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Posts Tagged ‘free college’

Erie Times E-Edition Article-Biden’s plan for free community college answers wrong question

Posted by M. C. on May 3, 2021

Want to lower college cost? The place to start is to end the Fed.

Tons of low interest money foisted on people with lack luster credit and/or no business being in college allows colleges to ramp up tuition. Default? No problem, the taxpayer foots the bill. Thus you end up with administration almost out numbering teaching staff, departments of Kumbaya, “studies” majors and safe rooms.

Ending the Fed has been Ron Paul’s life work and there isn’t even a dent. Free stuff rules!

LZ Granderson

Columnist President Joe Biden unveiled his plan for free community college in his address to Congress on Wednesday. That may sound like a good solution to soaring college costs and the growing burden of student debt, but it’s an answer to the wrong question.

First, nothing about our education system is free and nothing will be. It’s a great campaign slogan but, ultimately, it’s political spin considering tax dollars are being used. It’s like a round of drinks on the house: Just because you’re not paying for the Jäger bombs doesn’t mean no one is.

Second, post-secondary education is not a luxury for the middle class, it’s access to it. In 2020, the median weekly income for those with a high school diploma was $781 while an associate degree brought in $938 and a bachelor’s $1,305.

Third, and most importantly, over the last 50 years, inflation has outpaced wages and the cost of college has outpaced them both. Graduating class after graduating class is drowning in debt before they even set sail because there’s a hole at the bottom of the ship.

Yes, the government should be removing barriers to post-secondary education; some 41% of community college students have to take out loans to get through school. But we should also be asking why it costs so much to go to college in the first place.

Between 1969 and 2019, the cost of college has increased a ridiculous 3,009%. The creation of federally funded Pell Grants by the Higher Education Act of 1965 was intended to help lower-income students pay for college, but clearly that hasn’t been sufficient.

When my son was born in 1996, the average cost of a four-year public university was $2,810 a year. By the time he graduated from high school in 2015, it was $9,430. When he graduated from college in 2019, it was $10,230 when it should have been $4,581, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculator. So, before Biden and the good folks in Washington dive into who should foot the bill, maybe they should spend more time investigating that $5,649 gap between what it is and what it should be.

The year my son graduated from college, the maximum Pell Grant covered about 25% of the average college cost; in the 1970s, the maximum grant covered about 67% of the average cost. That’s because the Pell Grants not only fell behind the rate of inflation, the program could not keep up with the skyrocketing costs of college.

This is why promising free community college right now is like bailing water out of a severely damaged boat. No one wants the ship to sink but it needs repair — not just bigger buckets — to keep it afloat. Even if programs like Pell Grants were expanded to make community college ‘free’ for lower income people, what strategies would be put in place to ensure that costs could eventually be contained? Because if costs aren’t contained, we’ll end up right back with financial aid unable to keep up with the need.

We need more oversight on how colleges arrive at their fees, but I do not assume it’s all wasteful spending. Top administrative talent demands top compensation. A bad economy leads to cuts in state funding for public schools, which must be made up somehow. There are legitimate factors adding up to higher costs, such as increases in employee health benefits. And a good share of new costs can also be attributed to providing more services to students than were offered a generation ago.

Higher education, given its importance to raising the income of working families and the direction of the job market, should be viewed as social infrastructure (yes, just as the New Deal was about social and built infrastructure). That’s why its costs should be subject to the kind of close scrutiny that government applies to public utilities.

During the 2020 election, Biden published his post-secondary education plan with a great deal of focus on both affordability as well as its necessity. Quoting a Georgetown study, Biden pointed out that more than 60% of American jobs require some education beyond high school. That was a fact President Obama also noted when he unveiled his plan for free community college in 2015. The two men are not wrong in their diagnosis or solution. But I believe too much of our governing philosophy relies on investing more resources in treatment than in prevention.

In this economy, Americans need higher education more than ever, but there are no controls to prevent college costs — at four-year and two-year institutions — from continuing to soar out of sight.

