A roommate and teammate from college days recently sent me and others a link to this New York Times editorial: Lessons of a For-Profit College Collapse. His subject line I have used to title this post. Here is my reply:
As both as a staunch defender of profit and loss in free markets, and as a professor in a “not-for-profit” state university, I point out that what’s described here is not a free market, and that for-profit colleges are not the only colleges that bilk the taxpayer and load students with debt.
Our higher education system is mostly funded with money taken from the poor s.o.b. taxpayers and allocated by politicians on political rather than educational criteria. Should we expect a political process to do a good job of centrally planning a big chunk of higher education?
The market process would not be perfect, of course, but it would be far better. We should privatize the whole works—separate higher education and state as we separate church and state.