Via Insty, Ms. McArdle: Why Do Economists Urge College, But Not Marriage?
College improves your earning prospects. So does marriage. Education makes you more likely to live longer. So does marriage.
Her answer to her question?
Which makes me gravitate towards a more parsimonious explanation: all economists are, definitionally, very good at college. Not all economists are good at marriage. Saying that more people should go to college will make 0% of your colleagues feel bad. Saying that more people should get married and stay married will make a significant fraction of your colleagues feel bad. And in general, most people have an aversion to topics which are likely to trigger a personal grudge in a coworker.
Good answer…but not great, even if her explanation is the biggest variable. Which it probably isn’t. A commenter soon added:
Because you can sleep with cute 21-year-old girls in college, whereas in marriage that kind of thing is frowned upon.
Megan’s reason is a bigger factor. Hopefully. But the picture is still incomplete. Any other topics “likely to trigger a personal grudge”? Bueller? Bueller?
Mr. Huber feels that American society forces upon Caucasians (and only Caucasians) an “aversion” to discussing black/white racial relations. He also believes this leads to…
Confusion, misread intentions, bruised feelings—
The black mayor of Philadelphia, Michael Nutter, deftly rebuts that ridiculous idea:
Calling the article’s tone ‘disgusting,’ Mayor Michael Nutter has asked the Human Relations Commission to look into some of the race-related concerns raised by the article.
Bwa…guck…c…could you pardon me for a moment, dear guests? I need to step outside for…for a breath of fresh air.
(BWAH HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA LOL…heh heh…he he HA HA BWAH HA HA ROFLMAOTSFME…sniff…gasp…whew.)
Okay, I’m back, thanks for waiting. What’s that? Oh, “TSFME” is “tears streaming from my eyes”.
Heh heh…Shakespeare said it best, didn’t he?
“What a piece of work is man! how noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! in form and moving how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals! “.
Oh, wait. I meant this one:
“The common curse of mankind, – folly and ignorance”.
Hmph. I could pass for a literary genius too, if you’d let me have-and-eat my cake like Billy Shakespeare. Billy Shakespeare…racist.
Ms. McArdle’s essay has prompted 115 comments so far. So far, a single one has (obliquely) acknowledged the elephant in the room.
as people wee (sic) congratulating me on my 3rd child a person of a different racial persuasion told me he had 27 children, would lead to discussions which might not favor tenure.
Well, I’m not afraid to point at the all-important pachyderm. Behold!