If the concept of wealth is properly expanded to include human capital, not just homes and stocks, it is clear that total wealth has become far less concentrated and more widely dispersed than it used to be. Percentages of narrowly defined wealth held by some top percentile do not begion to capture how much more widespread the ownership of real capital, financial capital and human capital has become. Fewer than 8 percent of those above the age of 25 had a college degree in 1960, but that fraction doubled to no more than 16 percent by 1980 and nearly doubled again to 28% by 2004. Although rewarding investments are never risk-free, investments in education normally pay dividends just a surely as blue-chip stocks do. A much larger fraction of Americans own stock than was true in the past, and a much larger fraction own air-conditioned houses and cars, and a much larger fraction also owns valuable human capital. Wealth has not become concentrated in fewer hands, as some have claimed, but has instead become increasingly dispersed among a widening share of the population.
From Income and Wealth by Alan Reynolds
The more people who get a college degree the less valuable it becomes in the market place. We are finding more people today with a college degree who are doing jobs that were well handled only a few years ago by workers with a mere high school diploma. Part of this is because of a bad economy, but part of this is because we may be graduating too many from college.
Most people value college as a glorified trade school and measure its value by the wage you earn in a job. Without a financial justification for the cost of a college education, higher education could not maintain its overly inflated cost. Those who value an education for its own merits and seek intellectual development beyond what can be measure on a W-2 have a very valid even if it is a minority perspective.