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Ontario Fall election


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Basically, you guys want to see universities replaced by more extensive colleges and polytechnics.

I'm all for higher education. I just don't think areas that are not in demand should be subsidized. Just as I think that businesses that are large and healthy shouldn't receive any subsidies.

Pay $40k of your own money and another $40k of subsidized money to get a degree in philosophy. Become a specialist in "the path from nothing, to nowhere" and gain 0 skills to become a productive member of society... unless you want to try winning the lottery and become a philosophy professor. Work at starbucks for a living, never innovate, never bring new jobs to Ontario. Atrocious investment.

When you get into University, all they do is pump up how the area of academic study you've chosen (Regardless of whether it is true, or feasible) can be used and how awesome it is. Taking away the subsidy would cut the bullcrap so students would know that they are making a bad investment from the start.

Many people who claim education is not an investment are people trying to rationalize that the value of their degree depreciated to near 0 once received. They bought into what their professors and lecturers who want to keep their jobs were saying, and feel duped but, don't want to admit it.

The subsidy based on demand would encourage people to not do stupid things... like drop science and math because they are lazy. That is if they want a more affordable and worthwhile degree.

You could be an Engineering student and still take hobby classes like history and art at a non-subsidized rate. The hobby academics still have a place and importance but, there is no shortage of historians, artists and "sports management" graduates.

We also have a severe surplus of teacher's in Ontario. Cut the subsidy to that professional program as well.

Edited by MiddleClassCentrist
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I'm all for higher education. I just don't think areas that are not in demand should be subsidized. Just as I think that businesses that are large and healthy shouldn't receive any subsidies.

So degrees and diplomas, where there is a lack of interest and "not in demand" should not be subsidized. The problem with this, as a general statement, is that you would be removing subsidies for many degrees, especially in highly complex and technical fields - such as quantum physics, in favour of a general arts degree. You've been bitten by your own logic.

Pay $40k of your own money and another $40k of subsidized money to get a degree in philosophy. Become a specialist in "the path from nothing, to nowhere" and gain 0 skills to become a productive member of society... unless you want to try winning the lottery and become a philosophy professor. Work at starbucks for a living, never innovate, never bring new jobs to Ontario. Atrocious investment.

Do you have some sort of source you are working from that shows that degrees in philosophy result "0 skills to become a productive member of society?"

When you get into University, all they do is pump up how the area of academic study you've chosen (Regardless of whether it is true, or feasible) can be used and how awesome it is. Taking away the subsidy would cut the bullcrap so students would know that they are making a bad investment from the start.

As opposed to how awesome MacDonald's makes their products out to be, as a lifestyle.

Many people who claim education is not an investment are people trying to rationalize that the value of their degree depreciated to near 0 once received. They bought into what their professors and lecturers who want to keep their jobs were saying, and feel duped but, don't want to admit it.

Life's lessons. Hopefully those many people weren't wolfing down a larged sized Big Mac meal when they were telling you all this...

The subsidy based on demand would encourage people to not do stupid things... like drop science and math because they are lazy. That is if they want a more affordable and worthwhile degree.

A philosopher would likely say you are a Utilitarian. However, pure mathematics degrees are not in much demand so... no subsidies. Half of Waterloo closes, jobs are lost... :P

You could be an Engineering student and still take hobby classes like history and art at a non-subsidized rate. The hobby academics still have a place and importance but, there is no shortage of historians, artists and "sports management" graduates.

And engineering students will also possess the skills to pour coffee for customers at Tim Hortons.

We also have a severe surplus of teacher's in Ontario. Cut the subsidy to that professional program as well.

No, more teachers is a better investment since it would reduce the class sizes and give more teacher-time to more students likely accerlerating the curriculum and allow students a wider view of their choices.

Edited by Shwa
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So degrees and diplomas, where there is a lack of interest and "not in demand" should not be subsidized. The problem with this, as a general statement, is that you would be removing subsidies for many degrees, especially in highly complex and technical fields - such as quantum physics, in favour of a general arts degree. You've been bitten by your own logic.

You completely misunderstand.

Careers and Industries that are in demand should have their education subsidized. Not demand of degrees.

