Corner of Berkshire & Fairfax Message Board

General Category => Politics => Topic started by: Parsad on March 12, 2019, 05:30:52 PM

Title: Unbelievable!
Post by: Parsad on March 12, 2019, 05:30:52 PM
Not really political...just plain stupid and unbelievable!

https://news.yahoo.com/celebs-charged-with-fraud-in-buying-their-childrens-admission-to-top-colleges-180302288.html

Cheers!
Title: Re: Unbelievable!
Post by: rb on March 12, 2019, 06:37:49 PM
It's not really all that unbelievable. This sort of stuff has been going on for a long time. Sure, what's in the article is more unsavory. But how is that really any different from sizable donations to schools or "legacy admissions"? The latter cases are wrapped in the genteel shroud of respectability. But really the end result is the same. Someone who doesn't deserve to get in gets in takes the place of someone who does deserve to be there. All that changes is who's being bribed. Some bribes are more respectable than others I guess.
Title: Re: Unbelievable!
Post by: DTEJD1997 on March 12, 2019, 06:42:02 PM
hey all:

Another scam in the education industrial complex?

whut, Whut, WHUT!!!!!!?

Who would have thunk that?  How can that be?

Surely, there can't be any OTHER SCAMS in the education industrial complex?  Could there?
Title: Re: Unbelievable!
Post by: LC on March 12, 2019, 06:49:38 PM
In addition to what you all have mentioned, this hurts the reputation of these institutions in the long run. Short term thinking all around.
Title: Re: Unbelievable!
Post by: rb on March 12, 2019, 07:20:59 PM
In addition to what you all have mentioned, this hurts the reputation of these institutions in the long run. Short term thinking all around.
I don't think it does hurt the reputation. These things have been going on for decades/centuries and yet the reputations are still there. This is because the families that bought their admission will also make sure to buy them a glossy position in life.

Take Jared Kushner. Dumb as a rock but daddy bought him a place into Harvard. Billionaire kid, marries billionaire's daughter, becomes special assistant to the President in charge of Middle East peace - Harvard alumni. If he's father in law would be anyone other than Donald Trump he'd be on the cover of Harvard Magazine, The Harvard Crimson, and all Harvard marketing materials. Doesn't matter he had no business attending that institution.

The one thing that is somewhat encouraging though is that by some measures this sort of stuff is happening somewhat less today that it did in the past.
Title: Re: Unbelievable!
Post by: Parsad on March 12, 2019, 11:13:15 PM
Yes, yes, yes, it's been going on forever...of course I know that! 

There is a difference between donating millions for a library and donating millions through wires under the table.  The end result may be the same, but at least one is public graft. 

When mainstream individuals start partaking in such private graft, in large scale as well, it is a sad day for society.  I hope they get substantial terms in jail! 

Cheers!
Title: Re: Unbelievable!
Post by: meiroy on March 13, 2019, 02:47:35 AM
Crony/corrupt capitalism is not capitalism.

In crony/corrupt capitalism, at a certain amount of wealth whole families can remove themselves from the constraints of capitalism.  This is one of the reasons why reducing inequality is imperative to the capitalistic system, otherwise, it gets slowly eaten from the inside.

BTW, here's a recent talk by Greenblatt about Charter schools.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLOy5oXUkok
Title: Re: Unbelievable!
Post by: LC on March 13, 2019, 07:37:23 AM
Crony/corrupt capitalism is not capitalism.

In crony/corrupt capitalism, at a certain amount of wealth whole families can remove themselves from the constraints of capitalism.  This is one of the reasons why reducing inequality is imperative to the capitalistic system, otherwise, it gets slowly eaten from the inside.


Well said.
Title: Re: Unbelievable!
Post by: DTEJD1997 on March 13, 2019, 08:32:42 AM
Hey all:

Not really hearing anything about what is going on with the kids that benefited from this graft & corruption.

No talk of expulsion. 

If I were a regular student at one of these skools where kids could bribe their way in, I would be pissed.

