Global Competition

In 2010, President Obama told a supportive crowd he wanted the United States to lead the world in number of college graduates by 2020. More recently, Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have introduced legislation to make college tuition-free – meaning taxpayer-funded – for all students. They buttress their request that the two-thirds of American taxpayers who do not have a bachelor’s degree foot the bill for those seeking those degrees by repeating the little-questioned mantra that four-year degrees are the best way to prepare young people for the demands of the global marketplace of the future. But is that confidence in higher education’s benefits warranted?

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