Articles by Steven Pressman
From our top blogs of 2015: Nothing has risen more quickly than the cost of going to college, our visiting research fellow, Steven Pressman, wrote in August. He discusses whether it is still a worthwhile investment.
Eighty years ago this week — on August 14, 1935 — President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act. It created a national old-age retirement program in the United States for the first time. It was an investment that continues to pay dividends even today.
The cost of attending a four-year college in the United States has increased sharply of late, from around $3,500 in the early 1980’s to around $24,000 for this upcoming academic year. Since 1980, nothing has increased in price more than college. Not health care. Not gasoline. Not housing.
Median household income has remained stagnant over the past quarter century, when controlled for inflation. With rising needs like cell phones, computers and cable TV, many U.S. households have had to go into debt to maintain a middle-class standard of living. This has provided a boost to the overall economy, because consumer spending makes up nearly 70 percent of total spending. As consumer spending goes, so goes the U.S. economy. But there is a problem with this solution.
A common put-down of economists is that they know the price of everything but the value of nothing. This pithy comment encapsulates two very different views of money, and can be helpful in understanding how to resolve the Greek financial crisis.