Yes, Biden and Congress should redirect tax dollars to make community college more accessible or ‘free,’ if you prefer that language. But before taxpayers pick up the tab, shouldn’t we also find ways to prohibit the bar from jacking up the drink prices first?

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Elizabeth Warren Has a Bad Plan for Everything – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on January 1, 2020

Rest assured someone has to pay for all this “Free Stuff”.

Even the Leftist UK party figured this out when they trounced Corbyn.

Independents and moderates will be highly unlikely to support Marxist nutcases.

Count the times you read “tax”.

As George Will is fond of saying-Corporations are tax collectors, not tax payers. Taxes like most government mandates (minimum wage) are costs of business that get passed on.


Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis

Elizabeth Warren wants to steer the US to the Left, radical Left.

If you are looking for ideas, Elizabeth Warren has a ton of them. All of them are bad. Please consider Elizabeth Warren’s Plan.

  1. Wealth tax: Tax net worth over $50 million at 2% a year, and 6% above $1 billion. To prevent the rich from yachting off, add a 40% “exit tax” on assets over $50 million upon renouncing U.S. citizenship. Estimated revenue: $3.75 trillion over a decade from 75,000 households. Most economists, including many Democrats, call that number a fantasy. Courts might also find the tax unconstitutional.
  2. Medicare for All tax: Mandate government coverage for everyone, including for illegal immigrants, with no copays or deductibles. Phase out the private plans of 170 million Americans. She says this would cost $20.5 trillion over a decade, which most economists say is $10 trillion short of reality. Keep the growth of health spending below 4% a year with tools like “population-based budgets” and “automatic rate reductions.” Pay doctors at “Medicare rates” and hospitals at 110% of that. Charge companies with at least 50 workers an “Employer Medicare Contribution,” equal to 98% of their recent outlays on health care, while adjusting for inflation and changes in staff size. These varying fees “would be gradually shifted to converge at the average health care cost-per-employee nationally.”
  3. Global corporate tax: Raise the top business rate to 35%. Apply this as a world-wide minimum on overseas earnings by U.S. companies. Businesses would “pay the difference between the minimum tax and the rate in the countries where they book their profits.” Apply a similar minimum tax to foreign companies, prorated by the share of their sales made in the U.S. Estimated revenue: $1.65 trillion over a decade.
  4. Corporate surtax: Tax profit over $100 million at a new 7% rate, without exemptions. This would go atop the regular corporate rate. Estimated revenue: $1 trillion over a decade from 1,200 public companies.
  5. Slower expensing: “Our current tax system lets companies deduct the cost of certain investments they make in assets faster than those assets actually lose value.” Closing this “loophole,” she says, would raise $1.25 trillion over a decade.
  6. Higher capital gains taxes: Tax the investment gains of the wealthiest 1% as ordinary income, meaning rates near 40% instead of today’s 23.8%. Apply the tax annually on gains via a “mark to market” system, even if the asset hasn’t been sold. Estimated revenue: $2 trillion over a decade.
  7. Finance taxes: Tax the sale of bonds, stocks and so forth at 0.1%. Estimated revenue: $800 billion over a decade. Charge big banks a systemic risk fee, raising $100 billion more.
  8. Individual tax increases: There’s no detailed proposal, but Ms. Warren’s clean-energy plan is “paid for by reversing Trump’s tax cuts for the wealthiest individuals and giant corporations.” She’s budgeted $1 trillion.
  9. Social Security: Increase benefits by $2,400 a year across the board. Raise them further “for lower-income families, women, people with disabilities, public-sector workers, and people of color” by changing “outdated” rules that Ms. Warren says disadvantage them.
  10. Lobbying tax: Tax “excessive lobbying” over $500,000 a year at rates up to 75%. Ms. Warren says this would have raised $10 billion over the past decade, although it probably runs headlong into the First Amendment’s right to petition the government. Use the revenue for “a surge of resources to Congress and federal agencies.”
