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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/3701/should-states-boost-college-spending/

Should states boost college spending?

June 10, 2005 by

Forbes runs Richard Vedder’s argument that state spending on college and universities is a bad investment.


billwald June 10, 2005 at 12:54 pm

State spending is bad investment. In the ’50′s a high school graduate was qualified for 80% of the available jobs and now most of jobs require 2 years of college. Why the education inflation?

First, in the 50′s half the entry lever jobs were union jobs and/or apprenticeships. Thanks to minimum wage a company can no longer afford to train apprentices so the tax payers pick up the tab.

Second, because of the dumbing down of govt schools. Half the freshman class (who theoretically have better than a 3.5 h.s. (?) GPA) at the University of Washington require remedial classes.

spencer June 10, 2005 at 1:35 pm

Since in either real term or relative to average hourly earnings the minimum wage is at an all time low — significantly lower then in the 1950s –it is hard to understand why the minimum wage would matter to companys training apprentices.

spencer June 10, 2005 at 1:43 pm

I would have had a lot more confidence in the article if he had compare real average income in the states with high education spending to real average income in states with low education spending. Growth rates are one thing, but it may all be catch up by low income states so it provides little evidence about the impact of education.

The primary reason New Hampshire grew rapidly was because it is part of the extended Boston metro area so it provides little support for the authors thesis.

Lisa Casanova June 11, 2005 at 9:59 am

I can think of one reason college spending is a good investment from the government’s point of view- public universities can create a lot of graduates who think they owe their earning power, economic mobility, and prosperity to the opportunities for education that the government provided for them, and conclude that the state is a great engine for creating opportunity.

billwald June 14, 2005 at 12:36 pm

College spending takes young people out of the long term job market because they are satisfied with low pay jobs while in school?

Lisa Casanova June 14, 2005 at 12:55 pm

Probably so. Was that not the reason behind the GI bill?

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