The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Perhaps Not Since Johannes Gutenberg Invented Movable Type …

Posted on | May 16, 2012 | 34 Comments

. . . has any event in the history of Western civilization been more significant than the forthcoming publication of Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds’s The Higher Education Bubble. This 56-page booklet, the 29th in the brilliant Encounter Broadside series, has been breathlessly awaited for months, in expectation that it will revolutionize our nation’s education system. Here is the publisher’s summary of this eagerly anticipated work:

America is facing a higher education bubble. Like the housing bubble, it is the product of cheap credit coupled with popular expectations of ever-increasing returns on investment, and as with housing prices, the cheap credit has caused college tuitions to vastly outpace inflation and family incomes. Now this bubble is bursting.
In this Broadside, Glenn Harlan Reynolds explains the causes and effects of this bubble and the steps colleges and universities must take to ensure their survival. Many graduates are unable to secure employment sufficient to pay off their loans, which are usually not dischargeable in bankruptcy. As students become less willing to incur debt for education, colleges and universities will have to adapt to a new world of cost pressures and declining public support.

That’s about 120 words of a 7,000-word treatise destined to be remembered as one of the most profoundly influential documents in 21st-century intellectual history. How do I know that it’s 7,000 words? Because he told me about it over barbecue and beers the last time I was in Knoxville. And he picked up the tab.

Also — full disclosure — I’ve been procrastinating for two weeks on transcribing an interview I did with Harry Stein, whose excellent new book, No Matter What…They’ll Call This Book Racist: How our Fear of Talking Honestly About Race Hurts Us All, is also published by Encounter. So I really owe Roger Kimball and the fine folks at Encounter a solid, to say nothing of the obvious reasons I’d want to curry favor with Instapundit, who has thrown me a crapload of traffic over the years.

Furthermore — forget “full disclosure,” because my career by now is such a Gordian knot of shady ethical compromises I can’t even begin to count the potential conflicts of interest involved — there is the outside possibility that Roger Kimball and the fine folks at Encounter might be interested in a book I’d like to write.

INTEGRITY LIKE PAUL F**KING ANKA, BABY (And Other Great Riffs I Shamelessly Stole From Ace of Spades)

Well, that’s the working title, anyway. Kind of a work in progress that I haven’t actually started writing yet. I’m flexible, and if Roger and the fine folks at Encounter want me to turn it into a scathing tell-all biography of Millard Fillmore — hey, cool, whatever.

Call me, Roger. We’ll do lunch. Love ya, man.

Wait — hold on. We seem to have slightly digressed here . . .

Damn these psilocybin flashbacks. My point is that Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds has written The Higher Education Bubble, which is due for publication on June 26. However, through special arrangement with, you can pre-order this forthcoming blockbuster now, and be among the first to own this $5.99 volume that is sure to become an instant classic.

P.S.: He’s got a blog that’s kind of popular.



34 Responses to “Perhaps Not Since Johannes Gutenberg Invented Movable Type …”

  1. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    May 16th, 2012 @ 12:22 am

    Now that post should get an Instalanche!  

  2. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    May 16th, 2012 @ 12:23 am

    I like promoting Professor Reynolds new book through your Amazon portal.  Win win as they say!  

  3. robertstacymccain
    May 16th, 2012 @ 12:43 am

    You don’t say!

  4. Adjoran
    May 16th, 2012 @ 12:51 am

    I’ve been a Reynolds fan since Tech Central Station or thereabouts, but do we really need a book to tell colleges and universities how to survive the coming crash?

    Eliminate tenure, tighten up faculty qualifications (hint:  get rid of the leftists and their “disciplines” pronto), and get off some of the endowment cash you’ve been hoarding.

    I know they won’t pay $5.99 for that, but at most they will buy one book and pass it around anyway.  And they will probably steal the one copy.

