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Weh Weh Weh Weh Wait. Greed and bad parenting? C’est entendu. It’s not a good look for the New York Times – paper of the privileged – to explicitly fail to say why people who cheat so their rich dumb kids get into better schools than they qualify for (and thereby block smarter, more hardworking, children of non-oligarchs from the education they deserve) are being publicly shamed. If greed and being a bad parent were sufficient cause for public shaming, we’d have nationwide public shaming fatigue syndrome.

Most countries have an utterly corrupt, utterly entitled, utterly immune oligarchy buzzing above sordid cities in private helicopters on their way back from Gstaad, and there’s no sense protesting that cuz it has always been true and always will be true. A teeny number of countries (The Nordics… Canada?…. ÉtatsUnis?) seem to have a less baked-in ownership class, and it therefore feels worthwhile to see if the courts will be willing to punish them when they, say, destroy the economy (answer on that one here in the States: no), or, more modestly, destroy the intellectual functioning of our universities through the relentless metastasis of morons into them.

(UD of course has no way of knowing whether these hapless spawn of moral degenerates really are desperately dim; they can thank their parents for allowing us all to proceed on the assumption that they are. We certainly know that some of the kiddies cooperated with the scheme, so their self-appraisal is pretty clear.)

Americans haven’t yet had to settle into the paralyzing, corrosive, bitterness/nihilism that comes from witnessing a class of belligerently destructive people whose essential horror is that they know they act with absolute impunity. Maybe that nihilism is in our future. Maybe that’s why Bernie Sanders is winning – we’re seeking to avoid it. Maybe that’s why it’s only a matter of time before one of the campaigns tells us all about this. The Varsity Blues parents, by the most random, unlikely turn of events, got caught; they got caught and now carry on their shoulders the burden of our knowledge that rich degenerates are destroying our institutions. The important thing is to cut them down to size by laughing at them and, of course, by putting them in jail.

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12 Responses to “‘Most of the [Varsity Blues scandal] parents — even those whose cases have yet to be decided — have faced consequences outside the courtroom: They lost high-paying jobs, had professional licenses suspended or investigated, or were publicly shamed as examples of greed and bad parenting.’”

  1. theprofessor Says:

    Given his wife and daughter’s plundering of a college, with no consequences, except for the closing of the institution, I think that Bernie understands the concept of “impunity” quite well. Given his slavish affection over the years for every communist and left-wing tyrant and their associated nomenklaturas, it’s safe to say that the Bernie Bros & Broettes are fantasizing already about the dachas they will have built for themselves. It goes without saying that their offspring will move to the front of the admissions line into the elite institutions.

  2. Stephen Karlson Says:

    Regression to the mean? “[H]apless spawn of moral degenerates really are desperately dim.”

  3. David Foster Says:

    There are two different issues here…

    1–the scamsters…yes, what they did is basically equivalent to embezzling money (given the market value of *elite* degrees)

    2–but also: it is very unhealthy to our society to have a small number of universities set up as Gatekeepers for a whole range of important jobs. (check out the membership of the Supreme Court, or of the investment bank of your choice). Peter Drucker tried to warn American about this kind of thing, half a century ago:

    “One thing it (modern society) cannot afford in education is the “elite institution” which has a monopoly on social standing, on prestige, and on the command positions in society and economy. Oxford and Cambridge are important reasons for the English brain drain. A main reason for the technology gap is the Grande Ecole such as the Ecole Polytechnique or the Ecole Normale. These elite institutions may do a magnificent job of education, but only their graduates normally get into the command positions. Only their faculties “matter.” This restricts and impoverishes the whole society…The Harvard Law School might like to be a Grande Ecole and to claim for its graduates a preferential position. But American society has never been willing to accept this claim…”

    American society today has come a lot closer to accepting a Grande Ecole status for HLS (et al) than it was when Prof Drucker wrote the above.

