Phi Beta Cons

Manhattan Institute/Pope Center Debate Yesterday

Yesterday, the Manhattan Institute and the Pope Center sponsored a debate over higher ed. The question was, “Do Too Many People Go to College?” I argued the affirmative and Peter Sacks the negative. You can read our prepared statements here.

One notable aspect of the debate, I think, was the continuing confidence of Sacks (and other defenders of the higher-ed establishment) in what “the research shows” on the purported “return to higher education.” Nobody is paid just for having sat through courses — with the exception of a few government employees who get automatic raises if they complete various degrees. People are paid for using productive skills. If you learn something that improves your productive skills, you stand to earn a return on that education. The trouble is that for a large percentage of American college students, what work they do in college does little or nothing to enhance their productivity. What sense does it make to talk about “the return to education” for a college grad with weak basic skills and a job serving coffee?

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

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

The Blackface Party

I must have missed something: Was there some kind of all-hands white-people meeting at which we voted to kick the Democrats out? Elizabeth Warren, Rachel Dolezal, Beto O’Rourke — what’s up with all the ethnic play-acting? Isn’t cultural appropriation supposed to be a bad thing among progressives? Isn’t ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Rosenstein Defends the Mueller Probe

Well, did you think Rod Rosenstein was going to say, “You got me. The Mueller probe was inappropriate and politicized?” No, you didn’t. And the deputy attorney general did not disappoint. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, Rosenstein defended the investigation as “appropriate ... Read More
Film & TV

A Right-Wing Halloween

‘The world is not a dark and evil place,” insists an exasperated woman played by Judy Greer in Halloween. “It’s full of love and understanding!” I put the question to the class: Is she right? In the new film (not a reboot but a sequel that occurs 40 years after the events in the 1978 original and ... Read More