Not Much of a Debate

Here is a piece entitled “New York Public Policy Think Tank Zeroes in on Debate Over Dwindling Resources in Higher Education.” The think tank is the Century Foundation, long a cheerleader for the higher-ed establishment. The trouble is that its event included no one who argues that we have oversold higher education and further expansion will waste more resources.

Apparently, the closest this event came to debate was to mention the book I recently reviewed, In the Basement of the Ivory Tower. The anonymous author was not there to defend himself, and the book was dismissed by one participant on trivial grounds.

Naturally, the defenders of the status quo, including Richard Kahlenberg, made the worn-out arguments about the supposed earnings premium for college graduates and that people with college degrees have had a lower unemployment rate in recent years. If everyone had a college degree, would unemployment be zero? Will college graduates who can barely read and write earn that big bonus while they wait on tables or take tickets in a theater? Kahlenberg is oblivious to the argument that you need to look at the margin, not at statistical averages.

If the Century Fund people acknowledge that there is a debate over higher education, why put on an event with only one side?


George Leef — George Leef is the director of research for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

Most Popular

Film & TV

Why We Can’t Have Wakanda

SPOILERS AHEAD Black Panther is a really good movie that lives up to the hype in just about every way. Surely someone at Marvel Studios had an early doubt, reading the script and thinking: “Wait, we’re going to have hundreds of African warriors in brightly colored tribal garb, using ancient weapons, ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More