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“Real Time” host Bill Maher closed his show on Friday night by taking aim at higher education.
“Now that graduation season has ended and we won’t be spoiling anyone’s big day, let’s talk about what higher education in America really is: a racket that sells you a very expensive ticket to the upper-middle class,” Maher began his monologue.
“President Biden’s American Families Plan asks the American taxpayers to pony up hundreds of billions so that everyone can go to college and billions more for subsidized child care so that our kids can go to school while we go to school.”
“Now the right is calling Biden’s plan ‘social engineering,’ which is over-the-top, but Biden’s plan is an endorsement of a particular idea that the more time humans spend in classrooms staring at blackboards, the better,” Maher continued.
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“Liberals see more school the way Republicans see tax cuts – as the answer to everything. We imagine going to college is the way to fight income inequality, it actually does the reverse.”
The HBO star noted that those with a bachelor’s degree make an average of 65% more than those who don’t and “100%” more for those with a master’s degree. He also cited that unemployment for college graduates is “half” of that for high school graduates.
“I know that free college is a leftwing thing, but is it really liberal for someone who doesn’t go to college and makes less money to pay for people who do go and make more?” Maher asked. “Especially since colleges have turned into giant luxury day care centers with overpaid babysitters anxious to indulge every student whim.”
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“Why is China kicking our ass? Because in 2019, we’ve issued more undergrad degrees in visual and performing arts than in computer and information science or math.
“Say what you want about Lori Loughlin,” he added, referring to the actress who was caught up in the college admissions scandal, “at least she understood that one good scam deserves another. And in the immortal words of her daughter Olivia Jade, ‘I don’t know how much school I’m going to attend. … but I do want the experience of like, game days and partying.’ Yeah, I’m not f—in paying for that.”
Lori Loughlin, right, and daughter Olivia Jade Giannulli are seen in Beverly Hills, California, Feb. 28, 2019. (Associated Press)
The “Real Time” host argued that colleges are “businesses selling a consumer product for hundreds of thousands of dollars” all for a “magical piece of paper called a diploma,” which he added was just “the beginning of the scam” as he noted education programs beyond getting a bachelors and masters.
“I’ve heard this from so many nurses and teachers and administrators rolling their eyes when relating how they needed to take some bulls— course in order to advance in the field when really they’ve already learned what they need by working the job,” Maher said. “But in the grift that is our higher education, when you want to move up, ‘Hold on there! Not so fast! Tollbooth ahead! You need to pay for more ’education’ before you we decide you could do what you do.’ F—, this is what Scientology does, makes you keep taking courses to move up to ‘The Bridge of Total Freedom.’”
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Maher went on to blast the skyrocketing average cost of tuition, going up “500%” since 1985, adding that it increases “four times” the rate of inflation every year “yet no one knows how to change a tire.”
“The answer isn’t to make college free, the answer is to make it more unnecessary, which it is for most jobs,” Maher continued. “So that the two-thirds of Americans who either can’t afford to or just don’t want to go don’t feel shut out because the system we have sets up this winner-loser dynamic and breeds resentment … and that in turn feeds into our widening political division.”
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