The Great Ghost of the River Valley Essay examples

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“Some say bypassing a higher education is smarter than paying for a degree”, a 2010 article published in The Washington Post discussed what many consider to be the decreasing value of a college education in relation to income. Richard Vedder, a Professor of Economics at Ohio State University, argues that for many an a college education is not worth the investment. Along with anecdotal evidence, Vedder makes use of Bureau of Labor Statistics to make his point. The statistics fail to show the full picture illuminated in “Is a College Degree Still the Great Equalizer?”, an academic article published Florencia Torche of New York University in the American Journal of Sociology. Torche’s work found that a bachelor’s degree is still a mechanism…show more content…
Professor Vedder points to the unemployment rate among those with bachelor’s degrees as the primary evidence for decreasing worth of said degree. Sarah Kaufman summarized this point, “In 1970, when the overall unemployment rate was 4.9 percent, unemployment among college graduates was negligible, at 1.2 percent” and in 2010, “with the national rate of unemployment at 9.6 percent, unemployment for college graduates has risen to 4.9 percent…”
These unemployment rates are accurate, but they do not tell the full story. Unemployment rates are not the optimal number for calculating the monetary value of a college education. A decrease in the importance of a college education does not amount to causation for this increasing similarity in unemployment rate between college graduates and the overall population. There is a more parsimonious explanation for the correlation between these two figures. The decrease in differences between the general population’s unemployment rate and the unemployment rate among college graduates could be explained by the increasing percentage of college graduates in society.
As illustrated in Table 1 of Torche’s article, only 15.1% of American men and 8.27% of American women possessed a college degree. By 2005, 30.4% of American men and 29.35% of American women were
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