Friday, June 7, 2013

Reading & Writing & Other Silly Stuff

So I read over this article about student loan fraud (H/T Instapundit) & got to wondering, how were people doing this. So I delved deeper & looked over the actual DE IG report to get a clue about what they were talking about. What I learned is that apparently the fraud that they are talking about is mostly identity fraud cases where the criminals submit applications for student loans in the names of real people to scam the system. Since the market is so huge and DE bureaucracy handles it all, only the really stupid and unlucky ones get caught. As an overall percentage of loans granted, they are actually talking about a very small percentage:

$874,000,000 potential fraudulent loans / $509,900,000,000 total loans =  0.17%

The real problem is that second number and the amount of debt that it represents. If the job market were not set up to force millions of people to get 'education' to enter the job market, then such expenditures would not be warranted. If various professions, mine included, transitioned to an apprentice system the 'college loan problem' could be solved almost immediately and supply the market with actually useful candidates. I have taught kids with Master's degrees in CS how to program. It really isn't that hard if you have the aptitude and desire. I suspect that numerous if not most other professions are similar. Now - where is that yellow brick road? Because the only way that will ever happen is if I am transported into a strange and wonderful parallel universe.

And for those of you saying "Hey - programming requires Math", i'd say "So What? You think you need four years of college to do math?". You want to be amazed by math skills? Visit a job site where a good carpenter is plying his craft & watch him work out an estimate for materials for a complex job on the back of an envelope - an estimate which, if too low will mean money out of his pocket and if too high will mean his failing to get this job or the next one. That is impressive math...

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