Education as conspicuous consumption

Facebook billionaire Peter Thiel’s take on education as the next bubble:

He draws the following comparisons between the real estate bubble and higher education:

1, A consumption decision masqueraded as an investment decision. Building that megamansion with a pool and gold bathroom fixtures really isn’t an investment. College is often a four-year party rather than a real investment in education and the future. This thesis isn’t new: Norwegian economist Thorstein Veblen wrote in 1899 that higher education was a form of conspicuous consumption.

  1. A kernel of truth transformed into a dogma whose every critic is shouted down. “House prices only go up!” “We must invest in education to win the future!”

I’d agree that most of the time and money spent on higher education is a complete waste. In a country like Denmark where it’s all government-funded and people even get paid a stipend to study, it’s a sad waste of public funds.

Let’s find a better way to educate our population for the things that are actually needed in today’s world.


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