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Friday, May 18, 2012

Should College Be Free?

Should higher education be paid for by the state, as are elementary and middle and high school?

It depends on how one looks at the role of the individual in society. In the old days, anyone who wanted to get ahead in a given national society tried to become a college graduate; since the playing field was one nation's economy, there was no sense of being a "national asset" in international economic competition.
Is this paradigm still valid?

Now, however, in this globalized economy, each nation state competes against every other nation, and every individual of merit has the potential of being an important piece in the international economic game of chess.
If a given country allows its level of education to decline, it will slip into obscurity.
Is this paradigm valid?

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2 comments:

Baysage said...

Billionaire named Thiel (PayPal) on "60 Minutes" tonight says the paradigm is bogus. I don't buy it, but the question is raised.

Montag said...

I read an article on the show.
I cannot say I agree with Thiel. For one thing, there always seems to be the assumed paradigm of "Bill Gates" - a techie with a great idea, and we ignore the Arts, for example.

I have no idea how many great jobs in the Arts there are without a degree. One could paint and travel around to summer art fairs and so on.
Painting requires some study, too, however.

For every author published, a thousand are unprinted and teach unheard with their college degree.

He seems to be saying that if you have (1) a great idea, and (2) a great work ethic, and (3) good luck, you don't need college.
But those things are only extremely clear for the Monday morning quarterbacks.
What do you do if your Thiel-backed idea goes bottom up?