. Second, they make use of the debt system as selfishly as any other institutions do and share the blame for the modern cultural problems among young adults–which Weinstein identifies as one of the causes for problems getting married and starting families.

Lastly, it’s worth noting that the liberal solution Thiel suggests (after stating his own conservative solution) would be to socialize the unpayable debt. In other words, Catholic colleges, despite all of their conservative talk against Socialism, may be contributing to its success in America.

What Catholic colleges and those living off them are doing is short-sighted and reckless. I have addressed these issues directly with Catholic college professors on numerous occasions (here’s an example) and I know that they know that what they are doing is not good–but they continue doing it anyway, while talking about Catholic social justice, capitalism, family values, etc..

This is what is truly wrong with American Catholic culture.


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