A friend of mine who happens to be black posted some kind of rah rah women can do it all female empowerment article on Facebook. Under the post he tagged me with the sarcastic quote "remember, black women are the most educated group in America!" I didn't think much of it until I realized that that phrase couldn't have been random. It must have been uttered before and was making the rounds.
So I asked him, "You got to be kidding me?"
He said, "Nope. They're officially the most educated group in America. And they won't shut up about it either!"
Naturally this of course raised an eyebrow because obviously there was a study done and, assuming the methodology wasn't hack, I almost knew where the flaw in it would be. Alas, my work for this post wasn't going to be trying to find the flaw in the study (I wouldn't doubt there are more black women in college as a percent of their population). It was going to confirm there was a flaw in the reasoning as to why such a high percentage of a particular group in college is a good thing.
And yes, for my regular readers you can easily predict where this one is going.
This first question I had was "was the statement true?" Are black women TRULY the most educated group in America?
And it is, more or less.
Based on some statistics by the NCES, black women have the highest enrollment percentage out of all the binary race-sex groups, 9.7%. This means of all adult aged women in that group, 9.7% of them have either graduated or are currently in college. This makes them technically the most educated group in America.
While this is certainly good news, I simply ask the $64,000 question..."educated in what?"
Here statistics are a bit tricky for both black AND female college students. You can get data on females. You can get data on blacks. But you can't easily find out what black women are studying.
So I looked at females first.
It is of course no surprise to anyone here that the majority of women major in worthless and easy subjects. Based on my research for "Worthless," about 2/3rds of worthless degrees are earned by women. But using some more recent research, it again shows women prefer easier subjects, with less math and rigor, and therefore are in less demand in the labor market.
So already it's no shocker why "women earn the majority degrees" across all racial groups.
When you consider race, it only magnifies the percentage of worthless degrees. Using enrollment data from the U of MN as a proxy, blacks (male and female) major in worthless subjects 74% of the time, contrasted to their white peers who "only" major in worthless degrees 57% of the time. Once again, reiterating the importance of my question "educated in what?"
But if there is proof positive that black women are simply majoring in easier (not higher paying) subjects, it was the (admittedly) anecdotal bit of evidence I saw with the hashtag "#womenwithdegrees."
If you're not familiar with it, it was a hashtag trending on Twitter this past summer. In it was pictures of women graduating from college, noting their degree and what their plans were. And two major things stood out:
1. The vast majority of women in this hashtag were black and
2. The VAST VAST majority of them were all majoring with worthless, easy subjects.
Child psychology, criminology, women's studies, African American studies, communications, sociology, you name it. I counted only one accounting major and one engineer. So hopeful were these women (and in for such a rude awakening) I felt bad enough to together one of my more kind and polite videos trying to warn them about the path they were going down. But neither here nor there, it's painfully obvious why black women are truly (and unenviably, I might add) the most educated group in America:
Because they're the largest investors (and therefore victims) in the worthless degree education bubble.
It is here, as an economist, an empiricist, and one who genuinely wishes to help out his fellow man (black females in this particular case), I want to make a plea for reason, common sense, logic, and reality with black women. And you have the choice here ladies. You can continue reading below in which case it can only help, or you can dismiss me as a "racist" or a "sexist" in which case I can guarantee your life will be much worse.
1. Understand that like the Dotcom Bubble, the Tulip Bulb Bubble, and the housing bubble women and minorities are investing into an education bubble at rates and amounts higher than their white male counterparts. You THINK you're doing better. You THINK you're making progress. But all you're doing is precisely what suckers did in the housing bubble:
Borrowing money you can't afford to pay back, for an asset that isn't worth it.
This doesn't mean college isn't worth it. Nor am I an "evil white male" trying to dissuade you from going to college. It is however meant to deal a dose of reality into your educational plans that it's not WHETHER you go to college that will determine success, but WHAT YOU STUDY that will determine success.
That's too bad you don't like math. You think Asians and males enjoy doing calculus either? And that's too bad you find programming boring. That's where the money is. But since so few people major in programming or engineering, while there's (literally) MILLIONS of "early child hood education" majors, don't be surprised when you're making $30,000 a year and Yang or Chip is bringing down $80,000. If you REALLY want to close that gap and not just bitch about it, major in a real degree like engineering instead.
