Phi Beta Cons

The Protesters and the Overselling of College

In today’s Pope Center piece, Jenna Ashley Robinson connects the Occupy Wall Street movement and its vague discontent with the overselling of higher education in the U.S. Many of the protesters are unemployed or underemployed college graduates who are unhappy that they have college degrees, high debts, and little or no income. They blame “Wall Street” or “capitalism” when the real object of their disaffection should be governmental interference with the spontaneous order of society. That doesn’t make for a good protest slogan, though.

Early this year, Troy Camplin observed in a Pope Center piece that the protests that led to regime change in Egypt were also driven by college-educated but unemployed young people whose inflated expectations the government could no longer meet. I’m not predicting a similar outcome to that of Egypt, of course, but the parallels are strong.

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

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