tv Cross Talk RT March 20, 2019 4:30pm-5:00pm EDT
hello and welcome to cross talk where all things considered i'm peter lavelle most of us are taught and believe we live in a society based on merit and equal justice the varsity blues college admissions scandal inform us that both aren't true the rich and privileged can buy access to their kids at the expense of families who are hardworking and honest is the idea of merit dead. crosstalk in the status of society i'm joined by my guest lionel in new york he is a legal analyst on the news decoder and lionel media dot com in washington we have
remington greg he is counsel for civil justice and consumer rights at public citizen and in athens ohio we cross to richard vedder he is a professor of economics at ohio university senior fellow at the independent institute and the author of the forthcoming book restoring the promise higher education in america all right gentlemen crossed the rules in effect that means you can jump in anytime you want i always appreciate lionel let me go to you first hear what we have found out from this scandal is something that i think a lot of us had suspicions about i spent ten years of my life in the university of california system i saw questionable practices but you know i didn't have any proof that i wasn't the f.b.i. but you know we've this story has been in the public realm now for over ten over a week now but it i think really at the the core of it is how i've been traduced much of it is that we really have a fetish for a status and it's not about merit and if you have if you. have the means and the
privilege to basically to reproduce yourself through your children you will break the law or at least in acting in a moral way it doesn't matter the merits of anything it's about attaining status go ahead lionel. go ahead you said it perfectly that's the disquisition end the show that the love peter for some people yes there is merit yes to some people who work hard and try yes to the kid who gets up there four thirty in the morning to go to swim class and to get him to write an essay which has nothing to do with education or the fact that he reads to the blind which has nothing to do yes for those people it does but if you are an athlete by god for the longest time there are people who can't even read their diploma who go on at i think scholarships there are people who get into this new thing the euphemism called transactional fatherland therapy where they buy a building we've always had those people and there are other people who get there because of legacy and the others look here's the bottom line the american i can
only speak for this company our educational system specifically colleges is dag it's gone the way of the one room schoolhouse we don't need brick and mortar schools we have the internet we are living in the nineteenth thirty's pedagogic world it's an anachronism it's over there were so many levels and layers of this onion but the most important room world as it's done yeah let me go to remington in washington i mean it's hard to argue with what a lot of what line what you said here but nonetheless we still have this myth that you need a four year degree a diploma you have to spend a lot of money you have to you're doing what you're told her i mean i find most of academia to be a total waste of time if not worse but it's really turned into the educational industrial complex here i mean it's really a lot about money and if you want this piece of paper that gives you status which
probably won't get you a job but you still do it anyway go ahead remington well you do it anyway because you're told that if you don't get a college education you won't be able to go far i would disagree that that the our system is anachronism but i would agree that fundamental. changes need to be made to the system we need to get money out of the system we need to stop talking about this elite system of be all and all that if you go to these schools then you'll be able to do this and if you don't then you'll never be able to do it and you certainly see that in the law and in business and in finance and that has a corrosive. ability to basically get us to where we are now where people parents are doing really dumb things even though they are wealthy and have a ton of privilege so let's tweak the system let's change the system i don't think we should throw the entire system out ok but richard i mean ted has a point but you know there's a lot of willing participants in this scandal ok it's this not the rich and the privilege it's proctors it's coaches deans i mean everybody is on the in on this
because it's a money making operation they don't think about i have to wonder if they think about debasing the currency of the educational process itself apparently not i mean i guess bob dylan is right money doesn't talk it's screams go ahead in athens well yes or no yes of money always talks and it is true that people with money are going to get ahead the basic problem is it is we don't have a market environment a true market environment to determine admissions it isn't is it's just sky because we have a black market as it were in admissions of ten people apply only one can be accepted so you know a true market the guy with the most money will push up the price to elite gets a bit in the higher end it's not supposed to work that way we we have it missions committees and mcdonnell's we don't have an admissions committee anyone come back
who's got four box. or whatever but that is true and higher it's and it's been that way for decades the people who think this is new are missed. i have been in higher ed for i'm in my fifty fourth year of teaching which is means i'm certified only lunatic but. i'm almost as bad as a lie no. but. if d. for years of teaching and within ten years of arriving at my mildly selective admissions public university i had heard of two scandals involving people involving money or in one case even sexual favors being offered in return for admissions so people who want something are going to. beat the system if they can so that's nothing new lionel says this is
a nine hundred thirty is an actress and we haven't hire it i thought he was going to really go all the way and say a sixteen thirty s in akron isn't because i was going to harvard college well i mean but i think when the harvard was established you probably did leave with quite a bit of knowledge i don't see that i'm i'm extremely critical of the university system not only as a money making scam that put people into debt and then it's this extreme ideology of the patriarchy and all of this nonsense the desert nothing to do with being an interest in the economy after you've been so-called educated instead of indoctrinated you're let me go to the line here i mean lionel that just seems i guess what really bothers me about it is just really no shame now i mean you have this virtue signaling on one side about what it means to be a good person in the right things to say to the right people at the right time and then at the same time the other side of the coin it doesn't matter the rules don't apply to me because i have wealth power and privilege and damn the system lionel.
