Monday, April 27, 2009

More Obaminations

By Richard Vedder

I got so mad reading the online version of USA Today yesterday that I forced myself to sit 24 hours before blogging about it, thinking I might say something intemperate or unreasonable if I did not give myself a cooling off period. I don't think the wait did much good, so here are my thoughts.

The headline that set me off was about another speech from President Obama that, first, repeated his embarrassing and economically and academically untenable suggestion that the U.S. should lead the nation in college graduates by 2020. And then, to add icing on the cake, he implied the key to doing this was socializing student financial aid, getting those wicked banks and selfish private capitalists out of the student lending business, and allowing the more efficient, more moral, and more just federal government (B.H. Obama, proprietor) to do the job.

Everything he said was wrong. As Andy Gillen has pointed out so beautifully and rigorously, student financial aid as it currently exists often does little, if anything, to improve college accessibility, worsens college affordability, and is a prime example of the law of unintended consequences. Concentrating on making it more attractive for students to go into debt is bad on many grounds, and only aggravates the conditions that have made college so expensive in the first place (there are some exceptions to this generalization, as Andy points out in his study).

Beyond that, the notion that financial resources should be primarily allocated by the federal government is a huge move towards a bankrupt socialism that time after time was shown to be deficient in the 20th century. The Feds now, effectively, control Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG, and are the leading stockholder in Citigroup. Political decisions about allocating resources are almost ALWAYS worse than market decisions in terms of advancing economic and, I would argue, social welfare.

And, let us return to the goal of becoming number one in the proportion of adults who are college graduates. First of all, is that necessarily a good objective? I know many many college graduates taking jobs for which a high school diploma is perfectly adequate, or perhaps a high school diploma plus some specialized post-secondary vocational training. But even if the President's goal is somehow a good one, we would have to have a revolution in education at the K-12 level as well, one that the president would never support because it would offend his union allies. When 30 percent or so of kids do not make it out of high school, it is hard to be number one in college graduates. When over 40 percent of those who do go on don't make it out of college, it becomes impossible. The president is concentrating on the one-third or so of high school graduates that do not go on to college, ignoring the larger other problems that keep 4 of 5 high school freshman from getting a bachelor's degree within a decade of entering high school.


Cowboy said...

Rich - The guy (BHO) is an idiot, plain and simple. He is a naive, bumbling fool. I have never seen a person so over their head and incompetent in my life - and it scares me. Oz is looking better all the time.

I heard his pronoucement "that the U.S. should lead the nation in college graduates by 2020" in one of his teleprompted speeches and thought it was just plain stupid.

Most people will never realize the extent of the damage that the release of Top Secret memos has done. Does anyone believe that a foreign country will not be hesitant to share secret intel with the US knowing that B.O. may put it in the public domain? If AG Holder goes on a witch hunt while B.O. plays Pontius Pilat, there will be a full blown crisis in the intel community. This is just another example of what a dumb bastard B.O. is.

B.O. and his fellow left-wing nut jobs say we will use the Army Field Manual for interrogations. The key words here are "Field" and "Manual". The field manual provides guidance and rules for soldiers on the ground in a battle zone. Soldiers are not trained to be interrogators - so they have field interrogation rules to garner intel on the present situation. To think that this should be used as the manual for "Professional Interrogators" is simply rediculous.

I recently crossed the the bridge in Fallujah with a very clear picture in my mind where frenzied crowds dragged the burned, mutilated bodies of four American contractors through the streets of the city west of Baghdad and strung two of them up from the bridge after rebels ambushed their SUVs.

I clearly remember watching the video of Nicholas Berg (a telecommunications contractor) getting beheaded. And then there is Daniel Pearl getting beheaded.

So we're going to "glad hand" combatants and threaten to eat bacon and pork rinds in front of them?

So with all this idiot is doing, it is no surprise to me that he wants everone to be a college grad.

Can we ruin America? Yes We Can!But I will not be a part of it. I will not tow the line for the viciously angry Left.

I only wish I could publicize more so people can understand the trouble this country is in and how much worse we believe it is going to get - and I am not referring to the economy.

As a Civil Libertarian you may not agree with me - an Indepent Conservative. My apologies for going way off-topic, but I am deeply disturbed with our government.

Itar said...

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