[FoRK] Greenspun: let's stop investing in our kids

owen at permafrost.net owen at permafrost.net
Sun Jun 13 07:08:38 PDT 2010

I'll just quote the highest ranked comment on Hacker News:
"The article pretends

- That the current salaries of recent college graduates represent their probable average output over their lifetime. This is absurd for reasons that I hope I don't need to explain to all you startup founders.

- That the salary of a graduate is a total representation of that person's value to society (and, transitively, of their education). This is wrong even if you think the total value of an education is in employment. Economics teaches us that for all voluntary economic transactions there are producer and consumer surpluses. It must therefore be the case that an employed person's value to their employer is at least the salary the person is paid. And as cynical as I am about college education sometimes, even I don't believe that the complete value of the education is in its utility for the labor market.

- That there is a reliable way to make a ten percent return on investment overseas. Not as far as I've been able to find, and if you can find it you could probably make a lot of money selling the information to a big player in the American bond market.

- And that the normal personal investment into a college education is really $300,000. This is anti-factual. It is probably also wrong that each marginal elementary schooler costs $200,000, but I can't say for sure about that.

As rhetoric, this article plays well. As honest observation of the American educational system, it's a miserable failure."

On Sun, Jun 13, 2010 at 08:06:13AM -0500, Jeff Bone wrote:
> http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/philg/2010/06/12/americans-lets-stop-investing-in-our-kids/
> The money shot:
> "Just as we’ve produced a health care system so expensive that we’d be 
> better off without doctors and hospitals, we’ve managed to create an 
> education system so expensive and ineffective that we’d be better off not 
> sending anyone to school."
> Food for thought...
> jb
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