BC vs. Fordham - IP Law, both sticker

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dingbat
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Re: BC vs. Fordham - IP Law, both sticker

Postby dingbat » Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:27 pm

I hadn't read your last post while I wrote mine, although I think parts of it have been addressed.

With regards to "these are things people can't afford now", that doesn't actually affect the argument whatsoever.
But, the solution to that is to move away from a capitalist society and toward a more socialist society. (again, econ 101)

As for "Value Added", as I tied to explain, law schools do not produce goods, there are no production costs. It is a service, so the concept doesn't apply

Just out of curiosity, what is your background?
I don't need to know specifics, but, are you still in UG? What major?
If you are working, what field?

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manofjustice
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Re: BC vs. Fordham - IP Law, both sticker

Postby manofjustice » Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:53 pm

dingbat wrote:There is a market distortion re law school, but the biggest market distortion is (virtually) guaranteed student loans.

Irrationally exuberant consumers is a very debatable point. You yourself have stated that law school is a net positive. Not everyone requires the net positive to be as large as others.
Yes, a lot of consumers don't have a good understanding of the pros and cons, but that doesn't in and of itself prove that consumers are irrationally exuberant. (I will admit that both arguments for and against have valid points and valid flaws)

Collusion, on the other hand, is incorrect. Law school deans do not call each other up to discuss tuition. It's more a matter of game theory.

You are also incorrect when you say "if everyone makes their living by rent seeking, GDP is 0"
GDP growth would be 0, which is something different altogether.

GDP growth of 0 would not in and of itself cause an economy to collapse.
Also, if market distortions pervade an entire economy that does not mean that the economy will collapse (history is full of examples of economies that were full of market distortions that did not collapse)

You say "And even if the price is the proper market price, see above posts re: law schools having a duty beyond maximizing their own profits. If lawyers and judges have such a duty, so do law schools."
This is true, which is why a school like Yale doesn't charge $250k per year. They could, and they would still fill up their entire class.
Law schools raise their prices because they have to. There are many factors that go into it, from staff demanding higher salaries (and getting them) to increased technological costs, to higher utility costs. While an argument can be made that professors earn too much, the same argument can be made for many other professions. Just because the profession overall is overpaid, doesn't mean the employers of said profession can get away with charging less.

Nobody goes to HYS to be taught by a TTTT graduate (unless s/he has some seriously major bonafides post graduation); Students go to HYS to be taught by the best and brightest professors out there. If a professor is not quite good enough to get into HYS (or a good enough offer) they will go to CCN, or one of the lower T14 instead.
If a professor is not quite good enough to get into the T14, or to not get compensated enough, they'll go to the T30. etc. etc.
It works pretty much the same as law school applicants.


To the first bold section: Right on. But those loans are still costs the students bear, and you can view the ease with which students can assume the loans as exacerbating the other distortions. Now, as students are talking about IBR cancellation more and more, we might see some cost-shifting to the federal government soon. But that doesn't make anything better; if anything, it makes it worse.

To the second bold section: Totally agree. But collusion by the tacit signals of game theory is collusion nonetheless.

To the third bold section: Not quite. If everyone made their income like they do now, and then made extra money rent seeking from everyone else's surplus income, then GDP remains the same but growth goes to 0. If everyone attempted to replace their current their income with rent seeking, they'd find there is no rent to seek, because no one would be doing anything productive, and so GDP would be 0. I mean, it's an interesting debate, but of course GDP growth of 0 is very, very bad anyway.

To the fourth bold section: Now this is a discussion I'd like to have. And I was hoping you'd bring it up as I was thinking about it earlier today. I think, as I've said, a law school is good only to get jobs, and a law school professor contributes to students' getting jobs only by grading exams well. To this end, to grade an exam well, a professor has to recognize what Big Law wants: the top 10%. Presumably, to do that, a professor has to have been in the top 10% himself. Well, the market rate for graduates in the top 10% is 160K + some bonus. I think professors make way more than that. (Perhaps they start at that rate, but perhaps professorships should be like clerkships: you don't hang around collecting an ever-increasing salary. You do your time and move to Big Law). Speaking of clerkships, if we analogize, we can suggest professors should be paid as much as clerks: after all, if you're good enough to write court opinions for a federal judge, your good enough to recognize the top 10% of law school exams. Being a Harvard professor would be as prestigious as a federal clerkship. Perhaps "the market can bear" professors making as much as clerks.

rinkrat wrote:Plain economics means that in a system where there are no limits on salaries (aka capitalism), the cost will keep going up so long as the market (in this case for law school professors) can bear it.
As the cost of law schools goes up, so does tuition. As long as the market for a law school education can bear it, tuition will keep going up.


