Brian Gongol Show on WHO Radio - November 22, 2015
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Please note: These show notes may be in various stages of completion -- ranging from brainstormed notes through to well-polished monologues. Please excuse anything that may seem rough around the edges, as it may only be a first draft of a thought and not be fully representative of what was said on the air.
Higher education and who pays
- Hillary Clinton campaign proposal:
- "Under Hillary's plan, public 2-year community colleges would be free."
- "Under Hillary's plan, you'll be able to go to an in-state 4-year public college or university without borrowing money for tuition."
- "Students will have to do their part by contributing their earnings from working 10 hours a week."
- "The Federal government will make a major new investment in the New College Compact and will never again profit off student loans for college students."
- "States will have to step up and meet their obligation to invest in higher education by maintaining current levels of higher education funding and reinvesting over time."
- "Fully paid for: This plan will cost in the range of $350 billion over 10 years – and will be fully paid for by limiting certain tax expenditures for high-income taxpayers."
- Megan McArdle: "'Helping students pay for college' sounds like a fine public policy goal. 'Helping people to spend years of their lives taking on debt just to find out that they're unlikely to get a high-paying job'...considerably less so." There's still a big premium to earning a college degree over not doing so. But that's only on average: There are plenty of cases where the returns are not high, and it doesn't necessarily help much to shove a lot of people in the door to college if they're only likely to drop out later.
- College tuition rates have risen faster than inflation non-stop since the early 1980s
- Amenities, sports, and non-teaching salaries are all contributing to higher costs. States are also apparently spending less on public institutions.
- An industry with a non-stop rate of cost increases that exceeds inflation has some kind of systemic shortcoming
- A huge commitment to making college "free" to the student could remove very important pricing feedback from the system. College students learn quickly about their earnings potential in an industry, if they pay any attention in class, have competent instructors, and pursue internships like they should. There needs to be some form of price sensitivity, even if tuition is heavily subsidized in pursuit of larger public-policy goals (which it probably should be).
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Japan and Australia were enemies in World War II, but trade and shared values make them allies today. A good lesson for the long run.
- Podcast of this episode (segment 1) - Should college tuition be free, as Hillary Clinton proposes?
- Podcast of this episode (segment 2) - Why have college costs risen faster than inflation for more than 30 years?
- Podcast of this episode (segment 3) - What if there is no feedback loop between what college costs and what it will help you earn?
- Podcast of this episode (segment 4) - Japan and Australia were enemies in WWII, but trade makes them allies today
- Official station page for this episode