By Arnold Kling
Not everyone is willing or able to get a bachelor’s degree. But everyone should at least have the chance to try. After all, well-off students from upper-middle-class suburbs are going to college one way or another. It’s the middle- and lower-income students and working adults who are most at risk of being left behind. When politicians attack the very idea of promoting more higher education, good, decent men and women may be prevented from getting the skills and training they need.
Tyler Cowen has a different take, also pro-college. I would have written that we probably do not help by treating the issue as binary–college or not college. Instead, we should make an effort to understand the mechanism by which college raises economic outcomes. For example, if it turns out to be credentialism, then what is in the interest of the individual (getting the necessary credential) may not be in the interest of society (which may be in disrupting credentials cartels).
In five years, they have never made a mortgage payment, a fact that amazes even the most seasoned veterans of the foreclosure crisis…repeatedly filing for bankruptcy and by exploiting changes in Maryland’s laws designed to help delinquent homeowners avoid foreclosure.
Think in terms of Type I and Type II errors. A Type I error is foreclosing against a good borrower. A Type II error is letting a bad borrower avoid foreclosure. I will readiliy grant that a Type I error is worse than a Type II error, so we should tolerate some of the latter in order to avoid the former. However, I contend that we have let this bias get completely out of hand, resulting in a huge pileup of Type II errors with catastrophic effects on the housing market.
The legislation would empower the state to seize local tax revenue and redirect it exclusively to inflate school budgets — mainly meaning teacher salaries, pensions and benefits. It would do so even if it meant overriding voter-adopted property tax limits or raiding funds for police, fire departments, libraries, parks and transportation. Montgomery and some other counties, which already spend more than half their budgets on schools, would be largely stripped of their discretion to set spending priorities.
As if our county were not already a wholly-owned subsidiary of the teachers’ union, the state has to come in and make it moreso. The Post is arguing against this legislation, which has not yet passed.