Steven Singer takes issue with a libertarian economist who thinks that education is a waste of time. His post is actually titled “Economists Don’t Know Crap About Education.” Actually, I know some economists who are very knowledgeable about education, such as Helen F. Ladd of Duke University.

Singer writes:

I hate to be blunt here, but economists need to shut the heck up.

Never has there been a group more concerned about the value of everything that was more incapable of determining anything’s true worth.

They boil everything down to numbers and data and never realize that the essence has evaporated away.

I’m sorry but every human interaction isn’t reducible to a monetary transaction. Every relationship isn’t an equation.

Some things are just intrinsically valuable. And that’s not some mystical statement of faith – it’s just what it means to be human.

Take education.

Economists love to pontificate on every aspect of the student experience – what’s most effective – what kinds of schools, which methods of assessment, teaching, curriculum, technology, etc. Seen through that lens, every tiny aspect of schooling becomes a cost analysis.

And, stupid us, we listen to them as if they had some monopoly on truth.

But what do you expect from a society that worships wealth? Just as money is our god, the economists are our clergy.

How else can you explain something as monumentally stupid as Bryan Caplan’s article published in the LA Times “What Students Know That Experts Don’t: School is All About Signaling, Not Skill-Building”?

Singer goes on to lacerate Bryan Caplan’s lack of knowledge or understanding about education. Why should someone with a Ph.D. tell us that education (his, for example) was a waste of time?

What Singer doesn’t stress is that Caplan is an economist at George Mason University, which is funded by the Koch brothers. Please read Nancy MacLean’s “Democracy in Chains,” and you will learn everything  you need to know about the economics department at George Mason University, which is famous for ideas that involve privatizing Social Security, eliminating Medicare, and getting rid of almost every government function.