Me on Student Loans in Newsweek
By Bryan Caplan
In The Case Against Education, I argue for the abolition of student loan programs. But I also argue that student loan programs are one of the least dysfunctional parts of the status quo. This week, I take my case to Newsweek – including the print edition. Highlights:
[F]rankly, there’s no point in making college more affordable for students who don’t belong there in the first place. When the college degree was rare, there was little stigma against those who lacked it. Our dream should not be a world where everyone goes to college but a world where you can get a good job straight out of high school.
[S]tudent loans are still underrated. Even no-interest loans leave students with some skin in the game. If their educational investment flops, they still have to repay the principal. Proposals to make college cheaper, or even free—as Senator Bernie Sanders urged in the last presidential campaign—delete that vital reality check.
General point: Critics of higher education spend far too much time worrying about students – and far too little time worrying about taxpayers. If we ignore this vital distinction, “reform” will make the wastefulness of the status quo look austere by comparison.