Buck Throckmorton wrote a well-reasoned rant yesterday about the supposed crisis in student loan debt, and the absolutely insane plan that the federal government is going to forgive a portion of that debt.
His answer to the deeply offensive notion that the taxpayers who fund our bloated federal leviathan should pay off the equally bloated student loan debt is rational: make the universities responsible for that debt! And even better; make those who took out loans for post-graduate work ineligible to receive the bail-out.
At first glance it is patently unfair. Academia isn’t any different than a host of predatory industries, yet we rarely consider holding them accountable for the ill-informed decisions of their customers. Should we solve the “crisis” in auto loans by forcing GM and Ford to accept the burden of their customers’ debt? No…that’s silly. And how about rent-to-own furniture and appliance companies? They are almost as sleazy as many of our universities, yet they are not responsible for their marks’ debts!
At least absent fraud. And yet any reasonable observation of the current state of academia will reveal a radically different product compared to what was offered to students in 1970 when the Supreme Court in its infinite stupidity decided Griggs v. Duke Power Co., which converted a college degree to a twisted proxy for minimum intelligence and skill. Unfortunately the academy recognized this as a huge moneymaker, and they were off to the races with expansion of capacity, watered down degrees in nonsensical subjects, and worst of all the addition of huge numbers of administration positions in all sorts of non-academic areas. Associate dean of diversity, inclusion, and belonging might sound like a joke, but take a look at the administration directory of any university in America and you will discover equally clownish titles. And then search the internet for that title, because sadly, it not only isn’t a joke, it is a position at the country’s preeminent private university.
But how to pay for that sort of nonsense? Jack up tuition at twice the rate of inflation, while simultaneously decreasing the quality of the instruction by replacing well-trained academics with low-cost adjuncts and teaching assistants, and then increase capacity for even more of a bump in income so that the larger and larger numbers of students who need a college degree — in anything — will be able to attend, and even graduate. But make it almost impossible to complete the degree in four years, so they are on the hook for five or six years of tuition.
All of this has conspired to create the perfect storm of bloated costs, inferior education, and a huge and powerful education complex that is focused not on the education of its students but rather the maintenance of the administrations. Oh, and as a lovely bonus, most of the people in those administrations are themselves the products of those nonsense programs that teach nothing more than race-based, class-based, and increasingly gender-based grievances and the socialist goals of the academy.
If that isn’t fraud, then I don’t know what is!