Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Elections: Not That Momentous

By Richard Vedder

An earlier blog I wrote on this was eliminated by techies in cyberspace, so I will try again. The elections may change the higher ed landscape a bit, but not dramatically, for several reasons.

1) The new Democrats are, to a considerable extent, fairly conservative (a smart Democratic party strategy in picking candidates to run). Jim Webb, probable new senator from Virginia, is a perfect example. No raving liberal. The political ideology of congress is not moving all that far to the left, Nancy Pelosi notwithstanding.

2) The last two GOP congresses outspent the congresses of the Clinton years -- a factor, I think, in the GOP demise. I do not foresee a dramatic upsurge in higher ed spending. Pell Grants will increase, but they would have gone up anyway.

3) The recommendations of the Spellings Commission are not dead, or at least any more dead (are there degrees of being dead?) than they otherwise would be. The Commission pushed bigger Pell Grants (led by an ex-Democratic governor), and Congress will be receptive to that. Surprisingly, they might even embrace an idea pushed by Yours Truly on the Commission: trying to keep tuition increases below the growth rate in personal income. On another note, while the Higher Ed Establishment no doubt jumped for joy when they heard spending limits were rejected in three states, they no doubt were chagrined to learn that Michigan voters strongly approved the anti-affirmative action amendment. Americans want merit to trump other attributes in handing out governmental largess, and the endless "diversity" mantra of college presidents is wearing pretty thin with the American people. California was no fluke -- Michigan is a mainline, Midwestern state. President Coleman at the U. of Michigan sounded almost defiant before the results were in when she promised the U of M would pursue diversity vigorously, another sign of how out of sync the Higher Ed Establishment is with that annoying group that provides it with most of its money -- the American people.

7 comments:

superhiker said...

Dream on, Rich. The scalping party organized by the Bush schoolboard hack Spellings is almost over, not that it got very far.

If affirmative action is dead, credit it to Ward Connerly, not the cowardly Republicans who have ducked the issue whenever they could.

It is too bad because there is a lot wrong with higher education. I do not think you or the Republicans are on the right track, however. Now there is little chance for real higher education reform.

TC said...

Superhiker - Unless there was a complete re-write of this blog between the time you wrote your comment and now, I can't believe you read the same thing I did.

Could you enlighten me as to what "the scalping party" is? Are you referring to indians? I live about 6 miles or so from an indian reservation - the Flathead Indian Reservation of the Salish-Kootenai Nation and I can assure you that they do not engage in scalping. I mean, they don't have the greatest barbers and hair stylists, but aside from that - no REAL scalping.

1. If you believe Spellings is a "hack" what is your reason? How did you come to this conclusion?

2. I tried to find in the blog where Vedder said republicans are to be credited with the setbacks affirmative action has received, and I couldn't find such a statement or inference. Where did that come from? It is my belief that our justice system has been the arbiter of affirmative action's slow demise.

And when you start in with adjectives like "cowardly" in your description of republicans, you just come off as another angry left-wing nut job and do a dis-service to jerk-off democrats.

3. So you don't think the republicans or Vedder are on the right track? But now that the dems have the house and (probably) the senate, you say there is little chance for real higher education reform. Is this a contradiction or a contradiction? I don't understand.

TC said...

Cowboy supplement:

I just heard Charles Schumer say on TV that dems were going to bring back tax deductions for tuition.

TC said...

Yes, it is me again.

I just heard Jesse Jackson say on TV that interest on student loans should be removed. Interest free loans. This is an interesting proposal and very appealing. But IF that ever happened, the private sector would be out of the student loan business. The government would have a monopoly.

Politicians like to kill the patient to cure the disease. How about the pols addressing the rising tuition costs first?

What do you think Superhiker?

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