Wonder if the skools will be kicking out the kids & divesting the institution of the ill gotten gains?  What happens to the coaches & other admins that took the kash?

These scandals are like cockroaches.  For every one that you see/know about, there are probably a dozen out of sight.
Title: Re: Unbelievable!
Post by: cobafdek on March 13, 2019, 08:38:43 AM
https://twitter.com/ScottAdamsSays/status/1105667060346941442
Title: Re: Unbelievable!
Post by: rb on March 13, 2019, 09:44:45 AM
Hey all:

Not really hearing anything about what is going on with the kids that benefited from this graft & corruption.

No talk of expulsion. 

If I were a regular student at one of these skools where kids could bribe their way in, I would be pissed.

Wonder if the skools will be kicking out the kids & divesting the institution of the ill gotten gains?  What happens to the coaches & other admins that took the kash?

These scandals are like cockroaches.  For every one that you see/know about, there are probably a dozen out of sight.
Nothing is going to happen to these kids. Absolutely nothing. Btw, this is happening at EVERY majour, expensive school. I went to one of these schools. From the tone of my writing you can probably guess that I'm not impressed by it. But once you're there I don't know about being pissed. You just kinda shrug because it's happening and there's nothing you can do about it.
Title: Re: Unbelievable!
Post by: rb on March 13, 2019, 10:07:00 AM
Yes, yes, yes, it's been going on forever...of course I know that! 

There is a difference between donating millions for a library and donating millions through wires under the table.  The end result may be the same, but at least one is public graft. 

When mainstream individuals start partaking in such private graft, in large scale as well, it is a sad day for society.  I hope they get substantial terms in jail! 

Cheers!

No. It's all graft. It's just some of it is more unseemly to you than other. Why should only "select" individuals engage in graft and not the mainstream ones?

Don't get me wrong. I'm pretty disgusted by the whole thing. But even more so by a system in which only the chosen few can participate.

As for jail time, from the article it doesn't seem like it was anything illegal about it. They may go to jail but for money laundry and tax evasion. Essentially they're not going to jail for what they did but because they didn't pay their taxes.
Title: Re: Unbelievable!
Post by: rkbabang on March 13, 2019, 11:06:22 AM
Crony/corrupt capitalism is not capitalism.

In crony/corrupt capitalism, at a certain amount of wealth whole families can remove themselves from the constraints of capitalism.  This is one of the reasons why reducing inequality is imperative to the capitalistic system, otherwise, it gets slowly eaten from the inside.

BTW, here's a recent talk by Greenblatt about Charter schools.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLOy5oXUkok

Sure, but these people aren't billionaires.  If you want to tax "the rich" so much that there is no one left who could afford to pay a bribe, you would also destroy capitalism.  The problem isn't that some people have more money than others, the problem is that some accept bribes.  Taking all money in excess of that needed to survive (so that there is nothing left to pay a bribe with) is the same reasoning behind banning guns/knives because it gives you the ability to shoot/stab someone.  The problem isn't owning excess money in the bank or having knives in your kitchen, the problem is people who use those things inappropriately.
Title: Re: Unbelievable!
Post by: Castanza on March 13, 2019, 11:12:16 AM
Crony/corrupt capitalism is not capitalism.

In crony/corrupt capitalism, at a certain amount of wealth whole families can remove themselves from the constraints of capitalism.  This is one of the reasons why reducing inequality is imperative to the capitalistic system, otherwise, it gets slowly eaten from the inside.

BTW, here's a recent talk by Greenblatt about Charter schools.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLOy5oXUkok



Sure, but these people aren't billionaires.  If you want to tax "the rich" so much that there is no one left who could afford to pay a bribe, you would also destroy capitalism.  The problem isn't that some people have more money than others, the problem is that some accept bribes.  Taking all money in excess of that needed to survive (so that there is nothing left to pay a bribe with) is the same reasoning behind banning guns/knives because it gives you the ability to shoot/stab someone.  The problem isn't owning excess money in the bank or having knives in your kitchen, the problem is people who use those things inappropriately.

