The Liberal Arts education: A recipe for poverty?

In today's New York Times, Patricia Cohen explored the growing perception among university students and administrators that the humanities are of questionable value in a world where technological advancement is the measure of progress and economic stability. As she noted, many universities are reducing or eliminating their humanities classes, and students are increasingly moving (or getting pushed) toward more useful, vocational majors.

When I was a university instructor, I regularly had to deal with this perception, and it often reminded me of a scene from Four Weddings and a Funeral. One character, explaining why he didn't go to college, states "When you're working in the money markets, what use are the novels of Wordsworth?" A portion of my brain, which I call "the asshole English teacher" always sneered at this remark. After all, Wordsworth wrote poems, not novels, and if this boor had gone to college, he'd damn well know that!