The Money Industrial Complex Backs up the College Industrial Complex

They’ve got to stick together. Otherwise the proles might rise up and smote them all.

Mary Daly and Leila Bengali, two card-carrying members of the educational elite at the Federal Reserve Bank, take on the question of whether college is worth it. If kids stop investing in one industrial complex, they might give up on all of them.

Their answer is telling:

 We show that the value of a college degree remains high, and the average college graduate can recover the costs of attending in less than 20 years. Once the investment is paid for, it continues to pay dividends through the rest of the worker’s life,…”

And while I’m sure their numbers make sense in some version of reality, I sense they’re missing points like this:

  • Many people are underemployed twenty years after their degree. There’s a massive amount of age discrimination. Somehow having a degree isn’t as valuable as being 23 and unfettered.
  • We’re talking about “averages” here. There are many below average and they’re effectively crushed by the system.
  • Twenty years is a long time. You used to be able to work your way through college and effectively recover your costs in ZERO years!


One Response to The Money Industrial Complex Backs up the College Industrial Complex

  1. In all, it is very revealing what this report does NOT tell us.
    In fact, I have to conclude that the report tells us more about the perspective of the writers than about the college graduates.

    Figure One shows a slight drop in the college premium, yet the report lies about this, and says the premium is steady.

    I was also unclear about where the numbers were coming from and what they represented — what was the distribution of hours worked? Did it include the unemployed? What was the distribution of earnings per graduate, high school AND college? What did they do with those college students that when on to graduate school? Did they count their stipend as “earnings”?

    What about workers that go back to get a degree when they are in their 40s? Do they have time enough to pay back the loan before they are forced to retire?

    How did the earnings stack up in relation to majors? How many were working full time while they were in school? Were these the jobs that they kept — were any incremental increases due to promotions or lateral moves? How many had health insurance? How many have it now?

    Speaking of rising up …