08 October 2008

Cato: 'Your Bachelor Of Arts Is Worthless'

Be sure to check out this week's Cato series on higher education.
Education should not be made to suffer under a system like this, and neither should those who want to achieve something with their lives. You can read his proposals for education reform in this month’s Cato Unbound. Education economist Pedro Carneiro will have a reply tomorrow, economist Bryan Caplan of George Mason University will reply on Friday, and education policy expert Kevin Carey will have a follow-up on Monday.
Look, I'm not a strict libertarian, but I find that reading their stuff reminds me of things I take for granted: Like, everyone should go to college. Should everyone, really?

College--the 4-6 years many of us spend studying, something--has become a right-of-passage the way high school once was (you know, for everyone except the poor and minorities. ah, vouchers). But should it be that way? Does everyone benefit from attending college? Is a 4-year degree a worthy goal for everyone? Consider Charles Murray's questions:
First, we will set up a single goal to represent educational success, which will take four years to achieve no matter what is being taught. We will attach an economic reward to it that often has nothing to do with what has been learned. We will urge large numbers of people who do not possess adequate ability to try to achieve the goal, wait until they have spent a lot of time and money, and then deny it to them. We will stigmatize everyone who doesn’t meet the goal. We will call the goal a “BA.”
Join me, as we read the whole series and question our assumptions about high education.

If you have tips, questions, comments or suggestions, email me at lybberty@gmail.com.