Tag Archives | higher education

Anti-Middle-Class Economics

Well, that was quick. After less than two weeks, President Obama has dropped his plan to tax withdrawals from the “529” college savings plans widely used by middle-class parents. The proposal was never even remotely likely to see the light of day, nor was it worth debating on its merits. It was an outright money […]

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The Rungs of the Ladder

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the “War on Poverty” (announced in January of 1964) and the “Great Society” (announced 50 years ago yesterday). These were America’s two great experiments in using the power of the federal government to transform and radically improve the country. Fifty years and some 15 or 20 trillion dollars—depending […]

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Why You Can’t Work Your Way Through College Any More

You can’t work your way through college any more. That’s the conclusion of an article that sets out the figures for how long you have to work these days to pay for a year’s tuition. In effect, if you were to work long enough to pay for your tuition and room and board, you would […]

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Economics 101

The higher-education bubble has touched off a scramble among politicians to come up with solutions to make college more affordable. So far, “affordable” higher education has meant pretty much the same thing as “affordable housing”: encouraging people to pile up unsustainable government-subsidized loans. To avoid the rise of these ruinous student loans, the state of […]

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The Humanities Are Dead, Long Live the Humanities

One of the consequences of the higher-education bubble—an enormous decades-long increase in college tuition—is the withering away of majors in the humanities, from 14% of all college majors fifty years ago to 7% today. After all, if you have to spend upwards of $100,000 for an education, you probably ought to choose a field where […]

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The University Utopia

Three Paradoxes of American Politics, Part 2 Just after November’s election, I posed three paradoxes of American politics, asking why certain demographic groups make up reliable voting blocs for the left, even though the pro-free-market ideas of the right have so much to offer them. I have begun to revisit these paradoxes. In part one […]

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The Third Industrial Revolution

We Are All Futurists Now, Part 1 I recently commented on an article about the economic rise of Africa. A more recent follow-up on that story puts the Africa boom in a very useful historical perspective. The rise of Africa’s long forlorn economies…represents the final phase of a global economic transformation that began over 200 […]

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Politics Is Boring

Annual Report from The Tracinski Letter This year, I’m starting a new tradition: an end-of year “annual report” discussing what I’ve done in the past year and what’s coming for next year, both in terms of the logistics of the newsletter and in terms of its intellectual content. This has, of course, been a big […]

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The Great Disappointment

Top Stories of 2012 Having dealt with the fifth and fourth biggest stories of the year in separate articles, I will now count down the top three stories, drawing on the extensive coverage I have given them this year. #3 • The Bubble-Bursters I almost selected as the third most important story of the year […]

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Higher Education in the Bubble

There is continuing controversy over whether there is a higher-education bubble, but higher ed has definitely been “in the bubble” for a long time, deliberately sealed off from any connection to its underlying economic value. Consider a report on recent attempt by several state governments to gather data on the earnings prospects of graduates from […]

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