Wednesday already! This week is buzzing by way too fast, probably due to my impending flight to America’s own little Caribbean paradise on Sunday; pre-travel weeks always seem to go quickly, especially when I already have a lot to do.
I always read John Stossel’s work when I run across it; he writes from a strongly libertarian viewpoint and I find myself agreeing with him on a lot of issues. Today he presents us with The College Scam. Excerpt:
What do Michael Dell, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and Mark Cuban have in common?
They’re all college dropouts.
Richard Branson, Simon Cowell and Peter Jennings have in common?
They never went to college at all.
Hillary Clinton tells students: “Graduates from four-year colleges earn nearly twice as much as high school graduates, an estimated $1 million more.”
We hear that from people who run colleges. And it’s true. But it leaves out some important facts
That’s why I say: For many people, college is a scam.
I spoke with Richard Vedder, author of “Going Broke by Degree: Why College Costs Too Much,” and Naomi Schafer Riley, who just published “Faculty Lounges and Other Reasons Why You Won’t Get the College Education You Paid For.”
Vedder explained why that million-dollar comparison is ridiculous:
“People that go to college are different kind of people … (more) disciplined … smarter. They did better in high school.”
They would have made more money even if they never went to college.
That last is an interesting point. Do college graduates do better in the workplace not because they went to college, but because they are the kind of person who goes to college? Because they were already more motivated, already had a better work ethic? And is that difference lessening now with the nation’s silly idea that every child must go to college?
I’ve been concerned for some time about America’s emphasis on a college education for every kid, and the accompanying downplaying of the trades. Our nation needs carpenters, electricians, welders and mechanics; those are honest, honorable trades in which one can make a very good living. But kids aren’t encouraged to seek those trades any more. Why?
One more this morning, on a topic I’ve mentioned (regularly) before: The Assault Weapons Ban: How Silly Was It? (Part One.) Short answer: It wasn’t just silly; it was stupid. Excerpt:
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, February 26, 2009:
As President Obama indicated during the campaign, there are just a few gun-related changes that we would like to make, and among them would be to reinstitute the ban on the sale of assault weapons.
The fabled “assault weapons ban.”
Few laws ever passed have been as idolized — and misunderstood — as Title XI of the Federal Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, Subtitle A (the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act).
To listen to the Obama administration, the media, or the nominated head of the ATF spin it, the ban made it illegal to purchase machine guns, and outlawed the ownership or use of high-capacity magazines, saving billions, perhaps trillions, of lives.
That mischaracterization is as wrong as it is laughable. The law had nothing to do with machine guns and real military-issue assault rifles, and did nothing to measurably impact violent crime.
The purpose of the law was to ban the sale and importation of certain semi-automatic (one bullet fired per trigger pull) firearms by name, and a wider group of firearms that had an arbitrarily selected list of largely cosmetic features. These features did not affect the rate of fire, accuracy, or range of the firearms impacted.
The law was almost criminally stupid. The only – only impact it had was to inconvenience the law-abiding, and was seen – correctly – as a toe in the door attempt by politicians whose ultimate goal was to eliminate all private gun ownership. It died an unlamented death and should stay buried.