College Is a Waste of Time

AEI Scholar Charles Murray explains that “For Most People, College Is a Waste of Time.”  His commentary, in today’s Wall Street Journal, is exactly right.

I learned nothing in the course of my college studies that I could not have learned on my own in less time.  I have a history degree, but most of what I know about history I know from reading on my own, not from college textbooks.  I learned more about law in six weeks of studying for the bar exam after law school than I did during any year of my studies at Harvard Law School.

People with low IQs gain even less from college.  Send a stupid person to college, and you get a stupid liberal as a result.  (That’s probably why Bill Clinton wanted every American to go to either college or a community college). 

I used to conduct phone polls for Cooper & Secrest Associates, which conducts surveys and research for Democratic candidates.  The most mindless people I called were those who went to college and then dropped out.  These college dropouts had a surface veneer of education, and the delusion that they were educated, without any substance to their education.  They mouthed politically-correct platitudes which no doubt were mouthed by their professors.  But they couldn’t name their Congressman or the Secretary of State.  And they often had socially useless clerical jobs. 

By contrast, people I polled who didn’t go to college but acquired a useful skill, like becoming a plumber or electrician, often showed common sense, knowledge of politics, and an ability to engage in logical reasoning.  The most knowledgeable people I polled were small businesspeople (of all educational levels), who were so perceptive that they could tell when a question was slanted one way or another and not let it affect their response.  (By contrast, college dropouts would answer the same question totally differently if I asked the exact same question in a slightly-different way or with a slightly-different slant).

America needs to stop subsidizing higher education, which just leads to people having more paper credentials than they need.   Starbucks employees don’t need a Masters Degree.