New post at Policy Shop. Excerpt:
Krugman’s response falls into the trap of imagining a past world I sarcastically call the Golden Era of College Accessibility. He is certainly not the only one who has bought into this narrative. Figures all over the left especially have piled on to the idea that there was a time in the recent past when college was a thing for rich and poor alike. They tend to focus, as Krugman does, on the fact that colleges were once less expensive than they are now because they enjoyed higher public subsidies. From there it is assumed that because they were so cheap, poorer people had better access to them. You can certainly understand how that reasoning works. It just happens to be factually wrong.