General Arts, is not geared to a specific industry and would warrant less subsidy, if any. Quantum Physics is a subset in Sciences and Engineering (for instance). Engineering, Computer Engineering, etc are all higher demand fields and should have the education subsidized to encourage more people into them. We are going to be suffering from an engineer shortage in Ontario, those jobs will ship overseas. Unfortunately, General Arts types don't have the skills to take those jobs.

A philosopher would likely say you are a Utilitarian. However, pure mathematics degrees are not in much demand so... no subsidies. Half of Waterloo closes, jobs are lost...

I know I'm utilitarian. Mathematics is a high demand skill, way more so than any history, sociology or philosophy course. It is essential for anyone in Engineering, Computer Technology, Computer Science, Finance, Physicians, Etc.

No, more teachers is a better investment since it would reduce the class sizes and give more teacher-time to more students likely accerlerating the curriculum and allow students a wider view of their choices.

We have a huge amount of teachers who have been undermployed/unemployed for 5 years. We have way too many teachers. If you want to spend more money to give more teachers jobs, then hats off to you.

Edited by MiddleClassCentrist
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You completely misunderstand.

OK, fair point. Let me revisit it.

Careers and Industries that are in demand should have their education subsidized. Not demand of degrees.

There is a demand for education. Thus we ought to have more teachers. Bitten by your own logic again.

There is also a demand for public admininstration, management, legal services - the service sector where science and math isn't all that important. Labour Force Survey, Oct. 11

General Arts, is not geared to a specific industry and would warrant less subsidy, if any. Quantum Physics is a subset in Sciences and Engineering (for instance). Engineering, Computer Engineering, etc are all higher demand fields and should have the education subsidized to encourage more people into them. We are going to be suffering from an engineer shortage in Ontario, those jobs will ship overseas. Unfortunately, General Arts types don't have the skills to take those jobs.

That's because there aren't very many jobs in those sectors - i.e. they are not in "demand." Where there are fewer job opportunities, there are fewer applicants for those fields.

I know I'm utilitarian. Mathematics is a high demand skill, way more so than any history, sociology or philosophy course. It is essential for anyone in Engineering, Computer Technology, Computer Science, Finance, Physicians, Etc.

If you are such a math buff, then you will appreciate the reference to Statistics Canada. Anyone with basic high school math can pick up the math required for the above occupations, they don't need a math degree.

We have a huge amount of teachers who have been undermployed/unemployed for 5 years. We have way too many teachers. If you want to spend more money to give more teachers jobs, then hats off to you.

Can you reference some sort of evidence that shows we have "way too many teachers?" Or are you just citing your opinion and wish to leave it at that?

I want spend more money to hire more teachers for smaller classroom sizes to teach are children well. I think that is a most worthy cause for a redistribution of the wealth wouldn't you agree?

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If you are such a math buff, then you will appreciate the reference to Statistics Canada. Anyone with basic high school math can pick up the math required for the above occupations, they don't need a math degree.

Of course there are smart people who just decide to go into other areas and can pick up math later, of course. Still, they wasted taxpayer money on education that may be interesting as a hobby but, is not an investment in Ontario.

Can you reference some sort of evidence that shows we have "way too many teachers?" Or are you just citing your opinion and wish to leave it at that?

I want spend more money to hire more teachers for smaller classroom sizes to teach are children well. I think that is a most worthy cause for a redistribution of the wealth wouldn't you agree?

It should be common knowledge by now.

This is published by the Ontario College of Teachers:

http://professionallyspeaking.oct.ca/march_2011/features/T2T.aspx

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Of course there are smart people who just decide to go into other areas and can pick up math later, of course. Still, they wasted taxpayer money on education that may be interesting as a hobby but, is not an investment in Ontario.

I see. Then as a firmly footed Utilitarian, it will be easy for you to explain exactly how "taxpayer money" was "wasted."

It should be common knowledge by now.

This is published by the Ontario College of Teachers:

http://professionallyspeaking.oct.ca/march_2011/features/T2T.aspx

How does this show that there is an overabundance of teachers? In some cases, it shows shortages.

Class Size

It seems like the various boards do not have enough administration to handle the increase demands. Thus they should hire more administrators, which means more demand for that sector where high school maths and science will be just fine.

