Friday, April 19, 2013

The Bad Investment Of College

     President Obama and other Democrats use what they call, "the necessity of investing in our future", as a reason to spend almost a hundred billion dollars a year of taxpayer money to send as many young adults to college as possible. They pull at the heart strings of a gullible segment of the population by telling them that taxpayer funded college is the only way that lower income students can possibly attend. This myth is easily dispelled with something called, the facts. But a Leftist will never admit he is wrong, even in the face of overwhelming supporting evidence. And Ronald Reagan once said that the closest thing we have to eternal life on earth is a government program, because once began, it never ends. They also never get any smaller, but require more taxpayer dollars every year, whether they need it or not.
     Since the 1970s, when PELL grants were established (ostensibly to give poor kids a chance to attend college) the percentage of students graduating college who are from families that occupy the bottom 20% of income earners in this country has decreased. Fewer of the poor are graduating, and because of government subsidies to universities, the cost of college tuition has skyrocketed into the stratosphere. This has made it even more difficult for low-income and even middle-income students to attend college. And what have the universities done with the extra cash picked from the pockets of hard-working taxpayers that they do not need (many colleges receive enough from alumni donations and investments that they could run their schools without a dime of tuition being collected), they have given professors smaller class sizes and schedules and increased their salaries exponentially. They have also built new buildings they do not need with expensive toys like climbing walls. The universities have, in essence, used taxpayer money to give academics a gilded life-style with very little work. Many professors have a gaggle of teaching assistants that carry the load while the professor writes books that he then requires students to purchase for his class that he doesn't teach.
     Democrats and Leftists like Barack Obama love to proffer the false notion that everyone should go to college. But the overall drop out rate is 49%, and among the low income students it is as high as 60%. This accounts for tens of billions of taxpayer dollars that will never be paid back. Even among those who do graduate college, there are significant numbers who are working jobs that do not require an expensive college degree. According to the labor department, there are 115 thousand janitors with bachelor degrees and over a million retail workers similarly educated. Also, fifty percent of college graduates are unemployed or under-employed, and there will be millions of good paying jobs in the next 10 years that do not require a college education.
     The desire for equality above everything else is the driving force behind the Lefts insistence that everyone attend college, and that the taxpayers of this country finance it through higher taxes. Do not mistake what I am saying, I think for some people college is appropriate, but many do not fit the Lefts cookie cutter view of the world. There are plenty of alternatives to college that result in the ability to make a good income. Trade schools and apprenticeships are just two of the options open to those who do not fit into the college mold of the Left. With government subsidies driving the cost of college higher every year, a drop out rate close to fifty percent and an ever increasing number of graduates not benefiting from their degrees, college is one investment we should remove from our nation's portfolio.

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