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Pop quiz: What’s the one major consumer expense that has been rising at a faster rate than healthcare?

Take a look at this chart:

Academia. What a scam.

In 1971, the Supreme Court ruled in Griggs v. Duke Power Co., in the first and most famous of the disparate impact theory cases, that the use of broad-based aptitude tests in hiring practices was a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Around 1978, college tuition costs began to skyrocket, and haven’t let up since.

Coincidence? I think not.

The answer to busting the hyperinflationary tuition cost curve is to overturn the Griggs ruling. Employers, deprived of the opportunity to directly screen job applicants, have turned to the next available proxy tool of judgment: college degrees. Naturally, this initially caused the value of a college degree to rise, a stampede of mediocrities rushed into the hallowed halls, and then the college degree was gutted of its worth as employers began to realize how many useless grads academia was churning out. In the fallout, the game was ratcheted up a rung, tuition costs blew up because academia now had monopoly power over employer screening (think of academia as an entrenched and enriched middleman), and the master’s degree has become worth what the bachelor’s was in the past. And the bachelor’s degree? Well, say hello to communications and women’s studies majors.

Faculty and university admin, of course, hate the thought of Griggs being overturned, and disparate impact cases in general going the way of the dodo. Who could blame them? They know that “disparate impact” is code for “butters my bread”.


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