Every year roughly 90,000 men and women receive doctorates in the United States. Of these roughly 19,000 are doctors of medicine, DOs, etc., roughly 45,000 are JDs (lawyers), and the remainder are PhDs, ScDs, and other doctorates.
Something between 60% and 70% of all healthcare spending is by the federal, state, and local governments. Government at all levels employs a lot of lawyers directly and provides various subsidies to lawyers via credentialing and statutory prosciptions against practicing law without a license. I haven’t been able to identify what proportion of PhDs are employed by public institutions but I have been able to identify the number of public degree-offering institutions: there are about three public degree-offering institutions for every private institutions, something like 20,000 in all.
My main question is what’s the relationship between government and higher education? What should it be? Is the government-higher education deadly embrace a self-licking lollipop? I.e. does it produce more people with advanced degrees who demand more government jobs to produce more people with advanced degrees who can then hold government jobs? Or government-subsidized jobs? Over time how can this work? Is higher education a solution to our economic problems or an aggravating factor to our economic problems? Both?