In this episode, David Dodge and Mike Slane talks about College and what they think of it. You don't need a degree to be successful in life. Check this episode.
David: We're live, we're back.
Mike: Cool, what's our title?
David: Fuck college.
Mike: Fuck college, man. Fuck it. Alright we are going X-rated on this one.
David: X-rated? Hopefully not, R-rated.
Mike: Whatever the rating is, it's inappropriate.
David: That's right.
Mike: I don't even pay attention. Long story short, welcome back to the Discount Property Investor podcast. Hosting, Mike Slane and--.
David: David Dodge. Thanks for listening, guys.
Mike: Thank you so much, guys. We are talking about all things real estate investing. Dave and I were just kind of going off on a tangent and we said, you know what? Let's talk about that. Let's talk about college. What we think of it and yada yada yada. So Dave, how did we start down this road? We were talking-- you were mentioning Colombia, right?
David: Yeah, I have some properties in Colombia Missouri. I am thinking, this might be a good time to start selling. I am not suggesting to liquidate or anything crazy like that. I don't want to be a motivated seller, that's the main thing. I don't want to be a motivated seller now, I don't want to be a motivated seller later. I have a lot of equity in my properties in Colombia. I don't need to sell, I'm not in a pinch. However, with the current times and the social distancing and the Covid-19 pandemic that we are facing.
Mike: That we are living through.
David: That we are facing and living through. It just kind of makes me think that a lot of the online digital-- how would you describe it?
Mike: We're in that world. I know that I was kind of on the tail end when I went to college and I did the MBA. Again, there's my background, did all that.
David: I don't even have an MBA, man.
Mike: We caught the tail end of that where we were getting online classes. It was supplemental; part of it was online, like the hybrid, right? Did you experience some of that?
David: Yeah we had this-- yes and no, when I went to Mizzou, all of my classes were classes, but they would have softwares like Black Board, not sure if you are familiar with that. There was another one that did almost the exact same thing, to turn in all your work, get your assignments.
Mike: Sometimes take tests on it.
David: Sometimes take tests on it, or even watch recordings or replays of the lecture towards the end. Man I graduated college in '07, that was 13 years ago. It's been a minute.
Mike: We caught the tail end of it, there are so many courses that I know are hybrid, even though they are mainly online. All of the education that is done in class-- not all of it, a majority of the education and for business purposes. We will talk about your general business type degrees. It can all be done online. There a very few things you would actually need to be in the building, in a university to do, right?
David: We are in the age of the microchip.
Mike: The age of the microchip, that is a great way to think about it.
David: Truly we are. We are in the age of the microchip, where everything happens instantly, quickly. Attention is where value is held these days is the actual attention.
Mike: We enjoy learning, but it almost has to be presented in a fun way. Infotainment is what I call it. It's not necessarily the best thing that has happened, because the news media in Infotainment is kind of dangerous. The search for clicks, it becomes dangerous. We will circle back to that Covid-19 thing. Why I say that though is-- we don't need to be in the class for these business degrees. That is just the premise of it. The second part of it, and--.
David: I am not saying this to panic, or to even down play the university systems by recording this podcast, especially with the title 'fuck college'. But I see the trend starting to get more and more digital, more and more online, and what I have in Colombia student housing. Anyone could live in it of course. But I think that we are getting to the point where we are going to see more and more digital. The need for that student housing may start to decrease, who knows? If it does or not. I am going to try and capitalize on that.
Mike: There is also a huge or a growing movement I will call if of going to trades. Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs. I follow him on one of the socials, maybe Facebook.
David: I follow him on all of them I think.
Mike: Super insightful guy. A lot of his stuff is-- he doesn't say it this way, he is much more elegant and very well spoken, but it's 'fuck college'. Again, I don't know if he's touched on this, but the prices of college has just gone through the roof.
Mike: We are sending kids to college, they are spending $20-40'000, graduate with $100'000 in debt. We are not preparing them for a job, there are no jobs out there for the people that are studying these degrees. Again, to me it is 'fuck college', I just don't get it. I do not need to send my children, I do not need to send someone to college to consider them an intelligent person, or a productive member of society. We don't need it for most professions. Now if you are the high school level and say I want to be a doctor, then yeah you have got to go to college, you have to go to med school, you have to do those things. But for most jobs out there, for most people out there that are going to work in-- even in an office setting, it's just to me seems so unnecessary.
David: This is just an article I pulled up while you were talking in real time.
Mike: Perfect, that is kind of what I was referencing.
