Wednesday, August 26, 2015

college tuition

This is partly a rant and partly a what the @#$%* is going on post. I was listening to Rush Limbaugh when we were in town yesterday. It's the only time I listen to talk radio. It was a substitute host but he had a guest who discussed what the Republican party in Washington state had done for college students over the objections of the Democratic party.

What he said shocked me enough that I had to go home and double check the basic facts. What he claimed was the Democrats wanted college tuition to be as high as it's been, increasing far faster than inflation, so that they can use the tuition money to fund their pet projects-- like green projects. He said it took Republicans and some fiscally conservative Democrats to get past this road block and do something for the people-- of either party.

He claimed the Democrats in the Legislature and the Governorship wanted the high tuition rates that have made college difficult for many middle class families without taking out big loans. It turned my concept of which party is on the side of the middle class upside down. How could this be and why would liberals favor this kind of unfairness? Aren't the left supposed to be those who want everybody more educated? 

If you had reason to pay attention to the rising costs of college tuition, you would be in shock as I was to see them going up at a far higher rate than inflation and you ask yourself-- why? One reason I heard is that the colleges have gone administration heavy. Administrators often make more money than instructors. Professors, if they want to have tenure, are pushed to get grants from industry, the wealthy, or any kind of research facility who can pay. How good they are as teachers is secondary for how good they are at begging for research funds. It's how we end up with some of these ridiculous studies and everybody is wondering why or how come they needed to research what everyone has taken as common knowledge. Well it's grant money and that mostly goes to the University. 

So what have they been doing with the rising tuition funds, the grant money? Putting it into better instruction? Not so much. It's fancy buildings in some cases, bigger football stadiums in many cases, but also many speciality departments run by-- guess who-- the intellectual elites. So you have not just a Psychology Department but all kinds of secondary issues within psychology with a head for each.  Maybe Democrats are really on the side of the intellectual elites and that doesn't mean John and Mary Doe with their middle class income and four kids who need to get an education.

The cost of a college education has become a national disgrace. There are other countries who fund college for all the students who got good grades. When I went to college, much of the cost of the education was being subsidized by government. Well, it still is but the costs have been allowed to skyrocket so much that not only are the taxpayers but the students paying a high price for what is needed but has been going hog-wild.  And to get a loan, the students have to promise to not go bankrupt, which means they cannot escape the high interest and loan costs that are far more by the time they get a job than they originally borrowed. This is a national disgrace but worse-- short sighted. It leaves the coming generation without a lot of good options. Remember, they will be the ones running things someday. Do we want to close the middle class out of that option? Or have we simply not paid enough attention to what was happening until we have an offspring heading there.

I am impressed by Washington to lower the tuition in their universities by 20% and in their community colleges by 5%. I hope Oregon competitively finds it necessary to follow suit and then the other universities. It's not right that the only way kids can afford to go to college is to join the military, but for a society gung-ho for more wars, I guess it makes sense-- in a sick sort of way.


Ingineer66 said...

Holy cow Rain, keep listening to Marc Stein and soon you will be voting Republcian. Since 1980 private college tuition is up 700% and public college tuition is up 800%. In this time inflation and gas prices are up about 250%. So the liberal elite are the ones screwing the common man. California used to offer a nearly free college education and I think that is part of what made this state so great in the 60's and 70's and even 80's but we have faltered since then.

Ingineer66 said...

Whoops wrong spelling. That was the sports reporter. Mark Steyn covered for Rush yesterday.

Rain Trueax said...

Well, I didn't agree with him on a lot of other things he brought up; so I think I am safe. I think there is blame to go around on the conservatives who aren't and the liberals who don't really care about anybody but themselves. You can't convince me that voting for one of these current right wing candidates would improve our nation, voting for who would take women's freedoms away, who want to block gay marriage, who ignore the reality of why we have immigrants coming here, who would go to war and never pay for it, and only really like the oligarchs who they want to lower their taxes while they raise ours through fees and lack of services we need. That doesn't mean a rightie can't be right once in awhile. As they say-- a broke clock is right twice a day ;)

And I agree with what you said about college. I went ballistic when I found out how high it had gone. It's infuriating. And I am glad a Republican fought for getting some sense to it :) Anybody who is for the common man and real freedom is someone I will like.

Ingineer66 said...

What is funny is that even though he is a nut job, the multi-billionaire Trump seems to care more about the working man than any of the other Republican or Democrat candidates.

Rain Trueax said...

The problem with Trump is what does he stand for? I am not sure at all. What bothers me is how he says he doesn't know what he'd do about this or that but he knows how to hire the right people. And then he says nice things about Sarah Palin... Not comforting.

Ingineer66 said...

If he wants to do anything with Sarah Palin other than go on a tv show with her then he is not as bright as he thinks he is. I think we have plenty of time to find out what he stands for. Obama didn't give any specifics either and he got elected.

Rain Trueax said...

I don't think Trump can even get the nomination. The Republican establishment doesn't want him because he's a wild card. Nobody knows what they'd get. Currently he's got 30% of the Republican party but that means the rest are for someone else. The bad part for me is every other single one of them is an extremist to one level or another. I would, as always, like to think if a Republican won it'd not be a disaster for personal rights, for wars we don't pay for, for those who would thrust their religion onto the rest of us (their definition of their religion), and for the environment.

What I read is that Trump's appeal is he's politically mean and bullheaded. The US voted in a man like that with GW, and it didn't go so well. Another one who didn't really know how to get to what he wanted and had to trust others-- often wrongly. So will that be the case again? More likely it will be one of your religious ideologues. Any of them though will blast away at women's rights in the name of freedom. Listening to any of them talk for more than two minutes is depressing for me :(

Ingineer66 said...

It is kind of depressing that we get religious nut jobs on the right and socialist nut jobs on the left. If we could get a small government (in all ways), fiscally responsible person that would make it easier for people to get good jobs, I think they would be hugely popular.

Rain Trueax said...

I think it'd take a third party to do it and the other two do all they can to prevent that. It would be popular though with the middle.