Exactly, take away money and people will find other ways to bribe and cheat the system. has nothing to do with income inequality and everything to do with corrupt individuals.
Title: Re: Unbelievable!
Post by: LC on March 13, 2019, 11:40:36 AM
https://www.theroot.com/remember-that-time-when-jared-kushner-s-dad-donated-2-1833241931
Title: Re: Unbelievable!
Post by: Gregmal on March 13, 2019, 11:52:48 AM
Its not like this stuff doesn't happen anyway. Ever wonder what "legacy" students essentially are? Whether the rate of second/future generation students is correlated to donation money from said enrollee's alumni parent/relative?

Personally, I think this stuff should be ok. Want to buy your way into Yale? Fine. But if schools accept this then they should be cut off from public funding/benefits... Rich people can buy their way into a nice house. Why not let them buy their way into a nice dorm/education? Although I would also think if this stuff was allowed, it would provide opportunities for schools that are against this to promote an honest education and fairness first policy.

If these schools want to turn themselves into establishments that are all but the same as those sleazy for profit centers, at least lets let them be open about it
Title: Re: Unbelievable!
Post by: SharperDingaan on March 13, 2019, 02:41:48 PM
Ever looked at the % of 'international' versus 'domestic' students at various universities?
And how much larger their tuiton costs are, versus the domestic student.

Isn't that essentially bribing your way in, but on an industrial scale?
And is it really a negative?  A great many institutions would suggest to you that those 'additional' revenues, fund larger/additional programs that domestic students wouldn't otherwise have; it's not taking spaces away, it's creating more of them (net). Many others would suggest that most of the dollars actually fund 'reasearch' (labs, faculty, research assistants, etc), versus additional spaces; generating 'prestige', to use as advertising, to pull in still more dollars.

It's not black or white.

SD
Title: Re: Unbelievable!
Post by: LC on March 13, 2019, 04:39:00 PM
A great many institutions would suggest to you that those 'additional' revenues, fund larger/additional programs that domestic students wouldn't otherwise have; it's not taking spaces away, it's creating more of them (net). Many others would suggest that most of the dollars actually fund 'reasearch' (labs, faculty, research assistants, etc), versus additional spaces; generating 'prestige', to use as advertising, to pull in still more dollars.

It's not black or white.

SD

This is also the argument for the industrialization of the college football/basketball athlete.

IMHO this is not how a just and fair society functions, but it's called utopia for a reason I suppose.

Also, this is pretty sad in retrospect:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbqKdEPBrlA&app=desktop
Title: Re: Unbelievable!
Post by: Read the Footnotes on March 13, 2019, 09:09:58 PM
I agree with all the indignation in this thread. I also believe that this scandal likely only scrapes the surface with respect to people who could be charged in this specific criminal ring and that there are likely similar rings out there.

In addition, I believe that there are other issues with the academy such as plagiarism and cheating which may have grown more prevalent, and which administrations seek to sweep under the rug.

With that said, this current scandal reminds me of when the #metoo movement took down faculty members on campuses. The fact is there were bad actors, but the vast majority were not causing problems. The same is true in this admissions scandal. Most employees are not engaged in fraud, but those who are will usually be found to be repeat offenders. Trust me, those honest faculty and staff want nothing more than to see the miscreants punished and expunged from the community. I think it is safe to assume the innocent employees of colleges and universities are deeply affected by such scandals, and that many are more angry and indignant than members of this board.

Any administrator who does not seek to root out any evidence of this type of fraud should be ashamed of themselves, but I am sure there will be organizations that will circle the wagons rather than do the right thing. There will also be so many simple ways to screen the data for fraud if they wanted too. Possibly the easiest is to cross reference all admitted athletes (especially among the minor sports teams) and compare it with attendance records. Any admitted athlete who never participated in athletics should be investigated. Will this happen? I doubt it. Only if administrators are more afraid of not doing in because they are afraid of public embarrassment.

