Saturday, April 16, 2011
Peter Thiel on College
Peter Thiel: We’re in a Bubble and It’s Not the Internet. It’s Higher Education.
"I can say that with confidence because it’s about Peter Thiel. And Thiel – the PayPal co-founder, hedge fund manager and venture capitalist – not only has a special talent for making money, he has a special talent for making people furious."
"Instead, for Thiel, the bubble that has taken the place of housing is the higher education bubble. A true bubble is when something is overvalued and intensely believed,” he says. 'Education may be the only thing people still believe in in the United States. To question education is really dangerous. It is the absolute taboo. It’s like telling the world there’s no Santa Claus.”"
"Like any good bubble, this belief– while rooted in truth– gets pushed to unhealthy levels. Thiel talks about consumption masquerading as investment during the housing bubble, as people would take out speculative interest-only loans to get a bigger house with a pool and tell themselves they were being frugal and saving for retirement. Similarly, the idea that attending Harvard is all about learning? Yeah. No one pays a quarter of a million dollars just to read Chaucer. The implicit promise is that you work hard to get there, and then you are set for life. It can lead to an unhealthy sense of entitlement. “It’s what you’ve been told all your life, and it’s how schools rationalize a quarter of a million dollars in debt,” Thiel says."
By the way - a the full price of a Harvard Education today is much more than a quarter million dollars.