you are such a boy scout and that's why we love you you believe in this thing called equity and that would be an egalitarian to you polly and the poor young man let me explain something to you you know how i know the whole thing's been ginned up and it's a scam because we are right now where we are breeding i we are pushing out some of the most stupid and cognitively disassociated brain dead after all laden narcotized eighty s. who have been killed by this who can barely look you in the eye shake your hand and form two words now if they follow me on this if academic standards remain the same and should be a ghost town there should be nobody who is able to meet these standards but what do they do to fill the seats. they look our route talk to your kids go out and see
ed says scam it's party made off it's all ponzi scheme you've got a generation of kids with a trillion dollars on your debt you know who's who and b. of this the mob the mafia the l.c.n. won't care is beyond me yeah they don't need brick and mortars ok i know i saw you all i see i see richard wants to show a book of his go ahead richard in front of the camera and all the truth is that here this is coming out in a couple weeks it's called re starring a prophetess propolis hire it in america you're right hire it is broken in the i thought i actually make green with lionel here i didn't expect this to have a listen serve a term magic moment for me but. i do agree with the kids aren't learning much ah in college og they're getting a piece of paper that has some artificially determined value to them maybe a million dollars in some cases you got it b.s.
from harvard college but it is a piece of paper kids aren't worth thang. not getting jobs forty percent of the college graduates are underemployed for example. of course it's too costly were ripping off the costumers ok i mean i don't really go to remington here because that was the key word customers consumer rights here remington and i think that should be that should be the wake up call for us and i think that's the trajectory in which we should look at this scandal here consumer rights go ahead remington in washington exactly as the as a consumer advocate and as the millennium on the patio i just have to say that it is unfortunate but you know guess what this wasn't something that we dreamed up this wasn't something that we said hey i would love to get into six figures of debt in order to get and then we were told essentially that this was the best way to move up in the ladder and that's why this case is so shocking because these parents
and these children they have immense wealth and privilege and no matter what they do they'll be able to move far but for a lot of people the only way to continue to move up the ladder in order to get into the next ring the next rung of the merit of any of that is to go to really take me in let me ask you as a consumer advocates point of view i mean i'm sure it exists i mean we can take some. stanford or harvard or something like that and kids that didn't get in because they had perfect grades they had everything that they did everything right but they didn't get in but some. snotty young kid doesn't want to study just wants to sit and take up as a those people should be the ones that didn't get in should sue would you agree with that. well i mean it will be hard it would be hard to it's hard to say what they would be suing but what we discrimination do discrimination how the system discrimination it's similar that's not it that's not
a protective characteristic that to say that i'm i'm i'm i'm smarter then venue and no no i was fs i know i know it's defrauded i was defrauded all right i get it i'm a job in guys we're going to go to which point we're going to go to a quick break and after that short break we'll continue our discussion on the status society's fate with our. join me every thursday on the alex simon short and i'll be speaking to guest of the world of politics or business i'm show business i'll see you then. drew on finding oh oh oh oh dear it's. been a real good shot to begin mergers calls all the light.