  11. Green New Deal: Spend $3 trillion, including $1.5 trillion on industrial mobilization, $400 billion on research, and $100 billion on a Marshall Plan. By 2030 hit 100% carbon-neutral power and 100% zero-emission new cars. Retrofit “4% of houses and buildings every year.” For “environmental justice,” put a third of the funds into “the most vulnerable communities.”
  12. An end to fossil fuels: Ban fracking. Halt new drilling leases on federal land. “Prohibit future fossil fuel exports.” Kill the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. “Subject each new infrastructure project to a climate test.” Give “workers transitioning into new industries” a “guaranteed wage and benefit parity” and “promised pensions and early retirement benefits.”
  13. K-12 education: Add $450 billion to Title I, $200 billion for students with disabilities, $100 billion for “excellence grants,” and $50 billion for school upgrades. “End federal funding for the expansion of charter schools.”
  14. A “right” to child care: Build a federal network of local providers, subject to national standards. Give free care to the “millions of children” whose households are under 200% of poverty, or $51,500 for a family of four. For everyone else, cap child-care spending at 7% of income. Estimated cost: $700 billion.
  15. Free college: “Give every American the opportunity to attend a two-year or four-year public college without paying a dime in tuition or fees.” Add $100 billion to Pell Grants and $50 billion for historically black colleges, tribal schools and more. Estimated cost: $610 billion.
  16. Student-debt forgiveness: Write off $50,000 for households with incomes under $100,000. This would phase out as income rises toward $250,000. Estimated cost: $640 billion.
  17. Housing: Spend $500 billion “to build, preserve, and rehab” millions of affordable-housing units. Condition such funding “on repealing state laws that prohibit local rent control.” Paid for by lowering the death-tax exemption to $7 million from $22 million per couple. At the same time, “raise the tax rates above that threshold.”
  18. Unions: Overturn “so-called ‘right to work’ laws” in 27 states. Guarantee public employees an ability to “bargain collectively in every state.” Amend labor law to aid “sectoral bargaining.” Give the National Labor Relations Board “much stronger” powers, such as “to impose compensatory and punitive damages.”
  19. Corporate governance: Make companies with revenue over $1 billion obtain a new federal charter—separate from the current state charter system—that requires them to “consider the interests of all corporate stakeholders.” Give workers 40% of board seats, and put CEOs under “a new criminal negligence standard.”
  20. Industrial policy: Manage the dollar’s value “more actively” to “promote exports and domestic manufacturing.” Create a Department of Economic Development, and have it write a National Jobs Strategy. Expand the Export-Import Bank. Impose a “border carbon adjustment” fee—that is, new tariffs—on imports from countries that don’t align with U.S. climate policies.
  21. Antitrust: Break up AmazonFacebook and Google. “Unwind” their mergers with Whole Foods, Instagram, DoubleClick and more. Regulate as a “platform utility” any online marketplace with global revenue of $25 billion. Reverse agriculture consolidation, “including the recent Bayer-Monsanto merger,” and create a “supply management program” to “guarantee farmers a price at their cost of production.”
  22. Banking: Pass “a 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act that breaks up the big banks.” Let the U.S. Postal Service “partner with local community banks” to provide “basic banking services like checking and savings accounts.”
  23. Gun control: Create a “federal licensing system for the purchase of any type of firearm or ammunition.” Raise taxes to 30% on guns and 50% on ammo. Ban sales of “assault weapons,” and make current owners “register them under the National Firearms Act.” Pass a law to let shooting victims “hold the manufacturer of the weapon that harmed them strictly liable.”
  24. Centralized elections: Use federal money to “replace every voting machine in the country.” For federal elections, mandate early voting and same-day registration. If state elections follow the same rules, they can be “fully funded by the federal government,” with “a bonus for achieving high voter turnout.” Estimated cost: $20 billion, paid by “closing loopholes” in the death tax.
  25. Miscellaneous: Spend $100 billion “to end the opioid crisis,” $85 billion “to massively expand broadband access,” $25 billion on “health professional shortage areas,” and $7 billion “to close the gap in startup capital for entrepreneurs of color.” Double the foreign service and the Peace Corps.

