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The Current Marginal Value of Higher Education in our Economy

Let me play devil's advocate for a second here and take the position that more higher education is actually **bad** for our economy, at our current level of investment. Certainly we need higher education, but it is, by definition, for our best and brightest and not everyone will make the grade.

Although there is the occassional need for Manhattan project style efforts most advances are either made by individuals or small teams and, frankly, not everyone is up to that level of work nor do we need dedicate but a small portion of our population to these tasks. Better to recognize and reward these successes rather than muddle them with mediocrity and the undeserving

But I'll take it a step further than this.

I believe that in order to justify higher wages for the most mediocre we have set up standards of merit in academia which are in fact nothing more than passive aggressive abuses of the blue collar population AND the best and the brightest.

Consider as case in point one Bill Beyers, Professor of Economic Geography at the University of Washington. Mr. Beyers first rose to civic prominence in performing a 'economic benefit analysis' of the Mariners and the King Dome, many, many moons ago, a topic no right thinking member of the Economics faculty would touch.

The tradition of scams in this field of economic development I will not recant, but mark my words, this guy is a quack.

Do consider some of his most recent work - talking about the value of highly educated work forces, the upper level service economy, to the region they inhabit. Which is true, but unfortunately those skills, for the vast majority of his institution's graduates involve not high end software, engineering or biological technologies, but, rather, the ability to portray everyone else as undeserving losers.

That is the high end ability that the UW is teaching in order to provide for higher income careers, that is what it takes to get ahead. Learn that lesson well, or lose. Right?


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