Reader Comment: “Don’t Forget About the ‘Higher Education’ Racket”

A reader offered some additional insight regarding yesterday’s post about “Underestimating Unemployment”¬†over at the Ludwig von Mises Institute of Canada.¬†“Ohhh Henry” writes:

Don’t forget the “higher education” racket. Viewed from 30,000 feet, it appears that in many cases, perhaps for the majority of students, the college/uni racket is a straightforward means of keeping as many people as possible out of the job market and more-or-less happily living in poverty for as many years as can be possibly squeezed out of the system.

Even when pursuing courses which lead to lucrative jobs, such as medicine and pharmacy, the years of unemployment and poverty are prolonged for as long as possible by the government in connivance with the (monopoly) professional associations. Whereas other countries prove that an MD can be educated in only 5 years (starting in many cases at age 16), in Canada it is stretched out to 8, 9, 10 years. Every year it seems that they think of new ways to prolong the education process.

I think that a good rule of thumb would be to find the number of students in colleges and universities at any given time and consider that about 50% are unemployed, because they are either studying something useless, or else studying something useful but taking around double the amount of time required to become qualified.

Quite a few of the people studying in grade 10, 11 and 12 in high school are also wasting their time and can be considered among the ranks of the unemployed. A large number of them will never in their working life be required to use the knowledge of algebra, literature, foreign languages, history, geography, etc. with which they are being (incompetently) crammed throughout most of high school. And no, being forced to memorize useless, uninteresting trivia does not make them better, smarter or more well-adjusted citizens.

So the real unemployment picture is actually much worse than it appears even from this article.


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  • About Gregory Cummings

    Gregory Cummings writes about Canadian monetary and economic policy. His writing has been featured at the Ludwig von Mises Institute of Canada and the Ludwig von Mises Institute's Mises Daily publication. Read more.

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