Phi Beta Cons

Some Praise for Carnevale’s Latest Study

I haven’t read it yet, but Neal McCluskey finds the latest study released by Anthony Carnevale’s Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce to be valuable. Neal’s take on it is here.

The reason for his praise is that the study demonstrates that college credentials aren’t necessarily like winning lottery tickets, and the failure to get those credentials is not a guaranteed trip to the poorhouse. Some individuals who never went to college do very well, and some individuals who went to college for a long time don’t do well at all. That makes you suspect that innate personal qualities count for more than formal education does.

Nevertheless, the study concludes, “No matter how you cut it, more education pays.” That’s clearly not the case. Education (which is now largely the quest for credentials rather than learning) is a positional good. If everyone gets more of it, that won’t make every job pay more. Workers are paid on the basis of the value of their production and “more education pays” only to the extent that it raises a person’s productive capability. Sometimes college work does that, but not often.

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

Most Popular

U.S.

Joy Reid Denies Writing Homophobic Blog Posts

MSNBC personality Joy Reid's former blog, The Reid Report, published a series of anti-gay posts, which she claims were added to the site after it was shut down, by a hacker intent on destroying her reputation and nascent cable-news career. Reid, who discontinued the blog roughly a decade ago, apologized in ... Read More
Culture

The Lure of Outsiderism

In a Wall Street Journal piece this weekend recounting his brief and harrowing recent experience at The Atlantic, Kevin Williamson ably notes a common pattern in this moment in our national life. Discussing a panel he attended at the chic South by Southwest conference, he writes: Which brings us back to that ... Read More
Culture

Monday Links

A Supercut of Epic Movie Explosions. Can You Solve These 10 Medieval Riddles? The cost to make a Margherita pizza: $1.77. How much restaurants charge on average for a pizza: $12. The actual costs of restaurant foods. Vintage animation lessons -- how to make things cute. London's "Great ... Read More
World

On Trade, No One Is Waiting for Washington

President Donald Trump’s flips and flops on trade are now as ubiquitous as his 5:00 a.m. tweets. Many predicted that trade-expansion efforts would come to a standstill and world commerce would suffer amidst all the uncertainty. Instead, the precise opposite has happened. In the last few months, it’s become ... Read More
National Security & Defense

Trump’s Syria Quandary

President Trump raised eyebrows recently when he ended a tweet lauding the airstrikes he’d ordered against chemical-weapons facilities in Syria with the words “mission accomplished.” The phrase, of course, became infamous in the aftermath of the invasion of Iraq, when President Bush used it in a speech ... Read More
U.S.

Confirm Pompeo

What on earth are the Democrats doing? President Trump has nominated CIA director Mike Pompeo, eminently qualified by any reasonable standard, to be America’s 70th secretary of state. And yet the Senate Democrats, led by Chuck Schumer, have perverted the advice and consent clause of the Constitution into a ... Read More
PC Culture

The Dark Side of the Starbucks Stand-Down

By now the story is all over America. Earlier this month, two black men entered a Starbucks store in Philadelphia. They were apparently waiting for a friend before ordering — the kind of thing people do every day — and one of the men asked to use the restroom. A Starbucks employee refused, saying the restroom ... Read More