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Prostituting Education

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The last couple weeks have been a zoo in Washington, showcasing much of what is wrong with our country, our politics, and our economy. It’s said that as Rome declined, the emperors said, “Give them bread and circuses.” Feed the populace and entertained them, and they’ll never revolt—until you run out of bread. People can live without entertainment, but they need bread.

Sadly, our government is the circus, and many people are starting to get hungry.

Yesterday, the house has passed a compromise bill to raise the debt ceiling that has no details and opens the way for a potential historic lobbying effort as the rich and powerful get ready to fight for the scraps of government funding.

But I don’t need to point out how dysfunctional our government is to you. The whole world knows by now.

Instead, I’m going to focus on another dysfunction—the college education system.

Huffington Post, reports that in an effort to pay for college, many young women are exchanging sex for tuition with dirty, old, rich men.

The article chronicles a number of young women who, desperate for a degree, find “sugar daddies” to pay their way through college in exchange for money to pay for tuition.

These girls say they’re not prostitutes, but as Professor Barb Brets says, "These college women [don’t] see themselves as sex workers, but women doing straight-up prostitution often don't see themselves that way either. Drawing that line and making that distinction may be necessary psychologically, but in material facts it's quite a blurry line."

Most people with a brain know that selling sex for money is prostitution. It’s sad to know that young girls think a degree is so important that they need to sell their dignity and their body to get a college education.

But what is even sadder is that our universities have prostituted education, raising the costs of tuition and fees well beyond inflation. According to the College Board, tuition and fee costs have skyrocketed by 130 percent over the last 20 years while incomes have been stagnant. According to the same article, two-thirds of college students graduate with college debt averaging over $23,000.

This has given birth to “pimps” like Sallie Mae, who give loans out like candy to students who don’t understand the sacred cow of go to school is a lie. These loans are big business, pulling in millions and millions in profits for investors and saddling our young people with debt and useless degrees. In a sick twist of irony, I wonder if any of the people getting rich off school loans are turning around to use that money to pay for sex with college girls who want a degree.

Simply said, students are paying more to earn less. With incomes stagnant, the higher cost of debt payments reduces income.

For many, the cost of college isn’t worth it. And it certainly isn’t worth prostituting yourself for.

To me, the fact that young girls are selling themselves to pay for college is proof that financial lies and myths are not only wrong, but also dangerous. Our young people feel the pressure to go to college in order to get a good job. It’s one of the worst sacred cows of money. You don’t need a college education. You need a proper education, and that’s rarely found in the hallowed halls of our nation’s universities.

Like all sacred cows, “go to school” needs to be shot.

This is not to say that I’m anti-education, or even anti-college. But I am anti-ignorance. For some professions, college is important. If you want to be a doctor, you need college. If you want to be a teacher, you need college. If you want to be a lawyer, you need college. You’ll have to decide whether the cost of college is worth the benefit of your chosen field.

But for many people, college is simply a bad investment. The benefit of a degree isn’t worth the return it provides. Instead, explore alternative forms of education. For instance, if you want to start a business, study money and find a mentor.

At the end of the day, one of the biggest educations you learn as you grow up is that most people don’t want to help you. They want to take your money. That’s not bad. It’s business. But you need to be educated and understand what a good investment is for you.

Don’t let the system pimp you.

Original publish date: August 02, 2011

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