When confronted with a problem, the usual drive among most people is to fix it. But often the fix is not a fix of the root cause, but just of a symptom, with the result that the problem gets worse. For example: both education and health care in the US are expensive and getting more so. Many people see this problem and leap to an immediate, easy, and entirely wrong conclusion: if education or health care are too expensive… the government should pay for it. This is an incredibly popular idea among the unthinking, but the flaws are many and readily apparent to those who wish to examine the issue honestly. Most importantly, if a disinterested moneybags (such as, say, government) pays for an expensive commodity like education, there is no incentive to lower the cost. If the disinterested moneybags actually benefits from the high cost (as government does… the more expensive education/healthcare are, the more people have to rely of government, and the more power the government accrues), then there is incentive for costs to *increase.* And as we’ve seen, as government digs deeper and deeper into education and healthcare, the more expensive they get.
So this was somewhat of a pleasant surprise:
A number of state governments are looking into programs that will reduce the cost of a four-year degree to $10,000… a fraction of the normal cost. There will be performance requirements for the students – maintain certain GPA, take a substantial number of credit hours per semester, increase use of online courses. Perhaps most surprising, the degrees are not for lib-arts, but for actually meaningful subjects… such as biology, mathematics and chemistry.