Current Reading

This blog is primarily for me to blog my responses to books that I'm reading. Sometimes I blog about other stuff too, though.

I'm currently reading Notes on the Death of Culture: Essays on Spectacle and Society by Mario Vargas Llosa.

Word cloud

Word cloud

Monday, December 21, 2015

How the sides get flipped

NYU is facing criticism after their MA in Arts Politics program declined to waive a student's application fees, and said in an email that if he can't pay a $65 application fee he probably can't pay $60k in tuition.  Somehow, this incident has been spun as one in which social justice demands that a student from an apparently disadvantaged background be given a chance to borrow $60k for a graduate program with a questionable economic return.

I don't believe that higher education is or ought to be solely a vocational program.  I do believe, however, that there comes a point where you might be wise to take your BA and go explore the workforce, and that graduate education should only be undertaken after a very sober risk-reward calculation.  Go ahead and include non-economic returns on the reward side of the calculation, but don't ignore economics either.

To the extent that I want to sympathize with the academic left, I wish they'd rediscover economic concerns.  If the social justice crowd won't ask serious questions about whether the disadvantaged should be encouraged to borrow $60k for an MA then I see little hope for any sort of morally respectable or intellectually coherent leftist politics from the academy.

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