|Postmodernism||The Real Long War|
by Christopher Chantrill
July 22, 2007 at 12:50 pm
A RISING tide lifts all boats. Thats what President Kennedy said in a happier time when he lowered tax rates.
But what about the rising tide of education subsidies? Last week the House of Representatives passed the College Cost Reduction Act of 2007 by a vote of 273-149.
"This bill is a remarkable step forward in our efforts to help every qualified student go to college," said Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., chairman of the education and labor committee and author of the legislation, in a statement. "With this bill, we are saying that no one should be denied the opportunity to go to college simply because of the price."
The bill increases Pell Grant limits, provides that graduates wont have to pay more than 15 percent of discretionary income in repayments and provides loan forgiveness for certain public servants after ten years and for everyone after 20 years. This will all be paid for by a reduction in subsidies to student loan lenders.
Of course, with more money sloshing into colleges theres a risk that some colleges might increase tuition. The bills sponsors have thought of that. Heres how Yahoos Anya Kamenetz describes their plan:
Starting in 2011, any college with high, outlying tuition increases would have to submit a report to the education secretary explaining why. After two consecutive years, the college would be placed on affordability alert status.
It doesnt take rocket science to see where all this will end up. It will encourage people to minimize payments on their student loans. It will encourage twentysomething slackers to put off the day when they grow up and get a real job. The reduction in subsidies to the student loan industry will wash through into higher payments for students. And the affordability alert status is a joke.
The beautiful thing about subsidies, from the point of view of an experienced political practitioner like Rep. Miller, is that they make people more dependent on the government. When you jack up the price of college with subsidies then more and more people find that they have to turn to the government for help in paying for their education.
Eventually the rising tide of subsidy puts everyone out of their depth.
Its the system that FDR set up in the 1930s, as Amity Shlaes points out in The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression. Politics had always catered to interest groups, of course.
But Roosevelt systematized interest-group politics... to include... labor, senior citizens, farmers, union workers. The president... ministered to those groups, and was rewarded with votes.
Schlaes observes that Roosevelts great landslide of 1936 was the year that peacetime federal spending first exceeded state and local spending. It was that fateful year that created the entitlement state and the central reality of politics today.
While Rep. Miller is flooding higher education with more subsidies teacher Nancy Coppock of Texas reminds us millions of students are out of their depth when it comes to basic literacy. Yet more money is not the answer.
Teaching reading is practically free. I used [a] class set of paperback young adult literature which cost between $75 to $125 per set, which were used year after year. The true value came from my own heart and soul.
As a special-ed reading teacher Nancy has a more down-to-earth view of education than Rep. George Miller.
[T]he best thing I could do for mid- to below-average students, many minority and poor, was to make sure they could read to the best of their ability.
The crisis in education is not that price is scaring kids away from college even though, to a member of the academic middle class, life without a college education is scarier than a Stephen King novel.
The crisis is not even the scary education spending numbers for 2007 from usgovernmentspending.com:
United States Federal, State,
and Local Government Spending
Fiscal Year 2007
Amounts in billions of dollars
|Spending: actual, budgeted, estimated, guesstimated|
The crisis is that the government spends $469.8 billion on K-12 education every year yet millions of mid- to below-average students dont ever learn to read.
You cant help feeling that somewhere out there in that $792.3 billion-a-year EducationLand someone just doesnt care about kids.
Buy his Road to the Middle Class.
But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie
that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison
Civil Societya complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churchesbuilds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust
Tear down theory, poetic systems... No more rules, no more models... Genius conjures up
rather than learns... Victor Hugo
César Graña, Bohemian versus Bourgeois
We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.
E. G. West, Education and the State
When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of agesthey seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.
Finke, Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990
When we received Christ, Phil added, all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh
A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is merely relative, is asking you not to believe him. So dont.
Roger Scruton, Modern Philosophy
As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable...
[1.] protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death; [2.] recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family... [3.] the protection of the right of parents to educate their children.
Pope Benedict XVI, Speech to European Peoples Party, 2006
At first, we thought [the power of the West] was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity.
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing
But the only religions that have survived are those which support property and the family.
Thus the outlook for communism, which is both anti-property and anti-family, (and also anti-religion), is not promising.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit
Conservatism is the philosophy of society. Its ethic is fraternity and its characteristic is authority the non-coercive social persuasion which operates in a family or a community. It says we should....
Danny Kruger, On Fraternity
Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism