Could Higher-ed Funding Become a Political Issue?
A hat tip to Tom Shuford for sending me this video, in which Peter Schiff, a prospective rival for the Senate seat now held by Connecticut Democrat Chris Dodd, discusses the impact of governmental subsidies for college attendance.
Schiff gets it right: The reason college now costs significantly more than it did in the days before the federal government started to “help” students afford it is that college administrators are eager to reel in as much money as they can.
He also has a skeptical view on the G.I. Bill, which is often crediting with “creating the middle class.” That’s not even remotely true. There was a large and growing American middle class prior to World War II, and the country did not lack for talented professionals. The difference was that nearly all of them learned their fields without going to college. Doing a B.A. prior to starting to learn an occupation doesn’t make you any better at it; it merely adds considerably to the cost.
Apparently, Schiff’s rivals are saying that he’s “anti-education” and hoping to make that smear stick with clueless voters. I think Schiff is sharp enough to turn the tables on them, but he could do that better if he’d read my “Overselling of Higher Education” paper and check out Phi Beta Cons regularly.