Loving the Bubble

I think it’s safe to say that there’s wide consensus in these pages that college costs too much, too many people go, and the underlying economics are unsustainable. But we still might be waiting a long time to see that perception gain wide acceptance. While I know my experiences are anecdotal, I’ve tested the “perhaps college is oversold” argument with fellow parents and have gotten ferocious push-back. There are few forces more powerful that the maternal/paternal instinct to give your kids their best chance to succeed, and if there’s one thing that American parents have demonstrated — they will spend money on their kids (they may not get or stay married for their kids, but by golly, they’ll shovel out some cash). They may agree in the abstract that too many kids go to college, and it costs too much, but their kids are not among the “too many.”

Eventually, of course, prices can only rise so much before the burden becomes too much for even the most sacrificial (or leveraged) parent or student to bear. After all, how many people were questioning the value of homeownership before 2008? But for now, the college experience and college credential exerts a mightily powerful hold on the minds of American parents — even the parents of the most mediocre of students.

David French — David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Most Popular


Courage: The Greatest of Virtues

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader (Or Listener), As the reporter assigned the job of writing the article about all of Sidney Blumenthal’s friends and supporters told his ... Read More

My American Dream

This morning, at 8 a.m., I did something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember: I became an American. I first applied for a visa in early 2011, and since then I have slowly worked my way through the system — first as a visa-holder, then as a permanent resident (green card), and, finally, as a ... Read More

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More