Warren’s Marxist Manifesto Read the rest of this entry »

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4 Reasons Why Socialism Is Becoming More Popular | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on November 8, 2019

We have already seen above that what’s not happening at universities, even elite universities, today is a whole lot of education in important subjects like history. What we are getting instead is a lot of groupthink and indoctrination…

The newfound openness of large numbers of Americans to socialism is, by now, a well-documented phenomenon. According to a Gallup poll from earlier this year, 43% of Americans now believe that some form of socialism would be a good thing, in contrast to 51% who are still against it. A Harris poll found that four in ten Americans prefer socialism to capitalism. The trend is particular apparent in the young: another Gallup poll showed that as recently as 2010, 68% of people between 18 and 29 approved of capitalism, with only 51% approving of socialism, whereas in 2018, while the percentage among this age group favoring socialism was unchanged at 51%, those in favor of capitalism had dropped precipitously to 45%. The same poll showed that among Democrats, the popularity of socialism now stands at 57%, while capitalism is only at 47%, a marked departure from 2010 when the two were tried at 53%. A YouGov poll from earlier this year showed that unlike older generations, which still preferred capitalist candidates, 70% of millennials and 64% of gen-Zers would vote for a socialist.

The question is why socialism now? At a time when the American economy under Trump seems to be chugging along at a nice clip, why are so many hankering for an alternative? I would suggest four factors contributing to the situation.

Factor #1: Ignorance of History

The first cause of socialism’s popularity, especially among the young, is an obvious one: having grown up at a time after the end of the Cold War, the collapse of Europe’s Eastern Bloc and China’s transition to authoritarian capitalism, “these kids today” — those 18 to 29 year-olds who were born around the last decade of the 20th century — don’t know what socialism is all about. When they think socialism, they don’t think Stalin; they think Scandinavia.

Americans’ — and especially young Americans’ — ignorance of history is well-documented and profound…

Factor #2: Government Bungling

When we try to explain the socialist urge, we cannot lose sight of the fact that our government keeps interfering in the economy in ways that give people every reason to think the system is corrupt and needs to be trashed.

Take the skyrocketing cost of college, for instance. On the surface, this looks like greedy capitalist universities just keep on raising tuition, and since most college kids and their parents can’t pay the sticker price, almost 70% take out loans , saddling young people trying to start their careers with a mountain of debt (almost $30,000 on average). This results in all those socialist promises of free college or loan forgiveness sounding dandy. Underneath the surface, however, a huge part of the problem is federal grants and subsidized loans. If the government stopped footing a large part of their bill, more students and parents would be forced to pony up, which would mean, in turn, that colleges would not be able to keep hiking their prices without seeing a precipitous drop in enrollment. They would, instead, be forced to price themselves at some level that applicants could realistically pay, making college more affordable for a large segment of the American middle class…

Factor #3: Universities’ Ideological Monoculture

The supporters of socialism are not simply the young, but rather, disproportionately those among the young who are college-educated. And the more college they have, the hotter for socialism they get. According to a 2015 poll , support for socialism grows from 48% among those with a high school diploma or less to 62% among college graduates to 78% among those with post-graduate degrees. Those on the left probably stop thinking hard about now and jump immediately to the conclusion that support for socialism is just a natural outgrowth of big brains and elite educations. But there is, in fact, a less obvious but ultimately far more compelling explanation that also manages to account for the general fact that more education correlates with more leftism: something — something bad — is happening at universities themselves to pull students toward the (far) left.

