I have an article in Salon on how the law school mess is an early warning signal for a system of higher education that is ultimately unsustainable, given the economic base from which its ideological superstructure (i.e., the axiomatic claim that educational debt is good debt) rises.
In the short term, lots of institutions are banking (literally) on young people continuing to play a losing game because of poor information and -- even more crucially -- a widespread belief that with no apparent good alternatives, it makes sense to roll the dice by buying radically overpriced credentials, in the hope that something will work out.
The other day, in the context of an argument about law school budgets, I heard the head of an admissions committee say with perfect complacency that there really wasn't much to worry about, because after all, what were these kids going to do, become investment bankers? This remark elicited an equally complacent chuckle from many of his colleagues.
At that moment I had, perhaps for the first time in my life, a visceral sense of exactly why revolutions tend to be so violent. Not, of course, that I believe the lost generation is likely to head for the barricades any time soon. But if something cannot go on forever . . .