A week after I sarcastically told you you to trust your east coast media elite about higher education, the NYT’s Eduardo Porter takes the bait in, “A Simple Equation: More Education = More Income.” Porter wails:
Barely 30 percent of American adults have achieved a higher level of education than their parents did. Only Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic do worse. In Finland more than 50 percent of adults are more educated than their parents.
Here’s his chart showing the international education arms race (at all levels, not just college):
The number one country is Russia, which is known for its healthy, long-lived population and very little national income from locational advantages such as oil and gas deposits. Second to last is Germany, a country with very few manufacturing exports and unspeakable squalor, which is why you never hear about it.
This pattern of stagnant mobility and rising inequality of education adds up to a dumbfounding paradox. American workers with a college degree are paid 74 percent more than those with only a high school degree, on average, nearly the biggest premium in the O.E.C.D.
Can you believe this a week after New York Fed economists report that college doesn’t pay off for everyone? Like seriously, read your own damn chart.