We have already seen above that what’s not happening at universities, even elite universities, today is a whole lot of education in important subjects like history. What we are getting instead is a lot of groupthink and indoctrination…

Factor #4: Coddled Kids

The young have always been more inclined to embrace pipe dreams — a lack of familiarity with the complicated way in which the world actually works, coupled with the college fix described above, will do that to most anyone — but there is a reason the mindset of today’s young’uns is particularly susceptible to the red menace. In last year’s The Coddling of the American Mind, the prominent social psychologist Jonathan Haidt and FIRE’s Greg Lukianoff describe the species of overprotective parenting and instilling of baseless and uncritical self-esteem by parents and educators alike that came to prevail as kids were growing up in the 90s and 00s. When we are raised in the belief we are wonderful just as we are, we never learn the critical life skills of self-soothing, working through anxiety, facing obstacles and overcoming adversity. The predictable result, as Haidt and Lukianoff observe, is a demand to be safeguarded — safe spaces, free speech crackdowns and so on. The state appears to many as the appropriate institution to provide this sort of “safety.”

If these four are the primary causes of socialism’s rapid surge in our midst, then the next logical question is what to do about it. There is no easy answer, of course, but I would suggest that the radicalization of academia is the lynchpin issue. If we could succeed in reversing that tsunami, many dominoes would fall…

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Snowflakes Demand University President's Resignation After ...



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Why a Free College Education Will Lead to the Ruination of America – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on October 12, 2019

As my son, then age 10, said to me one day: “Papa, if food (food stamps), housing (rent subsidy), medical care (Medicaid, Obamacare), cell phones (Obama-phone) and college education cost nothing, then the value of everything is zero.”

The best thing I have read on the evils of “free stuff” and “government money”.


Free college education is now being handed out to high school graduates and will lead to the ruination of many unwary young Americans.

Here is what happens when higher education becomes commoditized:

1. More people compete for jobs that require college degrees. Greater supply and no increased demand means those graduates who do obtain jobs in their field will be paid less. With more graduates than job openings, these students who momentarily wore a cap and gown in a proud graduation ceremony may end up doing menial labor, like the women who clean my home or the waiters at a restaurant I frequent.  Labor is still subject to supply and demand.  It may be tough to graduate in engineering, but too many engineers and their earning power erodes.  There are 117,553 graduates with an engineering degree entering the job market each year.  Colleges do no counseling to inform students that the career field they have chosen may have a limited number of job openings.  This borders on fraud.

2. If everybody has a college degree, what is it worth? About 4% of American adults have a 4-year college degree.  The governor of New Mexico just granted free college education to high school graduates in her state, regardless of family income.  She just diminished the value of a college diploma.  The over-abundance of anything leads to its devaluation.   Gold is scarce.  It is treasured.  The oil industry attempted to create false scarcity by misleading the world there were only so many dinosaurs and plant material that got compressed in the earth layers to produce oil.  And of course, oil producers weren’t refining at capacity.  These kinds of lessons are not being taught in American schools.  College degrees were once valuable because they were difficult to earn and graduates were scarce.

As my son, then age 10, said to me one day: “Papa, if food (food stamps), housing (rent subsidy), medical care (Medicaid, Obamacare), cell phones (Obama-phone) and college education cost nothing, then the value of everything is zero.”

3. This effort to get every high school graduate to enter college is a likely effort to reduce unemployment rolls. Students are a pawn to a political objective. This keeps them off the unemployment rolls.  Close to 20 million Americans are in U.S. private and public colleges.  When the cost of a college education became so expensive, many young men and women opted to go into the military, so no military draft is needed.  There are an additional 3 million Americans in active military duty.  The U.S. unemployment rate is reported to the 3.5%, a 50-year low.  Just think if all these young Americans were out looking for jobs.

4. College loans just bury students into debt and they don’t enough have money to get their own life started. They still live with their parents.  They can’t buy a car or put money down on a home mortgage.  (To add injury to this problem, if students get a job, they have to pay into Obamacare even though they are not likely to need much medical care given their age.) Auto and home sales suffer at the expense of being a loan serf.

