It\’s the way he tells \’em

Ritchie introduces us to the costs of higher education in the United States. He starts with a true point, that the cost of such has been soaring vastly higher than more general inflation.

His explanation is amusing though:

Note that his post is titled \”The cost of privatising education\”.

They’re wrong, of course. The private sector is great – but the sad fact is that for the last thirty years it’s been largely bereft of really big ideas (even the internet started in the public sector) – and has in the main concentrated on catching public revenue for private gain.

The consequence has been inflation in the cost of many fundamentals, which moves such services beyond the reach of some – if not many – who would benefit from them. The following graph is indicative of this, showing inflation in the cost of a university education in the US from  1979 to 2010, with comparators:

So, umm, what actually is the structure of the US higher education system?

The American university and college system is highly decentralized with both public and privately operated institutions. Schools can be non-profit or for-profit. The US Department of Education estimates that close to 70% of all undergraduate students attend public institutions, which includes undergraduates at two-year, community colleges and four-year colleges and universities.

Hmm.

During the 2008-2009 academic year, there were nearly 1.8 million students enrolled at more than 2,800
for-profit institutions of higher learning in the United States. Students in for-profit colleges and universities
accounted for over 9% of all students enrolled in postsecondary education.

If we put those numbers together we have a system which is 70% run by the state (States, actually), 20% by non-profits and 10% (with rounding) by the vicious bastards out to make a pile in the for profit sector.

That such a system has higher than average inflation is of course a searing indictment of \”the privatisation of education\”.

I too find that to be an incredibly insightful conclusion.

7 thoughts on “It\’s the way he tells \’em”

  1. As long as the feds hand out student loans, the Unis will mop ’em up, to spend on administrators and the sorts of professors who are relucant to spend a minute in the presence of undergraduates. It’s a daft bloody system.

  2. Have you tried to challenge him about this on his blog?

    I cannot see how he can wiggle his way ut of this one.

  3. Ritchie will wiggle out of it by deleting all comments on the matter and refusing to engage with the argument, as per usual.

    However the real classic in that post was “though the way he’s going about the issue suggests a somewhat dubious grasp of the nature of evidence” which is a masterful description of Mr Murphy himself.

  4. Commented at Murph’s house:

    Timmy W blows you out of the water again. https://www.timworstall.com/2010/09/14/its-the-way-he-tells-em-3/

    You sorta, kinda missed the fact that the US uni ‘system … is 70% run by the state (States, actually), 20% by non-profits and 10% (with rounding) by the vicious bastards out to make a pile in the for profit sector.

    That such a system has higher than average inflation is of course a searing indictment of “the privatisation of education”’

    Facts, you don’ need no steenking facts.

    Very nice work though, in proving that the public nature of US unis is what causes the unwarranted inflation.

    I look forward to my comment being deleted. Even so, you might want to grit your teeth and have a look at Worstall’s comments, because everyone there knows you delete. Sooner or later the truth will out and your donors and sponsors will figure things out.

  5. Fred Z

    You certainly take no prisoners…

    The other point Murphy misses, and which one poster on his blog highlighted is that the full cost of education only applies to those of wealthy backgrounds and to foreigners. A significant portion of the amounts collected from those paying full tuition is then used to support financially those of more modest circumstances.

    He should like this, but since he is a stupid cock, he does not even realize it happens.

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