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Old 12-02-2012, 01:57 AM
If we expect people to take care of themselves, rational economic behavior will lead people to choose fields of endeavor where they can earn enough to take care of themselves. If we encourage people to do what they want in the expectation of having the rest of the society take care of them, we'll have a lot of people preparing for jobs that don't exist. There probably aren't that many people who really consider plumbing glamorous or exciting. It's literally a shitty job, but if you've hired a NY plumber recently, you know that people can make a decent living at it. The labor market is and it should be like every other market. Supply and demand lead to prices; prices channel resources.

Economically, if the cost of preparing for a certain job outweighs the benefits, what does that say about the supply-demand balance in that field? If people who study computer science, electrical engineering, or accounting can demand enough for their labor to service their student debt, but people who study medieval philosophy can't, does that tell us something? Do we want to use subsidies to foster a misallocation of resources, or do we want to use the signals from the market to make rational adjustments?

What's the alternative, everybody does what he or she wants, and he or she gets paid because everybody should be able to do what he or she wants? Get ready for a boom in the professional sit on the couch, drink, play video games, watch sports and porn and masturbate field. Woo hoo!
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