Essay on The American Economy: Profit Over People

1241 Words 5 Pages
In the face of a changing and more globalized economy, a new emphasis has been placed on the pursuit of higher education in the United States. A sense of desperation abounds as competition and economic uncertainty drive individuals to pursue more lucrative and stable paths, to which education supposedly holds the key. Consequently, attendance at colleges and universities has become a necessity in the view of many Americans. This push for higher education has consequences for society that have been expounded in the work of Paulo Freire, and his theories regarding education and oppression in Pedagogy of the Oppressed. In his work, Freire frames education as a great equalizer and a means by which the oppressed may “liberate themselves and …show more content…
Children, and their performance, are turned into a commodity in this impersonalized system, which does not encourage quality learning, but rather, quantifiable performance.
Paul Taylor of the Pew Research Center, on NPR’s All Things Considered, stated that “in a modern, knowledge-based economy, the only thing more expensive than going to college is not going to college.” This applies to our economy today. A recent Pew Research study showed that millennials with a high school diploma make only 62% of what college graduates make. In addition, the study revealed that 86% of college graduates say they have a “career-track” job, compared to 57% of high school graduates. Such numbers indicate the importance that receiving a college education can have. However, the economic necessity of education in our country seems to further distance education from a “liberating” structure.
When it comes to our universities, economics, too, has an increasing influence. In fact, higher education itself is an industry, one that is becoming more exclusive as expenses increase, especially at top universities. According to journalist Jack Lessenbury, this can be said for the University of Michigan: “Current estimates show the cost of