In the story the “new orthodoxy” tells, “prestige competition and gold plating needlessly push up costs . . . which then cuts off access to higher education.” “We think,” Archibald and Feldman conclude, “this story is about as wrong as it is possible to be.” If the important figure is “the difference between income and the cost of college” then “by that criterion there is no national affordability problem” and “talk of a college cost crisis is unnecessarily alarmist.”Fish reveals that some of the talk about a "College Cost Crisis" was started by a report signed by John Boehner. Say no more. If he believes something, it must be wrong.
Anyhow, Fish finds the arguments in the book persuasive because he lived them:
As a dean who encountered the rising costs of personnel, laboratory equipment, security, compliance demands, information systems and much more every day, I knew I had it basically right, but I am happy to ride (belatedly) on the coattails of people who really know what they’re talking about.Of course, I find this book persuasive (again, it falls into the category of a book I have read but not read myself) because it argues stuff that I want to believe--that my profession is not broken. It does not mean this argument is right, but if Boehner is on the other side of it, I am willing to bet that this argument is, at the very least, a bit more reality-based than the tanned one's.