There are two claims here. To the first I say: that's lazzie fair capitalism. And in any kind of capitalism, corrections happen, so the price at any one time is not necessarily the price capitalism had in mind.

To the second: once law students start griping and applications fall (as they have), tuition will stop going up. It's a tug of war. For too long, students have let the schools do all the tugging. Now students are starting to tug back and we are seeing just how inflated tuition has become: the air is coming out of the bubble and law schools are tumbling forward.

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manofjustice
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Re: BC vs. Fordham - IP Law, both sticker

Postby manofjustice » Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:54 pm

Actually, that's a great point. I'm adding another to my case:

"the market can bear" analysis cuts both ways. It suggests polar opposite equilibrium costs. If students insisted, they could drive the costs to the bare minimum, just as law schools insist driving the costs to the greatest maximum. But a proper price can only be one. So, setting the price by what "the market can bear" won't work.

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Re: BC vs. Fordham - IP Law, both sticker

Postby rickgrimes69 » Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:58 pm

manofjustice wrote:
rickgrimes69 wrote:manofjustice, you keep talking about "value" but I don't think you know what that means. "Value" of a school is not determined by job prospects, quality of staff, location, the way the campus smells, or any other reason that you think it should. The value of something is whatever someone is willing to pay for it. Fordham can charge a higher price simply because that is what their students value that education to be. If students felt it was overpriced, they would stop paying tuition and Fordham would have no choice but to lower prices. But they don't, so they won't.


And we've found ourselves back in the head-spinning merry-go-round of circular argument.

I understand what you think you get: students have other options. I granted to you that even at inflated costs, law school is a net positive-that is one (rational) reason students keep going. There are other irrational reasons too. But you're not getting it:

Reread above post re: rent-seeking. Even if consumers are willing to pay the rent, even if they net positive after paying it, the rent is a market distortion, quite similar to monopoly pricing.


Ok first of all, there is TONS of market failure in our economy, and not all of it is bad. The very basis of our patent system is simply an institutionalized monopoly, but any economist can tell you that such protections are arguably quite necessary for innovation to remain profitable. There are tons of monopsonies that I'm sure you are aware of and regularly support without a second thought (e.g., professional sports teams). You're automatically assuming that just because law schools engage in rent seeking that their prices are unjustified, but you've failed to produce an argument which leads to such a conclusion.

You are without a doubt completely wrong to suggest that every price is the proper market price just because it is the price.


Technically, no, I'm not. By definition, that's where prices come from - the market. Unless you can prove that law schools are colluding to raise prices, the price they ask is the price the market will support. If it didn't, it wouldn't be priced that high. It's really that simple. This isn't "circular reasoning," it's basic economic theory.

If market distortions pervade an entire economy, the economy can collapse. Quite by definition, as I explained above, if everyone makes their living by rent seeking, GDP is 0. If it would be that bad if everyone does it, why do law schools get to do it? Are law schools special?


Too bad we have tons of market distortions and our economy's doing just fine. Well, it's not, but we're hardly on the verge of collapsing.

You must justify the market price of law school by demonstrating that the market price is set free of market distortions or that the market price reflects economic value (because a market price set free of market distortions does reflect economic value, and vice versa.


Dude, no. This is just flat out wrong. In a strictly technical sense, the economic value of something is what someone is willing to pay for the increased utility they receive from purchasing a good or service. Period. You really need to understand this concept before we can go any further.

If I have a car and KBB says it's worth $5000 but I sell it to you for $10,000, what the value of that car to you? Unless you're feeling extra generous that day, it sure as shit ain't $5000.

I swear, you would make the worst PR rep for law schools: "we are raising our prices cause we can, go fuck yourself..." I'd like to see that on abovethelaw.


