The idea of using a ton of borrowed money to take off 4+ years and acquire a fermented degree in complacency studies is about to get replaced with more practical approaches. In too many cases it’s no longer worth the time and expense.
Everyone will soon think more carefully about how their educational plans – whether they be STEM or Liberal Arts – fit into their life plans.
Here’s Bill Frezza in The Root Cause of Market Failure in Higher Education:
Just as Fannie Mae fueled an unsustainable housing bubble, Sallie encouraged runaway college tuition increases. And just as the federal government was forced to nationalize Fannie Mae when the bubble bust, Uncle Sam has now nationalized the college loan business with an eye on disguising the coming tsunami of student loan defaults.
Such policies have consequences. Too many aspiring young museum curators can’t find jobs? The pragmatic Chinese solution is to cut public subsidies used to train museum curators. The free market solution is that only the rich would be indulgent enough to buy their kids an education that left them economically dependent on Mommy and Daddy after graduation. The progressive American solution is to seek increased public funding to build more museums.
When such make-work spending fails – as it must during periods of fiscal belt tightening – do progressives encourage maleducated kids to look around, see what needs doing, and start businesses of their own? No. They urge them to take to the streets to bang drums and chant slogans.
The system is nearing breakdown, which will come when student loan defaults finally push the federal agency that guarantees such loans into bankruptcy. At that point, we will have to face the fact that capping off adolescence with a four-year party at taxpayer expense is a luxury we can no longer afford.
College participation rates will have to go back down to historical norms… Loans will have to be restricted to majors that confer capacity to pay the loans back. Dead-end programs used to train the next generation of professors – whose only skill will be to teach more such dead-end programs – will have to be limited, funded not by taxpayers but by ideological philanthropists with a hankering for fineries like literary criticism and gender studies.
This may seem like common sense to most people, but it strikes horror into the hearts of the liberal professoriate. After years of feathering their nests so they can produce students trained only to bite the hand that feeds them, perhaps it’s time to serve up a few helpings of horror. We can no longer afford to take the snobbery of academics seriously. Taxpayers just don’t have the money to keep them or their young acolytes on the dole.
From a wide-ranging interview Paul Ryan at AEI’s blog:
I put in the budget a plan to consolidate the 49 different federal jobs programs into vouchers for people to go back to school when they are mid-career and lose their jobs in sectors that are becoming obsolete. So you have to go back to lifelong learning and continual skills enhancement and get society wired culturally to do that. … I hear from so many businesses these days that actually we can hire people but we can’t find people with the skills. And that’s a big deal.
Education is at the heart of it all, but the culture is, too. Moral relativism has done so much damage to the bottom end of this country, the bottom fifth has been damaged by the culture of moral relativism more than by anything else, I would argue. If you ask me what the biggest problem in America is, I’m not going to tell you debt, deficits, statistics, economics — I’ll tell you it’s moral relativism. Now is it my job to fix that as a congressman? No, but I can do damage to it. But it’s the job of parents to raise their kids … But let’s not ignore it. These things go beyond statistics, they go into the culture. As a policymaker, I simply make that as an observation, not that I have an answer and a bill I can pass in Congress and to fix that.
As a person in government, I don’t see it as my job to try and micromanage the outcome of people’s lives. I see it as trying to advance the premise of equality of opportunity and getting people as much opportunity to improve themselves as possible. … The whole premise of this argument is wrong. The economy is not a zero-sum system. One man’s gain does not necessarily come at another man’s loss. … Wealth is created. Steve Jobs started Apple in his garage not by taking from somebody else but by creating and inventing something. Wealth and growth are organic and don’t necessarily come from somebody else’s loss.