Audacious Epigone points to the combined ills of inflated credentials and the plague of student debt. In large sections of today’s America, everybody expects to go to college. Everybody expects to be an upper middle class boss of something. But not everybody is actually all that smart.
Todayâ€™s bachelorâ€™s degree is the equivalent of a high school graduation certificate from fifty years ago, and todayâ€™s graduate degree falls short of a bachelorâ€™s degree from a generation ago.
This is an inevitable consequence of increasing the share of the population that attends college. In the sixties, 10% of American adults had college degrees. Since then that figure has more than tripled, to 34% today.
To say weâ€™re well into the territory of diminishing returns is to understate the problemâ€“-weâ€™re past the point of negative returns. Most Americans in college today are not benefiting from being there. Theyâ€™re foregoing work to accrue debt for degrees that, if they increase earning power at all, do so only marginally and theyâ€™re picking up an unhelpful sense of entitlement in the process.