Obama buys into the college myth 

In his State of the Union address, President Obama vowed to make sure that "By the end of the decade, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world." He repeated that same theme this morning at a Middle School in Virginia: "The best economic policy is one that produces more college graduates."

I've written before about how graduating from college seems overrated to me, especially on the economic front. Richard Vedder wrote in the Chronicle of Higher Education recently:

the push to increase the number of college graduates seems horribly misguided from a strict economic/vocational perspective... We are deceiving our young population to mindlessly pursue college degrees when very often that is advice that is increasingly questionable

But the President persists in his push to get more college graduates. Today, at his blog The Future of Capitalism, college skeptic Ira Stoll has a great rebuttal to Obama:
it seems to have escaped the president's notice that some of the most successful entrepreneurs in modern America, including Microsoft's Bill Gates and Paul Allen, Apple's Steve Jobs, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Enterprise Rent-a-Car's Jack Taylor, Oracle's Larry Ellison, Dell computer's Michael Dell, movie and music producer David Geffen, and Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson — are not college graduates.

It seems to me that president is wrong, and that the best economic policy is not one that "produces more college graduates," but one that produces more entrepreneurs. If producing a high proportion of college graduates were the secret to economic success, Belgium would be the world's economic powerhouse.

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Timothy P. Carney

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