by George Leef
I regularly post the well-reasoned Freeman articles of economics professor Sandy Ikeda here. I particularly like this one because it deals with the subject of higher education. He sees the parallels between foolish government policies that created the housing bubble and similar policies that have given us a higher education bubble.
At least, the huge numbers of houses and condos built in excess of real market demand in the years 2002-2007 were well constructed dwellings. Many college students these days are “investing” in the equivalent of homes without roofs — mere credentials they can get without much work. The government’s “pro-college” policies have managed simultaneously to drive up the cost of going while driving down (at many institutions, at least) the educational value. As we have drawn in more and more weak, disengaged high school grads, that has led to irresistible downward pressure on academic standards.