It appears that the slashdot crowd has no need for a liberal arts (in the classical sense) education. They only want job training instead. This is the problem with our current concept of college. Instead of going to get a well-rounded education that makes us better thinkers, more able to understand and inquire about the world around us, and generally improve our ability to be inquisitive successfully, college in America (and some other countries) is viewed as a way of gaining specialized job skills.
IMO, this is largely due to most technical companies' hiring practices, especially when seeking entry-level-professional employees - those who recently completed formal training. (I assume this covers most of the job opportunities recently-graduated /.ers consider.) What these companies truly seek is a person trained in a certain field to do certain tasks. As an indication of basic competence, companies use completion of a related academic degree, yet they don't truly value many of the academics that backstop that degree. Mostly, these companies value training and experience that are immediately and directly related to their current business needs. Secondarily, they may value the communication skills (especially writing skills) implied by completion of a bachelor's degree. Critical-thinking and ability-to-learn skills are often less valued, and certainly less easily assessed, during the hiring process.
Two considerations emerge. First, currently there is a glut of trained people in the entry-level category. As a hiring manager, even if the core technical qualifications are identical between two candidates, the one who completed a bachelor's will be chosen over the one who only completed an associate's degree. The higher academic degree implies more commitment to long-term goals, giving an edge to a four-year-degreed candidate over a vocationally-trained candidate. Second (and relatedly), entry-level compensation is largely based on job description (within a geographic area. Yes, school reputation, projects, experience, etc factor in. And at my company, a national top-tier-school, 4.0 GPA, undergraduate with 4 summer internships at our company, is offered about a 15% premium over someone who squirts past the HR filter with a relevant associates degree at a community college, having a 3.0 GPA and no related work experience. (Assuming the candidate with only an Associate's is even offered a job.) If the BA and the AA job candidates (BS/AS if you prefer) cost approximately the same, I may as well hire the one with a bachelor's. They've proven more commitment to long-term tasks, if nothing else
All that to say, while hiring companies mostly value the skills learned during an associate's degree, the nontechnical skills implicitly learned during a bachelor's degree are also valued as differentiators among candidates. Hiring companies use completion of the degree as an indication that the candidate learned those other skills. Thus, the student has an incentive to pass the general education classes. The incentive is mostly independent of what the student learns in those classes, but is instead dependent on the grade recorded in those classes. Thus students are incentivized to cheat. They are not incentivized to actually learn.