Welcome to capitalism, bro.

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dingbat
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Re: BC vs. Fordham - IP Law, both sticker

Postby dingbat » Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:05 pm

I think, as I've said, a law school is good only to get jobs, and a law school professor contributes to students' getting jobs only by grading exams well.

You mean that teaching students about the law does not contribute to students getting jobs?
To this end, to grade an exam well, a professor has to recognize what Big Law wants: the top 10%.
Not correct, but does not affect the overall argument
Presumably, to do that, a professor has to have been in the top 10% himself.
open to debate, but a reasonable assumption for discussion purposes
Well, the market rate for graduates in the top 10% is 160K + some bonus. I think professors make way more than that. (Perhaps they start at that rate, but perhaps professorships should be like clerkships: you don't hang around collecting an ever-increasing salary. You do your time and move to Big Law).
Based on your assumption that professors should know what biglaw wants, this should actually be other way around - do biglaw then transition to a professorship.
Practically speaking, it is easier to teach a subject if you have real-world experience with it.
Speaking of clerkships, if we analogize, we can suggest professors should be paid as much as clerks: after all, if you're good enough to write court opinions for a federal judge, your good enough to recognize the top 10% of law school exams
no, it is not. Ignoring that it's a different skill set, being able to be capable of the top 10% is a requirement for being able to recognize the top 10%, not other way around. Therefore, to recognize the top 10% one would need to be a subset of that 10%, who is not only capable of performing that level of work, but also of spotting it in others
. Being a Harvard professor would be as prestigious as a federal clerkship. Perhaps "the market can bear" professors making as much as clerks.
Actually, I think there are far more federal clerks as there are harvard professors. That being beside the point, "the market can bear" professors making as much as law schools are willing to pay them. Again, your understanding of basic economic concepts seems to be upside down

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dingbat
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Re: BC vs. Fordham - IP Law, both sticker

Postby dingbat » Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:07 pm

manofjustice wrote:Actually, that's a great point. I'm adding another to my case:

"the market can bear" analysis cuts both ways. It suggests polar opposite equilibrium costs. If students insisted, they could drive the costs to the bare minimum, just as law schools insist driving the costs to the greatest maximum. But a proper price can only be one. So, setting the price by what "the market can bear" won't work.

do you even know what equilibrium is?
Have you ever taken an economics class?

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Re: BC vs. Fordham - IP Law, both sticker

Postby somewhatwayward » Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:12 pm

dingbat wrote:The point to note here is that in NY they are capable of competing with the big boys.
If NY is definitely your goal, it's a very good choice


I don't think placing 20% into big law really qualifies as competing with the big boys where CLS and NYU place 70%+

OP, BC is TCR here

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Re: BC vs. Fordham - IP Law, both sticker

Postby manofjustice » Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:15 pm

rickgrimes69 wrote:You're automatically assuming that just because law schools engage in rent seeking that their prices are unjustified, but you've failed to produce an argument which leads to such a conclusion.


No, I did. GDP = 0 if everyone does it so why can law schools do it? Classic moral argument.

rickgrimes69 wrote:Too bad we have tons of market distortions and our economy's doing just fine. Well, it's not, but we're hardly on the verge of collapsing.


"Drugs r bad mkay"...and so are market distortions.

rickgrimes69 wrote:If I have a car and KBB says it's worth $5000 but I sell it to you for $10,000, what the value of that car to you? Unless you're feeling extra generous that day, it sure as shit ain't $5000.


Imagine if the KBB cost for the same model and year used car got more and more expensive, even as time went on. Welcome to the law school market: as job prospects worsen, costs go up and up.

Here is the confusion: you can't seek rent by selling a car. It's too hard, because the market is too competitive, and because informational resources like KBB help prevent consumers from making stupid decisions. A better analogy would be the cost of your drivers license. If the state you live in said "if you want to drive legally, pay $5000," you'd pay it. That would be rent seeking, and it's what a law school does when they say "if you want to practice law legally, pay $150,000 (or much more, after loan costs)." In contrast to seeking rent by selling a car, seeking rent by withholding access to a profession is too easy.

rickgrimes69 wrote:Welcome to capitalism, bro.


