- What’s the Cost and Financial Value of College?
- Links for 02-09-2013
- Fed Watch: Would Rather Be Blogging
- Fed Watch: Currency Wars Over Before They Begin?
- Fed Watch: Payroll Taxes Hitting Home. Or Not.
- Have Blog, Will Travel: NBER Research Meeting
Posted: 09 Feb 2013 12:33 AM PST
Without college, I'd probably be doing what my dad, brother, and grandfather did, work in a tractor store selling parts, and if I was lucky, some day get promoted to sales. College was my ticket out of the small farming town I grew up in, but if it wasn't for the low tuition at California state schools at the time, I probably wouldn't have made it. (Tuition was around $100 per semester, and I could earn enough to pay tuition, dorm fees, etc. working on farms in the summer and at a tractor store selling parts to cranky farmers during school. I also worked at a gas station for a while at minimum wage, and my boss/owner was a real, genuine ass, but I needed the money).
I can't say if it was worth it to society to subsidize my education -- this blog is one result of that investment -- but it was certainly worth it to me and to this day I have not forgotten what the state of California did for me. (I really, really, hated working at tractor stores and the gas station, nobody should have the power over people my boss at the gas station had over me -- he tried to screw me out of overtime, that sort of thing, though once I threatened to report him to the labor board his tune changed a bit -- and the thought of doing jobs like that for the rest of my life was a huge motivation in college. When I'd get to the tractor store in the morning, I'd write "480" on a notepad, that was how many minutes I had left until I could leave eight hours later, and then I'd tick the minutes off the rest of the day. I can remember just wanting one thing, to have a job where I didn't watch the clock all day long, to get lost in my work somehow -- it's hard to explain how much I hated those jobs -- and I was lucky enough to find that.)
I am biased from my own experience, but nobody will ever convince me that college is a bad investment. However, with tuition rising, access to college for naive kids like I was back then is a real issue. It's hard to explain just how naive I was, but when your parents only went to junior college for a year (and then got married at age 19 because you were on the way), and your high school is too small to have advisors to fill in the gaps, it's easy to make bad choices. I had no clue, for example, about how to finance education at a UC school, e.g UC Davis or Berkeley -- my parents simply said "we can't afford that" when I raised the issue, and with no co-signers for loans, and no knowledge about how to get a loan without a parent to co-sign -- it was different then -- the path to anywhere but Cal State Chico was, as far as I could see, closed. I might have found a way if Chico hadn't been so cheap, it would have gone through a JC, but likely not, and I am very grateful there was a path through a four year college for kids like me to take. Still, it was hard to get to a decent graduate school from Chico despite a economics/statistics/math major and nearly perfect grades my last three years, a UC school would have provided much more opportunity, but it was enough to get me here. I only hope that kids today have at least the same opportunity I had, and hopefully even better choices, but I'm not at all sure that they do:
What's the cost and financial value of college?, Peter Dizikes, MIT News: What's the right price for a college education? And what is its value?
The forum's moderator and organizer, James Poterba ... noted in his introductory remarks that higher education is "an extremely important sector of the U.S. economy," representing about 3.5 percent of the national GDP — but one with an even larger impact on the country's fortunes, given its centrality of knowledge and its impact on innovation-based growth to the economy.A retweet of this link:
Don't ask is it worth it, ask who can afford it? MT "@markthoma: What's the cost and value of college? - MIT web.mit.edu/newsoffice/201…" — Paul Vigna (@paulvigna) February 8, 2013
Posted: 09 Feb 2013 12:03 AM PST
Posted: 08 Feb 2013 10:42 AM PST
One more note from Tim Duy (he's teaching the History of Economic Thought this quarter):
Would Rather Be Blogging, by Tim Duy: I am still trying, and still failing, to keep up on blogging, this term. This morning I see that Mark is traveling, which is usually an extra incentive for me to post (hence a few posts). But, truth be told, I am simply procrastinating on the second half of grading papers on the topic:
Posted: 08 Feb 2013 10:35 AM PST
Two from Tim Duy -- this is the first:
Currency Wars Over Before They Begin?, by Tim Duy: Are the currency wars already over? From Reuters:
Apparently this was too far, too fast? Was it concerns about the price of imported energy goods? Or international pressure? Still from Reuters:
Posted: 08 Feb 2013 10:35 AM PST
Two from Tim Duy -- this is the second:
Payroll Taxes Hitting Home. Or Not, by Tim Duy: Last week, I posted an anecdote about employees not knowing that payroll taxes were heading up. This week I see in the New York Times:
Posted: 08 Feb 2013 09:08 AM PST
I am here today:
National Bureau of Economic Research Research Meeting
|Email delivery powered by Google|