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Should All Government Support for Higher Education Be Abolished? Watch the Live Debate.

Bryan Caplan vs. Edward Glaeser at the Soho Forum.


All government support of higher education should be abolished.

That's the resolution at tonight's Soho Forum/Reason debate, featuring George Mason University economist Bryan Caplan (arguing the affirmative) and Harvard economist Edward Glaeser. The opening act is comedian Dave Smith, host of the podcast Part of the Problem.

Watch the livestream below (the event starts at 6:30pm ET), and post questions for the participants in the Facebook comments. We'll read a couple of the best at the event.

At the outset of the debate, you can also vote on the resolution. Then you'll have chance to vote again at the end of the debate. The economist who changes the most minds wins.

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  1. Go back to your goober factories and learn how to fix smelly toilets, we of the liberal/libertarian tradition will outcompete you with our gender-studies degrees!

    1. Needs more statements about "jamming progress down the throats of goobers". Make a more obvious rape threat next time.

    2. The rain is Spain falls mainly on the plain, if you know what I mean, and I think you do.

    3. Making lot of money $97 a hour from laptop in free time.My sister's friend has been averaging $15000 for months now and she works about 20 hours a week. i make $13000 last month, it is realy easy and trustful ,

      here you can start work,,,,,,,, http://www.profit70.com

  2. I want a pony.

    1. Keep digging.

  3. "Should All government support of higher education should be abolished."

    Yes. File that along with all of the other Libertarian pipe dreams that will never happen. Goals should be attainable.

    1. About the only good idea the Fabians have is to establish the ideal goal but be satisfied with small incremental progress.

      1. So annoyingly true

    2. Could start with getting rid of federal student aid. And making prospectively all student loans bankruptable. Then go on from there.

      1. If student loans are removed in bankruptcy, why would anyone ever provide student loans? Seems I could get a loan go through school then declare bankruptcy immediately.

        1. Same reason banks provide all kinds of other loans that can be removed in bankruptcy. It's also why going through bankruptcy is incredibly damaging and should be avoided at all costs.

          Also, I suspect that once a student loan could be eliminated by bankruptcy, you'll start to see lenders get a lot more careful on who and what degrees they lend for. Bankers are going to want to see some kind of ROI on your line of study.

          1. Also, I suspect that once a student loan could be eliminated by bankruptcy, you'll start to see lenders get a lot more careful on who and what degrees they lend for

            And a rise in interest rates commensurate with the risk of loaning large amounts of money to irresponsible young people with nothing to offer as collateral.

            1. That's right?risk-based pricing.

          2. IIRC private student loans can generally be discharged in bankruptcy now.

            The bulk of the loans a federal loans, and I don't think we can rely on the feds to be consistently astute lenders nor be immune from political pressure (example: when Barney Frank dragged bankers to DC to badger them about lending more money to poorer credit risks because racism).

            So, the only way out is to eliminate federal loans, or, if we make them dischargeable, perhaps have the universities eat a share of the bad debt (an Instapundit idea).

            1. Iheartskeet|5.14.18 @ 10:57PM|#
              "IIRC private student loans can generally be discharged in bankruptcy now."
              Cite please.

              1. It looks like I didn't IIRC. Private loans for education at accredited institutions are not dischargeable. It looks like most private loans are to for-profit schools, some larger portion than non-profits of which are non-accredited, so it may be that in practice more of them are dischargeable just due to circumstance.

                In any case, my point about fed loans and dischargeability stands. These are the vast majority of student loans. If they are dischargeable, then tighter credit controls must be put in place etc. These are subject to political whims. I don't think bankruptcy status would fix anything, and we'd simply be piling on more bad debt just like the 2008 housing crisis.

                Additionally, it looks like private student loan lenders already have tighter credit controls and higher interest rates than fed govt loans, so some of things described above are already in place.

        2. They'll only loan to people capable of learning something that makes them enough money to repay the loan. Deadbeats get their education reposessed with an icepick.

            1. So that's what a "gender studies" degree looks like,

      2. Or just make all student loan repayments income tax free.

        Look if you open a pizza place and invest 20k in pizza ovens you only get taxed on whatever profit you make.

        If you invest the same amount in a nursing degree, for example, you have to repay the loan post tax (there are some scales on interest).

        Now as a registered nurse you take an approved course in Emergency Obstetrical Nursing in a nice hotel in Florida. Guess what? All of what you spend including airfare, tuition, hotel, meals, all of that is pre tax.

        How is that OK? Getting that RN education and license was a business expense no different than the restaurant costs. Up front cost to launch your business as RN.com. Both have risks. One is in the pizza business the other in the medical business.

        Does every pizza owner or nurse succeed? Maybe not but the scam here is obvious.

        The bank would get higher returns. The government not so much.

    3. Won't happen. The perfect shall remain the enemy of the good.

  4. The entertainment is the type of "red pill comedian" who works Fox News?

    Ouch. Very ouch.

    Seems unfair that the liberal-libertarian mainstream has all of the good comedians, actors, musicians, etc., while conservatives get stuck with Ted Nugent, every fungible country bro, Chachi, and a bunch of American Idlers.

    But creativity and backwardness tend to be incongruent, and intolerance just isn't that funny.

    1. and intolerance just isn't that funny.

      +1 Archie Bunker

    2. One of my favorite intolerant comedians:

      Now we've got a lot of things, a lot of racism in the world right now, Who's more racist? Black people or white people? Black people, you know why?

      Because we hate black people too! Everything white people don't like about black people, black people REALLY don't like about black people. There's some shit going on with black people right now. There's a civil war going on with black people, and there's two sides, there's black people and there's niggas. The niggas have got to go.

      Every time black people wanna have a good time, ignorant-ass nigga fuck it up.

      1. That's funny as hell and I'm gonna look it up and watch it, but let's face it-- white people hate white people with a fire at least as hot as any black-black hate they can dish up.

        1. Asians hate all y'all cracker-ass motherfuckers.

    3. Maybe prgressive comedians are better, because your post was even funnier than my parody.

      1. Comedians are people who make our life better like the site that proposes the best educational services and that is available by the link that is located here - this company makes student'
        s lives better because it helps a student!

    4. Are you aware of the irony of calling everyone who disagrees with you a backwoods retard, while calling against intolerance?

    5. Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland|5.14.18 @ 7:23PM|#
      "blaah blaah"

      Eidde got your number above, scumbag.

  5. "If you've got an education, you didn't learn that."

    1. Well played

  6. No!

  7. He who pays the piper, calls the tune.

    1. Yep, I call for an amendment establishing separation of school and state,

      1. Live Free Or Diet|5.14.18 @ 9:03PM|#
        "Yep, I call for an amendment establishing separation of school and state"

        Me, too.
        If there was ever a conflict of interest, there are two in government education:
        1) (most obvious) The 'teachers' are paid by the government, so toward whom do they bias the lessons? Why, toward the government! Aren't you glad you asked?
        2) The teachers' pay is determined by those sitting across the table who are beholden to the teachers' union for contributions to their election campaigns.

      2. And while we're on amendments, how about "No representation without taxation."
        You pay no federal income tax, you get no representation at the federal level.
        No pay at state income tax, forget that vote.
        No property tax; no local vote.

  8. Not just higher education; all government involvement in all education. We should start by dissolving Jimmy Carter's blatant union payoff, the Dept of Education, and follow that up by eliminating public schools nationwide.

    1. Why Do You Hate Children?!?!?11 /wins argument

    2. I could go for eliminating private education as well, by vigilante action if necessary. I've always been a bit of a reactionist.

  9. He should definitely know how to write asa format paper. Do you have any idea?

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