Monday, August 24, 2015

Why are College Tuitions So High and Getting Higher?

Quickly on the heels of the release “Love Gov” -- the Independent Institute’s satirical videos series on meddlesome government -- a new study from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York concludes that federal aid to college students raises the cost of higher education.
Many observers have been puzzled by the relentless increase in tuitions charged by private and public schools alike -- at a growth rate greater than that of any component of the consumer price index, including health care. Some blame the price increases on the greed of campus administrators. But that assessment is an unfair oversimplification that fails to ask: what has enabled schools to hike tuitions so much?
Most U.S. colleges and universities, whether public or private, operate as not-for-profit entities, but that doesn’t mean they are run like charities indifferent to the bottom line. If the tuition at a school is, say, $10,000 per year, and some third party finances half that amount by providing a scholarship or low-interest loan, it’s wishful thinking to believe that the student will then pay only $5,000 per year. That conclusion would follow only if the tuition charge remains unchanged – and that outcome is only a pipe dream.
An economically rational college administrator will want to raise the tuition sticker price to as much as $15,000 per year, so as to capture some or all of the third-party payment, while leaving the student’s out-of-pocket cost the same. That way the school gets the extra money that has become available, but it doesn’t risk driving away cost-conscious applicants for admission.
Where does that extra $5,000 go? If history is any guide, precious little goes to current faculty salaries or the hiring of additional teachers (which would reduce average class sizes). Instead the money is allocated to expanding the school’s administrative staff – more assistants to the president or provost, and to more college bureaucrats with little or no classroom teaching responsibilities. Although these staffers surely will defend their positions vigorously, they contribute indirectly at best to the instructional, research, and service missions of their institutions.
All of this is made possible, of course, by the prevailing (and unquestioned) assumption that public subsidies of four-year post-secondary degrees are essential for young people to succeed in an ever more technical, globally competitive economic environment. In reality, the modern workplace does not necessarily need all of its workers to possess a baccalaureate degree. Warehouse workers and retail employees, for example, no longer need to be especially literate or numerate to parse paper manifests or maps. They instead can rely on bar codes and GPS devices to deliver customers’ orders.
Public policies that promote ever wider access to America’s colleges and universities, which remain among the world’s best, also have opened the door to students unprepared by our failed K-12 public schools to meet the academic demands necessary to earn a college diploma. Remediation of those educational deficiencies now absorbs inordinate college faculty attention, leads to the offering of degrees in undemanding majors, and threatens to devalue undergraduate educations to the level of high-school diplomas.
Many students meanwhile leave school laden with mountains of debt. Because much of the more than $1 trillion in outstanding loans is federally guaranteed, taxpayers are on the hook for repayment if the borrowers default.
The time is long past to end taxpayer subsidies to institutions of higher education and to restore market pricing and market discipline to America’s colleges and universities. A post-secondary education is a privilege, not a right for which everyone qualifies or merits.  
William F. Shughart II, research director at Independent Institute, is J. Fish Smith Professor in Public Choice at Utah State University’s Huntsman School of Business

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Some of Hillary's Greatest Accomplishments

When Bill Clinton was president, he allowed Hillary to assume authority over a health care reform. Even after threats and intimidation, she couldn't even get a vote in a democratic controlled congress. This fiasco cost the American taxpayers about $13 million in cost for studies, promotion, and other efforts.
Then President Clinton gave Hillary authority over selecting a female attorney general. Her first two selections were Zoe Baird and Kimba Wood – both were forced to withdraw their names from consideration.

Next she chose Janet Reno – husband Bill described her selection as “my worst mistake.” Some may not remember that Reno made the decision to gas David Koresh and the Branch Davidian religious sect in Waco, Texas resulting in dozens of deaths of women and children.

    Husband Bill allowed Hillary to make recommendations for the head of the Civil Rights Commission. Lani Guanier was her selection. When a little probing led to the discovery of Ms. Guanier’s radical views, her name had to be withdrawn from consideration.

   Apparently a slow learner, husband Bill allowed Hillary to make some more recommendations. She chose former law partners Web Hubbel for the Justice Department, Vince Foster for the White House staff, and William Kennedy for the Treasury Department. Her selections went well: Hubbel went to prison, Foster (presumably) committed suicide, and Kennedy was forced to resign.

    Many younger votes will have no knowledge of “Travelgate.” Hillary wanted to award unfettered travel contracts to Clinton friend Harry Thompson – and the White House Travel Office refused to comply. She managed to have them reported to the FBI and fired. This ruined their reputations, cost them their jobs, and caused a thirty-six month investigation. Only one employee, Billy Dale was charged with a crime, and that of the enormous crime of mixing personal and White House funds. A jury acquitted him of any crime in less than two hours

  Still not convinced of her ineptness, Hillary was allowed to recommend a close Clinton friend, Craig Livingstone, for the position of Director of White House security. When Livingstone was investigated for the improper access of about 900 FBI files of Clinton enemies (Filegate) and the widespread use of drugs by White House staff, suddenly Hillary and the president denied even knowing Livingstone, and of course, denied knowledge of drug use in the White House. Following this debacle, the FBI closed its White House Liaison Office after more than thirty years of service to seven presidents.

  Next, when women started coming forward with allegations of sexual harassment and rape by Bill Clinton, Hillary was put in charge of the “bimbo eruption” and scandal defense. Some of her more notable decisions in the debacle was:
   • She urged her husband not to settle the Paula Jones lawsuit. After the Starr investigation they settled with Ms. Jones.

  • She refused to release the Whitewater documents, which led to the    appointment of Ken Starr as Special Prosecutor. After $80 million    dollars of taxpayer money was spent, Starr's investigation led to    Monica Lewinsky, which led to Bill lying about and later admitting his    affairs.

   • Hillary’s devious game plan resulted in Bill losing his license to practice law for lying under oath to a grand jury and then his subsequent impeachment by the House of Representatives.

   • Hillary avoided indictment for perjury and obstruction of justice during the Starr investigation by repeating, “I do not recall,” “I have no recollection,” and “I don’t know” a total of 56 times while under oath.

    After leaving the White House, Hillary was forced to return an estimated $200,000 in White House furniture, china, and artwork that she had stolen.

  Now we are exposed to: the destruction of possibly incriminating emails while Hillary was Secretary of State and the “pay to play” schemes of the Clinton Foundation – we have no idea what shoe will fall next. But to her loyal fans – “what difference does it make?”

Author Unknown