Thanks. Any place good to eat around here?

Speaking of which, to demonstrate how rent seeking is not a feature of a modern capitalism: the cost of food in real dollars in advanced economies is amazingly less than in less advanced economies. But if food one day cost 90% of my income, I'd pay it. I need to eat! I am willing to pay it now: charge me already! Is the market broken?!

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Re: BC vs. Fordham - IP Law, both sticker

Postby manofjustice » Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:17 pm

dingbat wrote:
manofjustice wrote:Actually, that's a great point. I'm adding another to my case:

"the market can bear" analysis cuts both ways. It suggests polar opposite equilibrium costs. If students insisted, they could drive the costs to the bare minimum, just as law schools insist driving the costs to the greatest maximum. But a proper price can only be one. So, setting the price by what "the market can bear" won't work.

do you even know what equilibrium is?
Have you ever taken an economics class?


What's an economy?

But no, it's a cool point.

Don't you think that if the professors had no other choice, they'd take a pay cut? Yea they would. Let's make um. The market can bear it.

And don't you think that if the students had no other choice, they'd give the professors a pay raise? Yea they would (that in fact is your case). So the market can bear it.

"Illogical, illogical" (in robot voice). You can't have two market prices at the same time. So you don't figure out the market price by asking "what can the market bear."

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Re: BC vs. Fordham - IP Law, both sticker

Postby dingbat » Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:20 pm

manofjustice wrote:
dingbat wrote:
manofjustice wrote:Actually, that's a great point. I'm adding another to my case:

"the market can bear" analysis cuts both ways. It suggests polar opposite equilibrium costs. If students insisted, they could drive the costs to the bare minimum, just as law schools insist driving the costs to the greatest maximum. But a proper price can only be one. So, setting the price by what "the market can bear" won't work.

do you even know what equilibrium is?
Have you ever taken an economics class?


What's an economy?

But no, it's a cool point.

Don't you think that if the professors had no other choice, they'd take a pay cut? Yea they would. Let's make um. The market can bear it.

And don't you think that if the students had no other choice, they'd give the professors a pay raise? Yea they would (that in fact is your case). So the market can bear it.

"Illogical, illogical" (in robot voice). You can't have two market prices at the same time. So you don't figure out the market price by asking "what can the market bear."

I give up
Please, do yourself a favor, take a basic intro to economics class

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Re: BC vs. Fordham - IP Law, both sticker

Postby rickgrimes69 » Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:25 pm

manofjustice wrote:"Illogical, illogical" (in robot voice). You can't have two market prices at the same time. So you don't figure out the market price by asking "what can the market bear."


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Price_discrimination

dingbat wrote:I give up
Please, do yourself a favor, take a basic intro to economics class

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Re: BC vs. Fordham - IP Law, both sticker

Postby manofjustice » Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:27 pm

dingbat wrote:
I think, as I've said, a law school is good only to get jobs, and a law school professor contributes to students' getting jobs only by grading exams well.

You mean that teaching students about the law does not contribute to students getting jobs?


Sure it does. Since when do professors get paid for being good teachers? They get paid for publishing a lot and so improving the school's USNWR "peer-ranking" score.

dingbat wrote:
To this end, to grade an exam well, a professor has to recognize what Big Law wants: the top 10%.
Not correct, but does not affect the overall argument
Presumably, to do that, a professor has to have been in the top 10% himself.
open to debate, but a reasonable assumption for discussion purposes
Well, the market rate for graduates in the top 10% is 160K + some bonus. I think professors make way more than that. (Perhaps they start at that rate, but perhaps professorships should be like clerkships: you don't hang around collecting an ever-increasing salary. You do your time and move to Big Law).
Based on your assumption that professors should know what biglaw wants, this should actually be other way around - do biglaw then transition to a professorship.
Practically speaking, it is easier to teach a subject if you have real-world experience with it.

