In response to:

The new American Helots

HighCommander Wrote: Jun 15, 2012 11:11 AM
I think that perhaps you're only half correct. There will always be some people for whom online and distance learning will be ineffective...but I would say that for the majority of people who escaped from high school with the ability to learn (a small minority these days, to be sure), the option of learning online can be a fruitful one. The caveats are that the content has to be rigorous and they student has to be diligent. If either of those factors are not met, you're correct...online education is of little practical value. I know that there's a lot of the "socialization" missing from online education, but to save $50K/year, many would choose to forego the drunken frat parties.

Ancient Sparta turned its conquered neighbors into indentured serfs -- half free, half slave. The resulting Helot underclass produced the food of the Spartan state, freeing Sparta's elite males to train for war and the duties of citizenship.

Over the last few decades, we've created our modern version of these Helots -- millions of indebted young Americans with little prospect of finding permanent well-paying work, servicing their enormous college debts or reaping commensurate financial returns on their costly educations.

Student-loan debts now average about $25,000 per graduating senior. But the percentage of youths 16 to 24 who are working (about 49...