Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Debunking Liberal Economics Volume 1 "A College Degree is the Key to the Middle Class" Issue 2: What are we paying for?

I’ll start this post by highlighting how when people like Matt talk about how we need more federal funding for college, they often highlight how engineers and computer scientists create real value in the economy. I’ll start by agreeing, yes those degrees do create value. However, unfortunately, we don’t have much reason to think that federal funding is actually creating more engineering degrees. Let’s look at some statistics from the Department of Education, shall we?

Over the period from 1970 and 2008, federal funding increased by 1057.6%, while enrollment increased by just 86.1% (making spending/student increase by 521.9%). As for the degrees we always talk about as productive for the economy, they increased by 76.5% (underperforming the overall). Meanwhile, degrees I’d call bullshit degrees (communications et al) increased by 121.2%! And it gets worse, looking at data from 1999 to 2008, our serious degrees dropped to 19.8% (vs. total increase in degrees awarded of 30.2%), while bullshit degrees hit 38.7%. Also, as a share of total degrees awarded, our serious degrees dropped from 16.0% in 1970 to 15.2% in 2008. Meanwhile, Bullshit degrees surged ahead from 54.5% to 64.7%!

And I didn’t even include Business, since we would probably argue over where it would belong (I’d lean towards the bullshit category), went from 13.7% to 21.4%. So the argument that we are getting more engineers and scientists seems entirely wrong. Finally, I’ll rail on them because they are just so easy: communications degrees (which are essentially useless in any sense of the word) surged by 650.2% (parks & rec – why the f*ck is that a degree? – increased by 1746.5%)…and going from 1.3% to 5.2% of all degrees awarded.

The point here is that our large increase in federal funding for higher education HAS NOT been met with highly productive degrees.

Oh who am I kidding, we all know the real reason you go to college, for this:


  1. This...a transvestite? Sure looks like she's a Texas Longhorn to me if you know what I mean.

  2. Oh god, I was going for the biggest tits I could find without having to search too much...this is why I do not support actions like that. Taking a few extra minutes here and changing it.......

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