Commerce is Better Than Education

I've recently read several essays on education by some of the American Founders.  These writings have in common a belief that good education will promote civility, manners, advances in agriculture, manufacturing, and morality.  It seems to me effect is confused with cause. It's not education - at…


College: A One Sided Sorting Mechanism

I recently listened to an excellent EconTalk podcast with Arnold Kling discussing technological changes in higher education.  Kling pointed out the main role universities play is sorting, not forming. There is a somewhat romantic idea among the populace that education molds and shapes young lumps…


Separation of School and State

While reading Peter Boettke's wonderful new book "Living Economics," I was reminded by Boettke of an interesting disagreement between Scottish Enlightenment figures Adam Smith and David Hume. Both Smith and Hume used economic thinking to understand a puzzling phenomenon of their day: Countries with…


Why Don't Universities Try Something Crazy?

What if a university decided to try something crazy: What if they hired professors based entirely on the quality of their research and/or teaching? Imagine if the hiring committee dropped all other criteria.  They ignored where the applicant got their degree, or even if they had one.  They ignored…