George Leef At Forbes: ‘A Tale Of Two Bubbles-Housing & College’

Full piece here.

‘To recapitulate, in the housing market, government meddling led to a widespread mania that drove up prices and caused many to think, “I’ve got to buy even if I can’t afford it because housing is a sure thing.” Similarly, government meddling in higher education led many to think, “I’ve got to get a college degree no matter the cost, because a college degree is the path to prosperity.”

Even if we’ve seen profound changes in our economy and social structure from previous generations; even if technology and globalization are dramatically changing our lives, people going to respond to incentives, flow through established channels, and pursue their interests accordingly.

The opportunity in D.C. is mostly about politics.  A bigger government is subject to ever more fingers in the pie.

I like this quote by Ira Stoll found here which I keep putting up:

‘Indeed, if there is a single fact that sums up the state of American political economy at the present moment, it is this: the Boston office building once home to Inc. Magazine and Fast Company, which chronicled and celebrated small and fast-growing businesses, is now the headquarters of a publication called “Compliance Week.”’

Many people have been flowing to universities and Washington D.C.  just as they flowed into housing, because that’s where a lot of money and opportunity are.  For my piece, people who are Left-of-Center tend to flow to these places first, gravitating towards health-care and education and other rent-seeking enterprises, but also to activism and government.  No surprise there.

That said, whichever party is in charge would also face municipal bond defaults, farm subsidies, the looming failure of Medicaid, a huge national defense budget with numerous contractors suckling away at the teat, a huge Department Of Education etc.  Our government has been inflated larger and larger over time, and I think we’re getting a terrible return on investment.

Is the situation in our universities similar?

Is government behind the bad incentives or has it simply amplified deeper currents?

Is higher-ed a bubble and will it pop like housing?  Slowly deflate?  Keep right on going?


Related On This Site:  Repost: Mark Cuban From His Blog: ‘The Coming Meltdown in College Education & Why The Economy Won’t Get Better Any Time Soon’…From The New Criterion: ‘Higher Ed: An Obituary’,,,Ron Unz At The American Conservative: ‘The Myth Of American Meritocracy’

Analagous to old media? What to change and what to keepFrom The Arnoldian Project: ‘Architecture, Campus, And Learning To Become’

Should you get a college degree, probably, but you also probably shouldn’t lose sight of why you’re going and divorce yourself entirely from the cost:  Gene Expression On Charles Murray: Does College Really Pay Off?…Charles Murray In The New Criterion: The Age Of Educational Romanticism

From The City Journal: Obsessive Housing Disorder

Full article here.

Homeownership has always been an important part of American life, and it is often a heavily politicized one (potentially alligned with the shorter-term interests of many politicians and politics) Steven Malanga argues that the government should aim to leave the economy to its own devices:

“First, our experience since the Great Depression teaches us that a rising economy is the best and safest way to boost homeownership”

and more realistically to have:

” …the federal government to tie aid to states to local regulatory reforms that reduce the cost of construction and encourage additional building.”

There’s a little in the way practical positive thinking here, but I think the subtext is mostly:  liberal policies that seek to correct social inequalitites through government oversight of housing and lending to potential homeowners can lead to disaster, and we should pursue them now no less than before

Now that we’re having to compete in a global marketplace…will the loss of manufacturing jobs be replaced with the service industry…and green jobs?  

See Also On This Site:  Richard Florida has a vision based upon some reasonable analysis, but a vision that’s a little too hip and government -centric: From The Atlantic: Richard Florida’s ‘How The Crash Will Reshape America’ 

Property rights are ‘negative,’ like life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness?: From If-Then Knots:Health Care Is Not A Right…But Then Neither Is Property?

Add to Technorati Favorites