Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Latest Ride of the White Knight

Having helped create the bubble in college education cost, President Obama rides in to save the day by targeting colleges with a vague, capricious threat if they don't behave as he would have them.

The “We Can’t Wait” President has targeted another enemy of Obamaland – colleges.  During a speech at the University of Michigan, President Obama, threatened colleges that the USG would withhold federal aid if they failed to achieve some undefined standard of fairness and cost containment. 

His comments yesterday were consistent with Obama's  fundamentally dark vision of America, one characterized by systemic, chronic income redistribution, class warfare and "shared" sacrifice.  Specifically, to realize this vision, worthy of Sauron of Mordor, is the the need to make more and more American’s dependent on the government.  After all, it is impossible to control free men.  So, if people would otherwise be free, then change the environment and find a way to make them dependent on the government.  As reported in 49% of Americans now live in homes where at least one person receives a federal benefit.

Admittedly, much of the anger during the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) was somewhat incoherent, but one message came through loud and clear.  Many students, burdened with crushing student loan debt, recognized that they were sold a bill of goods by the USG pushing higher education as shamelessly as the USG pushed homeownership on people patently unable to afford a house.  I know, I know, “Cowboy up”, get up and work, but the fact remains, the USG was more than an innocent bystander in the bubble formation at our colleges.

Apparently, among his many talents to set prices for healthcare, student-loan rates, the value of the minimum wage, President Obama also knows how much a college education should cost and is willing to use the coercive power of the government in order to impose his will.  After all, he can’t wait.

"We're putting colleges on notice: you can't assume that you'll just jack up tuition every single year. If you can't stop tuition from going up, then the funding you get from taxpayers each year will go down." 

Here’s the five-step model Obama is using (not just in the college cost space):

Step 1:  Convince very American he / she has a right to a college education even if they can’t afford it.

In a speech on the campaign trail in Sept 2008, Senator Obama declared:

“My plan calls for giving every child a world-class education from the day they're born until the day they graduate from college.” …

“…It's also a plan that will finally put a college degree within reach for anyone who wants one … We have to make sure that every young person can afford to go to a public college or a university if they've got the will, if they've got the grades.”

"What matters, then, isn't what you do or where you live, but what you know. When two-thirds of all new jobs require a higher education or advanced training, knowledge is the most valuable skill you can sell. It's not only a pathway to opportunity, but it's a prerequisite for opportunity.”

Step 2:  Convince students and their parents that they must go to college if they are to succeed. Use words like “investment” to make the decision to go to college a well-calculated  business decision.

“Today, the unemployment rate for Americans with a college degree or more is about half the national average.  Their incomes are twice as high as those who don’t have a high school diploma.  College is the single most important investment you can make in your future.”

Step 3:  Corner the market on student loans and use the threat of higher loan rates as a way to pose as the White Knight protecting poor, defenseless students.

“Thanks to the hard work of Secretary Duncan, my administration is increasing federal student aid so more students can afford college.”  [Paid for by whom?]

Step 4:  Ignore the link between subsidizing college and the increase in college costs. Blame the colleges.

At yesterday’s Ann Arbor speech : “If tuition is going up faster than inflation, faster than even health care is going up, no matter how much we subsidize it, sooner or later, we’re going to run out of money.  And that means that others have to do their part.  Colleges and universities need to do their part to keep costs down as well.”

“.. no matter how much we subsidize it…”  The USG pumps money into colleges and is surprised when costs go up in a market over which it enjoys a monopoly, where the disbursement of student loans has now been nationalized….

Step 5:  Having created the problem, ride to the rescue and appear to be the White Knight.

Divide and conquer.   Use the coercive power of the government to create cripples out of strong men and then convince them that their survival depends on the good graces of the White Knight.

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