I feel I have neither the time nor patience for this anymore, but then I also feel that if I don't address these things, someone else has to, so…
Some liberal idiot (pardon the redundancy) who goes by the name Joan Walsh, in a commentary in which her main point is that Obama's not as great a communicator as she thought (who knew?), makes this fantastic statement:
Why, when post-secondary education is essential in this economy, are most families on their own when it comes to paying for college? Secondary education is awesome, isn't it? Can you imagine this country without it? But isn't it time to think beyond that? Why isn't K-16 or so an American entitlement?
And remember, writing for Salon, she's probably one of the liberal intelligentsia…
Because there's so much wrong with her question that it becomes a daunting task to even begin to address it, Luckily, I'm feeling "awesome" today.
Which is where we begin: any commentator who uses "awesome" in her commentary is awesomely bad, and none of what she says then should have any credibility whatsoever.
So I'm done.
Unfortunately, liberals aren't. I bet the average left-leaner reading that says, "Right on!" or whatever recycled phrase from the fifty and sixties is currently in vogue. And that means they, and by "they," I'm thinking the likes of Queenie, and John, and Snowy and his band of lesser Australians…
Not only does making college an entitlement automatically raise the cost and/or lower the quality depending on how that entitlement is structured, but it creates all kinds of possible scenarios with bad endings.
For example, what about those who don't want to take advantage of their entitlement which they or their parents are partially paying for through their taxes? Do they feel cheated?
Well, as one who went to Catholic schools, and who has no known children of his own, I can tell you that I'm very hostile that I've had to pay so much for other people's rotten education. And it was even worse for my parents because they had to pay for others' education and pay for mine too…
And clearly, there's a question whether they got their money's worth on both ends.
But the bigger problem with Walsh's the novel concept is the adding of an enormous entitlement to a financial collapse. She thinks it would actually help improve things? Clearly, she's never had a course in economics… or read anything other than People.
In fact, the current "entitlement spending" for college has been a factor (perhaps THE MAIN factor) in greatly increasing the cost of a college education and depriving some people from getting one, while at the same time degrading its quality.
Let's take the college loan program – please! People who couldn't afford college get money they can't afford to repay at the moment, and then they head off to school. But if that money wasn't there, what would happen? Well, for one thing, less people would be able to go to college – at the time. They might have to work for a while or, yes, not go at all.
People on the left think this results in an undereducated society, but it doesn't at all. In fact, it results in -lowering- the cost of college and people who really want to go will find a way. Not everyone of course, and that's where liberals find their rallying point. :If one deserving person can't get the education he desires, then we're all diminished."
The counter to that argument is that if everyone who goes to college gets a better education at reduced cost, then we're all enhanced.
But how does that happen? It's not that hard to understand – unless you're liberal.
When less people buy something, the price goes down, and the people selling that product look for ways to entice you to buy their brand – through lower costs, better quality, more value…
But when a school gets subsidies, either directly from the government or through student loans, not only is there less incentive to improve their product – the education a person receives, but they can charge more for it – simply because there's more money available for it. So if, say, tuition is a thousand dollars, and government subsidizes five hundred of it, then lets charge $1200, administrators say. We win and students win. True, the taxpayer loses, but there's a lot of them and no one knows who they are.
Besides, you get more college educated kids, so everyone wins. They don't realize or they don't care that the subsidy decreases the "excellence factor" in a number of ways.
An so, mediocrity costs more, and those costs are both visible in terms of dollars and hidden in terms of the lack of quality. It is never the case that subsidizing education gets better results. And in fact, we're seeing that the home-schooling phenomenon demonstrated just the opposite.You would think that students who have the advantage of being taught by "professionals" would be better educated. Instead they are being cheated. And most of them will never recover.
For evidence of the sort of thing I'm talking about, look at what's happening right now with the economy – prices are being slashed as consumer spending pulls back… and it's creating buying opportunities… like in the case of vacation travel.
Now it's true that there are real people paying the price for this in terms of lost jobs, but if the government would just leave things alone rather than try to create artificial demand through the 'stimulus," markets would equalize. Then things would start to improve and jobs would be added. meanwhile, costs would remain lower than before because of a reluctance to raise them as well as the reduced credit availability and other factors.
Then we would have a society based far more on the market than it has been. No it is true that those who benefit from this reordering will be different in some cases from those who benefited under the current system, but liberals will argue that there will also be less people who benefit.
That is unknowable, but the fact remains that a system based on supply and demand, a system that is not distorted by public monies and unnecessary restrictions will eventually benefit all of us far more than government manipulation does, and it will be fairer and more efficient.
But you won't be able to convince the Walshes of the world that this is the case… which is another reason why a college education is more or less useless to them.