Ten Years Ago: The Cost of Education [10th Anniversary of Economic Update with Richard Wolff]

“Ten years ago, parents and their older children in the United States were agonizing over the costs of higher education. College and university education seemed more and more to be necessary to get the good jobs of the future...Very quickly student debt became the fastest rising kind of indebtedness plaguing the American family.”

Ten years ago, Economic Update began bringing you analysis of the way the economy affects our lives and those of our children. The extreme costs of higher education in the United States certainly will affect ourselves and our children, with debt that shapes our careers, credit and lives.

In this video celebrating the 10 year anniversary of Economic Update, Prof Wolff analyzes what has remained the same about the cost of education these last ten years and what it means for Americans and the country’s economy at large.


“Economics teaches that the most important factor determining the future success (or not) of US capitalism in the world economy is the quantity and the quality of our educated young people: those coming through the higher education system.”

The average person looking to be successful and live a full, enriching life hits a barrier with higher education. Only for the super-rich is college affordable without a lifetime of debt, and those who can’t pay for school must choose a career that enables them to pay back the debt, rather than what society needs or what they are passionate about.

The dramatic rise of higher education costs in the United States is producing a student debt crisis that hangs onto our economy like dead weight- preventing millions from buying homes, healthy food or supporting local economies. The United States is failing its own workforce and economy in the long-run by discouraging higher education and limiting the pockets of their indebted consumers.

“This is a tragedy unfolding. It has to do with hostility to the government; with a system so focused on private profitability, it can't see its way clear to doing what the society as a whole so badly needs. And to say this honestly, and to talk about the kinds of changes that have to be made or the price that will be and is being paid, that's the kind of programming we focus on at Economic Update.

Producing Economic Update has always depended on audience donations. To help us grow for another 10 years, please consider donating to Democracy at Work with a monthly gift. Our monthly supporters are invaluable to us, in that they allow us to plan for the future, and commit to bringing you more Economic Update. Thank you.


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