The Value of a Degree

"Gold and silver, like other commodities, have an intrinsic value, which is not arbitrary, but is dependent on their scarcity, the quantity of labor bestowed in procuring them, and the value of the capital employed in the mines which produce them." - David_Ricardo



In economics, the value of an item is very often determined by its scarcity.  As a thing becomes more common, its value drops.  There was a time, not so very long ago when an original model 1863 Remington rifle came free, with a subscription to the NRA Magazine, now they can't be found for less than three hundred dollars.  



An even better example can be found in the Spanish Price Revolution.  Beginning in 1470, gold and silver began pouring into Spain from its colonies in the new world.  Literal mountains of silver were leveled and sent to back to Spain.  As silver became ever more common, its value plummeted.  With frightening rapidity, the silver coin in the average persons pocket lost its buying power.  Inflation at work.



We have spent decades pumping out as many degree holding graduates as possible.  Colleges and Governments incessantly claim that the key to a successful life lies in a diploma.  Much to the detriment of all, this campaign of Collegiate promotion has been largely successful. Today in America almost 40% of the population has a degree, and nearly 70% of high school students become enrolled in College.  These ever-growing percentages show how, like Spanish silver, degrees are becoming more common with each passing year, and thus less valuable. 



As degrees become more common, not only are those currently enrolling being lied to, but it also hurts people who already have their degree.  Like the silver in the pockets of 15th century Spaniards, the diploma on your wall is likely not worth what it was on graduation day.