He writes,

…modern societies are currently vastly over-provided with formal education, and this education has the wrong emphasis. In particular, the job of sorting people by their general aptitude could be done more accurately, cheaply and quickly by using psychometrics to measure IQ and Conscientiousness.

Read the whole thing.

I think that the probability that Charlton’s Caplan-esque views become widely accepted is about one in ten thousand. I would say there is a slightly higher chance, about five in ten thousand, that someday he will be imprisoned for his views.

Charlton thinks that the education industry ought to shrink. This view is the antithesis of Goldin and Katz, who think that the education industry should expand. I think that the probability that they are correct is no higher than for Charlton, but they have much better chances of getting their views accepted and much less chance of having to go to prison.

My bet (which is hardly a sure thing) is that the current size of the industry reflects some tacit knowledge in the market that is being missed by all sides in the debate.