Uneducated perhaps, but not unfunded

If you want accurate information on education spending, rely on comedian Jon Stewart’s Daily Show not on New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, writes Andrew J. Coulson on Cato @ Liberty.

In The Uneducated American, economist Krugman writes that, “for the past 30 years our political scene has been dominated by the view that any and all government spending is a waste of taxpayer dollars.” As a result, U.S. education has been “neglected” and “has inevitably suffered.”

Spending per student “has more than doubled since 1970, after adjusting for inflation,” Coulson responds.

Paul Krugman may not be an “uneducated American,” but he’s certainly a badly misinformed one.

Coulson wondered how Jon Stewart, the most trusted news source, handled the issue. In the Daily Show’s on-line forum, he found a commenter’s claim that spending per pupil has risen by a factor of 10 since 1945, after adjusting for inflation.

That’s not too far off the mark. The actual multiple is just under 8. So folks who get their facts from the Daily Show’s website will be better informed on this subject than those who trust the Nobel Prize winning New York Times economist.

Higher public school spending doesn’t spur economic growth, Coulson adds, because higher spending doesn’t lead to higher academic achievement.

About Joanne


  1. Richard Aubrey says:

    It is said that the late Sen. Moynihan had a small study done on the subject.
    He found that propinquity to the Canadian border had a stronger correlation to academic achievement than per-pupil spending. The latter usually translates to per-pupil administration travel budget and compensation, anyway.

  2. wulfmankarl says:

    Paul Krugman Admits the Real Reason he Likes Inflation – It will bring about an Egalitarian Utopia


  3. Any day you can find a reason to use the word “propinquity” is a good day.

    I assume the study dismissed the Detroit Public schools as an outlier?

  4. Richard Aubrey says:

    allen. Good point. I live not too far from that sinkhole. My father will occasionally call me just to tell me the latest so-stupid-you-can’t-catch-your-breath outrage coming to light.
    I can’t imagine Jon Stewart even attempting it.

  5. Bill Leonard says:

    At bottom, Paul Krugman is a Keynsian whose world view thinks that the European social welfare state equates to nirvana.

    That he has a Nobel for economics tells us a great deal about the real standing of most of the Nobel awards these days. Witness the award of the Peace Prize to Obama, to Al gore, to Jimmy Carter, to Gorbachev “for bringing down the Berlin Wall” …well, the rational among us get the idea.

  6. Mr. Leonard, at bottom you don’t have any understanding of economics, or you wouldn’t embarrass yourself as you have.

    You are rational, but the premises on which you base your logic are neither rational nor intelligent.

  7. Richard Aubrey says:

    Elaborate, please.

  8. Thanks Mike, I was in danger of not getting my recommended daily allowance of content-less bile.

    Whatever Krugman’s scholarly accomplishments may have been those days are behind him and he’s assumed the role of crudely partisan. His columns are quite often shot through with inaccuracies that can only be deliberate in service of an audience that’s less concerned with accuracy then with the thrill of moral indignation.

  9. Richard Aubrey says:

    You think he’s trying to cover up his gig as an Enron adviser?

  10. Krugman’s found a better paying, less demanding vocation then economist.

    No worries about being found wanting in some professional regard since as a left wing pundit his profession is stroking the egos of the narcissistic. It’s a little bit like getting paid to praise fish for being such good swimmers.


  1. […] Sullenberger http://www.thedailyshow.com Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Ron Paul Interview Uneducated perhaps, but not unfunded – joannejacobs.com 10/14/2009 If you want accurate information on education spending, rely on […]