On top of that, few people use any part of the education they receive in their day to day or even work lives after graduation.
Most degrees exist solely to make HR easier, specifically hiring. If you get 1000 resumes for 10 jobs, it is easy to just filter out all the applications without a degree, then look through the rest for someone worthwhile. This bullshit applies to grad degrees also - I had a policy research job for 5 years after my MA, and nobody ever asked me so much as what subject my degrees might be in. I spent a lot of time, effort and no small amount of money for 2 letters on my resume just to open a door.
It would probably be better for the employer to think carefully about exactly what they want from an employee, then come up with a way to recruit those people - regardless of credentials. But that would be costly in the short-term (though probably not the long-term) and would require a willingness to assign sufficient resources to doing it. Few are willing.
As a result we get an explosion in meaningless credential farms, complete with burgeoning debt, job lock and all the rest. A few generations unable to take risks or innovate in any meaningful way because of crushing debt loads will help ensure the (relative) decline of the countries that have decided that credentials are more important that skills while simultaneously deciding that said credentials should be very expensive to acquire. Lunacy.
Of course, the progeny of the rich won't have that problem, and can afford to take those unpaid internships at the end as well. So no problem I guess.