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The Two-Edged Sword of Asians and Education

It was 6:30 AM on a Saturday morning. Five-year old Tommy looked up from his Chinese homework and protested:
"But mom why do I have to study?"
Ai-Ling looked down and as she stroked Tommy’s hair affectionately, looked out the window at the sunrise and said: 
"Tommy, studying is about learning. Learning is the greatest beauty. Some day you will attend an Ivy League school, take literature classes, and immerse yourself in the work of giants. Your mind will expand and grow as far as the horizon, like the radiance of the sun rising into the sky."
The preceding sentence has never been uttered in an Asian* household. And yet I’m certain the scene of early morning studying has been replayed often.
This the premise of Bryan Caplan’s book, The Case Against Education: Why the Education System is a Waste of Time and Money, that education is anywhere from 30-80% signaling. Signaling is communication. Education communicates to employers that you’re suitable for the employment. …

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