Tyler Cowen's latest blog post is rich with assertions. This one stood out:
Postwar higher education has proven one of America's most effective subsidies, and it has paid for itself many times over.Amazing, Cowen once, I believe, held a methodological individualist perspective (a view which would make public goods impossible to measure). How did he measure this so-called pay off and whom exactly did it benefit (many times over)?
As Henderson comments:
Consider the phrase "many times over." To have paid for itself, it would have had to generate a present value of returns equal to the present value of costs. "Many" must mean at least three. So that would be a present value of returns equal to at least three times the present value of costs.
Is that plausible? I think not....For Tyler's case to make sense he has to be arguing that there is a huge public good.