At Exchequer, I make the case that Newt Gingrich, despite his knack for making the right thing sound like the wrong thing, has it right on putting kids to work:
From Williamson’s Political Dictionary, Vol. 1: newt, [noot; nyoot] v., to put one’s foot in it while putting one’s finger on it.
. . . Here are a few truths that rarely are spoken: About half of Americans will not really benefit from a four-year college education, and we should not waste the time and resources to put them through four (or five, or six) years of undergraduate work at a satellite campus of Mediocre U. And let us not overlook the fact that one of the most precious resources being wasted is the time, energy, and money of millions of 18-to-24-year-old Americans who could be making better use of their youth. The evolution of the bachelor’s degree into a general professional license has resulted in the massive misallocation of human capital (and financial capital) that mostly serves the economic interests of a very narrow and parochial special-interest group: college faculty, staff, and administrators, a reliably overpaid and underworked population of sinecure-clingers insulated from economic realities by our baroque education-funding system and protected by such medieval institutions as tenure.