Monday, March 10, 2008

Higher-Ed Revolution (Lew Rockwell)

Lew Rockwell blogs on the prospects of colleges and universities:

The vast, and vastly expensive, college and university sector is in trouble, though the WaPo doesn't put it like that. Starting with the GI Bill, the federal government has heavily subsidized and controlled higher education, leading to far too many students and professors, and a radical decline in the intellectual quality of both. Then there is the effect of unrelenting official PC. Feminism, for example, has led to a boy shortage. They comprise about 42% of the average campus, though that is almost never discussed. Outside of certain professional areas and the hard sciences, why should middle-class parents pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to send a boy to four years of dumbed down official indoctrination that tells him he's the scum of the earth? It doesn't even pay off in lifetime earnings, despite the propaganda.

Then there is another problem. The whole apparatus is based today on student loans, but with the credit crunch, they could dry up. No more repackaging and selling them as securities! Of course, the Fed can just print the money, but there is a cost to that, and the banks and Wall Street and the merchants of death will be in line first. A huge state university of, say, 25,000 students could shrink by half or two-thirds in a depression.

Despite federal distortions, there is a demand for real education, but it will increasingly take place outside the federalized, elephantized official system: in institutions like the Mises Institute.

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