comes on class community young people are deciding if they want to be not like their parents not like the liberals. always struggle. you always have problems but you're not going to focus on is the most ubiquitous going out there most police departments use the almost overstayers in the school tell to take to get their hands on cumbersome twenty four hours. really teaching these kids about racism about police brutality taking pride in them they are. all a part of all history. sounds
a. grown man. which did away from. the obvious or did they kind of lunge for the web in one smiths and then when it happened. i never saw any contact with. any kind of back to where they were back here there again fifteen feet apart at this point. welcome back to cross talk where all things are considered on peter lavelle draw and were discussing the status society. ok many here want to go back to because we were talking about the scandal through the lens of consumer rights and you're
a consumer advocate continue with your point go ahead so i really do think that we will be seeing much more scrutiny in the admissions system as we should people may not be able to sue personally but i think what we'll be seeing hopefully is strong enforcement from the department cation that remains to be seen given the trumpet ministration but the thing to look for is state attorneys general their attorneys general around the country who are progressive and who are seeking to ensure that bad guys are held to account and so i would look to those ok line of life i thought you were going to smash the the screen there go ahead. i don't know what planet my dear friend's been on but as a licensed trial lawyer soon get ready how about this one i guarantee you you would see more lawsuits if somebody failed dancing with the stars because of some twitter glitch number one not only can you sue if you were denied something based upon somebody who took your place but there are people who are now in class
actions suing on behalf of the or because of the cause of action of the dilution of the worth of that diploma by virtue of this scandal the usa has become the laughing stock so imagine tomorrow remington goes in and says all i wanted to you was why who did you pay to get in wait a minute i'm in this not only that what happens if you invalidate somebodies baccalaureate degree and then later on does his medical school fail does his law school fail there's fraud as you even see that but the ice for the people who are involved in that it's really means that will blow your mind it's really a reputational problem moving forward here too and it's debasing the value of education richard you know i mean you are an old pro and that's an understatement you know you're a long term serving academic here and i don't i'm you know i was i was in graduate school i was
a teaching assistant and i dealt with students all the time and this was in the early nineties ok so i've been away for a while but for the most part i have to say the majority of the students were not keen on really learning it was like they're doing their term. either in office or in briggs and i mean it was a it was a term that they had to complete i mean what is it in our society that makes people young people does interested in learning ok i mean obviously a lot of them in the u.c. system come from wealthy families well to do families ok so they're going through the motions. like they are told but it seems to me that. our society doesn't put a lot of value on genuine learning and learning about. how the world works and how you can play a role in it no it's like how do i get an a i think that is the most common thing i was ever asked in the entire time i was at university how do i get an a go ahead richard yeah well that's true and. speaking of your getting on
a. back when i began teaching back in the dark ages of the. twentieth century in the one nine hundred sixty s. the typical american undergraduate student had a g.p.a. great point average in the two point five two point six range the city was a little not only gentlemen created it was often the most common draped certainly i'm beginning survey courses yeah our two point five the current average for the entire american. academy. for undergraduates is about three point one three point one five if you're in a college of education it's probably about a three point nine seven because they don't want to hurt the self-esteem of anyone who wants to be a future teacher so odd this is which it which is another reason why we have problems with our under whether k.
through twelve system but that's a a discussion for another day so we do have have we have very few incentives on the part of students to work car the average student according to u.s. department of labor data spends twenty seven hours a week in class writing papers taking exams a set or a set or on academic work they do this for thirty a week see here eight hundred hours year how many hours does the average eight grade spend on academics more. that so we have there isn't enough learning going on even colleges i would agree and part of the reason is of course is that not academics have taken over the universe and amen on that my goodness absolutely right here where i mean when you said in the earlier part of this program you've got to get the money out of how do you do that it
sounds nice but it seems like it's impossible to do that i mean if you if you look at me over the last thirty years i mean there's all these new jobs you know i don't know what privilege counselor non-privileged counselor all these really ridiculous fluffy waste of taxpayer money. resources going into things that just don't make any sense but it certainly generates saying come oh and that gives them a good reason to increase to wishin to hire these useless people that really have no academic expertise whatsoever except for maybe to be mommy and police ok i mean this is a vicious circle and it's the hard working honest people that have to pay for it and they go into. debt slavery for even you know maybe the next twenty years of their life if they maybe that's a good case these days go how do you get the money out remington. yeah i mean it's a it's a good question and there's no easy answer that i mean the one thing that we have to do is it should be more transparency with the schools what are they spending money on they would argue that the money that they get from you know the wealthy
