Phi Beta Cons

Another higher ed skeptic

Gary North, writing here sees higher education as a huge expense to be avoided as much as possible. He considers the situation of a 23 year old guy in sales who is loaded down with student loan debt:

“He is in sales. This is why he has a high income. But the unique skills that he possesses he possessed years ago: sales skills. He did not gain these skills in college, where he was taught by salary-drawing bureaucrats who may not make any more money at age 50 than he does at 23.”

Furthermore, North clearly sees the nature of much of higher ed as providing credentials for various occupational cartels. Here’s his analysis:

“The longer an employment cartel operates, the more the supply of certified members increases. Why? Because the cartels get the government to establish standards — designed by the cartel’s academic committee — to license degree-granting institutions. Then the government extends its power over the cartel by authorizing one or more of its tax-funded universities the authority to create degree-granting graduate programs that offer cartel-approved training. The cartel can hardly bite the hand that feeds it: the state. It therefore accepts this intrusion into its certification problem, which is in fact a deliberate restriction of the supply of competing professionals. The tax-funded university then changes the rules governing the cartel’s initial strategy. The goal of professors is to increase the number of students….So, the degree-granting institutions flood the cartel with newly certified candidates.”

Finally, North offers this advice: if you really want an education, get a library card and use it a lot.

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

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