Monday, May 1, 2017

More Tuition = Less Free Speech

By Professor Doom

     It’s no secret that our campuses no longer believe in free speech. Ok, that’s a bit hyperbolic, but the riots on campus whenever speakers with a certain point of view try to talk do seem to be a bit more common than in days past.

      One of the more recent riots (I’m hesitant to say “most recent” because that might become inaccurate in the days between I write and post) was at Middlebury College. Professor Charles Murray was scheduled to speak, and even tried to do so in a venue specially secured from our ever more violently opposed-to-free-speech students. Even at his “safe space” (it works both ways, right?), the rioters were just too threatened by his ideas, and so he left rather than try to talk over their shouting.

Their logic was that since I am a racist, a white supremacist, a white nationalist, a pseudoscientist whose work has been discredited, a sexist, a eugenicist, and (this is a new one) anti-gay, I did not deserve a platform for my hate speech, and hence it was appropriate to keep me from speaking.

--Professor Murray explaining the “pep rally” leading up to his cancelled speech. When will this level of ridiculous name-calling be fundamentally discredited?

     Not content with simply preventing the man from speaking, the rioters persisted. The professor was physically attacked, and the one who invited him was even injured by the liberals. Professor Murray himself can give more details, in case the gentle readers missed it (it’s weird how every Trump tweet generates weeks of screeching by the media, while actual violence in direct opposition to a fundamental American value seems to merit a day of “news” at most).

     For what it’s worth, Murray’s work suggests that America is somewhat breaking apart along economic lines. In short, America now has a sub-class of relatively wealthy people who live in a bubble, with little exposure to the realities of an America where 15% of the population is on food stamps, and over half the population doesn’t have even $1,000 to spend, even for an emergency.

      These bubble-people send their children to college, of course, and they’re wealthy enough to send them to the more expensive colleges. What they’re paying for is to keep their kids in the bubble…in other words, the very kids who attacked Murray were the ones he’s trying to warn everyone else about.

     Hey, that actually makes some level of sense.

    Murray is hardly the only target, of course, as I’ve documented quite a few speakers who’ve found their speeches canceled, and, I dare conjecture, would find themselves at risk of bodily harm had they shown up on campus. It really is discouraging to find free speech so violently discouraged these days.

     I’m sure some campuses are a bit more liberal (er, in the sense that they’re open to free speech, which is the opposite of what liberal means today) than others. I’m also sure there are parents out there who might want their kids exposed to other ideas besides those of failed ideologies. Can I help these parents find such schools? It’s not like school brochures have bloody pictures of “this is what happened to people to want to talk about ideas we don’t like” in them. Naturally, I’m inclined to use mathematics to help answering this question.

     The one thing statisticians always ask for is “more data.” It’s the nature of the business, and we actually have an advantage now that shutting down free speech is a regular event. So many speakers have been cancelled that some clever people tabulated the data, and came up with a result:
Source (a worthy read)

      All the dots are institutions of higher education in America. Of interest in the above chart is the collection of red dots: these are places where speakers have found themselves “disinvited.”

     This particular chart rates these colleges based on the proportion of students in the utmost, or lowest, economic situation. Even a casual inspection reveals that institutions with a relatively high proportion of “bubble kids” seem to be far more inclined to rebuke speakers attempting to pierce that bubble.  The cluster of red dots once you get above 50% of the students being from wealthy families is quite clear.

      Not provided here, but fairly implicit, is the more expensive schools (tuition at Middlebury, for example, is over $40,000 a year) will have kids from wealthier families…likewise, kids who are on the lower end of the economic spectrum are more likely to go to cheaper schools. While I don’t supply data to support that  notion, let’s just take it as an axiom.

      Even though the chart suggests a strong positive correlation between tuition and hostility to free speech, I feel the need to point out correlation isn’t necessarily causation (albeit I’m hard pressed to wrap my mind around the possibility that hostility to free speech would increase tuition). Such pedantic concerns are irrelevant, however. Parents are plunking down $200,000 or more to pay for 4 (if they’re very lucky) years of education at these places, an education that will only reinforce terrible ideas that have led to much suffering of humanity.

Friend: “Yes, they are total ripoffs, but they’ll get screwed less there!”

--a friend had issues with my documenting what a fraud many community colleges are. I highlight his best point, above.

     I’d love to tie this in to the student loan scam, but that scam only explains why the tuition is so high, not the weird ideology that, clearly, correlates well with the expense of the institution. Oh well, I can’t win them all.

     Bottom line: if you’re wanting to give your child a well-rounded education, particularly when it comes to exposure to a variety of political ideas, avoid the more expensive schools. It’s clear such schools are converging into exorbitant indoctrination centers. That the ideology of the indoctrination is paid for by the student loan tax dollars of a country diametrically opposed to the ideology is simply an additional insult.