More College Does Not Beget More Economic Prosperity Forbes Essay

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Pages: 5

1/26/14

More College Does Not Beget More Economic Prosperity - Forbes

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George
Leef,
Contributor
I
write
on
the
damage
big
government
does,
especially
to
education.

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(20)

F O R B ES 
 | 
 1/06/2014
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8:00AM
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More
College
Does
Not
Beget
More
Economic
Prosperity
This
story
appears
in
the
January
20,
2014
issue
of
Forbes. 52
comments,
28
called­out

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Now

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Comments

In
his
first
address
to
Congress
President
Obama
argued
that
the
U.S.
needs
to put far
more
people
through
college
so
that
our
economy
will
remain competitive with
those
of
other
nations.
He
set
forth
a
goal
of
again
having
“the
highest
proportion
of
college
graduates
in
the
world.”
Failure
to
raise
our
educational
attainment
level,
on the other
hand,
“is
a
prescription
for
economic decline.” Current
Issue
Inside
the
Magazine

The
President’s
thinking
is
shared
by
many
others.
Economic
success,
both
individually
and
at
the national level,
tends
to
correlate
with
education.
People
(and
countries)
with
little
education
are mostly poor,
while
people
(and
countries)
with
very advanced education
are
mostly
wealthy.
Therefore, it’s tempting
to
jump
to
the
conclusion
that partaking of
more
education
will
boost
an individual’s income
and
that
a
country
can
increase prosperity by
“investing”
more
in
education.

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Read
on
Forbes
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People
who
have
high
intelligence
and
ambition
often
earn
college
and advanced degrees.
Sometimes
that
formal
education
is
important
in
their
later success, but
many
say
that
their
education
had
very
little
to
do
with
it.

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Resist
that
temptation,
which
is
based
on
fallacious reasoning. True,
education
correlates
with
prosperity
and economic growth,
but
one
of
the
crucial
lessons
of logic is
that
correlation
does
not
necessarily
imply
causation.
We
must
apply
it here. People

George
Leef
Contributor
Follow
(20)

I
am
a
law
school
graduate
who
went
into
teaching rather than
legal
practice
and
then
began
to
see
how badly government
has
mangled
education
at
all levels. Since
1999,
I
have
worked
at
the
John
W.
Pope
Center
for
Higher
Education
Policy,
a
think tank that
takes
a
critical
view
of
higher
education.
Also,
I
do
lots
of
free­lance
writing
and
book
reviews

www.forbes.com/sites/georgeleef/2014/01/06/more-college-does-not-begetmore-economic-prosperity/

1/8

1/26/14

More College Does Not Beget More Economic Prosperity - Forbes

Conversely,
some
extremely
successful
people
dropped
out
of
college
or
never attended at
all.
And
as
those
ridiculous
Occupy
Wall
Street
protests
taught
us, huge numbers
of
college
graduates
are
unemployed
or
employed
only
in
jobs that don’t
call
for
anything
more
than
basic
trainability.

for
a
number
of
free­market
organizations.

Conclusion:
Having
a
college
education
is
neither
a
necessary
nor
a
sufficient condition for
personal
success.
Many
people
prosper
without
college,
and many who
have
B.A.
degrees
or
higher
nevertheless
struggle
in
low­paying jobs, often
saddled
with
high
student
loan
debts.

Small,
New
University
Does
Something
Radical
­­
Only
Hires
Professors
Who
Want
To
Teach
And
Only
Admits
Students
Who
Want
To
Learn

The
author
is
a
Forbes
contributor.
The
opinions
expressed are those
of
the
writer.

GEOR GE
 L EEF ’S
 P OP UL AR 
 P OST S

56,860
views

A
Key
Reason
Why
American
Students
Do
Poorly
13,002
views

What
that
means
for
nations
is
that
it
isn’t
possible
to
generate
economic progress just
by
“investing”
in
education.
More…