Finally, to take a different perspective . . . Instead of focussing on the advantages the wealthy have, you can also think of this issue in economic terms as price discrimination. Price discrimination is an economic term of art that means to sell the same product at different prices to different buyers in order to maximize revenue. The optimal solution would involve getting each buyer to pay their own individual maximum price they are willing to pay. This is basically the game that colleges are actually playing. Those who can demonstrate need can frequently pay nothing. Those who are extremely wealthy frequently end up paying full price and buying buildings. Sure, you can find examples of the wealthy getting unfair advantage, and the less fortunate being frozen out. On the other hand the US system of higher education is one of the most extreme systems for redistribution of wealth and for price discrimination that has ever been created.
Title: Re: Unbelievable!
Post by: meiroy on March 13, 2019, 10:30:36 PM
Crony/corrupt capitalism is not capitalism.

In crony/corrupt capitalism, at a certain amount of wealth whole families can remove themselves from the constraints of capitalism.  This is one of the reasons why reducing inequality is imperative to the capitalistic system, otherwise, it gets slowly eaten from the inside.

BTW, here's a recent talk by Greenblatt about Charter schools.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLOy5oXUkok

Sure, but these people aren't billionaires.  If you want to tax "the rich" so much that there is no one left who could afford to pay a bribe, you would also destroy capitalism.  The problem isn't that some people have more money than others, the problem is that some accept bribes.  Taking all money in excess of that needed to survive (so that there is nothing left to pay a bribe with) is the same reasoning behind banning guns/knives because it gives you the ability to shoot/stab someone.  The problem isn't owning excess money in the bank or having knives in your kitchen, the problem is people who use those things inappropriately.

goats dude, that was a strawman argument, that's not what I'm chewing on at all. (see what I did there? see it? you come for the Politics stay for the *hilarious* laughs...)

1. ANY system would fail if it is corrupted. Be it capitalism, socialism, schools, goats farm etc.  Can we agree on this?
2. ANY system that involves a decently large number of human beings, will be corrupted to some extent over time.  Can we agree on this?
3. 1 + 2 = system corruption should be kept at a minimum in order for the system to survive.  Can we agree on this?

Now, re. capitalism, in the real world (and, kindly note I'm talking about our current real world and not about a world which is based on a large number of "what ifs"):
4. Some inequality is inevitable. Yes? This is well accepted and should be embraced.  I have no issues with this.
5. Excessive inequality is damaging.  A couple of reasons why: above 1 & 2,  consumption and saving rates.

As a BTW, quite interestingly, it is well known that in Europe in countries like the UK and Italy there are many, many families which have maintained their wealth over centuries. A lot of money is a tremendous competitive advantage,  at some point, you can skip that whole "competition" constraint. You just don't really have to participate. You already won.

If it wasn't clear by now I think the current inequality in the US is excessive, and it is damaging to the economy for many years now.  The result is the current political situation.  Some of this damage has been inflicted by foreign countries.

Title: Re: Unbelievable!
Post by: Spekulatius on March 14, 2019, 03:24:27 PM
Crony/corrupt capitalism is not capitalism.

In crony/corrupt capitalism, at a certain amount of wealth whole families can remove themselves from the constraints of capitalism.  This is one of the reasons why reducing inequality is imperative to the capitalistic system, otherwise, it gets slowly eaten from the inside.

BTW, here's a recent talk by Greenblatt about Charter schools.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLOy5oXUkok

Sure, but these people aren't billionaires.  If you want to tax "the rich" so much that there is no one left who could afford to pay a bribe, you would also destroy capitalism.  The problem isn't that some people have more money than others, the problem is that some accept bribes.  Taking all money in excess of that needed to survive (so that there is nothing left to pay a bribe with) is the same reasoning behind banning guns/knives because it gives you the ability to shoot/stab someone.  The problem isn't owning excess money in the bank or having knives in your kitchen, the problem is people who use those things inappropriately.

Bribery has nothing tondo with capitalism, or any other economic system for that matter. Bribery existed in communist states, religious/Islamic states and particular in any economically depressed economy. Itís more of a cultural issue and in some cultures, it is more acceptable than in others. It looks like in the US, it is more accepted than I thought.