Well that's not the way it is now, so why does law school cost so much. As it is, Big Law probably wants to keep their legal talent billing away and teach legal skills to new associates themselves, as needed.

dingbat wrote:
Speaking of clerkships, if we analogize, we can suggest professors should be paid as much as clerks: after all, if you're good enough to write court opinions for a federal judge, your good enough to recognize the top 10% of law school exams

no, it is not. Ignoring that it's a different skill set, being able to be capable of the top 10% is a requirement for being able to recognize the top 10%, not other way around. Therefore, to recognize the top 10% one would need to be a subset of that 10%, who is not only capable of performing that level of work, but also of spotting it in others

Well yea, of course. But I think common sense suggests that if you can read, you're probably a subset of the 10% who can be the 10% and also recognize the 10%. If you're a federal clerk, presumably you can recognize a good brief, for instance.

dingbat wrote:
Being a Harvard professor would be as prestigious as a federal clerkship. Perhaps "the market can bear" professors making as much as clerks.
Actually, I think there are far more federal clerks as there are harvard professors. That being beside the point, "the market can bear" professors making as much as law schools are willing to pay them. Again, your understanding of basic economic concepts seems to be upside down


What if law schools are willing to pay professors less? Would qualified law professors go away? Well we know that can't be the case: in real dollars, law professors (and Deans, by the way--let's not forget them) made a lot less a mere 10 years ago, in real dollars.)

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Re: BC vs. Fordham - IP Law, both sticker

Postby manofjustice » Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:35 pm

rickgrimes69 wrote:
manofjustice wrote:"Illogical, illogical" (in robot voice). You can't have two market prices at the same time. So you don't figure out the market price by asking "what can the market bear."


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Price_discrimination

dingbat wrote:I give up
Please, do yourself a favor, take a basic intro to economics class


Price discrimination? Now that's actually a really good point. Scholarships may have become more a mechanism of price discrimination this cycle.

But we're getting a little meta here: with respect to one consumer, "what can the market bear" still cuts both ways.

If we go the "what is the value added" route (my route), then we can fix a single price for one consumer, and another price for another consumer. The value for one might be more (say, if he'd be a better lawyer, or has fewer options) than for another. But if the "value" is set by what the single consumer can bear, we still have to ask the corollary question: what can the school bear? And we get the two polar opposite prices.

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Re: BC vs. Fordham - IP Law, both sticker

Postby jenesaislaw » Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:40 pm

Simple question: why are so many people so comfortable with viewing education as a traditional investment?

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Re: BC vs. Fordham - IP Law, both sticker

Postby dingbat » Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:48 pm

jenesaislaw wrote:Simple question: why are so many people so comfortable with viewing education as a traditional investment?

Presumably because it's the easiest way to analyze if it's worth it
We live in a capitalist society, boiling things down to simple economics seems natural.

How else do you want to view it?

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Re: BC vs. Fordham - IP Law, both sticker

Postby manofjustice » Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:52 pm

jenesaislaw wrote:Simple question: why are so many people so comfortable with viewing education as a traditional investment?


My guess? Because people really want to be educated lest they resign themselves to a lower class, so they come up with ways to justify it. Historically, I don't think education was ever viewed as a traditional investment until maybe 10 years ago. Education isn't thought of as an investment below the undergraduate level.

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Re: BC vs. Fordham - IP Law, both sticker

Postby jenesaislaw » Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:56 pm

dingbat wrote:
jenesaislaw wrote:Simple question: why are so many people so comfortable with viewing education as a traditional investment?

Presumably because it's the easiest way to analyze if it's worth it
We live in a capitalist society, boiling things down to simple economics seems natural.

How else do you want to view it?


I should clarify. I meant from the perspective of those who regulate and price education. It is natural to analyze your own decision in terms of "is it worth it?" It sucks that people are so bad at answering the question.

Still, your answer "it seems natural" bothers me. Hopefully it begins bothering other people involved in the future of legal education.

As for how I view it: I view individuals seeking to be educated, not just at the post-undergraduate level, as part of the public interest. Leaving the education of the youngest generation to the whims of profit seekers should discomfort anybody interested in the long-term success of our country, and the people in it (now and later) that we care about.

How about, when we set education policy, we think of the throughput as educated people capable of living a good life and ready to contribute to the public interest?

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Re: BC vs. Fordham - IP Law, both sticker

Postby dingbat » Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:56 pm

manofjustice wrote:
jenesaislaw wrote:Simple question: why are so many people so comfortable with viewing education as a traditional investment?


