The Next Bubble To Burst

Cartoon from St. Louis Post Dispatch/

In the last decade we’ve seen a number of different business categories peak and quickly decelerate, housing, the stock market, auto. The recession that began in 2007/2008 turned those categories on their heads but ironically it compounded a different bubble that has been growing for some time; Higher Education. The Department of Education estimates the total number of undergraduates in the United States at over 15 million. That’s a bubble. And just like housing it is going to burst. The parallels are not so subtle. To begin with,  it is built on a notion fair or unfair of the American dream. Every American should be able to own their own home. Every American should be able to send their child to college. That brings us to the second parallel, it’s completely unsustainable. 15 million undergraduates are going to college this year. It’s likely because everyone from their parents to the President of the United States is telling them they need to go. President Obama says for instance “Today, the unemployment rate for Americans with at least a college degree is about half the national average.  Their incomes are about twice as high as those who only have a high school diploma”. Like the other categories before it, the student loan debt crisis is perpetuated by the same formula: try to sustain the unsustainable. I believe whole-heartedly in public and continued education. I believe in spending money on it more than almost any other public investment. But over the next several posts, I will explore why  and how as a country, we’re cementing a system of indentured servitude, and how our attempts to remedy it will inevitable make it worse.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s