Some of America’s most popular home-grown products these days are delicate children and teenagers coddled by lawnmower mom and dads that eventually grow into 20 and 30-somethings unequipped to handle the rigors of the real world.

This isn’t to say that all kids and teens and 20 to 30-year-olds fall under the above-mentioned list of under-achievers, but let’s be honest, I’m not breaking any new ground with that declaration.

Still, no one wants to admit this unbreakable circle of silliness has been spinning out of control for years now.

That’s how we got to safe spaces and cry closets and the jobless agitators that have been torturing the fine people of Portland, Ore., for the better part of a year.

And just when you thought it couldn’t get any more ridiculous — that we couldn’t place any more safety harnesses on our youth — higher education has stepped up to the plate as of late with some real doozies.

It is hard to believe our colleges and universities could get any worse. Besides being the home of misinformation and mind control for the better part of 40 years, they are basically an organized crime syndicate.

They fleece our nation’s youth unchecked and unregulated for upwards of $100,000 per person in exchange for a piece of paper that in some cases, depending on the major, are as empty and useless as the contents of the Al Capone safe Geraldo Rivera opened on live television back in the 80s.

The price per credit is set so that four-year institutions can budget in goodies like new buildings and six figure salaries for academic types. They’ve even found a way around losing money on transferred credits from two-year colleges and PSEO by requiring first-year students to their campus to take courses that don’t apply to their major such as “introduction to being a student,” or “how to get along with everyone,” to make up for those lost dollars.

Some colleges and universities also like to require their first-year students to live on-campus and the bill includes rent and a fixed meal plan at a price point they set, regardless of whether a student eats or not.

Then there are the fees for sports facilities that a student never uses, or computer labs they’ve never seen, or, my personal favorite, the parking pass. Yes, they make you live on campus and then they make you pay to park there, if you are lucky enough to find an open space as some institutions oversell the passes.

Again, it’s akin to organized crime. It’s like Tony Soprano walking into the neighborhood deli and telling the owner, you are paying for protection from me.

But the cost is just the half of it. Once enrolled, your little angel gets more of an education then they ever bargained for. The indoctrination starts on day one and continues throughout their time at college. Liberal professors preach liberal ideology and to argue it — to push back and offer a different point of view — is to risk it all.

So most sit back and jump through the hoops and count down the days until graduation day, after which they can transition from student to taxpayer and figure out how to pay off a $100,000 student loan on a $50,000 a year salary.

That’s when the real world comes crashing down on the coddled and the cradled. That’s the moment these kids realize that life is tough and maybe the idea of rainbows and unicorns and monthly welfare payments from the Joe Biden fund isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

It’s not their fault they don’t get it or aren’t prepared for the slap from reality. It’s the fault of their parents and educators and this idea that big government should babysit us and knock down the obstacles in front of us so as to not trigger anyone.

Maybe we should be teaching kids that when the going gets tough the tough get going — not let’s run and hide somewhere else and hope it’s not as scary.

But I don’t see that happening anytime soon, especially when things like the following are going on.

My daughter attends an expensive university in the Twin Cities with a reputation for producing some quality graduates every year that can be found in a multitude of high-level positions throughout the United States.

They pitch the creation of real leaders from coast-to-coast and promise those who invest their hard-earned college loans into their institution massive success.

And maybe at one time that was true. Today, I’m not too sure about that because this classic example of a highbrow higher education facility and its leadership isn’t above holding the hands of their cliental to ridiculous extents just to make sure they don’t quit (and in turn stop the money machine from rolling along).

A week ago my daughter got an email from university higher ups that admin and faculty, listening to concerns about stress, the end of the term, and commencement in the time of COVID and racial unrest and bad weather or whatever other scary things are going on, and have decided to offer a pass/fail option for anyone who needs it.

The email said in part: “We are fully committed to making your educational experience the best we possibly can, and that means looking out for the mental and emotional health of our community in addition to fostering learning and understanding. You have been through a lot. We know that. We thank you for your efforts and we are committed to helping you finish the academic year in a spirit of accomplishment rather than one of stress and fear.”

In other words, thanks for being stuck in our dorm rooms and paying for all that room and board while learning online inside those same dorm rooms and paying all those user and activity fees for areas of our campus that were off limits and for all the extracurricular activities that didn’t happen.

Here’s your reward: A grade you may or may not have earned.

There’s a lesson to be learned here, I’m just not sure it’s a good one.

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