My guess? Because people really want to be educated lest they resign themselves to a lower class, so they come up with ways to justify it. Historically, I don't think education was ever viewed as a traditional investment until maybe 10 years ago. Education isn't thought of as an investment below the undergraduate level.

Historically education was reserved for the privileged few who could afford it
Later on, those who were ambitious saw it as a way to a better life
So at that point it was seen as an investment.
Fastforward to the current era and it is now not just passively seen as an investment, but it is also analyzed as one.

Below the UG level, education is no longer seen as an investment but as a right (and a requirement)

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Re: BC vs. Fordham - IP Law, both sticker

Postby dingbat » Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:58 pm

jenesaislaw wrote:
dingbat wrote:
jenesaislaw wrote:Simple question: why are so many people so comfortable with viewing education as a traditional investment?

Presumably because it's the easiest way to analyze if it's worth it
We live in a capitalist society, boiling things down to simple economics seems natural.

How else do you want to view it?


I should clarify. I meant from the perspective of those who regulate and price education. It is natural to analyze your own decision in terms of "is it worth it?" It sucks that people are so bad at answering the question.

Still, your answer "it seems natural" bothers me. Hopefully it begins bothering other people involved in the future of legal education.

As for how I view it: I view individuals seeking to be educated, not just at the post-undergraduate level, as part of the public interest. Leaving the education of the youngest generation to the whims of profit seekers should discomfort anybody interested in the long-term success of our country, and the people in it (now and later) that we care about.

How about, when we set education policy, we think of the throughput as educated people capable of living a good life and ready to contribute to the public interest?

This is why, despite the current economic toils, a poor person is more likely to attain the american dream in europe than in america - education is either free or the cost is negligible, so the price of admission to the gentrified professions are not a barrier to entry.

However, as for the public interest part, there are practical considerations. I've heard the economy described as "too many managers, not enough plumbers"
education for the sake of education is all well and good, but if you want members of society to be productive (without defining what that entails) it is important that they are given a practical education that fills needs for jobs.

When we set education policy, it should be designed to maximize jobs, which means encouraging proper diversification. That is, in my opinion, the biggest problem with education in our country.
As has been stated before, law schools graduate nearly twice as many JDs as there are new legal jobs opening up every year.
There are other professions that are chronically understaffed (actuaries come to mind as a profession that has 95%+ employment rates upon graduation)
If we could encourage some of those prospective JDs to become actuaries instead, it would be better for society as a whole
Last edited by dingbat on Sun Jun 03, 2012 3:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: BC vs. Fordham - IP Law, both sticker

Postby manofjustice » Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:59 pm

jenesaislaw wrote:
dingbat wrote:
jenesaislaw wrote:Simple question: why are so many people so comfortable with viewing education as a traditional investment?

Presumably because it's the easiest way to analyze if it's worth it
We live in a capitalist society, boiling things down to simple economics seems natural.

How else do you want to view it?


I should clarify. I meant from the perspective of those who regulate and price education. It is natural to analyze your own decision in terms of "is it worth it?" It sucks that people are so bad at answering the question.

Still, your answer "it seems natural" bothers me. Hopefully it begins bothering other people involved in the future of legal education.

As for how I view it: I view individuals seeking to be educated, not just at the post-undergraduate level, as part of the public interest. Leaving the education of the youngest generation to the whims of profit seekers should discomfort anybody interested in the long-term success of our country, and the people in it (now and later) that we care about.

How about, when we set education policy, we think of the throughput as educated people capable of living a good life and ready to contribute to the public interest?


TIC.

A good way to see education is simply the watering of society's human potential. Let the grass grow before you start cutting it down.

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Re: BC vs. Fordham - IP Law, both sticker

Postby jenesaislaw » Sun Jun 03, 2012 3:02 pm

manofjustice wrote:
jenesaislaw wrote:Simple question: why are so many people so comfortable with viewing education as a traditional investment?


My guess? Because people really want to be educated lest they resign themselves to a lower class, so they come up with ways to justify it. Historically, I don't think education was ever viewed as a traditional investment until maybe 10 years ago. Education isn't thought of as an investment below the undergraduate level.


