The Case Against Education: Why the Education System Is a Waste of Time and Money
Why we need to stop wasting public funds on education
Despite being immensely popular--and immensely lucrative—education is grossly overrated. In this explosive book, Bryan Caplan argues that the primary function of education is not to enhance students' skill but to certify their intelligence, work ethic, and conformity—in other words, to signal the qualities of a good em...more
However, this is anecdotal, frustrated, ...more
Before I get going, I should admit that I'm biased: I'm a college dropout who has a white-collar job. If everyone thought like Caplan did, I would make a lot more money. On the other hand, it's not like this bias ...more
For instance, the other day I watched a YouTube video discussing how to use gamification to increase engagement in schools and help kids learn more more easily. This would have seemed like a great policy with no downsides to me before, but now seems like a way to dramatically increase the amount of learning and work kids ...more
There is a lot Caplan covers, and I won’t touch on most of it ...more
I agree with the author that much of what passes for education today is in fact a complete waste of individual time and a misallocation of societal resources. The case needs to be made. But this book epically fails to make it.
Much of it is simplistic, and the few good points are repeated ad nauseam. Mike Rowe does a much better job of making the case in a 30-second sound bite than this book does.
"Learning doesn't have to be useful. Learning doesn't have to be inspiring. When learning is neither useful nor inspirational, though, how can we call it anything but wasteful?"
-Bryan Caplan, the Case Against Education: Why the Education System is a Waste of Time and Money
"Popular support for education subsidies rests on the [fallacy of composition]. The person who gets more education, gets a better job. It works; you see it plainly. Yet it does not follow that if e ...more
With that said, it’s an egregious over-simplification of the value of the education system and is a perfect example of why resear ...more
This book is spot-on.
Though I may not agree with all the points, the book is a really informative read by an author who has done his research right.
There are two theories for why education is beneficial for individuals. The "human capital" model says that you go to school and learn valuable skills. The "signaling" model says that school is just a stamp of approval that certifies you as someone likely to be a good worker. In "The Case Against Education", GMU prof Bryan Caplan makes the case that our education system is ~80% signaling. A contrarian with strong libe ...more
I was both validated and distressed by this book: validated because I agree that the value of school comes not from its usefulness but from the signals it sends, and distressed because I disagree with his interpretation of what those signals mean. Like Caplan, I believe our obsession with academic success is toxic, both for individuals and society. I see academic credentials as a perverse currency, necessary for gaining acceptance in a culture that believes they have real ...more
It's a well written and well narrated examination of the value of the modern education system to society (as opposed to individuals taking part in it), with a strong focus on establishing that most of the value education provides students is by signalling attributes they already possess (intelligence, conformity, perseverance, etc...) to potential employe ...more
*As a side no ...more
As an education researcher and unabashed teacher-idealist, I fully expected to dislike this book. A ...more
The rise of the Internet has two unsettling lessons . . . First: the humanist case for education subsidies is flimsy today because the Internet makes enlightenment practically free. Second: the humanist case for education subsidies was flimsy all along because the Internet proves low consumption of ideas and culture stems from apathy, not poverty or inconvenience. Behold: when the price of enlightenment drops to zero, remains embarrassingly scarce.”