Far be it from me to criticize Paul Krugman’s advice on economic issues. After all, Krugman received the Nobel Prize in economics, and I did not. (I may have gotten the Boy Scout merit badge in Personal Management.)
Krugman, writing in today’s New York Times, reviewed the dire situation of many college graduates. As Krugman rightly pointed out, many are saddled with huge student loans and can’t find jobs.
|Personal Management Merit Badge|
With all due respect, Mr. Krugman’s advice is a little thin. Expanding student aid will not do American young people any good if it is disbursed in the form of student loans that they are unable to pay back. And pouring more money into an unreformed higher education system is a waste of resources.
The Cal State student hunger-strikers have put their finger on the problem. We need to freeze college tuition and reform the universities. We can start the reform effort by cutting back on the exorbitant salaries our universities pay senior executives and administrators.
Of course there are lots of other things we can do to straighten out the student-loan mess and help young people obtain college experiences that will help them get good jobs. But simply saying we should expand student aid, as Mr. Krugman suggested in today’s New York Times, merely endorses the status quo. That is how we got into this mess, and we now have one trillion dollars of outstanding student-loan indebtedness and 37 million student loan debtors.
Krugman, P. (2012, April 30, 2012). Wasting our minds. New York Times.