David: I wanted to get a good source, so I just figured i'd go to the news, USA Today, I would say they are pretty reputable. I mean-- who knows. Everyone has heard of of USA Today. So if you go to USAToday.com, and you type in 'the average cost of tuition and fees over time', there will be an article that pops up. You can't see what I see of course, but I can tell you what I'm looking at. It's a chart of the cost of tuition and fees over time. We are looking at like 1975 to 1980, the average cost of tuition and fees for a year was around 9 maybe $10'000. In 2015 through 2002 that average has been around $28-30'000. So three X the cost over how ever many years is that? Like 45 years, 40 years. So three X the cost of tuition and the fees. I don't know if that number even factors in housing.
Mike: I don't know if it is inflation adjusted either. It must be, there was no way it was costing ten grand.
David: Yeah, probably is.
Mike: That's one I've seen. So this is a great jumping off point for sure this chart. But the one I saw, it was like-- the inflation adjusted cost of college was X, the current inflation was like 10 X. But the inflation adjusted minimum wage was reasonable. I think you could work six hours a day and you would be able to pay for your college. But inflation adjusted today, you would have to work like 22 hours a day, something ridiculous. The price of college has gone up so much, so you have to take on these loans to afford the higher education, why? It just doesn't make sense to me anymore. The piece of paper-- yeah it's just crazy. I did it, why? Oh you need that paper to get a degree. We live in a credential society is what I call it, and you need the right credentials to get your foot in the door.
David: -- we are going to do this in a respectable way--.
Mike: -- I like that idea--.
David: -- because--.
Mike: -- we already said 'fuck college', fuck you, Dave.
David: There ya go. I love it. So here's the thing. Society has stated, or placed this requirement that you need that paper. Let me just flip the script real quick. I think this is a good activity. When have you ever had to submit that certificate?
Mike: I've never had to submit the certificate, but I have created a very pretty resume.
David: Okay that's fine.
Mike: I'm not suggesting you lie and say you had that, right?
David: But when have you been audited and-- has a banker ever asked to see your degree? Or a financial institution. It's the employers.
Mike: It's only when you are going out and applying for a job.
David: People listening to this podcast probably have jobs. A lot of people probably are self employed entrepreneurs. So we may have a mix on our viewership in terms if they have degrees or not, I think most people will agree with the topic here. So yeah, if you want to go get a job then yes, having a degree will help you. But if you want to be an entrepreneur, there is not a whole lot that the degree will do for you. Now, educating yourself, I am a huge-- what would you call that? I am all for education, on going, continuing. I educate myself daily. I payed 30-40 grand to do it, in this day and age, didn't we just say that we are in the age of the microchip? Just seems crazy that people are paying 30-40 grand to get information that is readily free, truly. All of it is out there, yeah it may be a little bit more organized, I didn't mean to cut you off.
Mike: You're all good.
David: I'm on a thought here that I wanted to run with.
David: I am super grateful, Mike. I am not going to sit here and act like I had to work three jobs through college, I didn't. My grandparents started investing, saving when I was born, and they payed for my college.
Mike: That's awesome.
David: I am super grateful for them, over the top. I don't even want-- they are both passed at this point, so they are not going to hear this of course. But, if they were here I wouldn't want them to think I am not grateful for those times. Like you said, that was a great time in my life, I had a great-- I had a hell of a lot of fun let's put it that way, I learned a ton. But none of the stuff was significant to what I do now, and that's where I have the issue with college.
Mike: I would take one step further, Dave, to say yeah, you asked, oh do you need that degree? The only thing we came up with was yes, for a job, right?
David: For a job.
Mike: But go back though, nothing I learned in college ever applied to any of the jobs that I got out of college.
David: So yes and no.
Mike: None, zero.
David: I am going to argue with you again, 100% agree on some basis of that, here's why. Yeah you went to geology class, or theology class, or calculus, right? These are just some of the college level classes, economics we talked about a lot in the last episode. Yeah, you didn't necessarily take the supply quantity times this quantity and--.
Mike: Clearly I don't remember it.
David: From economics to do the day to day activities that your job requires. However, you knowing that effects the way you think, in the way that you operate. So if you look at the big picture, by you being more educated on more things, you will be more efficient at everything you do.
Mike: Okay, not arguing but arguing.
David: Okay great. I just want to say--.
Mike: Have to agree to disagree, because [00:12:23.19 - inaudible], we have high school--.
David: We are paying a shit ton of money for--.
Mike: I only think higher level education should be for specialisation of skills.
