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Letters to the Editor

From time to time, a commentary on the world will bubble up inside of me to the extent that I'm forced to write a letter to my local, metropolitan, daily newspaper, The Age. This is where I blow of some steam. Feel like venting too? Add your own comment or visit my homepage.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Arts Degrees and the Peacock's Tail

The single best thing for liberal arts and humanities in Australia's universities is for wealthy Asian businessmen to be convinced of the high status of their offspring earning a BA.

You see, any old middle-class family can cobble together the few bucks required to send their son off to become an accountant or pharmacist. But, as the British aristocracy and American industrialists will tell you, it takes serious wealth to send your daughter (or even better, eldest son!) to university to study something entirely useless. Since there's no pay-off or return on investment, it's the ultimate signal of immense financial security.

"He's going to be an optometrist, you say? Good salaries I hear. Our Hsien Hsien is off studying anthropology and Ancient Hebrew - totally useless for a job, of course. But what's a doting father to do? Luckily, our factory is doing especially well ..."



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