The best jobs program

“The best jobs program out there is a good education,” said President Obama at an Arlington, Virginia middle school.

“The best economic policy is one that produces more college graduates.

. . . by the end of the decade we will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.  We’ll be number one again. That’s my priority.”

The best economic policy would produce more entrepreneurs, counters Future of Capitalism.

“Subsidizing the markers of status doesn’t produce the character traits that result in that status; it undermines them,” adds Glenn Reynolds, who worries about a “higher education bubble.”

We’re over-investing and mis-investing in higher education, writes economist Richard Vedder.

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  1. by the end of the decade we will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world. We’ll be number one again. That’s my priority.

    I’ll go with over on by end of the decade.

  2. Yes, a good education but not the same education for all; let’s try to get all (non-disabled) kids to have REAL 8th-grade knowledge/skills (which may take ESL and some others longer), the majority to have REAL HS levels (including voc ed) and many with REAL (no remediation) college-entry skills.

    From those, we are probably about right on the percent with college degrees IF the useless majors are eliminated. (various identity/grievance studies and other majors unconnected to college-level careers – how many anthro or religion majors does the job market need?) Some of those will go on to grad or professional schools, but some of those numbers should be evaluated. Perhaps we really have too many law grads, since so many can’t find jobs and perhaps some of those PhDs have insufficient career options. (Don’t get me started on the EdDs and the quantity-not-quality credentialism in the ed world) Really, how many people really fit into those one-size-fits-all bathrobes?

  3. Sean Mays says:

    Please! momof4!! Bathrobes don’t typically have 3 stripes on a sleeve and such gaudy matching hoods. At least mine don’t.

    I worry we’re sending too many kids to college atm. The government continues to subsidize higher ed and tuition continues to outstrip inflation by a handy margin. Eventually this will be another bubble, if not already. Colleges have no strong incentive to control costs with the government “helping” foot the bill. We can look around at programs like Medicare, Social Security and Fannie/Freddie to see how well those markets function. Colleges and airlines are excellent at price discrimination – figuring out just how much you can pay for that seat today.

    I felt sorry for the my students getting pushed onto the college track but who clearly wanted to be doing something. Shakespeare and trig are great and all, but darn it, we need plumbers too.

    Bring back voc ed as a legitimate option!

  4. If Obama was a pilot, he’d probably think you could increase the altitude by pushing the altimeter hand around to clockwise.

  5. Foobarista says:

    It’s the best jobs program for Obama’s natural constituency: college professors and academic bureaucrats.

  6. Soapbox0916 says:

    There is no doubt that we are producing far too many law grads and PhDs than what the market can handle. Schools overall need to cut down their number of graduates by at least 2/3. A few are needed, but the field needs to be limited in intake, more like med schools. The problem is that colleges make too much money off these programs.

    The oversupply would not be such a problem if law school especially and graduate school were not so expensive, placing graduates in massive amount of debt that can not be discharged. I get especially annoyed when I read the older generations complaining about young people not growing up and buying houses and starting families. They simply cannot afford to do with such debt and it especially troubling that most of the jobs that graduates wind up doing didn’t need that much education.