David: So you're saying you could do-- get a college degree on just the higher level things assuming you had the GenEd-- and maybe only spend 10-18 months studying?
Mike: Yeah, one to two years. There is no reason for a four year program.
David: I agree with you on that.
David: And you're paying a shit ton of money. I think it's spread too far out too. When you were in college, how busy were you? I will be honest, this is not a brag, this is the truth, and all of my friends were in the same boat, so I am not sitting here acting like I was the only one that did this. I went to a lot of classes just because I liked to get out of my house, I love learning, and there would be girls there. Let's be real. I went to a lot of my classes. But I didn't necessarily go home and read the chaptors, do the studying at night. What I would do is wait till three days before the test, eat some Aderal, drink a bunch of coffee and go and cram for 36 hours and get an A or B on the test, I did pretty well in college. I wasn't straight A's by all means. But I crammed and everybody does that. If you don't believe me, go into a library around final time. Go into a library two weeks before final time. It is going to have 300% difference of people in there.
Mike: My memory is something different. My college experience was similar to Dave's. I appreciate all the sacrifices my parents made, they helped pay for it. I graduated 40'000 or so in student loans.
David: Not terrible compared to most.
Mike: I payed them off, I worked my ass off to work them off, then I got my MBA by having my employer pay for it. They did X number of credits, like 5000 a year, whatever the tax code allowed, that is what they matched. So it took me about four years to do that, because I let them pay for it. So I went to classes, and I did not study. I graduated-- what's the lowest honors? I don't know, whatever it was. So I graduated with honors, I literally went to class and listened, and was able to regurgitate most of the information. But this is in a business degree, and I think minored in economics. Again, I was just-- I don't know, maybe I'm lucky, maybe I am going at regurgitating information for-- or holding it and then spitting it back out for a couple of months, then I just forget it.
David: It's like a bike, if you don't use it you-- not that you forget how to ride a bike, that was a stupid analogy.
Mike: That's hilarious, man. The one example--.
David: I'm a pilot, I haven't flown in a long time, I wouldn't feel comfortable getting in a plane and flying it-- I'm a cowboy, I would, but I wouldn't feel comfortable with you in there with me.
Mike: I can promise your wife wouldn't feel comfortable in there with you.
David: If it was just me it would be no problem. But if it was your and Megan, or you and Bill, and you were like, hey we need to get to KC, I would be like, cool we will hire a pilot who flew last week and knows what the hell he's doing. Not that I don't know what I'm doing, but I haven't done it in two years, right? So obviously I'm rusty. You have to stay up on these things. If you are not knowing the 37 different types of rocks, and looking at these daily, you think in four years you are going to be able to point out all the--? Hell no. So general ed is one thing, makes you think differently. But what you do in your day to day job is never going to be taught in a class room because it is always so specific. Everyone's job is very specific. No matter even if you all work at the same company. You have HR departments, you have sales departments, you have management people. You have the C level people. Everyone is doing different things. You can never teach that in a classroom.
Mike: Yeah. Well it is specialization. Specialization in our world has allowed us to truly excel as a society, but it also makes us very dumb. You can know a hell of a lot about one thing and be an expert on it, then-- I don't know crap about farming. Back when everyone was farming, everyone know a little bit about farming, but didn't know shit about programming computers. Now we have people that all they do is work on this one little program--.
David: It's crazy, right? I don't know the first thing about growing lettuce.
Mike: They could not feed themselves.
David: You got a virus on your computer? Let me fix it up.
Mike: So specialization, awesome, love it. I am going to circle back, because I said-- what did I say? Something kind of negative about education, or higher education. Dave you mentioned, yes you are a big fan of continuing education and self improvement.
David: I am, absolutely.
Mike: So am I, and I think--.
David: Doesn't mean you spend 30 grand to get it.
Mike: I don't think you need it to be an educated person, or to be-- a well informed person.
David: I think that's where the dilemma comes in of the certificate. Which we call a diploma.
Mike: What I was getting to though, I am a huge fan Kaizan or continues process and improvement. I am probably slaughtering the word. I read about it the first time listening about--. It's either Toyota-- to where Japanese auto makers just destroyed the US, that was the thing that they implemented was this Kaizan I don't know how to spell it. Helping Dave try and Google it. So I am a big fan of that in my life as well. We are all on a journey of education, enlightenment, I think we are all on this path, and you have to recognize you are not a perfect person. I'm not, I'm bad a lot of things, whatever, but I will strive to be better tomorrow than I was today. I think if you keep doing that in your life, you are just better off. I don't know the answers.
