Ten Years Ago, I Discovered the Mises Institute. These Are the Things I Wish I Had Done Differently
Quit College—or Better Yet, Don’t Even Start
When I was in university a decade ago, this was some wacky, contrarian advice. It wasn’t unheard of for intellectual, middle-class youngsters to opt out of college, and it was still the early days of efforts like Praxis, but realistically there didn’t seem to be any alternatives. So, I went to university because that’s where you learn things and become a grown-up . . . or something.
These days, half of American parents say they prefer their kids not enroll in a four-year college program.
It’s too expensive a product, and what you’re getting is so worthless that had you sold the product on the free market the government would take you to court for fraud. The return on investment from higher education is widely diverging across fields and universities, but even for Ivy League universities most soft sciences (arts, humanities, psychology, etc.) have negative net financial value.
Not to mention that the woke brainwashing it exposes you to is hazardous to your mind and well-being.
I should know, since I went to some of the highest-ranked universities in the world, and in my current professional life I use roughly 0 percent of what I learned there.
Fair enough, the content knowledge of monetary and financial history often comes in handy; the use of English in editing and writing is crucial; and the varying styles of academic editing is necessary. Still, none of those skills required me to spend six-something years attending lectures, writing essays, going to university parties, and burning unbelievable amounts of cash (“Should have just bought bitcoin,” I hear myself complain).
I often say that the most important thing I learned at Oxford was that you can have a PhD and still be an idiot. Universities are a failed institution, and college degrees are scams. Just plunge yourself into that which interests you and learn how to provide value for others.
I could have read Ludwig von Mises on my own, studied our financial past, attended Mises Institute events, and learned everything I know today without saddling myself with the overhang of six years’ nonproductive behavior.
At the time, all the exercise I did was running. Having played soccer as a kid, it w
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