James Leroy Wilson's blog

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Playing hardball at the Ivory Tower

Since the GI Bill and subsequent aid to higher education, the more the federal government gives away or loans, the higher tuition prices go. Generations of college grads (and many who never finished) enter the work force already saddled with heavy debt. Over the past fifty years, the price of higher education has increased at about twice the inflation rate.

As a small way to control the federal deficit and help the kids out, why not we link aid to students to the prices of the schools they go to? The MORE the school raises its tuition, the LESS aid students will receive. Students will be encouraged to get the requirements and some prerequisites on the cheap - at community at junior college, online courses, CLEP, etc. Colleges will be less encouraged to build more boondoggles and start marginally-academic programs and focus on both academic quality AND economy.


  1. Good points. I realize this is blasphemy, in most circles, but I think Higher Education, as we know it now, is one of the most over rated, overblown boondoggles in the country.

    I think the majority of people that go to universities could do just as well in life without spending four years or more in a university.

    We should move toward emphasizing community colleges and, of course, making K thru 12 education what it used to be. Don't know that that will ever happen, though. It almost seems unfixable.

  2. Not only does third-party payment drive cost inflation (where have we heard that before?)....

    But the subsidized overproduction of scientific-technical labor leads to adoption of much higher-tech and skill-intensive forms of production than a free market would support, and thus promotes blue collar deskilling, technological unemployment, and reduced bargaining power of labor. The authoritarian, hierarchical internal structure of large corporations (described by David M. Gordon in Fat and Mean) is to a large extent the result of state intervention in the market.