David: I think the hidden reason my college is also very popular, at least where we live, is-- this is kind of including me, Mike. Nobody wants to hire an 18 year old. They are just kind of young and immature. Going off to college and sitting around and drinking beers with your buddies--.
Mike: People do a lot of growing up.
David: You don't even have to be drinking beers, you know? You could just be working jobs or going to school, dating. But you grow up.
Mike: There is a lot of life experience that happens in that time. When you're away from your parents or whatever and you are responsible for self. That is a huge thing for a lot of people. You have to buy your own groceries or figure out--.
David: -- the 22 year old that got out of college versus the 18 year old that just got out of high school is any more equipped to do a lot of jobs, but they are typically more attractive to be around, just as a human being because they are just more mature. You know what I'm saying? I feel like that is also another reason why we are pushed, or why we all push our young to go to college because, A, the education--.
Mike: I've got two reasons.
David: I think 2, because we don't want to hire them at 18, they are not ready, not because they are not smart enough, it's because they are just kids.
Mike: I've got two reasons why I think college is-- one, people love their kids. We all-- I think any parent can relate to that. They love their kids and want what's best for them. Well, college is the higher education. You want your kid to be educated. We all want what is best for our kids. Two, nostalgia, people are very nostalgic. People who couldn't go to college because they couldn't afford it, or because whatever reason, they want their kids to be able to do that. They want to encourage them to be able to do that if they have the ability. The nostalgia for people that went to college. Dave, think about all the old times we talk about, high school was the best days of my life, then think-- were you in a fraternity? I think you were.
David: Yes and no. I wasn't--.
Mike: If you ever go to the homecomings, and stuff like that. All the fraternity brothers and sisters, they come back down and chat. So again, people have this very-- they love their college experience, much like a lot of people love their high school experience, so they want that for their kids as well.
David: That's a great point.
Mike: Wanting the higher education and just the best for their kids. I think those are two of the biggest reasons that we have it. I think some of the issues were the funding the government put in place to help people that couldn't afford it.
David: Then the people collecting the money are like, there's more of it out there, let's get more of it.
Mike: I think it's just a big problem-- my personal opinion is I am--.
David: I am grateful for having gone to college, but it didn't help me in terms of the knowledge to do this job. The general ed helped me mature, become a smarter human in terms of knowing more about more things. But what I didn't like was-- a normal work load would be 15-18 hours, which is five to six classes spread out over four and a half months. Those classes would only typically meet for two to three days a week for an hour or an hour and a half. So like-- I was fortunate that I had some part time jobs in college, but I didn't have two or three or a full time job which a lot of people do, totally get that, I respect people that do that. I was fortunate to not have to do that. I just felt like there was so much time, ample time that was just wasted, spread out so far like-- let's talk about a big book for a second. Some of the courses had big ass books. They look like dictionaries. That's fine, how long would it take you to read that book. A week, two weeks at the most? If you sat down and read it for four hours a day you could get through that thing in a week, no problem. But they space it out over four and a half months, and they mix in five or six other topics, which I don't think is that great of an approach either. I feel like one should be focused on one thing to really learn it to the best capacity. Whatever, so the way I look at it is, five classes a semester, you have eight semesters, that's four years, five times eight is forty, so I payed-- my grandparents in this scenario payed 80-100 grand for me to read 40 books. I am not trying to be the pesimistic guy here, but you know-- you could go buy those same 40 books on Amazon for 3-4k.
Mike: If they were not inflated by the required by this college and by this class, they would be probably about a thousand bucks top.
David: For all forty of them, right. It's crazy how it's all turned out. But the message here, guys, is I think college is great to grow up, great for the experience, great for the gen ed, and great for the ultra specific, the doctor, the surgeon, the engineer that is helping with the buildings and the bridges.
Mike: For a self employed individual, probably don't need it. For someone going into just a general business, general job, please stop requiring kids to have a college degree.
David: For a sales job? Come on.
Mike: You absolutely don't need that. You don't need a general business degree to sell. You need on the job training. Oh well, we are not going to fix the whole world. My message is 'fuck college'. If you don't want to go to college you shouldn't have to.
David: Sometimes we like to have a little bit of fun on these episodes.
Mike: Normally we are talking about real estate and real estate specifically. This one was inspired by the fact Dave was smart enough to buy some rental properties down where he went to school and he is thinking of selling them. Who knows where college is going to be in the next five or ten years. Pretty interested and I'm glad we talked about it.
David: Thanks for listening, guys.