Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Liberal Way: Making Education Cheaper No Matter What it Costs

“Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon in the sense that it is and can be produced only by a more rapid increase in the quantity of money than in output.”-- Milton Friedman

Whatever else Obama studied at Accidental University, it wasn’t economics.  If it had studied economics, he’d understand that the more the federal government throws money at higher education, the higher the costs are going to go.  The College Board recently released statistics that bear this out.

During the Slight Depression of ‘09 and ’10, when deflation was the problem, state and private universities saw “the largest one-year percentage increase in the constant dollar published price for tuition.”

Published prices climbed almost 6 percent in the 2009-2010 school year over the 2008-2009 period.

“Over the past five years,” writes FoxNews, “the tuition sticker price at public four-year colleges is up 27 percent beyond overall inflation, according to a College Board survey. At private schools, the average student's cost has risen 13 percent beyond overall inflation.”

The culprit is the huge increase in government money made available to students, regardless of their ability to pay back the loan.   Obama created a kind of subprime loan for kids to young too know the difference.

Remember all those Internet ads that told us “Obama wants you to go back to school”?  Obama made a big pile of cash available to wannabe students through direct loans, Pell Grants, work-study programs and tuition tax credits, to… ahem… “low income” families through the stimulus program that brought record college enrollment.

The “low-income” limit to qualify for the tuition tax credit was $80,000 for single filers; $160,000 for joint filers.  Under this definition apparently 90 percent of American families qualified as low income.

"The number of students applying for financial aid increased by 10.5 percent this past year," Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of a website devoted to student aid issues, said in 2009. "That's a record increase. That's 1.4 million additional students.”

So, anywho…yes, tuition prices went up; way up.  Supply and demand, remember?

But here’s the most astonishing thing. I swear you won’t believe it.  Obama says that he wants to fix the mess he made.

“Even as we put more money into the Student Loan Program,” said a teleprompterless Obama in 2010, even as tuition was booming, “we are also trying to reach out to university presidents and administrators to figure out how can we reduce the inflation in higher education -- because the fact is, is that the only thing that has gone up faster in cost than health care is -- guess what. Higher education. And the problem is, if we're not thinking about ways to curve the inflation, then even if we put more money in, what that money is buying becomes less and less. And so trying to find creative ways for universities to do more with less is going to be important.”

Got it?  More money equals more costs, which means that universities are going…to…have to…find…huh?  I guess that what happens when a community organizer tries to explain economics to subprime student loan victims.

Well then, let’s just fast forward to today and look at what he’s come up with to “curve” those costs after consulting with university administrators.

“The average student who borrows for college now graduates owing more than $26,000.  Some owe a lot more than that,” Obama told students in Buffalo yesterday. “It becomes hard to start a family and buy a home if you're servicing $1,000 worth of debt every month.  It becomes harder to start a business if you are servicing $1,000 worth of debt every month, right?”

Right, Mr. President. So what are you gonna do about it?  "We need to rate colleges on best value so students and taxpayers get a bigger bang for their buck," he said.  Huh?

"We need ratings not rankings to give students some guidance about which colleges are producing value," one senior administration official speaking on background before the speech told the UK’s Guardian.

Ratings?  But what about inflation? What about the trillion dollars in student loan debt students have?  Helloooo?

Did they disremember what this speech was about?  Nope.  Costs and interest rates and money supply apparently don’t fit into inflation calculations when you’re community organizing, not economizing.

So prepare for college costs to rise, not fall, and prepare for the final, federal takeover of college education.

Because one thing about liberals: Once they get a bad idea in their head, like "saving money", there’s no stopping them until they impose it on everyone else.  Regardless of cost.


Inclusion Means Excluding White Males

Mike Adams

Dear Chancellor Miller:

On May 9, you announced that you were initiating a process to "rethink" our university's approach to diversity and inclusion. Then, on August 16, you announced that eleven individuals agreed to serve on your Chancellor’s Committee on Diversity and Inclusion. For the following reasons, I find the composition of the committee to be deeply problematic.

1. Your inclusion committee is 0% white male. I have written three books dealing with campus diversity issues. I have been invited to speak on issues of diversity (largely ideological) at 78 college campuses. Over the last ten years, I have written nearly 900 columns, the majority of which have dealt with diversity issues. I am certainly among the most qualified people you could have invited to serve on your diversity committee. But you did not reach out to me. There is but one explanation for this. You have deliberately excluded white males from your discussions of inclusion. If there is a non-racist or non-sexist explanation for the fact that your committee is 0% white male, I'd like to hear it.

2. Your inclusion committee is 82% female. Over a decade ago, our school launched, at taxpayer expense, a new Women's Resource Center. It was strange, given that the student body was then 68% female. Put simply, we need to stop pretending that women are a minority here at UNC-Wilmington. If you want to be inclusive then you should include more men on your inclusion committee. Men are the real minority here at UNC-Women Everywhere.

3. You need to be sensitive to religious diversity. If you do a little quick research on RateMyProfessors.com you will find something interesting. There is one professor you placed on the committee who teaches in the area of religion. A student recently accused him of grading students down for "answering too religiously." The anonymous accusation doesn't amount to guilt. But ask yourself whether Professor Burgh would be on the committee if he were even once accused of race or gender insensitivity, instead of religious viewpoint discrimination. Then think about why this country was established. It wasn't founded on principles of racial or gender identity politics. It was founded on principles of religious freedom.

