School Choice

Is Spending $1 Trillion on Education a Waste of Money? Bryan Caplan Says Yes.

"The Case Against Education" author and economist says "if all we're trying to do is prepare people for a job, why not prepare them with a *job*?"

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"It's absolutely true that school makes people show up, sit down, shut up and that these are useful skills for people to have in adulthood," says Bryan Caplan, a professor of economics at George Mason University, a blogger at EconLog, and the author of the new book The Case Against Education: Why the Education System Is a Waste of Time and Money. "So the real question is if all we're trying to do is prepare people for a job, why not prepare them with a job?"

Caplan argues that schools are not only overpriced, but that traditional education fails to prepare students with job skills that reflect the needs of the labor market. Even worse, he says, most school is boring for students.

I sat down with Caplan to discuss his book and what, if any, value he sees in traditional K-12 and undergraduate education.

For a video version of our conversation and a full transcript, go here.

For an audio podcast version, go to iTunes and subscribe to the Reason Podcast, or click below to listen via Soundcloud.

We release three episodes a week, including one that is a rousing roundtable with Katherine Mangu-Ward, Peter Suderman, Matt Welch, and me discussing the news of the day. For a full archive, go here.

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