I submit that it's becoming one now below the undergraduate level, though perhaps only among those already in the middle-upper class and above. Have you ever talked to a parent about why they feel the need to spend $20k on tuition for elementary kids? Or why they need the chance to send their kids to a charter school? I think you're right that it has a lot to do with class, and those with the money now don't want their kids to end up in the lower class. The output these parents use to measure worth of a school involves a mix of SAT scores and college admittances. I wonder how long until it takes a harsher turn.

Note that I am not saying this is irrational or anything like that -- of course they want what they perceive to be best for their kids.

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manofjustice
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Postby manofjustice » Sun Jun 03, 2012 3:10 pm

jenesaislaw wrote:
manofjustice wrote:
jenesaislaw wrote:Simple question: why are so many people so comfortable with viewing education as a traditional investment?


My guess? Because people really want to be educated lest they resign themselves to a lower class, so they come up with ways to justify it. Historically, I don't think education was ever viewed as a traditional investment until maybe 10 years ago. Education isn't thought of as an investment below the undergraduate level.


I submit that it's becoming one now below the undergraduate level, though perhaps only among those already in the middle-upper class and above. Have you ever talked to a parent about why they feel the need to spend $20k on tuition for elementary kids? Or why they need the chance to send their kids to a charter school? I think you're right that it has a lot to do with class, and those with the money now don't want their kids to end up in the lower class. The output these parents use to measure worth of a school involves a mix of SAT scores and college admittances. I wonder how long until it takes a harsher turn.

Note that I am not saying this is irrational or anything like that -- of course they want what they perceive to be best for their kids.


Exactly. Not irrational. Just very bad for society. In that sense we can think of it as a collective action problem: individuals being rational is hurting us all.

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dingbat
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Postby dingbat » Sun Jun 03, 2012 3:11 pm

manofjustice wrote:Exactly. Not irrational. Just very bad for society. In that sense we can think of it as a collective action problem: individuals being rational is hurting us all.

the flaws of a free society....

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manofjustice
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Postby manofjustice » Sun Jun 03, 2012 3:13 pm

dingbat wrote:
manofjustice wrote:Exactly. Not irrational. Just very bad for society. In that sense we can think of it as a collective action problem: individuals being rational is hurting us all.

the flaws of a free society....


We routinely correct collective action problems by legislation. In fact, that's the point of a government and the law.

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jenesaislaw
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Re: BC vs. Fordham - IP Law, both sticker

Postby jenesaislaw » Sun Jun 03, 2012 3:13 pm

dingbat wrote:This is why, despite the current economic toils, a poor person is more likely to attain the american dream in europe than in america - education is either free or the cost is negligible, so the price of admission to the gentrified professions are not a barrier to entry.

However, as for the public interest part, there are practical considerations. I've heard the economy described as "too many managers, not enough plumbers"
education for the sake of education is all well and good, but if you want members of society to be productive (without defining what that entails) it is important that they are given a practical education that fills needs for jobs.

When we set education policy, it should be designed to maximize jobs, which means encouraging proper diversification. That is, in my opinion, the biggest problem with education in our country.
As has been stated before, law schools graduate nearly twice as many JDs as there are new legal jobs opening up every year.
There are other professions that are chronically understaffed (actuaries come to mind as a profession that has 95%+ employment rates upon graduation)
If we could encourage some of those prospective JDs to become actuaries instead, it would be better for society as a whole


And really, this gets to my real concern. It's way inefficient (in a non-technical sense, policy-oriented sense) to send a bunch of people in one direction when another is better for them individually and for the public interest (which when maximized will help the individual). I think energy should be focused here as opposed to whether the current price of education is justified by an IRR analysis. At the individual level, the effects of debt are pretty clear. It reduces social and economic mobility. It depresses people. It makes them act more unethically. The broader impact is less well understood, at least by me. The issue when doing investment analyses, however, is that people do not exist into perpetuity. The short-term matters significantly more on an emotional level and practical level. This is why we see programs like IBR.

I asked the simple question because I felt like you and manofjustice followed each other down the rabbit hole. Your debate was interesting, but in terms of policy setting, not necessarily relevant. And since you were both interested in outcomes, it makes sense that the regulatory layer get its due consideration. We can get a lot more normative there.




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