Most students with higher academic achievement are already in college.  Offering a college education for free will tempt young Americans with C to C- grades in high school to enter college in an attempt to earn more money in their chosen profession.  But studies show most of these low-grade students withdraw from college and never earn a degree, leaving them with a college loan to pay and no increased earning power.
According to the Census Bureau and National Center for Education Statistics via Postsecondary Education Opportunity, about 45% of low-income students participate in baccalaureate degree attainment but only about 10% graduate.

Half of the borrowers in default leave school without earning a degree!  Unpaid student debt occurs more often to single parent families, in other words, to those who are striving to get out of their cycle of poverty but probably don’t have the where-with-all to be in college in the first place.

Once the federal government began to guarantee payment to lenders for student loans, colleges raised their fees beyond affordability.  Tuition prices grew by 63% from 2008 to today (2019).  The average cost of tuition for the 2019-2020 school year is over $40,000/year at private colleges and over $20,000/year for state residents at public schools.

A report by author Daniel Freidman is telling.  Says Friedman:

The percentage of U.S. students who go to college substantially exceeds the percentage of U.S. students whose academic records suggest that they are capable of doing college-level work.  46 percent of 25 to 34-year-old Americans have at least a 2-year degree, and 36.5 percent earned a four-year degree. However, about 19 percent of Americans enrolled in college but never earned a credential of any type—that’s nearly a third of all students.

At schools that accept fewer than 25 percent of applicants, 88 percent of students graduate, and at schools that accept fewer than half of applicants, 70 percent graduate. However, at schools that take 90 percent of applicants, fewer than half graduate, and at open enrollment schools, only a third of freshmen complete their degrees. Students who drop out, and who are currently at very high risk to default on student loans, will be better off under a program that lets them leave college for free. But they’ll still be worse off than they would have been if they never went to college in the first place, because they will still waste their time struggling in courses that they cannot pass, and will still have poor employment prospects after they drop out. Instead of further subsidizing the programs that are currently failing these students, it would make more sense to try to develop some sort of new postsecondary job-training program that might have better results for students who are unlikely to complete a college degree.  But in a country where two-thirds of the population is already going to college, there aren’t many promising students left to find.  Few students in the bottom third of academic performers are capable of passing even introductory college classes.

5. It may be wiser for students of lower academic achievement to be trained in a tech school. For example, the auto industry needs an estimated 76,000 auto mechanics each year.  The National Auto Dealers Association graduates 37,000 service technicians annually.  Starting salary for an auto mechanic out of tech school is $61,000, higher than that of a college graduate majoring in business.  Auto technicians can go on to earn over $100,000 a year with continuing education paid for by auto manufacturers.

There are many opportunities to earn more money without a college degree.  The Wall Street Journal published a report showing plumbers often achieve a higher income than college grads. Read the rest of this entry »

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Student Debt Cancellation: A Good Idea AND a Political Hoax, by Steve Penfield – The Unz Review

Posted by M. C. on October 1, 2019

Debt Cancellation will come whether we like it or not. So it’s in everyone’s interest to develop a sensible plan that liberates the (mostly) innocent and assigns responsibility where appropriate.

There are certain moments in history where each person—and eventually the larger community—must decide which path to follow, ultimately leading us in vastly different directions. With the U.S. student debt fiasco now approaching $1.6 trillion and 45 million borrowers, we seem to be rapidly advancing towards such a moment.

At present, one of the biggest problems regarding the student loan debacle is the dismal nature of the polarized “debate.” Not just on debt relief, but on the many dysfunctions of the college system and its financing mechanisms as well.

On one side, we have free-lunch Democrats that want to “give” everything away in order to buy votes and seize control of higher education; their Debt Forgiveness schemes merely dump liabilities onto taxpayers and give banks and colleges a free pass. Republicans and conservatives, meanwhile, prefer to lecture students on the morality of paying your bills, while forgetting that students didn’t create the corrupt system of mandatory college or its skyrocketing costs. That came from “responsible” adults. And both sides insist that federal involvement in all levels of learning is essential.