donors helps with the scholarships but if you remove the money out if you divorce hey if i give you a building both my kid and my grandkid will be able to come in that will help a bit you have to start with meritocracy and ensure that that number one is and that is the number one goal that people who are deserve it are there first do you believe and do you really believe that i'm sorry but do you really believe that i mean if someone huge well says i want you i want to endowed chair in my name. in the sociology department but my kid has to get in that's going to happen and it's not that's not based on merit i could and i can understand the temptation of it but if we don't get that kind of transparency because everybody knows that oh your legacy ok you got in you know my father and my mother they were both worked two jobs for a bit while i love gin and tonics. but but this is the underbelly of the higher education system i'm not saying it's easy but it has to be done so we have to what
has to happen is the unfortunately elite colleges have to start first because because everyone will take the guidance from them and so we have to put pressure how many people are you admitting based on athletics how many people are you admitting based on legacy and harvard it's twenty percent how many people are you making just a meritocracy and we need to see those numbers and if we if we demand that colleges universities show those numbers soon they will start being us tax payer ok they should be defended ok not to shame ok lionel i want to we i want to talk about the issue again this kind of worship of status because it seems to me that this worship of status that people how many followers you have and things like that i mean this is turned into a fetish that is a displacing what basic values that we should have about creating a better society i'm sorry to sound like the boy scout here go ahead lionel st
peter say peter blesses heart peter we live by merit how many viewers you get how many likes what your flight will score how much you make each year how fast was i going everywhere we go everything that we do look let me just say quickly the best part about this story is the brazen let me just say this whatever for get the fact that transparency how about this what if i said little peter lavelle i'm going to take your picture peter and i'm in this super imposing of photoshop it on a pole vaulter or somebody in the crew team i'm going to give you listen to this there are parents who by the way will take kids who want to go in on an athletic scholarship give the kid tommy john surgery when he doesn't need it basically build up ligaments there are people who are taking international test in china let's say twelve hours ahead paying somebody off and sending it this is an end. it's like the drug metric you're just picking up on the fact that felicity huffman and lori
laughlin and their brat kids because they're so stupid that only after they do it they go and brag about how they're in the system but they are just the tip of the iceberg it's going to as when all of a sudden it becomes cool to go to a community i know had to go on i don't know what i did or do not i'm sorry i'm going to go to richard here richard i think think the the learning moment for all of the people involved in this is the only thing that they regret is they got caught i think that's the only regret they will have go ahead richard that's that's probably true. but there is a broader her ality problem that goes beyond a few rich hollywood types doing this and part of it is the problems with admissions but i'll tell you this i'm on i would not buy a used car from the university president. most universities present sabol to mark not if people are part of the army i'm sure they had good parents
they behaved well but they lie a lot not all the time but the law the statistics i pointed out our average kid they are misleading ah they don't tell you things that you should know university trustees are clueless on what goes on behind the scenes at universities because i just hear the p.r. that the president's office puts out so the universities are not going to reform themselves that is a given the question i have is is the broader public is sufficiently the government is it up to the task and i'm not so sure about that either so that makes me a bit less pessimistic about the going to give remington the last thirty seconds go ahead in washington. well i'm not sure the government is up to the task but they darn sure better do something about it people are sick and tired of going into debt
just to get an education we need to change the system we need to take money out of it and we need to do better by our future or that was in a remarkable some nation we disagreed to the program but i think we all came to the right conclusion in the end this scandal isn't over gentlemen i think we're going to hear a lot more and it's going to be embarrassing hopefully it will it will for some kind of change but i'm not optimistic about that many thanks to my guests in new york washington and in athens and thanks to our viewers for watching us here at r.t. see you next time and remember stuff rolls. after the previous stage of my career was over everyone wondered what i was going to do next the multiple different clips on one hand it is logical to sort of go from fields where everything is familiar on the other i wanted
a new challenge and the fresh perspective i'm used to suppressing. or not to give you. i'm going to talk about football not for you or else you can sink i was going to the. by the way what is it that's like here. on. the shadow to get a former soldier that. yes i'm saying that just that a second and said i wasn't and i was at the home and needed the classes
that the first step was not a post and. join me every thursday on the alex salmond show and i'll be speaking to guest of the world of politics small business i'm show business i'll see that. during the great depression which i'm old enough to remember there was most of my family were unemployed working class there wasn't it was bed you know much worse objective listen today but there was an expectation of the things were going to get better. there was a real sense of hopefulness there isn't today today's america was shaped by the turn principles of concentration of wealth and power. reduced democracy
attack solo down engineer elections manufacture consent and other principle holds according to no i'm chaunced one set of rules for the rich opposite set of rules for. that's what happens when you put her into the hands of a narrow sector of will switch will is dedicated to increasing power for chills just as you'd expect one of the most influential intellectuals of our time speaks about the modern civilization of america. reason may says the u.k. will not leave the e.u.
on the twenty ninth of march and blames parliament for refusing to approve. a donald trump official or a menacing boss of facebook backs down apologizes after banning the account of the u.s. president's social media chief. and scrapping treaties and weaponize in space moscow warns against spiraling into a new arms race in the twenty first century. there is midnight. here with the news this hour about an update to bring you on britain's . first of all set to continue well into the summer with the prime minister to resign.