Friday, June 11, 2021

Thomas J. Philipson: College Subsidies Are A Feedback Loop For Big Governement

It's amazing how much becomes clear when you break out of liberal groupthink. Conservatives have been trying to tell me this stuff for decades, but it just couldn't get through my thick, blue skull. 
   And lemme tell ya--a whole lotta students have no business in college. And note that I mean: they don't like it, they aren't good at it so they drag the institution down, and they don't get anything from it. If they were on the good side of any one of those divides, I'd be happy to have them in my classes. Even untalented students who are interested are fine by me. But honestly, there are just too many students in my intro classes who shouldn't be there. (Of course upper-division classes have mostly philosophy students in them, so they've basically been selected for interest.) 
   My university--and I'm sure it's not unusual in this respect--treats itself like a business. It panics if enrolments (customers!) fall, and prefers unqualified, paying students (customers!) to fewer students. One reason is: it doesn't want to risk finding itself in a position in which it might have to cut faculty positions...or, God forbid, administrative positions! But, honestly, a whole lotta faculty don't actually have a lot of business at universities, either. And don't get me started on administrators and quasi-administrators. We could easily do with half as many...


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