The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Monday, November 23, 2020

The Payoff

I have been fortunate enough to be able to donate to my alma mater every year since I've graduated, but I'm sure to target my donation specifically to the Engineering school. Even there, the religion of "wokeness" has just begun to pervade an education that emphasizes clear thinking, problem solving, and fact-based analysis. But in other parts of the university, things are very different. Josh Hammer describes what's happening:

It is both terrifying and perverse that America's intellectual gatekeepers—the "elite"-forming, credentialing institutions that separate the "deplorables" from the ruling class—impress self-loathing pablum upon malleable young minds. With some notable exceptions, American higher education today comprises madrasas of wokeness fundamentally hostile to the American regime and the American way of life. Many of the far Left's most toxic ideas, whether moral relativism, socialism, "anti-racism" or multiculturalism, either begin on campus or gain steam there. It shouldn't surprise anyone that one of the more popular policies in conservative egghead circles today is to expand loan access to, and accreditation support for, trade school alternatives to traditional four-year bachelor's degree-granting programs.

Intellectual bankruptcy notwithstanding, there are manifold more tangible problems associated with the failed higher education status quo. Four years spent on campus between the ages of 18 and 22 means four prime years forgone from acquiring vocational skills, advancing a career, and mating and forming families. It also often means, due in part to the federal government's effective monopoly over the student loan industry, four years of willful indebtedness to major in such patently silly "subjects" as "gender studies." Student loans are now the second-largest source of collective American debt, behind only mortgage debt. By some staggering estimates, Americans have over $1.5 trillion in student loan debt.

The new Democratic party relies heavily on wokeness as a key element of their recruiting efforts and its representatives within the professorial corps work overtime to convince college students that the only way to vote is Democratic. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that in order to 'buy' votes, the Dems followed the lead of socialist icon, Bernie Sanders, and have implied that they'll work on a program to eliminate or reduce college debt, voluntarily incurred, that students in programs like gender studies, art history ethnic studies, or any of dozens of BA programs that don't even come close to making a list of those that in most demand in the work force. Graduates of those programs graduate, have difficult finding a decent job (in what is likely to become Biden's recession, it likely they'll have even more difficulty), and then struggle to pay back their college loans.

The Dems, as is their nature, then suggest that those of us who saved and set aside money for our own children's college fund or those college student who worked second and third jobs (as I did in addition to going to school) so they would not incur appreciable debt, should now pay off debt of others.

Hammer continues:

This policy is idiotic in the extreme and brazenly immoral. Republicans and sensible Democrats must unite to defeat it.

The higher education-student loan complex is in desperate need of more transparency and accountability—not more bailouts. A prudent first step would be for creditors, whether public or (ideally) private, to present clear information about salaries and career paths for graduating high school seniors to consider before they commit to taking out hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans to major in "ethnic studies." The worst possible thing we could do would be a mass bailout of this nature, which would initiate a vicious, never-ending cycle of tuition spikes, more indebtedness and more bailouts. It is a quintessential exercise in trying to apply a Band-Aid to a grievously slit artery.

And of course there's the small matter of the millions who have been responsible and paid back their college debt—out of income from jobs their education allowed them to acquire. Are they suckers? Or what about trade people who chose to forgo college. Are they responsible for bailing out graduates who are in debt and can't find work?

But none of that matters to the Dems, particularly when they're recruiting lifetime votes. And why stop with college loans? Why not consider car loans next, then credit card debt, and finally home mortgages. After all, if we can bail out one group, what's wrong with bailing out all of them. 

Plenty ... it turns out.