  4. Margaret Soltan Says:

    David: True, but not the whole story. Corporate leaders often come from large public universities.

  5. Stephen Karlson Says:

    In a way, that story about where corporate leaders come from helps make David’s point. (Not that the story bothers me, I have a business degree from Wisconsin.) Corporate leadership is emergent and businesses are subject to market tests. Thus, the successful entrepreneur or senior manager of tomorrow might get there by a variety of ways. That’s one reason I keep beating that same-business-as-the-Ivies on my web journal.

    On the other hand, in law, and, to an unhealthy extent, government, High Finance, and National Journalism, the market tests are non-existent or less robust, and Credentials Matter when the graduates of the Kennedy School in the Senate vet the graduates of Yale Law for the High Bench with the graduates of Medill or Columbia Journalism reporting the proceedings. After a few financial collapses and fifty years of failure by The Best and The Brightest, that Peter Drucker comment persuades me.

  6. charlie Says:

    Sorry, theprofessor, but Jane Sanders destroyed Burlington College not for any alligence to left wing/socialist/communist/ist doctrines. It wasn’t the People’s Glorious Revoloutionary Bank that lent her the money to indulge in a stupid development scheme. It was good ol Wall Street bond palaces that did that heavy lifting. Jackass Jane adhered to the same failed business model that every other coprorate schlepping uni pre has been evoking, so much so, that it ruined a college that was doing all right prior to hiring a grifter. Maybe that’s the point, we’re being fooled into thinking that her husband is any much different. Just sayin…

  7. David Foster Says:

    Margaret…”Corporate leaders often come from large public universities”

    Depends on the industry, as Stephen Karlson pointed out above. An Ivy degree is much more important in consulting or investment banking than in manufacturing or software; even more so in government and ‘nonprofits’.

    From the standpoint of the argument I’m making, it matters less whether the venue of the degree *really* controls the kid’s career opportunities than it does that these parents *think* that it does. And so do a lot of other people. I think it is socially toxic to have a widespread belief that ”if you don’t get into Harvard or Yale, you’ll always be second-rate.’

  8. TAFKAU Says:

    So husbands are now responsible for the failings of their wives? Interesting. Turn the genders around, and I think we’d all agree that’s a pretty sexist perspective. I’m not a Bernie fan, but this a pretty dumb argument against him.

  9. charlie Says:

    Your point, whatever you think it is, is ironic. Seems as if you believe women can’t be grifters nor con artists. And Janes’s husband has made a living railing against Wall Street bond houses that his wife commissioned to encumber Burlington College with debt that couldn’t be paid. Despite the obvious hypocrisy, you’re issue is sexism. I’ll leave it at that…

  10. TAFKAU Says:

    Wow,there’s some world-class misreading. My point–which should be obvious to any fair-minded reader has nothing to do with what Jane Sanders did or didn’t do. There’s only a case for hypocrisy if you assume husbands are accountable for their wives’ actions. So my comments are as ironic as rain on your wedding day. :)6

  11. charlie Says:

    We’re not talking about husbands and wives, we’re talking about a guy running for Pres, and a gal who was a college pres that she ran into the ground. These are people who are in the position to set policy that affect people’s lives.

    Let’s do this one more time. Bernie Sanders is running for Pres with a marketing campaign based on student loan forgiveness. His wife took the helm of a financially strapped private college. As reports indicate, she rammed through a RE development scheme that forced Burlington College to take on loans. Tuition increased because the students and their loans were paying the debt service. It was a such a stupid idea that BC went bankrupt and shut down. The upshot was the students had more debt incurred from a college that doesn’t exist anymore.

    So, here’s what we’re left with. Jane Sanders contributed to the crisis that her husband claims he’s trying to correct. Unless these two are raging imbeciles, they couldn’t see the obvious hypocrisy prior to Jane’s attempt at becoming a RE visionary.

  12. TAFKAU Says:

    I refer the honorable gentleman to the answer I gave some moments ago.

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