Phi Beta Cons

Home for Good

The May 24, 2010, issue of the New Yorker has a poignant cover. It’s in the style of an old-fashioned teen comic book (think Archie). Tim, wearing an Argyl sweater, is back from the university and is pinning his Ph.D. diploma up on the wall of his bedroom. As his pinched-faced parents watch him through the bedroom door, he calmly places the diploma among his high-school sports and middle-school spelling-bee trophies, his “Student of the Week” award, his basketball poster, and a photo of himself playing a guitar. The title of the cover is “Boomerang Generation.” You can see it here

 For most New Yorker readers, the cover may symbolize the depth of the recession; for many PBC readers, it also captures a sad misallocation of resources.

Jane S. Shaw — Jane S. Shaw retired as president of the John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy in 2015. Before joining the Pope Center in 2006, Shaw spent 22 years in ...

Most Popular

Elections

Weirdo O’Rourke

Friends of the young Bill Clinton and Barack Obama spoke of the special glow of promise they had about them, even back in their early twenties. Angels sat on their shoulders. History gave them a wink and said, “Hey, good lookin’, I’ll be back to pick you up later.” Robert O’Rourke? Not so much. He ... Read More
Education

Our Bankrupt Elite

Every element of the college admissions scandal, a.k.a “Operation Varsity Blues,” is fascinating. There are the players: the Yale dad who, implicated in a securities-fraud case, tipped the feds off to the caper; a shady high-school counselor turned admissions consultant; the 36-year-old Harvard grad who ... Read More
U.S.

McCain at Annapolis

President Trump has been doing a lot of tweeting today -- against TV programs, companies, and other things that have incurred his displeasure. These tweets make for interesting reading. One of them is this: So it was indeed (just proven in court papers) “last in his class” (Annapolis) John McCain that sent ... Read More
Health Care

David Brooks Forgets to Oppose Some Suicides

The well-meaning David Brooks urges us to prevent suicide in his most recent New York Times column. The crisis is certainly real. From "How to Fight Suicide:": You’ve probably seen the recent statistics about the suicide epidemic — that suicide rates over all have risen by over 30 percent this century; ... Read More