Tag Archives: education

College Bubble Infographic

I was at a party a couple months ago, and brought up the idea that perhaps — just perhaps — some smart people, depending on where they are in their lives and what they want to do for a career, shouldn’t go to college, an acquaintance tore into me, saying that everyone needed to go to college. This is the sort of person that blows up the rapidly, terminally expanding higher education bubble here in the United States. The pernicious idea that everyone needs to have a college degree, regardless of their capabilities or work/life desires, along with the government — both Federal and state — interfering with market forces, is causing a huge problem. I really feel bad for kids these days and the choices they have to make, and worse for the ones that aren’t told the choices until they have loans they won’t be able to pay down for 20 years.

Here’s a great graphic I saw the other day showing some of the problems that are already here and ones that are currently brewing. Scary. This bubble is going to blow up, and probably not that far down the road.

How Much Does Public School Really Cost?

I’ve never really understood the argument for public schools, even before I realized I had serious libertarian leanings in my personal politics. I do understand the argument for public funding of pre-adult education, but that stands apart from the actual public schools. This paper and short video by the Cato Institute really drives home one aspect of the horror that is our public education system: price per pupil. Watch it:

I think the most wild thing about this video is the comparison of Washington, D.C. public school costs compared with private schools in the area. Wow. No wonder they’re so much against anything related to the word, “vouchers”. They’d lost all their students!

Why Would the Department of Education Need Shotguns?

Seriously. What? I’m wracking my brain trying to think up reasons. Bizarre. Thanks to Weasel Zippers, via Instapundit for the oddity of the day.

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) intends to purchase twenty-seven (27) REMINGTON BRAND MODEL 870 POLICE 12/14P MOD GRWC XS4 KXCS SF. RAMAC #24587 GAUGE: 12 BARREL: 14″ – PARKERIZED CHOKE: MODIFIED SIGHTS: GHOST RING REAR WILSON COMBAT; FRONT – XS CONTOUR BEAD SIGHT STOCK: KNOXX REDUCE RECOIL ADJUSTABLE STOCK FORE-END: SPEEDFEED SPORT-SOLID – 14″ LOP are designated as the only shotguns authorized for ED based on compatibility with ED existing shotgun inventory, certified armor and combat training and protocol, maintenance, and parts.
The required date of delivery is March 22, 2010.

Education and the Power of Monopoly

I was just listening to This Week in Tech, and they were talking about how if a person from 100 years ago suddenly was transported to our present, they’d look at all these fields, like medical, transportation, finance, and wouldn’t recognize it. Walk into a school, though, and they’d feel right at home; nothing’s really changed there. The commentator is saying that technology has been the driving force behind the changes.

I had a thought, though: what about competition? When someone has a Great Idea to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of their particular area of expertise, they can challenge entrenched powers of their industry. Those entrenched powers either change or die (they usually die). To a great extent, education has been shielded from these forces. If someone tries to challenge the entrenched powers, those powers don’t have to change: they use government to shut down the challenger. So I contend that it’s the stagnating power of monopoly that ensures that someone from 100 years ago to notice very little change in education today, as opposed to other industries.

I’d be curious to know if this has even entered their minds, though: pretty much, the commentators are hard leftists on the show. I’m betting it hasn’t occurred to them that market forces may be behind these issues, or at least a serious contributor to them.