Via NBC News
Students hitting the college bookstore this fall will get a stark lesson in economics before they’ve cracked open their first chapter. Textbook prices are soaring. Some experts say it’s because they’re sold like drugs.
According to NBC’s review of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, textbook prices have risen over three times the rate of inflation from January 1977 to June 2015, a 1,041 percent increase.
“They’ve been able to keep raising prices because students are ‘captive consumers.’ They have to buy whatever books they’re assigned,” said Nicole Allen, a spokeswoman for the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition.
In some ways, this is similar to a pharmaceutical sales model where the publishers spend their time wooing the decision makers to adopt their product. In this case, it’s professors instead of doctors.
“Professors are not price-sensitive and they then assign and students have no say,” said Ariel Diaz, CEO of Boundless, a free and low-cost textbook publisher.
One component not often discussed is that many, if not most, of those books are authored and/or co-authored by-you guessed it-college professors. Academia is polluted with anti-capitalists who are getting fat off of capitalism. These very same professors are complicit in the skyrocketing costs of education, which they then use to prop up tired wealth redistribution “solutions” for the very problem they created.
In the digital age, there is no sound reason for a college student to be forced to spend $100 or more for something printed on paper. Students all have laptops and Internet access, all the material they need for a class can be made available online at a more manageable cost than a printed textbook.
Maybe the professors getting royalty checks for textbooks can finance Bernie Sanders’ free college plan.