Is America’s 223-year Love Affair with Debt Coming to an End?

By Michael Hendrix
October 25, 2013
General Foundation

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation reads the Internet so that you don’t have to, sharing a short list of curated blog posts for your Friday reading.


Could this be the future of higher education? A small batch of universities are setting up a competency-based, “all you can eat” degree program based on a flat subscription fee. 

In theory, students could wrap up an entire degree in three months without touching any official course material--perhaps because they chose to get their learning elsewhere or already know most of the required information through their professional careers. … 

The program’s goal is to break even and be self-supporting within six years. The key factor, in addition to whether it can maintain quality, will be how “scalable” it ends up being and how many new students it helps the school system reach, says Cross. “Traditional higher education at this point is not scalable ... and this has the potential to be incredibly transformative, if it is scalable. If it’s not, I’m not sure it’s worth the effort.”

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Underlying the Arab Spring is a yearning for prosperity within the world market, which as Hernando de Soto illustrates, has been beyond the reach for far too many. The region’s lack of stable political and economic institutions is driving the revolutionary surge—a grasping for the “transformation that every developed nation has undergone at some point."

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The real reason we have a public pensions crisis: political pressure for higher returns.

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Joel Kotkin, a former USCCF fellow, has found the top cities creating middle class jobs. Texas occupies the top 4 spots, in a nice echo of Tyler Cowen’s latest Time cover story on the “United States of Texas.”

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America’s 223-year love affair with debt may be at an end.

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Matt Yglesias offers his “five-point plan for fixing everything.”

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America’s labor force participation is at a 35-year low. Forget unemployment; we have bigger worries.