Friday, September 11, 2009


I had a comment on my previous post: "focus on useful degrees".

I love it when someone says something so profoundly common sensical... Thank you! (I expected nothing less from a fellow named "gardenerG". Us gardeners are used to getting our hands dirty
but seeing the reward.)

I did not suggest rejecting education - I suggested doing a careful cost/benefit analysis of what you pay for and what you ACTUALLY get.

Spread out your life on an excell form! It used to be that a home was our biggest investment and a car was our second... but NO MORE! The costs of Private school education and then private college, and compounding the lost interest yields an investment FAR greater than the individual's likely home.

My son's private school education since preschool has totaled over $200,000. Private college is another $200,000. But that is just PRINCIPAL. Had I invested that $400k in U.S. 10 year Treasuries by the time he graduated college he would have had well over $1 MILLION. Will the increased earnings of his undergrad degree EVER catch up to the continued power of compounding? NAFC.

Of course, there might have been some intangibles that could be factored in, but on a dollars and cents basis, the investment is indefensable.

Look, this idea has now gained traction all over the web. It ain't just me making the point anymore. People can count.

Its all about what you get for your money. If my son becomes a highly paid surgeon (besides the nachus I will have) it will have been worth it. If he becomes a social worker? A noble profession, but a very, very poor investment for the family.



Lenny said...


You are such a Yiddische papa.


Greg T. Jeffers said...


bureaucrat said...

A college degree in ANYTHING shows two things, despite the cost ..

#1 you are willing to do something you don't want to do (homework), and are willing to defer a good chunk of all the sex and partying Jeffers apparently thinks we do in college


#2 you learn how to learn, to summarize, to skim, to prioritize, to budget, to live with people .. all things that ANY employer can use to create a perfect employee. The joke degrees when I was in college were art history and geography. But those "joke students" learned how to write and research in the end.

Not everything is dollars and sense and "cost/benefit." How many people met their spouses or lifelong friends pursuing a college degree? How many of those spouses or life long friends ended up being high quality friends BECAUSE they were pursing a degree?

Greg T. Jeffers said...


If your argument is accurate, would not it make more sense to recruit people who have successfully run a small business?

bureaucrat said...

If they running a successful small business, why would they have the time and the energy to be recruited? ;)