  5. robertstacymccain
    May 16th, 2012 @ 12:59 am

    Well, Hey, Kids, Forget About Those Elite Private Liberal Arts Schools With $40,000 Tuition, Work Your Way Through Community College Instead doesn’t quite have as much “oomph.”

  6. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    May 16th, 2012 @ 12:59 am

    I sometimes think myself queen cow of the self promoting blog whores, but I bow to the master.  

  7. Garym
    May 16th, 2012 @ 1:06 am

    University of New Mexico circa 1983 fall semester $352.00 for full 13 credit hours. I don’t even want to guess what tuition would be now.
    Where are the occupiers, occupying these wastefull universities and colleges?

  8. Adjoran
    May 16th, 2012 @ 1:08 am

     I was thinking of including pictures of nekkid coeds to boost sales.

  9. robertstacymccain
    May 16th, 2012 @ 1:13 am

    See, that’s the kind crowd-sourced marketing genius that makes The Army of Davids such a potent force.

    Once Roger Kimball sees your suggestion, they’ll re-work the entire concept: Other Than Nekkid Coeds, There’s Really No Reason to Go to College Anymore … But Was There Ever?

  10. robertstacymccain
    May 16th, 2012 @ 1:31 am

    Tuition at most state universities is still moderately priced. It’s the extras — food and housing, beer and cars — that leads kids to take out state-school student loans. Also, doing your first couple of years at community college and living with Mom and Dad? Dude, that’s uncool.

    Middle-class kids taking out student loans to attend elite private schools — not just the Ivies, but also Duke, Stanford, Tulane, Vanderbilt, etc. — is simply insane. If your family isn’t rich enough to foot the bill and you aren’t offered scholarship, DON’T GO TO ELITE SCHOOLS.

    I don’t give a damn what your SAT is. Borrowing money just to be able to say you attended an elite school is foolish gesture. Your flagship state university will be happy to have you — may even offer you a scholarship — and maybe you can get rich enough that your children can afford Princeton or Cornell, but don’t ruin your life merely to have a “prestige” degree.

  11. Adjoran
    May 16th, 2012 @ 1:36 am

    I remember when Stacy’s Book Club used to cover politics, too – tonight the Palin-endorsed Deb Fisher clobbered the favorite (and Huckabee and Santorum-endorsed) Jon Bruning for the GOP nomination for Senate in Nebraska.  That’s Ben Nelson’s seat, he is retiring to avoid embarrassment, unlike Obama.

    Bruning won more votes in finishing 2nd in the GOP contest than Bob Kerrey did in winning the Democratic side. 

    Maybe Kerrey should explain more to Nebraskans about the sacrifice he and his family are making to leave uber-cool Greenwich Village to move back to their backward, hick-filled excuse for a state in flyover country for a few months to run for his old seat, because those ignorant Cornhuskers just don’t seem to get it.

  12. Garym
    May 16th, 2012 @ 2:22 am

    Worked my way through 3 years and 1 semester till I finally burned myself out. To this day I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Student loans are just not worth it. My brother finished paying off his loans just five years ago. A dozen years after graduation.

  13. Adobe_Walls
    May 16th, 2012 @ 3:10 am

    Not a terrible season for a dying Tea Party.

  14. Mike Rogers
    May 16th, 2012 @ 4:21 am

    Thanks for the tip.
    I have collected the whole set thus fasr, and immediately ordered Glenn’s masterpiece (for could it be otherwise?), from here, of course 🙂

  15. robertstacymccain
    May 16th, 2012 @ 6:28 am

    I remember when Stacy’s Book Club used to cover politics, too

    Ah, before the Great Demoralization. Remember it well …

  16. robertstacymccain
    May 16th, 2012 @ 6:58 am
  17. Adjoran
    May 16th, 2012 @ 7:20 am

     Thanks, I needed that!

  18. Bob Belvedere
    May 16th, 2012 @ 8:38 am

    A-hem [clears throat].

