Friday , December 3 2021
Home / Tim Worstall /Markets may take their time but they do work

Markets may take their time but they do work

Summary:
Part - part - of the idea of asking students to pay for their own degrees was that students would then choose degrees which are worth it to them. It is, if you like, akin to a Pigou Tax. There’s a cost to these things and only if those gaining the benefit are also paying the cost will we have the correct amount of the right type of degrees being taken by the people who will benefit from them.Thousands of academics from across the UK and abroad have signed an open letter calling on Goldsmiths, University of London, to “halt the decimation” of its English and History departments, after the university became the latest institution to announce job cuts in the humanities.Goldsmiths has announced 52 compulsory redundancies to tackle “significant financial challenges”, targeting English and

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Part - part - of the idea of asking students to pay for their own degrees was that students would then choose degrees which are worth it to them. It is, if you like, akin to a Pigou Tax. There’s a cost to these things and only if those gaining the benefit are also paying the cost will we have the correct amount of the right type of degrees being taken by the people who will benefit from them.

Thousands of academics from across the UK and abroad have signed an open letter calling on Goldsmiths, University of London, to “halt the decimation” of its English and History departments, after the university became the latest institution to announce job cuts in the humanities.

Goldsmiths has announced 52 compulsory redundancies to tackle “significant financial challenges”, targeting English and History as well as administrative staff. The letter, which currently has more than 2,600 signatures, warns that academics with “deeply rooted” expertise in Black and Queer History and Black literature are among those under threat of redundancy. It accuses university managers of running higher education like “fast fashion” and showing “utter disregard for the integrity of the education they want to sell”.

Well, yes, the point about selling things being that you do better selling what it is that the customers wish to buy:

While applications for subjects such as computer science and maths have been booming, applications to study English have slumped, putting the subject in jeopardy at many institutions.

There are those who value a degree in English. There are those who value one in a STEM subject. By exposing those who take such degrees to the cost of them then we sort through those who do in fact value the thing at at least the cost of its provision.

This is not some aberration of the imposition of student fees, this is the point. Markets work, as with the law they grind small even if they can be a little slow.

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Tim Worstall
Tim Worstall is a British-born writer and Senior Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute. Worstall is a regular contributor to Forbes and the Register. He has also written for the Guardian, the New York Times, PandoDaily, the Daily Telegraph blogs, the Times, and The Wall Street Journal. In 2010 his blog was listed as one of the top 100 UK political blogs by Total Politics.

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