Friday, December 05, 2008

Prisons defeat Higher Ed

The media has been filled with reports (see the Journal Sentinel, for example) about the decreasing affordability of a university education.  I have been meaning to post a few observations about this, but instead, I came upon this blog entry by Juan Cole.

He points out that legislatures across the country have decided that imprisonment is more important than education.  As he notes, prison populations have skyrocketed since 1980.  By and large, the money to pay for this has come from support for universities.  Now, Cole argues that the solution is to decriminalize marijuana and use the tax revenue for education.  This, of course, is not very likely.  

However, his post reminds us of the choices we have made as a society.  Education has lost and continues to lose to punishment.

What politician will stand up and say that non-violent offenders should spend less time in jail so students can get a college degree?  Being "soft on crime" is a death sentence for a politician in this age of nasty, negative campaigning. . .

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Are students really nuts?

A new study claims that 1 in 5 young American adults has a personality disorder that disrupts their lives and 1/3 abuse alcohol and drugs.  

The study also goes on to claim that only 25% of those seek treatment.

I suppose this means the researchers think that an even larger percentage have disorders that don't yet affect their daily lives.

If our students are a disfunctional as the researchers claim, where does this leave us?  Should we all be replaced by guidance councillors?