18 May 2006

Your PhD son still lives with you? No surprise there.

I can't remember when the lightbulb came on, but it struck me one day that nowadays getting a college degree is like the commodities market. There are just so many universities, just so many classrooms and seats for the students to sit in, and just so many professors to teach or whatever it is they do. There's a finite number to those things. For years there was an equilibrium in the system.

But that changed when the Feds started passing out grants and shilling loans. All of a sudden anyone could go to college and higher education became a growth industry and soon demand outstripped supply. The result? Basic economics took over and like any scarce commodity, the costs of a college education steadily rose, but the market responded with more facilities, more professors, and demand was met, but with an unintended result.

Here's a clearer view of all of this from a most unlikely source.

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