Saturday, January 27, 2007

God Forbid We Consider College To Be An Investment ...

Good piece from Jacob Sullum on the problems with the Democrats proposal to cut college loan interest rates. The piece is entitled, "If College Is a Good Investment, Why Should the Government Subsidize It?"

Essentially, the point is that all of this government interference with the market merely serves to raise the costs of college for everyone- lower interest rates may sound like a good idea, but there is always the law of unintended consequences to consider.

I link here to the article with the comments because it's interesting to see some of the reactions from liberals and conservatives alike. The objections come from those who say we should be thinking about the good these sorts of programs do and from those who just flat out don't like it when education is referred to in financial terms as an investment. None of the objectors address the notion that forcing lower interest rates will likely raise costs for everyone and no one considers the fact that any money spent is an investment- spending on education either by the government or as an individual should make financial sense because we don't want to just throw money down the toilet. Now when it comes to the individual, these financial decisions are highly personal. If a wealthy kid wants to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to major in wine- as someone who attended NYU with my girlfriend actually did- then more power to them. The money is no obstacle for them. But to what extent should taxpayers have to subsidize every kid who wants to get a silly or useless degree?


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