Posted On: Friday - July 7th 2023 9:57PM MST
In Topics:   University  History
Note, that our title only includes the 3 official branches of government. I'm not sure how many de facto arms the Feral Beast has now.
The steady and attentive Peak Stupidity reader may be forgiven for assuming that our post on Wednesday, Another favorable SCROTUS decision (re the student loan Unforgiven) was the post advertised back last Saturday as the other one on university, as not related to AA. Nope, this one is that one.
I had a question about something while reading the very interesting and very worrisome article Complex Systems Won’t Survive the Competence Crisis, as discussed 2 weeks here back in Harold Robinson on the Competency Crisis. What brought it up were the following couple of paragraphs by Mr. Robinson under the From Meritocracy to Diversity heading:
The first domino to fall as Civil Rights-era policies took effect was the quantitative evaluation of competency by employers using straightforward cognitive batteries. While some tests are still legally used in hiring today, several high-profile enforcement actions against employers caused a wholesale change in the tools customarily usable by employers to screen for ability.His article doesn't get into more detail on this, but most who discuss this on the internets (think Steve Sailer) will bring up the March 1971 SCROTUS decision on Griggs v Duke Power. That branch of the US Gov't affected university enrollment, but let me point out 3 other factors, 2 of them earlier, and one later, caused by all of the branches of the Government.
After the early 1970s, employers responded by shifting from directly testing for ability to using the next best thing: a degree from a highly-selective university. By pushing the selection challenge to the college admissions offices, selective employers did two things: they reduced their risk of lawsuits and they turned the U.S. college application process into a high-stakes war of all against all.
Going back to the 2nd of the last year of World War II, the Congress passed the GI Bill in 1944. From that short article on The Army Times site:
Concern about another depression when some 16 million service members returned to the U.S. after the second World War spurred the passage of the 1944 GI bill. Without formal job training outside the military, many of these service members would have been unemployed. After Congress passed the legislation, then-President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed it into law on June 22, 1944.Yes, of course Statist FDR would sign it. Guys like that don't care about the US Constitution. I will say that it's easy, but still wrong, to put aside that document, in this case out of sympathy for returning WWII draftees. I'm sure it was very popular then, and it still is. (The article covers 3 extensions to the law over the years - the latest, signed by President Trump in '17, makes the GI Bill apply to reserves and national guardsmen.)
The “GI Bill of Rights,” as it was dubbed, provided extensive benefits — job counseling, employment services, and tuition assistance for educational pursuits for honorably discharged veterans. These services kept veterans from flooding the job market all at once while increasing educational and employment opportunities to anyone who served after Sept. 16, 1940.
This bill was passed out of political expediency, the avoidance of a depression, and there was officially a short recession due to the economic changes of war demobilization in '45 and an 11-month one in '49.
The point here is that, though it included other benefits for veterans, the main effect of the law - the only idea most people currently have of the "GI Bill" - is that it encourages people (men at the time, as they were who fought WWII) go to college. Tuition and board may be completely covered, depending on the university and program.
The Vietnam War brought with it another impetus for men (again, as women weren't subject to the military draft) to go to college. That was the draft deferment policy. I don't know the ins and outs of it, but as for the immediate effect on university attendance, I glanced through a short easily-readable '01 paper by Economics Professors David Card; Thomas Lemieux of the U. of California - Berzerkely and the U. of British Columbia - Vancouver, respectively, called College to Avoid the Draft: The Unintended Legacy of the Vietnam War. From the summary:
Throughout most of the Vietnam War, men who were in college could obtain deferments that delayed their eligibility for conscription. It was widely believed by contemporaneous observers that college deferment was an effective means of draft avoidance, and that draft avoidance led to a rise in the college enrollment rates of young men. We use data on the enrollment and completed education of men relative to women to estimate the effect of draft-avoidance behavior on the education choice of men who were at high risk of being drafted during the Vietnam War. We find a strong correlation be- tween the risk of induction faced bv a cohort and the relative enrollment and completed education of men. Our estimates suggest that draft avoidance raised college attendance rates by 4-6 percentage points in the late 1960's, and raised the fraction of men born in the mid-1940's with a college degree by LIPto 2 percentage points.I note that the methodology used the male/female college attendance ratio to pull out this effect from other effects on attendance.
Which branch of government caused that change? I suppose it was the Legislative Branch officially, but it was the Executive Branch that got us into Vietnam to begin with. (No, it's NOT supposed to work that way.)
Then there was the Griggs v Duke Power SCROTUS case, as mentioned above. In that article linked to, there's a whole lot of discussion of the cases in the lower courts that led up to this case and decision, too much for me right now. Here's an important part:
Completion of high school alone continued to render employees eligible for transfer to the four desirable departments from which Negroes had been excluded if the incumbent had been employed prior to the time of the new requirement. In September, 1965, the Company began to permit incumbent employees who lacked a high school education to qualify for transfer from Labor or Coal Handling to an "inside" job by passing two tests -- the Wonderlic Personnel Test, which purports to measure general intelligence, and the Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test. Neither was directed or intended to measure the ability to learn to perform a particular job or category of jobs.Due to the complaints along the lines of "It's not fair! The tests are biased toward White people with those questions about polo!"*, the decision made it precarious for businesses to do general merit testing. The chances of being sued would be high.
Without this kind of testing of employees who may or my not have a college degree, Big Biz had to switch to relying on college graduation as a measure of merit. It was still the early '70s though. This wasn't the university environment of today. A degree, even in an obscure Humanities field meant the holder of it could organize his thoughts and get white collar work done. Therefore, there was a new impetus for young Americans to go to college, as some of the plentiful white collar jobs that didn't used to require a college degree now did. As for Big Business, well, they didn't have to py for it...
... but it was very inexpensive still in the '70s and only went up drastically as the Feral Gov't got involved YET AGAIN, in guaranteeing student loans for the bankers who did the loaning. (Some are directly from the Government now.) Well, Peak Stupidity has beat that one to death
That's 4 different Feral Gov't policies that have given an incentive to Americans to go to college when they otherwise may not have. The Administrative, Legislative, and Judicial Branches have all been a part of this. None of this should be the Feral Gov't's business.
Does the graph at the top show all these 4 factors well? (The first 2 factors should affect men's attendance only - in a positive direction.) Take a look at it, and see what you think. Well, this post has gone on long enough already. I may continue it sometime with a comparison to further university attendance data.
* Hey, I'm White, and I've only been to 1 polo game. It was with the Boy Scouts, and I have no idea where that was now.