2. You WILL ruin your financial future investing more and more into this bubble.
In the #womenwithdegrees hashtag, the majority of women were going on to get equally worthless, but twice as expensive advanced degrees in those same crappy fields that are so bad you can't land a decent job with a bachelors. I know your teachers, guidance counselors, politicians, and media moguls are telling you that "you can do anything."
They don't want to hurt your feelings, and most of them either want your tuition money or your vote.
You may find me insulting and enraging, but that only means I'm the first and only person to tell you the truth.
The truth is you are going $100,000 in debt ($200,000 if you are foolish enough to enter law school) all for a degree that will maybe generate $30,000-$40,000. This will cripple you for at least a decade, probably more as you struggle to "finally" pay off your student loans in your 40's. This will also postpone things such as buying a house, starting a family, YOUR STUDENT LOANS WILL CERTAINLY DETER QUALITY MEN FROM YOU, and many other "fun" in things in life will be put on hold. This worthless degree posing as an ego trip WILL ruin your life.
3. Your degree doesn't matter.
Right now the single greatest accomplishment you have likely achieved in life was earning your degree.
Too bad the simple act of "earning a degree" does not matter. It's your career and what genuine contributions to society you make in your life that matter. And thus far, you've made no contributions in life. You merely walked down an aisle and picked up a piece of paper.
The real test as to your value in life comes now. Do you work? Do you contribute? Or do you beg for grant money or more taxes that nobody really wants to pay just so you can have a job? Do you go back to school where society has to support you another 2-4 years because you're just not ready to be a self-supporting adult yet?
Even though since the age of 5 school is all you've ever known, in the end schooling with no production or contribution to society is merely masturbation and killing time. Get your asses out of academia and into the real world.
4. Your careers are largely make-work government charities that no one wants.
If you look at where the majority of black female graduates are supposed to work (based on their degrees) its in the arts, the government, or the non-profit. And the key thing to note here is that people are FORCED to pay for your services and employment.
This differs from computer programmers, petroleum engineers, waitresses, pilots, and auto workers whose skills are willingly demanded by free people. But the "Vice Reserve Assistant Deputy Diversity Director" at the college? The "professor of Hispanic Lesbian, Unicorn Theater Studies?" The "Save the Humans Fund Outreach Director?" Please, don't even joke with me. They are all completely unecessary and only exist either by forced taxation, politics, CSR, or the reluctant charity of donors.
You may find this pill of reality hard to swallow, but entire sectors of the economy were created not to solve some kind of social ill or "educate the children." They're make-work government programs which means your entire "discipline" isn't a legitimate career, but Truman Show-level bunk. Anybody without your degree can do your job. And if you don't believe that, just wait till you're 4 years into your make-work career and realize "I could have done this without a degree, without the debt, and at the age of 13." Then also realize just how charitable the rest of the country is for working the extra hours to pay the taxes so you can have these make-work faux careers, let alone the hubris and ego to think you're "a successful independent woman."
5. And finally, do you want to BE equal or do you want to PRETEND to be equal? Do you want genuine progress in life or do you want the rest of society to lie to you?
Trust me, I understand women like to be lied to. They reward men with sex, politicians with votes, liberal arts colleges with tuition money, and Oprah with billions when they're lied to. But like all lies, they're not based in truth and when you believe in them (let alone drop $200,000 and 6 years of your youth pursuing them), your ruin your life and waste what precious time you have on this planet. The question is what kind of life do you want?
One of ignorant bliss where your feelings are spared but your life is a nightmare? Or one where you're truly treated as an equal, held to real-world standards, are guaranteed to have some tough challenges, but in the end have a great life because it's based in reality?
Because if black women were TRULY the most educated group in America, they'd wake up, they'd realize they're being duped, and they'd ALL be switching their degrees to STEM starting tomorrow. Unfortunately, as it stands right now, they're the biggest and latest victims of the education bubble because the lies are just too sweet, and their degrees too easy to quit cold turkey.
If you are GENUINELY interested in getting a REAL education and are serious about improving your life, I strongly recommend (all college students) buy and read the book "Worthless." Also, for those of you who deep down inside know your degree is worthless, but have no alternative "Plan B" and that fear is what's keeping you in a college you can't afford, may I recommend the book "Reconnaissance Man." Both books are vital for those of you with worthless degrees and are the vaccines that will immunize you against a life of debt, poverty, and regret.
If you have an individual problem or question that you think my blunt, force, trauma reality might help, consider hiring me at my consultancy, Asshole Consulting. It is a REAL company, and unlike Oprah, we deliver REAL advice.