Should an undergraduate studying business pay more than one studying psychology? Should a journalism degree cost more than one in literature? More and more public universities, confronting rising costs and lagging state support, have decided that the answers may be yes and yes...
Such moves are being driven by the high salaries commanded by professors in certain fields, the expense of specialized equipment and the difficulties of getting state legislatures to approve general tuition increases, university officials say.
And then says:
You wonder why this hasn't happened sooner.
You know I'm all about the market and how the market should decide things, but there are consequences. Since your black/women/gay/chicano studies majors and psychology majors and recreation majors are not going to pay such a fee, more people will go into those fields instead of the more expensive business/engineering/science majors. I'm compelled to ask: do we need more oppressed studies majors, or more business/engineering/science majors? Hmmmmm, tough one.
In the end, though, the market will correct the problem. A glut of oppressed studies and other fuzzy majors graduates will drive down salaries in those fields, while the scarcity of graduates in the more expensive fields will drive up salaries. It's supply and demand--and the market will equalize on its own.
Let's not find ways to perform our own form of social engineering and lower the prices for tougher majors. It may take awhile longer, but the market will resolve this issue in its own way, and far more effectively than we could ever hope to by tinkering.