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A brief question

If you ask most anyone, they will say that a good education -- especially a college degree -- is essential to success in life. And the costs of college has been increasing at several multiples of the inflation rate for decades -- I believe even faster than health care.

So why is it the Democrats want to impose price controls on health care, but want to simply increase the student loan programs and other ways of just meeting the rising cost of colleges? Why is there no national demand for keeping tighter rein on the costs of higher education?


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Comments (30)

Diverting funds to "educati... (Below threshold)

Diverting funds to "education" directly subsidizes a (D)emocrat voting bloc, the NEA and their teachers. 1/2 of the national Union membership is now public employees.

Just as low-interest loans to the sub-prime market drove the housing 'bubble' these fund diversions lead to ever increasing prices for education because these funds artificially inflate the buying power of the purchasers.

Take away the subsidy and prices for education would fall and they would start to offer the product customers want instead of the agenda that is symptomatic of their largesse.

In contrast the medical community, although very liberal, is not reliably partisan. Worse... the funding is not controlled.

So all the (D)emocrats really want is to sieze the source of funding for health care, because they already own the source of funding for education, and therefore own public employees.

You might say... well (R)epublicans are in power sometimes... but...

True (R)epublicans are attempting to privatize, to surrender control to the free market to gain the efficiencies that ultimately benefit everyone.

Illustrating that self-proclaimed Liberals aren't, and that the (R)epublicans, who gave us abolition, women's sufferage and universal public education truly are the standard bearers for our founding fathers.

Even if, most of the time, they suck at it.

What we consider shortcomings in (R)epublicans are valued as attributes among (D)emocrats.

They don't want to negative... (Below threshold)

They don't want to negatively impact their 'footsoldiers'. Who else will indoctrinate future Dems if the professors don't? Their parents? The "School of Hardknocks"? Puh-leeze!

Universities are a bastion ... (Below threshold)
yetanotherjohn:

Universities are a bastion of liberalism. The more money you pour into them, the more you promote liberalism. Because they don't have to function in the real world, the simplistic ideas of the liberals look good. Ideas which turn out to be total failures in the real world can be ignored because there is no consequence.

To answer your question:</p... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

To answer your question:

People are interested in education. But, right now, people feel harder hit by healthcare costs ... sickness and death are very compelling issues.

That's why Americans in general (not just Democrats) put healthcare near the top of their list of concerns.

What Publicus said. <... (Below threshold)

What Publicus said.

Getting dialysis is a life or death issue while getting a B.A. in Russian Literature is not.

Good point, you would thing... (Below threshold)

Good point, you would thing a nation that has to fight to get people into science and math and engineering type positions would try to make it easier for kids to get into college financially.

As with health care, the di... (Below threshold)
Jay:

As with health care, the disproportionately high and increasing cost of college has been caused by government intervention.

What needs to happen is for said intervention to go away, not to be increased, be it in an artificial price cap effort or a "throw on more money" effort.

A couple months back the comparison between the two things crystalized in my mind, so Deb and I have discussed it a good bit since then. Aided more than a little by her oversized student loan being most of the difference between our being solvent enough to keep up with everything and not.

That and plus the grants th... (Below threshold)
stan25 Author Profile Page:

That and plus the grants that professors get to do research. Has anyone really checked to see where that money is really being spent? Hell no. If the money like that was spent on frivolous things like parties, trips and sabbaticals (Does Enron and a few other corporates scandals come to mind here?) by the private sector, the libs would raise total holy hell and demand that investigations and hearing be held. I guess when the shoe is being worn by the right people it is alright to spend taxpayers dollars anyway that they like.

DANEgerus is correct in ide... (Below threshold)

DANEgerus is correct in identifying the leading cause of tuition increases in college as increases in financial aid, but incorrect in identifying the NEA as a driver behind them, as the people who work and teach at colleges and universities are typically not members.

Generally speaking, while not card-carrying union members, college professors and university administrators still are heavily skewed toward the Democratic party and are "reliably partisan", so there is some truth to DANEgerus' observation.

To answer the question of why there isn't a greater national outrage at the double the rate of inflation annual tuition hikes, you have to remember that financial aid insulates the student (or student's family) from paying the full price of the bills. They're not paying anything near the "sticker price" for a college education.

