Where to start?
Over at 11D, Laura asks a question that's on a lot of minds these days:'m certain that college (though not many graduate programs) do lead to higher lifetime salaries. However, costs have gotten out of control. Why have tuition rates gone up so much? How does a six figure student loan burden affect a person's future?As it happens, a recent post by Instapundit offers a possible answer:The government decides to try to increase the middle class by subsidizing things that middle class people have: If middle-class people go to college and own homes, then surely if more people go to college and own homes, we'll have more middle-class people. But homeownership and college aren't causes of middle-class status, they're markers for possessing the kinds of traits -- self-discipline, the ability to defer gratification, etc. -- that let you enter, and stay, in the middle class. Subsidizing the markers doesn't produce the traits; if anything, it undermines them.
I guess the GI Bill for one. That big gumnit program worked pretty well in producing a middle class, yes?
See also the tax rates for the wealthiest Americans from 1941-1981, which further subsidized the greatest expansion of the middle class in world history.
Probably fair to say both were successful.
Also, if you happen to born a Bush, do you really need "self-discipline" to acquire a home or go to college? Nah.
Finally, is it funny to anyone else that a professor at a public university thinks his employer "undermines" college education?