  19. Bob Belvedere
    May 16th, 2012 @ 8:39 am

    I can get the pics.

  20. Bob Belvedere
    May 16th, 2012 @ 8:43 am

    It’s actually gotten to the point where the place you got the degree from doesn’t matter so much as that you have a degree.  The college diploma has become like the High School Diploma in terms of importance – you gotta have the damn thing, but it doesn’t matter where from.

    If I were just graduating High School, I would attend an online college while working.

  21. Bob Belvedere
    May 16th, 2012 @ 8:49 am

    Ben Nelson Is Still A Cheap Whore…

  22. Bob Belvedere
    May 16th, 2012 @ 8:50 am

    He is an amazing man – thoughtful, generous, kind [and I say that even though he’s never linked me].

  23. CPAguy
    May 16th, 2012 @ 9:02 am

     Actually, online degrees are worthless.  Employers won’t hire from there (I mean…would you hire somebody who paid MORE to go to an online school and was too lazy to even go to their local college or community college?).

  24. CPAguy
    May 16th, 2012 @ 9:04 am

    I figured @RSM was working on an expose on the rise and fall of the Cain campaing…lol…

  25. Bob Belvedere
    May 16th, 2012 @ 9:22 am

    The business owners I know just want the sheepskin and don’t care where it comes from.

  26. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    May 16th, 2012 @ 10:45 am

    You are the crown prince Bob.  

  27. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    May 16th, 2012 @ 10:46 am

    You can save a ton of money going to community college and still get neked!  

  28. Obviously, These Reports Are Raaaaacist! « The Camp Of The Saints
    May 16th, 2012 @ 10:46 am

    […] as quoted by Jim Hoft, WFTV reports [tip of the fedora to Instapundit, who has a new book out]: WFTV has learned that the medical examiner found two injuries on Martin’s body: The fatal […]

  29. scarymatt
    May 16th, 2012 @ 10:54 am

    No doubt the moderate prices vary widely by state. I did a master’s degree at a Cal State university at about the turn of the century. It was about $1000 per semester (that for a full load of 3 or 4 classes…I was going at night while working, of course). My brother just completed (last year) a similar program and tuition was something like $3K-$5K per semester by the time he finished.

    That’s still pretty moderate compared to private schools, but I was pretty shocked at how fast it was changing. I think it nearly doubled in the couple of years that he was enrolled.

  30. Quartermaster
    May 16th, 2012 @ 12:45 pm

    If you want to be faculty, they will look at the source, but only because they are a bunch elitist misfits and they are looking for the same type of person they are.

  31. Quartermaster
    May 16th, 2012 @ 12:54 pm

    Pestige degrees mean something only to the falsely labeled elites. You need to go someplace where they made their name by instruction, not with their grad schools.

    I went to Tenn. Tech for two years (’90-’92) and ended with a bit less than $7K debt that I paid off in less than 8 years. I was so slow paying it off because I had a wife and my three kids were still in school.
    My son finished Grad school at UM Rolla with about 60K in debt, but is making $85K and is not married.

    Both my son and I hold Engineering degrees, and it is porbably worth going into debt for such (if it’s a lib arts degree, I’d agree with RSM here and quite strongly). Most degrees granted these days are pretty useless (almost anything with “studies” at the end of teh name falls in this category) and the kids that listen to that siren call are being played for fools.

  32. scarymatt
    May 16th, 2012 @ 1:02 pm

    The main benefit of an elite school seems to be the alumni network. As with so many things, it’s not what you know, but who you know. Of course, that only matters if you want to get in with the sorts of “elite” institutions where those networks are strong (e.g., government and finance).

  33. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    May 16th, 2012 @ 2:08 pm
  34. The Sanity Inspector
    May 16th, 2012 @ 3:24 pm

    No one needs a prestigious college degree to fold sweaters in The Gap–but that’s where a lot of these misguided kids are headed.