Phi Beta Cons

I Think I’ll Scream If….

If I read another of those pathetic articles making the claim that going to college is a great “investment” that leads to a huge “earnings premium.” Here’s one of those pieces, in the Washington Post by Christopher Shea.

He wants to reassure young Americans that the college debt crisis isn’t really that bad because college doesn’t have to lead to a huge load of debt (which is true) and if you don’t borrow to go to college, you’ll miss out on the great “return on investment” (which is not true).  It used to be the case that earning a degree helped to distinguish you from the pack — a “positional good” — and thereby put you in line for one of the high paying jobs that was offered only to such people. But today, with an enormous glut of people in the labor force holding college degrees that betoken no particular accomplishment, that benefit has evaporated.

It is certainly worth investing in human capital, but going to college is neither necessary nor sufficient for that.

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

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Basta La Vista, Baby

Dear Reader (And especially Martha McSally’s dog), As I often note, I increasingly tend to see the political scene as a scripted reality show in which the writers don’t flesh out the dialogue so much as move characters into weird, wacky, confrontational, or embarrassing positions. It’s a lot like The ... Read More

Betsy DeVos Strikes a Blow for the Constitution

The Department of Education has issued its long-awaited proposed regulations reforming sexual-assault adjudications on college campus. Not only will these rules restore basic due process and fairness to college tribunals, but they also — given how basic the changes are — highlight just how ridiculous ... Read More
Politics & Policy

ABC News Makes a Serious Mistake

Today, across Twitter, I began to see a number of people condemning the Trump administration (and Betsy DeVos, specifically) for imposing a new definition of sexual assault on campus so strict that it would force women to prove that they were so harassed that they'd been chased off campus and couldn't return. ... Read More