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Cost Disease

Cost disease. Why is everything so expensive?

This is the asexual take. This is the sexual take.

Not much to add myself. Just a small observation. Look at the graph:


I wonder what the graph of “female participation” looks like. That would include teachers, administrators, lobbyists, women with influence in the school district, etc.

Methinks that graph would look rather similar to the blue one. Perhaps with some time lag.

This also should apply to the other stuff: healthcare, subway construction, etc. It would be nice to look at the data.


17 responses to “Cost Disease

  1. ricksean February 12, 2017 at 23:40

    Also, white people are willing to pay more to escape minorities for their education and healthcare. It’s the only politically correct way to segregate yourself.

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  3. John February 13, 2017 at 00:28

    If you look at this:
    It goes from 40% to 60% in that time period, although that’s all labour, not just education.

    What about Bretton Woods? It was dismantled around that time the graph begins. The financialization of the economy is a big change since then, along with globalisation increasing greatly.

    The items that have gone down in price during the same time period, like mobile phones, have had massive selection pressure from the consumer, and massive creativity on the business side because of its newness as an industry.

    The education system has a monopoly on accreditation, so the increase in technology which has led to so much info being free online hasn’t been able to replace the traditional college system, because of the prestige factor, inertia and other things. This puts a hold on the normal selection pressure that consumers would usually inflict on an industry.

    Tangentially, college professors used to be paid directly by their students, I believe Goethe was for example. If this happened today you would have a lot less degree inflation, and people would do more worthwhile things and avoid college totally.

  4. danielchieh February 13, 2017 at 01:30

    Look at that sweet increase in GDP!

    This is why I often wonder if per capita increase in GDP means very much, if it basically means we’re wasting ever more money than before.

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  6. Anomaly UK February 13, 2017 at 11:30

    One argument I’ve heard about education is that while it always had significant female participation, in the past the most able women were teachers (because it was one of few options available to them), whereas now with more choice female teachers are not so effectively selected. In effect the practical exclusion of women from other professions was a subsidy to education.

    I suspect that is marginal, and Jim’s theories are more to the point, but you brought up female participation.

  7. grey enlightenment February 13, 2017 at 16:31

    maybe ‘blank slate’ is to blame: more special ed, more teachers, smaller classes, etc. to futility close an achievement gap that is actually an IQ gap

  8. rcglinski February 13, 2017 at 17:00

    I’d offer a somewhat more benign hypothesis. Mandatory special education spending. See for example the chart on page 6 here:

  9. Steel T Post February 13, 2017 at 17:48

    $11,000 is spent on public education per student on average in the US. There are average 21 children per classroom that is $231,000 of tax receipts per classroom — to pay a teacher $55,000.

    Talk about a scam. The scam is way worse in NY, with twice the taxes and more crowded classes.

    I’d rather send my children to a fellow in a simple one room school house, and pay him $110,000 per year to teach ten children at his own small facility, what we used to call a one-room school house, where little children learned to act like big children who learned to act like young adults.

    There are inefficiencies of scale, because once it gets big, nobody really knows what’s going on, no single person (especially if female) is ever held accountable, and then the professional parasites move in and start sucking.

  10. Karl February 13, 2017 at 18:19

    The graphic start at 1970. There have been peaks in the cost of (higher) education before. Turchin thinks it’s one of the signs of violent times to come (see his book Ages of Discord), Anyway, as it has happened before I don’t think female participation or minorities are the only causes.

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