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Cronies and Wolves and Higher Education

The current Econtalk episode is pretty good. They talk about the future of higher education, in light of the fact that it appears that colleges can, indeed, work online. At least, that's what they now claim, in light of COVID, despite their refusal to move in that direction over the past decade.

The one thing I found a bit disturbing, though: Neither host nor guest mentioned the politicized and cronyism of the accreditation process. They talked for awhile that the time seems ripe for an entrepreneur to offer a whole new college experience that would be rewarding, entertaining, and cost-effective, even indicating they're surprised it hasn't happened yet. They didn't, however, even whiff at the fact that no such entrepreneur could do such a thing because their school, no matter how good, would never get accredited unless it charges high tuition.

It's a scandal of the highest degree in the world of cronyism, but very few people, and no one in the mainstream, talks about it.

What's even more shocking, both of these guys talked about a very popular Econtalk episode last year that focused on cronyism.

An interesting insight pointed out during the college episode: in order for people to agree on a price, they have to disagree on value. It's one of those economic insights that is immediately obvious once you see it. I'm sticking it into my One Things File.

And what's the One Thing File? Ah, dear reader, you didn't listen to my podcast. The One Thing File is a file that contains one (maybe two or three things) I learn from every book, podcast episode, etc. I think it's the idea of A.J. Jacobs, one of the most entertaining nonfiction writers today.

Speaking of the podcast, I have started working on a re-launch, but it's going to be in an entirely different format. I'll keep you posted.

Matt Taibbi, btw, thinks there might be a legitimate concern about Trump and the post office. The problem is, he says, how do you know? It's a case of the boy who cries wolf:

By this week, images of mailboxes became synonymous with voter suppression, and the postal service supplanted the Muslim ban, “kids in cages,” Muellermania, the Brett Kavanaugh fiasco, the campaign to save the job of Jeff Sessions, the Ukraine whistleblower, and a dozen other episodes to become the latest all-consuming Media Fire That Never Dies.