Since Debt Cancellation is one of those explosive topics that can lead to partisan bickering and empty sloganeering, I should start by saying that I disagree with nearly everything that BOTH official sides are saying. After much searching, I was able to find a few sensible voices in the wilderness as detailed and expanded upon later. But at this point, anything rational or productive on this issue remains strictly forbidden in the mainstream press, which strongly favors centralized banking and collective education, preferably sold in easily digestible sound-bites.

Taking a broader approach to this looming decision, the major themes of this essay are:

  • Weak Arguments against Debt Cancellation from the ‘Right’
  • Weak Arguments for Debt Cancellation and ‘Free’ College from the ‘Left’
  • Winners and Losers of Honest Debt Forgiveness

I’ll try to fill in some related gaps along the way, mainly to address entrenched ideologies on overall education and financing.

My conclusions are: 1) people can learn quite well without federal involvement and the suffocating strings attached, 2) after over a century of massive (over 2,000%) inflationary stresses, Americans could benefit from an overdue Inflation Dividend, and 3) student Debt Cancellation will come whether we like it or not, so it’s in everyone’s interest to develop a sensible debt re-structuring plan that liberates the (mostly) innocent and assigns responsibility where appropriate. As for culpability, I’m talking about banks and colleges, not taxpayers.

For demographics, I don’t mind saying that I turned 50 this year and never had any debt from college when I graduated in 1991, back when state school in New York was pretty cheap. I work in the private sector and find time to research and write on the side, among other things.

Washington Orthodoxy: Education Must Be Centrally Controlled

With “education” becoming increasingly politicized over the last century, it’s hard to find valuable information through the haze of overt and subtle misinformation. As usual, if you follow the money it leads back to a common theme. Total government spending for combined federal, state and local levels (K through college) came to a staggering $1.1 trillion for FY2019. That enormous pot of “free” gold comes with heavy strings attached and influences nearly all modern decisions on the topic of learning.

First of all, both parties in Washington and at the State capitols almost unanimously view individual learning as a group decision. Proceeding from that bias, public schools in America have become burdened with licensing restrictions, teacher credentials and accreditation requirements to justify accessing their “fair” share of public funds. Read the rest of this entry »

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Of Two Minds – The Road to Hell Is Paved with Virtue-Signaling

Posted by M. C. on August 16, 2019

It’s impossible to even discuss issues of citizenship and immigration as they relate to the long-term impact of devaluing citizenship

Charles Hugh Smith

The idea that everything will be solved if we borrow a couple more trillion and give it away is the dominant paradigm.

The road to Hell is paved with virtue-signaling: rather than actually solve the knotty problems that are dragging us toward the abyss, we substitute self-righteousness for problem-solving. That is virtue-signaling in a nutshell.

Virtue-signaling goes hand in hand with the only “solution” that’s politically correct: throw a borrowed trillion dollars at the “problem”, dance the humba-humba around the bonfire at midnight and hope that magic will resolve the underlying issues.

Hence the calls for Medicare for All, Universal Basic Income, and free college for all, all paid with borrowed money, despite the virtuous bleatings that “taxes on the rich/robots” will magically pay for trillions of additional dollars to be squandered on corrupt, self-serving cartels…

As for the “defense” industry, a.k.a. the military-industrial-intelligence cartel: rather than do the hard work of redefining America’s role in the world (declining to pursue wars of choice and policing the world) and then right-sizing the armed forces for the emerging realities of automated warfare, cyber-warfare and asymmetric warfare, we spend trillions of dollars on a jumble of horribly costly legacy weaponry with a sprinkling of pixie-dust “innovation.”

