US universities should pay for debt cancellation

Universities, not taxpayers, should pay for student debt forgiveness, author Nassim Nicholas Taleb wrote in a tweet criticizing liberal arts degrees.

Many have argued that writing off President Joe Biden’s $10,000 student loan debt will benefit black students and help close the racial wealth gap, as black students hold a disproportionate amount of student loan debt. . Others argue that $10,000 is too low to close the wealth gap.

The The black-white pay gap is getting worsewhile the indebtedness of black communities increases.

‘The Black Swan’ author Taleb wrote on Twitter that the cost of the “student loan debt jubilee should be borne by universities, not taxpayers”.

Taleb criticized liberal arts degrees in particular, saying parents were deceived.

“If an American college degree seems pointless, it’s by design,” he tweeted. “For the ‘liberal arts’ = training for upper class freemen (liber) who were above having a profession.”

Instead, Taleb praised vocational and professional schools. “You learn how to earn $$ in vocational or vocational schools,” he tweeted. “Middle-class parents have been cheated and cheated.”

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A Lebanese-American author, mathematician, and statistician, Taleb’s research focuses on problems of uncertainty, probability, and randomness. He was an options trader before becoming a full-time writer and has been a professor at several universities, including New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering.

He has also practiced mathematical finance, been a hedge fund manager and derivatives trader, and was listed as a scientific advisor at Universa Investments.

Taleb’s 2007 book, “The Black Swan”, was named one of 12 most influential books since World War II. In it, he wrote about his Black Swan Theory, a strategy he’s used over his 20-year career as a derivatives trader. He made money for various stakeholders, including himself, using the theory. He predicted the Great Recession and took advantage.

Taleb called American liberal arts degrees an elitist construct with roots dating back to antiquity, citing Paul Veyne, a French historian and archaeologist.

“The source of the American ‘liberal arts’ degree is the English upper-class imitation of the old Meds who despised work and workers. As Jules Veyne said: ‘[in the Ancient World] you are free [liber] if your name does not come with a profession’”.

Taleb isn’t alone in thinking a college education is elitist.

“Since its inception, higher education has been reserved for the upper classes, leaving working-class people with few options for economic advancement,” Allia Luzong wrote for a little human. “Today, academia is more elite than ever, and while a degree may still be the key to a better-paying job, the debt students incur and the years they lose studying can all but wipe out the economic benefits that the diploma offers.”

Photo: Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Lola R. McClure