Bryan Caplan  

Boudreaux Class Autobio

Feldstein vs. Nordhaus... Are You Big Enough to Tolerate...

My boss, Don Boudreaux, has posted his class autobio. As you would expect, the man who rules me and my fellow professors with an iron hand grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth:

I’m the only of my siblings to attend college for more than a semester. That wasn’t my plan. To please my mom, I decided to go to college for one year and chase women. (My chases were futile, alas.) I then planned to marry my high-school sweetheart and work full-time at Avondale Shipyards (where I’d worked in high school during the summers). But I found economics during my second semester of college at Nicholls State University. It blew me away! Never before had I encountered anything intellectually stimulating – and supply-and-demand curves were (and remain) for me analytically sublime.

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COMMENTS (4 to date)
Steve writes:

Yet another libertarian who attended a public college.

dearieme writes:

"Never before had I encountered anything intellectually stimulating ": what does that say about his High School, or his public library?

Bill writes:

Yet another libertarian who attended a public college.

What's your point? Parents are forced to pay taxes, so some send their children to public universities. Maybe if they were allowed to keep their own money they could afford a private university. How about all the libertarians that receive Social Security? They paid the taxes, so they get the benefit. If they didn't have to pay the taxes, they could save for their own retirement more effectively.

Libertarians are forced to live in this semi-socialist nation and pay taxes. Regardless of their beliefs, they are entitled to the same benefits as anyone else. I'll make a deal with you (and the rest of the American people): Exempt me (as a libertarian) from the taxes used to support the welfare state and I'll sign a contract relieving the government of any responsibility for my welfare. Okay?

Steve writes:

"What's your point?"

Every libertarian I have met was a graduate of a public college. They owe their class position to the state. Subsidized higher ed has been a vehicle of class mobility in this country, in that it has allowed people to gain skills that they would not otherwise, as per the example in this post. Subsidized higher ed is really a subsidy to business--it reduces the information costs of hiring and creates a pool of skilled workers to draw from. It is part and parcel of any advanced industrialized nation. It's no coincidence that it came along when it did.

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