The real danger in state controlled education
Political class wealth redistribution (Part 6)
Last week President Eisenhower’s video recorded in January 1961 warned us against the “unwarranted influence and rise of misplaced power by the military-industrial complex.” The same can be said about public and private education. At the end of the day citizen taxpayers are at the short end of wealth redistribution to senior stakeholders in the military-industrial complex and the academic sector. However the effects are far more reaching with wealth transfer to elitist stakeholders in academia. The U.S. Constitution authorizes little or no interference by government in the affairs of public or private education, but that hasn’t stopped federal, state and local governments from seizing virtual total control of education from start to finish.
There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence but none more revealing than the misdirected priorities marked by the fact that in 39 states the highest paid public employee is either a collegiate football or basketball coach. (Source: Reuben Fisher-Baum, Deadspin, Infographic: Is your state’s highest-paid public employee a coach? (Probably), May 9, 2013). Consider also tuition, room and board and fees paid for scholarship players who are often motivated to play college athletics only as a stepping stone to the NBA or NFL. Billionaire sports team owners don’t need the citizen class to finance their player development programs, nor should they.
The Federal Reserve Bank and most government economists continue to insist that inflation is under control after three rounds of quantitative easing that pumped tens of billions of dollars in liquidity per month into the economy after 2008. Even before the stock market collapse in 2008 inflation in the education sector began to separate from overall consumer price inflation. Since 1985 college tuition and fees have inflated four times faster than that of overall consumer prices. Some economists predicted that would take the average cost of attending a state college to $120,000 by next year (2015). (Source: Gordon H. Wadsworth, Sky Rocketing College Costs, June 14th, 2012) Artificially low inflation reporting, as bogus as it is, is the only argument that supports artificially low interest rates. Those low interest rates are a boon to the political class, not to mention the wealthiest members of society including elitists in academia. Low interest rates benefit the citizen class only at the margins, and certainly not when it comes to financing a college education. OCGJ researched the Wells Fargo student loan program (877.315.7721), and learned that their student loans carry a burdensome 3.5 – 18 percent interest rate depending on the credit rating of a co-sponsor. Of course you don’t have to pay interest until graduation which means you pay interest on the compounded interest. Furthermore university and banking lobbyists have seen to it that student loans cannot be included in bankruptcy filings. This is a perfect storm for parents and grandparents of modest means who want to help out with a college education. While they earn next to nothing on certificates of deposit which used to provide safe, steady retirement income, they have to pay up to 18 percent for student loans for accelerating tuition costs resulting in a huge transfer of wealth to the political class in academia, banking and K-street lobbyists to name a few. And let’s not forget those special favors granted to some well-connected politicians like former Congressman Steve Austria whose children may have received free tuition from an institution of higher learning in the Miami Valley, but that’s a story for another day.
In any case, the long-term financial impact on family and retirement savings is bad enough, but the real devastation occurs when our kids are exposed to a liberal education that stays well clear of critical thinking and creative problem solving skills which are necessary to sort out the controlled deception and misinformation coming from the political class. It’s no wonder that free education for all children in government controlled schools is one of ten planks in Karl Marx’s communist manifesto.