Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Economic Decisions Are Better Left to Individuals

by Daniel L. Bennett

Edububble has an interesting post up concerning recent statement from ED Secretary Arne Duncan concerning basketball players and college.
Mr. Duncan, who played four years at Harvard, scolded the NCAA and the NBA for letting kids play professional basketball when they’re 19 and then used the “farce” word. Clearly he doesn’t want kids to have a successful career in the NBA without the benefit of four years in college.

This move by the colleges is so self-serving. When the kids are at college, they must play for free because it would somehow be a terrible corrupting crime to give them a cut of what the university gets from the gate and the television revenues. But if they head off the NBA and get a share of the revenues, they’re somehow robbed of the wonderful chance to have a college degree.

This might make sense if the college degrees were really worth that much. This might make sense if dragging a horse’s ass to knowledge will make him think. This might make sense if more humans were drawn to academic pursuits. But none of those facts are true. If a kid doesn’t have a real drive to learn, there’s no reason for him to be wasting everyone’s time in college.
I couldn't agree more. If an extremely talented individual has the opportunity to pursue what he loves and gain economically by doing so, then the government or anybody else should not be authorized to stop him or her. These decisions are better left to the individuals directly affected rather than handed down from some bureaucrat. Professional Athletes have a short career span and spending 4 years or more in college will only diminish their opportunity to make a living doing what they love. They can always enroll in distance education while "employed" or take courses towards a degree during the off-season, or even pursue college after their career, if they so choose to do so. Forcing them to go to college is similar to forcing all actors to go to college before they can star in a movie or tv show, or forcing Bill Gates to complete his degree before allowing him to found Microsoft.

As for the issue regarding colleges benefiting from the low cost labor, Dr. Vedder and Matt Denhart covered that in this WSJ article.


CowboyJoe said...

Nobody, meaning empty shirts like media sock puppets and politicians, care if a kid leaves school to start his own computer company, to work for an advertising firm, sign a record deal, or any other job; they just pop off when an athlete does.

Perry said...

There are no guarantees in life and if an opportunity should be available and a kid does not take advantage of it he may never get it again. In sports an injury can happen at any time or place (college included). Kids make the best of your opportunities, educational oportunities can come later