Phi Beta Cons

Richard Epstein on ‘Higher Education for All’

In this essay, law professor Richard Epstein discusses our higher-education financing system and — no surprise — finds it terribly inefficient.

What makes this essay especially interesting are Epstein’s frequent references to his former faculty colleague at the University of Chicago, Barack Obama. Epstein has said that he was not impressed with the aloof young instructor and has no praise for him in this piece. Consider his concluding paragraph:

President Obama’s uncritical exhortations for universal higher education make it only harder to match the individual abilities and skills of students with the job opportunities they need. The implicit subtext of the President stresses two themes that could prove the undoing of this nation. The first is centralized control over educational resources through expanded federal loan programs. The second is the constant exhortation to increase the size of transfer programs through ever-higher taxes on the rich. It is this very toxic combination that has made the current recovery so feeble.

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

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