Phi Beta Cons

A Canadian Columnist Who Sees Through the College Hype

David Warren writes for the Ottawa Citizen and has a firm grasp on the reality of higher education. Consider this column, which was published Tuesday.

Is higher education a great, crucial investment in human capital? Here’s what he says: “The great majority of the universities — founded since the Second World War to bureaucratically process and credentialize a large part of the general population, as a matter of ‘right’ and regardless of their intellectual capacities — are in effect ‘community colleges’ or trade schools. Many of the trades being taught are perverse and wouldn’t exist without further government subsidy (‘women’s studies’ for instance, to produce professional feminist agitators). But most are the commonplace trades, and the colleges only provide incredibly inefficient and ineffective ways to replace the older apprenticeship arrangements, while cosseting the young from demands of the job market until they are thoroughly spoiled.”

Read the whole, wonderfully iconoclastic thing.

I’ll be on the lookout for more of Warren’s columns.

Hat tip: Geoff Hawkins.

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

Most Popular


The Truth Hurts at Penn Law

One of the chief criticisms of affirmative action is that it devalues credentials that minorities could otherwise use to distinguish themselves. If college admissions were purely merit-based, employers would have no reason to discount an impressive degree just because it is held by a black or Hispanic applicant. ... Read More

Nordic Welfare States Worsen the Gender Gap

Following International Women's Day 2018, a host of policies have been promoted as ways to advance women's careers. CNBC, for example, has run a story arguing that policies such as parental leave for both parents can raise women’s incomes. In the Huffington Post we can read that adopting the welfare policies of ... Read More

UNC Caves to the ‘Buy Local’ Silliness

One of the silly notions loose in America is that there is some virtue in buying local -- preferring sellers simply because they're located in "your area" (city, county, state, country) over those located elsewhere. In other words, geographical discrimination is, supposedly, good. Governments and governmental ... Read More

Running With Trump

Jeff Roe, who managed Senator Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign in 2016, has a message for Republican congressional candidates: Don’t run from Trump this year. Instead they should “[f]ix bayonets and charge the hill.” What exactly does this mean? It’s not that they should “support the president’s ... Read More

The Pope Francis Challenge

An unforced error from a Vatican communications office the other day drove me a little something like crazy. The nature of the unforced error is that it is wholly unnecessary and typically distracting. And so it was. Days before, as the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’s election as pope was approaching, a ... Read More