Don’t go to college

Slate publishes something I’ve been saying for years.

I have no desire to punish students or deprive them of opportunity. Quite the contrary. My aim is to stop pretending that high school or college students with very low basic skills have a real shot of earning a college degree—so that they might follow an alternative path that will lead to success. A college graduate will generally outearn a high school graduate, to be sure. But a worker with technical skills will outearn a high school or college dropout with no such skills. That’s the true choice facing many students.


Smith v. Keynes

This week on Planet Money, an illustration of the difference between neo-classical (where did that “neo-” from?) and Keynesian approaches to recessions from the perspective of micro-economies.

I sympathize with the classical view. Not from a deep technical grasp of economic theory, but because it accords with a tragic view of human nature. The Keynesian approach ascribes far too much competence to human actors, it assumes they possess far more knowledge than they possibly could have, and stems from a view that the recurring, intractable problems of human civilization are not susceptible to localized and careful amelioration, but rather fixable in one fell swoop if only we gave the right sort of technocrats enough power.

But as always, an interesting podcast.