Posted by Simon
This comparison was in the WSJ Notable & Quotable section a few weeks ago:
“The reason why a bachelors degree on its own no longer conveys intelligence and capability is that the government decided that as many people as possible should have bachelors degrees.
There is something of a pattern here. The government decided to try to increase the middle class by subsidizing thing that middle class people have: If middle class people go to college and own homes, then surely if more people go to college and own homes, we’ll have more middle class people. But homeownership and college aren’t causes of middle class status, they’re markers for possessing the kinds of traits — self-discipline, the ability to defer gratification, etc. — that let your enter and stay in the middle class.
Subsidizing the markers doesn’t produce the traits; if anything it undermines them. One might as well try to promote basketball skills by distributing expensive sneakers.”