“If everybody acquires a better education my better education will not mean much.”

From http://jonjayray.tripod.com/overed.html:

“Even outside the humanities it is possible that we might be overeducated. This is particularly so in those increasingly frequent cases where supply leads demand.

This comes about because many people, quite realistically, see education as the key to advancement in life. They therefore want to get a better education for themselves or for their children. For this reason they support political moves to make education free and more widely available.

There is a fallacy of composition involved here, however. If everybody acquires a better education my better education will not mean much. When competing to get the best jobs I will be no better off in comparison with others than I was before.

What has happened is that the standard required to have a chance of getting a particular job has risen. In future, no-one will get such a job unless society has made a bigger and bigger investment in his education.

Where once the completion of primary school was sufficient qualification for me to become a clerk in the Public Service, the Public Service is now even employing university graduates as clerks. Where does the spiral stop? How long will it be before even the garbage man has to have a university degree?”

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