This also describes the higher education cartel, a horribly costly legacy jumble that’s failing students while enriching insiders and lenders. It also describes the standard institutional response to knotty issues such as homelessness: the conventional legacy “solution” is to insist on building “affordable” housing at $400,000 per unit, which means we can build 1,000 units rather than the 100,000 units of super-low-cost housing we need…

It’s impossible to even discuss systematically downsizing America’s role and military footprint without being accused of treason, as virtue-signaling support for the Imperial Project is necessary to broadcast your membership in the politically correct camp.

It’s impossible to even discuss the connection between the high-profit snacks and sugar-water beverages that fill supermarket shelves and diabesity and metabolic disorders, or the connection between the decline of community and the rise of the Savior State…

The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity. The road to Hell is paved with virtue-signaling, and we are about to discover that virtue-signaling, self-righteousness and indignation are not substitutes for the difficult task of completely restructuring failing institutions, modes of production and governance.

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My Future Lies Beyond the Yellow Brick Road | VoVatia





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The Definitive Smash of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on August 2, 2019


Tom Woods Show

Sensible people have watched in horror as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has risen to an unlikely prominence over the past year. Her supporters say critics are “obsessed” with her.

A more charitable interpretation is that they’re flabbergasted that a set of ideas virtually designed to impoverish society has gained so much traction.

To people who haven’t given the matter much thought, there could be a certain plausibility to AOC’s ideas. After all, what could be the harm in providing “free college” or more “affordable housing,” or fighting “climate change,” and having the rich – who have plenty of money lying around – pay for it?

That’s the major barrier here. Most people who support AOC genuinely cannot comprehend how any well-intentioned person could oppose any of those things. Aren’t they self-evidently desirable, and can’t they be provided costlessly – or at least at cost nobody should really care about (the rich can afford it, after all)?

Now like AOC, I believe my positions are correct. But unlike her, I can correctly describe my opponents’ point of view. I may not agree with it, but I at least know what it is, and I can explain it in a way that they themselves would recognize their views in my description.

AOC, by contrast, genuinely cannot conceive of what the arguments against her might be. As far as she can see, she is on the side of “distributive justice,” and anyone who opposes her is a lackey of the wealthy who is merely defending the immediate self-interest of avaricious people.

Not once does AOC appear to consider that what she proposes might have undesirable side effects. There is no acknowledgment of any trade-offs involved. Her program is a juvenile list of demands, and that’s it.

Want higher wages? Why, mandate them! Want everyone to have benefit X? Why, seize the funds to provide it!

AOC further claims that we can painlessly tax the rich at much higher rates because she thinks we’ve done it before without ill effects. As usual, she has not seen the numbers: the effective tax rate on “the rich” was much lower than the high top marginal rates we’ve all heard about, thanks to various loopholes and deductions that no longer exist. Were we to reintroduce those rates under current conditions, we would be in uncharted territory.

Beyond that, she has no conception of what “the rich” do for the economy. She thinks they just roll around naked until their money sticks to their sweaty bodies. She has no conception of capital maintenance and capital investment, which maintain and expand the structure of production – in the absence of which we would revert to barbarism.

I spell all this out much more thoroughly in my new (and free) eBook AOC Is Wrong: The Upside Down World of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Well, I’ve done the work for you in this book, and it costs you nothing.

There are no personal attacks or name-calling in the book. Instead, it is – if I may say so – a relentless demolition of the entire AOC program.

Download your copy of AOC Is Wrong here:

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De Blasio: Yes, Democrats Are For 70 % Tax Rates, Free College, Money Is in the ‘Wrong Hands’

Posted by M. C. on June 27, 2019

If you are the half of the population that pays taxes, you will find that you are the “wealthy”.

The right hands belong to the state. The wrong hands are YOUR hands.


…This is supposed to be the party of working people. Yes, we are supposed to be for 70% tax rate on the wealthy. Yes, we are supposed for free college, free public college for young people.We are supposed to break up big corporations when they are not serving our democracy.”…

Be seeing you

tax crime

Change that to ANY TAX.



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