4. One cannot support both inclusion and domestic terrorism. Bill Ayers was an education professor who used to make pipe bombs for the purpose of blowing up his political enemies. He stopped doing that when some of his fellow domestic terrorists blew themselves up in the process of making one of the pipe bombs. Just a few years ago, one of our education professors signed a petition in support of Ayers, the unrepentant domestic terrorist. You have now placed that professor on the inclusion committee. Of course, we should all agree that blowing up one's political enemies tends to run contrary to the spirit of tolerance and inclusion that you wish to promote. So I would respectfully suggest that you should have appointed a professor who opposes domestic terrorists, rather than one who publicly supports them.

5. There are no white students on your committee. There are two Hispanics and one black student on your committee. One works with El Centro Hispano. One works with the Black Student Union. Oddly, however, you don't have any white students on the committee who also work with the White Student Union, which, of course, does not exist. That's probably why you excluded white students from your efforts to be inclusive. You didn't want any white students asking tough questions like "hey, where's the white student union?" Or "where is El Centro Gringo?"

Your announcement letter continues, saying "We must not waiver in our commitment to create a diverse and inclusive campus environment. I believe most of us agree there is much more to be achieved in these areas." This is just nonsense, Gary. What you are saying here is that you think most people agree with you that there should be more spending in the area of "diversity and inclusion." But you only arrive at such conclusions because people who diverge from your opinion are excluded from your committees, and your circle of influence. That is how bad decisions are made. You should ask students if they are willing to suffer through more tuition increases to fund further expansion of diversity initiatives and see what they say. But make sure you don't exclude all white students from the survey like you excluded them from the committee.

Your letter concludes with your assertion that "It is extremely important that this be a fully transparent and inclusive process." Does this mean you will let me attend the first meeting of your new Chancellor's Committee on Diversity and Inclusion? Additionally, will you let me ask tough questions and publish the committee's answers in my weekly column?

If you won't answer my last two questions in the affirmative, then I ask that you at least be honest about what you're really up to, here. In that case, you could just hang a sign outside your meetings saying "Inclusion in Progress: No White Males Allowed."


The Aussies are just like us, so let’s stop kicking them out

By Boris Johnson (Mayor of London)

It is outrageous that an Australian teacher is deprived of a freedom that Britain  legally confers on every French person

I was giving a speech the other day in Melbourne Town Hall, and at the end someone came up and thrust a long letter into my hand. It was one of those letters that all politicians get – with a problem so seemingly complicated and intractable that the only answer is to smile wanly and invite the supplicant to go down the corridor and knock on the next door of our vast and unfeeling bureaucracy.

Then I read it again, and I realised that her problem was actually rather simple. It was disgraceful. The more I thought about it, the more infuriated I was. She is called Sally Roycroft, and she is a teacher. For the last few years she has dedicated herself to improving the lives of kids in Harringay and Tower Hamlets in London, and she is proud of the results.

She has raised their literacy and numeracy attainments by two notches in six months; attendance levels are good. The children show every sign of wanting to learn from her – and she loves teaching them. Her problem is that in spite of all her efforts she has been effectively kicked out of Britain. What is her crime? That she isn’t French. Nor is she German, or Polish, or Croat, or Italian, or Greek, or Portuguese.

She isn’t a citizen of any of the 27 countries of the European Union. She is Australian; and she has been told to bog off by the authorities in our country because it was, they said, too much of a palaver to go through the business of “sponsoring” her to stay.

That is the infamous consequence, as we all know, of a historic and strategic decision that this country took in 1973. We betrayed our relationships with Commonwealth countries such as Australia and New Zealand, and entered into preferential trading arrangements with what was then the European Economic Community.

This country is now quite properly approaching a renegotiation of that decision, and it is time to review the logic of what we did. When Britain joined the Common Market, it was at a time when the establishment was defeatist, declinist and obsessed with the idea that we were being left out of the most powerful economic club in the world. In those days – when olive oil and garlic had barely appeared on the dining tables of Britain – it was assumed that in order to be “internationalist” it was enough to be European. Well, it is perfectly obvious, in 2013, that that is no longer enough – and that we need to seek a wider destiny for our country.

Thanks in part to the misbegotten euro project, the EU has turned into a microclimate of economic gloom, with colossal unemployment and misery in those many parts of Europe that are being brutally deprived of the safety valve of devaluation. Since 1988, when Jacques Delors and others launched their frantic drive for monetary union, Europe has shrunk in importance and in its contribution to world output – from about 29 per cent to about 19 per cent today; and that is in spite of the considerable expansion of the EU.

There has been growth, to be sure. In fact, the world economy has grown by something like $10 trillion since the global financial crisis began in 2008. But that growth has taken place everywhere else – in Africa, in Asia and, above all, in the very Commonwealth countries that British negotiators so snootily disregarded in 1973.

We need to raise our eyes beyond Europe, forging and intensifying links with countries that are going to be growing in the decades ahead – countries that offer immense opportunities for British goods, people, services and capital. And you could not do better than by starting with Australia.

This is not just a phenomenally beautiful and relatively underpopulated country with stupendous natural resources. By fluke of history it happens to be intimately cognate with Britain. I don’t just mean that we once supplied them with the dregs of the Victorian penal system, or that we have cricket and rugby in common. I mean that we British are more deeply connected with the Australians – culturally and emotionally – than with any other country on earth.

As I walk around Sydney today, I see advertisements for the recipes of Jamie Oliver. I meet people who watch Top Gear, who have fundamentally the same view of the world, basically the same set of assumptions, the same sense of humour, and – though Australians have in many ways adorned and improved modern English – we have the same language.

Apart from anything else, they voted in 1999 not just to remain part of the Commonwealth but to retain Her Majesty the Queen as their head of state.


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