Blog comment to the Chronicle at: http://chronicle.com/article/Are-Too-Many-Students-Going-to/49039/
It seems to me that the undertone of this entire discussion is that the public (high-school) education is so bad. Public education should be able to produce an educated-enough public to participate in its own government, because otherwise, only a small minority of college-educated people will be able to do so.
In any case, it seems to me that there is little difference between the real estate agents convincing people who want to buy a house that it is worth the investment when those agents know that chances are, it will not be (i.e. the housing dabacle) and convincing someone that spending tens of thousands of dollars for 4 years to get a B.A. in English or Art will give them a vocation that they can live on comfortably.
People spend money for higher-education to get a better job, but higher-education as it is today is still based on a world that has always existed for the very few: a world dominated by the old, gentlemanly idea that “sonny-boy” should get some kind of “higher education” so that he he has enough culture to rise above the hoi-polloi when he enters and eventually takes over daddy’s business.