Magazine February 19, 2018, Issue

The Professor and the Sacred Cow

(Brian Snyder/Reuters)
The Case against Education: Why the Education System Is a Waste of Time and Money, by Bryan Caplan (Princeton, 399 pp., $29.95)

This book’s argument is shocking, over the top — and more right than wrong.

Though heavily educated himself and a professor at a public university to boot, the economist Bryan Caplan has soured on schooling. It’s not necessarily a bad investment for individuals: Employers really do reward educational credentials in the job market, so if you have what it takes to graduate from college, you probably should. But it’s a horrible deal for society as a whole: For the most part, it just helps people prove and then “signal” their preexisting intelligence, conscientiousness, and conformity, rather than actually teaching them anything

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners




Popularity Contest In “Hearing the People” (January 22), a generally spot-on assessment of how Republicans should react to populism, Henry Olsen writes: “The combined might of the five core groups of ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ “And here to speak for the party of diversity, inclusion, women, people of color, and a bold embrace of the future is . . . some guy named ‘Kennedy.’” ‐ ...


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