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.