There’s a bit of selection bias at work in this video but Peter Schiff still makes a good point: a college diploma is not what it once was. It doesn’t help that people are majoring in things like “general studies” (2:07). Here’s the video’s description:
President Obama promotes the myth that everyone must go to college. That if you don’t go, your life will be ruined — that you will end up waiting tables, or trapped in some other mundane occupation. The truth is, even with a college degree, you may still end up waiting tables, you’ll just begin your “career” four or five years later, tens of thousands of dollars in debt.
Here is an example of some of the plumb jobs college grads were able to land during the Obama administration. Not just liberal arts majors mind you, but graduates with degrees in mathematics, robotics, neuroscience, engineering, accounting, business administration, economics, biology, communications, graphic design, marketing, and linguistics.
Of course when it comes to education, it’s not just the Obama administration that deserves a failing grade. For years, politicians of both parties have pandered to students by promising more aid in the form of direct or subsidized student loans. As a result, colleges and universities are freed from competitive forces that would otherwise keep tuition low. Easy access to cheap credit enables students to bid up tuition, benefiting the educational establishment at their expense. Politicians secure student’s votes by promising relief from skyrocketing tuition by providing even more loans. Ironically, the loans themselves are the very reason tuition is so high in the first place.
Before the Federal Government got involved, college degrees were much more affordable, and ambitious students from poorer families could easily work their way through. In addition, as fewer high school graduates actually went on to college, not only were college degrees much less expensive to obtain, they were far more valuable to have. With so many high school grads now going on to college, a college degree is actually less valuable in today’s job market, despite its inflated price tag, than was a high school diploma in the 1950s. The only solution is to get the Federal Government completely out of higher education, and let the free market fix what the government broke!
For those of you who feel a college degree is essential to financial success consider John D Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie. Rockefeller dropped out of high school and began working full-time at age 16. Carnegie didn’t even go to high school and began working full-time at age 13. Both men were born poor and became self-made billionaires, with estimated net worths at their deaths (in today’s dollars) of $670 and $300 billion respectively. To put those numbers into perspective, the richest living American, Bill Gates, who dropped out of Harvard during his sophomore year, has an estimated net worth of just $65 billion.
Read More: Don’t Pick The Wrong Major