Attack on the BA, Part 1
Some nice folks over at Cato have put together a fascinating collection of writings under the heading “Is College Worth It?” The writings are so interesting and informative that we’ve decided to highlight each of them.
Up first is Charles Murray, whose essay is titled Down with the Four-Year College Degree! Murray:
…the BA degree is the work of the devil. It wreaks harm on a majority of young people, is grotesquely inefficient as a source of information for employers, and is implicated in the emergence of a class-riven America…
imagine that you have been made a member of a task force to design America’s post-secondary education system from scratch. One of your colleagues submits this proposal:
First, we will set up a single goal to represent educational success, which will take four years to achieve no matter what is being taught. We will attach an economic reward to it that often has nothing to do with what has been learned. We will urge large numbers of people who do not possess adequate ability to try to achieve the goal, wait until they have spent a lot of time and money, and then deny it to them. We will stigmatize everyone who doesn’t meet the goal. We will call the goal a “BA.”
You would conclude that your colleague was cruel, not to say insane. But that’s the system we have….
The much more certain implication of the BA is that its possessors have a certain amount of raw intellectual ability that the employer may be able to exploit after the proper job training…
about a third of all those who entered college hoping for a BA leave without one…
Up next, the first response by Pedro Carneiro.