Wednesday, August 12, 2015

1524 School for Scoundrels

The major universities are missing out on a golden opportunity. They’d better act before the for- profit career institutes realize what’s going on.

What’s going on?  There are so many criminals in jail -- organized mobsters to street level bookies and drug dealers -- that there’s nowhere reliable to learn the trade.

Time was, you started as a numbers runner.  If you caught on and were a “good earner,” you got promoted.  Eventually, you might be a “soldier” or a “captain,” or even higher.

Time was, you started as a sports customer service telephone representative and  you could learn and rise through the ranks high enough to open your own bookie joint.

Now… as in journalism, law, music, art and advanced agriculture, it’s up to the universities to fill in the gaps left by the end of the apprentice system.

So, how about The Harvard School of Criminality? Or the Michigan State Institute of Gaming Management. Or the Capone School at the University of Chicago. Or the Sandusky School of Pedophelia at Penn State.

It’s tough for an ambitious, young shoplifter to rise through the ranks to anything bigger these days and American higher education doing its share.

One could argue that an apprenticeship -- was far more an effective teaching and learning experience than, say, some Whiplash Willie dump of a law school in the middle of flyover country.

True as that may be, there just aren’t enough places to “read for the law” and school is the only alternative.

This is fast becoming the fate of the would be criminal. Amateurs, most of them.  They don’t have Vito Corleone or El Chapo to rely on anymore.

So we have to find retired or otherwise out-of-action criminals to hire, design curricula and teach.

Help wanted: The University of East Acne, Idaho seeks candidates for a tenure track professorship in loan sharking.  Excellent salary. Benefits include legal services, health insurance and a defined benefit retirement plan.  Please send your CV and rap sheet to the address below. Applications accepted through 12/15/15 for the spring 2016 semester. No calls, please.

You can expect a lesser class of graduates from these places than you would of someone tutored by an established team of professionals.  That’s generally the case in any college level trade school.

But at least they won’t be total greenhorns and amateurs.

The higher education system better latch on to all this before Ace Technical and Mrs. Skinner do.

Shrapnel:

--For all the reasons you already know, it’s good to say we’re “not in Kansas any more” (And thanks again, Dorothy and Toto.) Here’s another: a proposed  law would bar people from voting if they can’t prove citizenship.  If you have trouble proving you’re a citizen there’s a good chance you are (a) black or hispanic, (b) poor and (C) a democrat.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com

© WJR 2015

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