Is It Wrong to Take Money From “Highly Productive Citizens” and Use it To Fund Higher Ed?

This column by Richard Vedder, which argues that North Dakota should spend less on higher education, is somewhat of an interesting read, if only because that state is such an outlier in so many ways and because the author is such a staunch free-marketeer.

Subsidizing universities means taking money from highly productive citizens in the private market economy and giving it to a sector that some evidence shows has had no productivity growth for the last four decades. Moreover, there is no solid evidence that higher university research spending has any positive growth effect.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Jesse Singal

Jesse Singal is a former opinion writer for The Boston Globe and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. He is currently a master's student at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Policy. Follow him on Twitter at @jessesingal.