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I see. Then as a firmly footed Utilitarian, it will be easy for you to explain exactly how "taxpayer money" was "wasted."

The complete lack of any utility of a philosphy degree :)

How does this show that there is an overabundance of teachers? In some cases, it shows shortages.

Class Size

It seems like the various boards do not have enough administration to handle the increase demands. Thus they should hire more administrators, which means more demand for that sector where high school maths and science will be just fine.

Please reference the paragraph that says there is a teacher shortage :)

Please reference specific boards that can not find enough teachers. :)

My wife is now a supply teacher, in the GTA. Supply opened up. The board received 2000 Applications... 25 supplies were hired. 1.5% success rate... My lucky wife was among them. It's more like a lottery to get a job than anything else.

If you don't believe me you can always ask real teachers on facebook. Ontario Teachers Resource Sharing Group :)

Keep in mind, I am speaking about the number of teachers certified and qualified to teach without employment.

If you are saying we need to hire more teachers, that's different and noble (if costly)

Edited by MiddleClassCentrist
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The complete lack of any utility of a philosphy degree

Whose to say that any taxpayer money was spent on any philosophy degree? I know a young man earning his degree at the U of T solely funded by his parents. So there's one that you are incorrect about...

Please reference the paragraph that says there is a teacher shortage

The paragraph where it says there is a teacher shortage for FR language schools.

Please reference specific boards that can not find enough teachers.

My wife is now a supply teacher, in the GTA. Supply opened up. The board received 2000 Applications... 25 supplies were hired. 1.5% success rate... My lucky wife was among them. It's more like a lottery to get a job than anything else.

If you don't believe me you can always ask real teachers on facebook. Ontario Teachers Resource Sharing Group

Keep in mind, I am speaking about the number of teachers certified and qualified to teach without employment.

There wouldn't be such a surplus if they lowered the class sizes and people with teaching certificates can also do other things, from clerks to management.

If you are saying we need to hire more teachers, that's different and noble (if costly)

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Whose to say that any taxpayer money was spent on any philosophy degree? I know a young man earning his degree at the U of T solely funded by his parents. So there's one that you are incorrect about...

The tuition for Canadians is heavily subsidized. If you want to see what it actually costs, look at the International/US vs Canadian student rates.

Canadian Student - Approx 6k/year

International - 12-15k/year

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The tuition for Canadians is heavily subsidized. If you want to see what it actually costs, look at the International/US vs Canadian student rates.

Canadian Student - Approx 6k/year

International - 12-15k/year

Not that I don't think your word is good enough, but if you would kindly supply your source...

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Whose to say that any taxpayer money was spent on any philosophy degree? I know a young man earning his degree at the U of T solely funded by his parents. So there's one that you are incorrect about...

Public universities receive substantial government funding, which pays for a significant portion of their expenses. Tuition pays only for a part of the cost of a degree. If you really need a "source" for this, you need to climb out from below the rock you live under.

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Public universities receive substantial government funding, which pays for a significant portion of their expenses. Tuition pays only for a part of the cost of a degree. If you really need a "source" for this, you need to climb out from below the rock you live under.

So you can't source it either eh?

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This sounds false to me. I know that this is one reason why we fund universities but this has never been the primary purpose of universities, as far as I know. Universities, at least in principle, are and have always been dedicated to scholarly inquiry and academic freedom more than to workforce training or financial or commercial considerations. (Colleges - community colleges for Americans - on the other hand, are explicitly geared towards workforce training.) Academic freedom - probably the most cherished principle of the university - is not a sound financial strategy. Just looking at the Wikipedia entry for "university", this principle dates back to the very first university that ever existed. Neither medieval scholasticism nor Renaissance humanism - which were the guiding principles behind universities through their earliest phases - were primarily concerned with making money. Non-'practical' disciplines such as philosophy and literature were a core part of the university from the beginning.

I'm finding it hard to take you seriously at this point. The fact that you're questioning my seemingly obvious statements that a> the primary motivations for students enrolling in universities and colleges is for a financial return down the line, and b> the primary political justifications for "investments" in post-secondary education is to fuel the economy with productive citizens who have the skills necessary to participate in meaningfully in the economy... is baffling to me.