You might be interested to know about a recent change at Eureka College (Ronald Reagan's alma mater). The school did away with its "needs"-based financial aid program and lowered its tuition instead (it went from $18,700 annually in 2004 to $13,000 the next year - it's risen slightly since then.)

Enrollment has increased substantially since then as well, as the school has broken its previous enrollment record set in 1971 last year, although it's still too early to tell if that's a building trend.

you would thing a ... (Below threshold)
Aog Author Profile Page:
you would thing a nation that has to fight to get people into science and math and engineering type positions would try to make it easier for kids to get into college financially.
The flaw in this is that "get into college" is not the same as "get into science / math / engineering". In general, such subsidies encourage students to go to college in other fields, since they have much less concern about getting a job to pay off the cost of their education afterwards. I think we'd see more hard science / engineering students if college loans / grants were entirely eliminated.
Jay, you are right we shoul... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Jay, you are right we should have universal secondary education (including trade schools) for all that want it.

Some things benefit all such as police, military, SS and many other services that our tax dollars pay for. I would add universal healthcare and higher education to that list.

What is wrong with making our nation healthier and smarter?

BG and all the other lefty ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

BG and all the other lefty whiners need to know that taxpayers already PAY for a substantial amount of healthcare for our citizens and non citizens. Also, taxpayers already pay for state universities. What BG and other lefties are saying is: Pay More. ww

"People are interested i... (Below threshold)

"People are interested in education. But, right now, people feel harder hit by healthcare costs ... sickness and death are very compelling issues.

"That's why Americans in general (not just Democrats) put healthcare near the top of their list of concerns."

That answers the question, "Why is there no national demand for keeping tighter rein[s] on the costs of higher education?" But it doesn't address why the government wants to control the cost of one, but subsidize the other.

Online schools are the mark... (Below threshold)
Robert the Original:

Online schools are the market's reaction to inefficient Universities. Sooner or later, the free market will find a way.

Some things ben... (Below threshold)

Some things benefit all such as police, military, SS and many other services that our tax dollars pay for. I would add universal healthcare and higher education to that list. What is wrong with making our nation healthier and smarter?
Good thoughts, Barney, but it is a leap to assume that Universal Health Care (UHC) would actually result in healthier people. After all, even the best insurance plans often balk at paying for preventive health care. If that were the case, people would have discounted gym membership rates, coverage of Weight Watchers memberships, concessions for vegetarians, etc.

At best, any health care system is primed to simply react to the acute need for health care, not create/foster healthy lifestyles. To assume that UHC would result in healthier people is to give medical care a greater level of control over individual choice than is feasibly, or desirably, possible.

Colleges, too, subsidize pr... (Below threshold)

Colleges, too, subsidize professors' extra curricular work too. Do you think an art teacher won't use college materials to create works that he/she sells and keeps the money for? Do you think a professor who goes on the lecture circuit doesn't use the college's computer to compose his/her speeches? Do you think a professor won't use other resources the college provides to earn money other than his/her salary? I'll bet those costs, cumulatively, could be pretty high.

This was pretty informative too.

One possible reason is that... (Below threshold)
Rance:

One possible reason is that universities do not announce quarterly profits. When you have profit, which can be labeled as "obscene" (whether it is or not), it makes it an easier target.

So the same government that... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

So the same government that screwed up LOWER education should be given an equal chance to screw up HIGHER education? Don't you guys have any solutions that DON'T involve taking away peoples responsibility to be grown-ups?

One possible reason is t... (Below threshold)
mantis:

One possible reason is that universities do not announce quarterly profits. When you have profit, which can be labeled as "obscene" (whether it is or not), it makes it an easier target.

Accredited universities are either public or are non-profits. They don't announce profits at all, quarterly or annually, because they don't generate profits.

For-profit schools (Devry, American InterContinental, Phoenix) are in a different category.

Privatize the supposedly "n... (Below threshold)
Matt:

Privatize the supposedly "non-profit" state colleges and universities. Make their finances as transparent as any major corporation. Stop the federal funding of education. That would create colleges/universities that ultimately have to provide a product that the customer wants to buy. You would see curriculums designed around job skills, not esoteric whole person non-sense. The traditional university would still exist, but for those that want it and want to pay for it. Make universities pay the students for reasearch the student does for corporations that pay the universities for research.