Forget about universities and colleges for a moment, let's get right down to the basic social function of education. Even back to the earliest humans, teaching others to manipulate tools or the principles of agriculture, the purpose of education has been for economic benefit. This is really basic stuff. You're trying to tell us that universities and colleges have no need to be teaching students relevant skills for their future participation in the economy, and that universities and colleges are rooted in solely academic pursuits, as if they're both a sort of exclusive hobby.

In the contemporary era, quoting Wiki:

In 1963, the Robbins Report on universities in the United Kingdom concluded that such institutions should have four main "objectives essential to any properly balanced system: instruction in skills; the promotion of the general powers of the mind so as to produce not mere specialists but rather cultivated men and women; to maintain research in balance with teaching, since teaching should not be separated from the advancement of learning and the search for truth; and to transmit a common culture and common standards of citizenship."

If anything, the very facts that so many of these non-workforce-oriented disciplines exist and that they attract students should themselves demonstrate that universities are not what you claim them to be.

Compare:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_college

I'll get to my basic position - I oppose government subsidies towards post-secondary education. I think if the the likelihood of a positive financial return exists for a student to complete a particular degree, then he or she certainly doesn't need to be given taxpayer money. I do support an educational loan-system where students can borrow for their education, but I certainly oppose government grants to universities (they should compete on their own, like any other business) and tuition subsidies (which I think in Ontario cover over 50% of undergraduate tuition costs). Such a scenario would greatly force universities to live in the real world, and would certainly greatly reduce their abilities to profitably operate nonsense disciplines as we've already mentioned.

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And what about the pursuit of knowledge, is that not important anymore?

The pursuit of pure knowledge for knowledge's sake is still important, more so than ever I'd say, but:

1) people should do it because they have a passion for it, not because they expect monetary gain

2) can only realistically be carried out by a small portion of a population, not a large and growing segment, such as those getting the above-mentioned degrees without much utilitarian value

3) the people complaining about lack of jobs, expensive tuition, etc, are not exactly the types that are going to be advancing the human race through their unique and outstanding abilities in the pursuit of knowledge

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I agree with all of those things, it was seemingly Bob's idea that universities be used for something that was never really their original purpose.

Their purpose has largely changed. Universities still produce seekers of pure knowledge, thinkers and philosophers, scholars and sages, sure. But by far their larger function has become producing educated workers and professionals which can carry out jobs requiring specialized knowledge.

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Their purpose has largely changed. Universities still produce seekers of pure knowledge, thinkers and philosophers, scholars and sages, sure. But by far their larger function has become producing educated workers and professionals which can carry out jobs requiring specialized knowledge.

Yes, but whether or not they've been entirely successful at that is debatable. Still, universities are, in many ways, literal repositories of human knowledge, even though I don't deny their purpose has changed.

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Still, universities are, in many ways, literal repositories of human knowledge, even though I don't deny their purpose has changed.

I don't know if I'd call a university a repository of knowledge. A university is a research & education establishment. The real repository of human knowledge now is the internet. Ask yourself, last time you needed to find some little bit of knowledge, where did you go to find it, Google, or a university? :)

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I don't know if I'd call a university a repository of knowledge. A university is a research & education establishment. The real repository of human knowledge now is the internet. Ask yourself, last time you needed to find some little bit of knowledge, where did you go to find it, Google, or a university? :)

Well, all of that information has come from and continues to come from somewhere, but I take your point.

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And what about the pursuit of knowledge, is that not important anymore?

So the "pursuit of knowledge" now requires government subsidies? Generally speaking, legitimate and meaningful pursuits of knowledge don't need government supports, and have their own financial benefits down the line. Of course, it depends how you define the "pursuit of knowledge". Perhaps a leftist like yourself thinks that the release of rap CDs from Cornel West constitutes the "pursuit of knowledge", who had to do it with the assistance of the public's money, while the development of, say, video calling on 3G networks is something entirely different.

The bottom line? If the "pursuit of knowledge" has any meaningful value to people, then it will be economically viable without gorging at the trough of taxpayer money, which is essentially what government grants to universities and subsidies for undergraduate degrees amounts to.

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