All I have is a high school... (Below threshold)
tj:

All I have is a high school ed. and I,m doing just fine thank you. now, tell me again,why MUST you have a collage degree?

Privatize the supposedly... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Privatize the supposedly "non-profit" state colleges and universities.

State colleges and universities are distinct from private, nonprofit universities. I assume you are talking about closing the state schools. That would never happen.

Make their finances as transparent as any major corporation.

They already are, if not moreso in the case of state schools.

Stop the federal funding of education.

Never happen.

That would create colleges/universities that ultimately have to provide a product that the customer wants to buy.

There are already hundreds, if not thousands, of private universities that "the consumer" readily "buys." Further, there are many for-profit schools and vocational colleges out there.

You would see curriculums designed around job skills, not esoteric whole person non-sense.

Yeah, developing an understanding of science and the arts, critical thinking skills and effective communication skills, an understanding of math, history and foreign language(s) is worthless for anyone. Everyone should just learn to stamp out their particular cog. Sally Struthers wants you to learn HVAC repair, baby!

The traditional university would still exist, but for those that want it and want to pay for it.

Skill-specific vocational schools already exist.

Make universities pay the students for reasearch the student does for corporations that pay the universities for research.

This already happens as well.

The answer seem pretty easy... (Below threshold)

The answer seem pretty easy to me.
- For Education the money for increased grants/loans already goes through government hands, so they already have the ability to tap the cash stream for earmarks, pork projects, etc..
- The money for HealthCare is now largely private. Putting controls on it puts it into the government model where the cash stream can be tapped by politicians.
Probably a little oversimplified.

All I have is a high sch... (Below threshold)
mantis:

All I have is a high school ed. and I,m doing just fine thank you. now, tell me again,why MUST you have a collage degree?

There are some professions where you must have a degree (in the literal sense, all professions require this, actually). For instance, you cannot become a licensed nurse, CPA, lawyer, librarian, pharmacist, dentist, or doctor without the requisite education.

Does that mean you can't have a prosperous life and career without a college education? Not by a long shot. It does seem to increase your odds, though.

What BG and other leftie... (Below threshold)
jim:

What BG and other lefties are saying is: Pay More. ww

ww - if, hypothetically, it were possible for taxpayers to pay *less* in taxes for healthcare than they currently are for Medicare + SCHIP + health insurance - would that be something you could support?

"All I have is a high schoo... (Below threshold)
Rance:

"All I have is a high school ed. and I,m doing just fine thank you. now, tell me again,why MUST you have a collage degree?"

Do you want your doctor, nurse, bridge engineer, etc. to have only a high school diploma?

I would prefer that they have some advanced training that they can only get at the college level.

education is a good example... (Below threshold)
RicardoVerde:

education is a good example of what happens when the government throws a bunch of loot at a "problem": inflation.

Just out of curiosity, what would happen if we made health insurance illegal? and what would happen if we doubled the number of MD's practicing?

Why don't we just go with t... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

Why don't we just go with the Republican plan for war, and apply it to healthcare and education? DON'T raise taxes; just do it and don't worry about the money.

I'm against socialized anyt... (Below threshold)

I'm against socialized anything, especially medicine, but it's pretty easy to see why the Democrats are pushing it so hard. Jealousy effects the Left so strongly (it's an ideology totally based on greed and jealousy) that all it takes to keep their voter base in line is point out that someone else in some other nation gets free medical treatment that they never even question whether or not it's really free, or effective, for that matter. It's a hot-button issue only total morons would fall for, therefore the perfect issue for Democrats to be pushing.

Maybe students have failed ... (Below threshold)

Maybe students have failed to write members of Congress since their parents usually pay for their education, and elevate high tuition costs to a national issue status like those writing Congress about high health care costs. Many college students fail to get involved in politics these days. But writing Congress about your concerns is important if you have a responsible elected official who welcomes your views and is not just some stooge of big corporate lobby groups like tobacco or oil.




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