Monthly Archives: August 2022
A $1.75 Trillion Mistake
The college school year is starting and there are two prominent factors to be considered; whether to stay the course or quit school and be productive. For twelve years we move when the bell rings and do our assignments. We have no choice. Following orders is comfy. Ask anyone who is self-employed and saddled with all those decisions.
College is touted as the key to prosperity. Look at the young age of retired teachers. They have years of productive life ahead of them. They know. They went to college and wish the best for their students. I was talking with a fellow who visited the high school and he said there were posters urging college attendance by each classroom.
Public colleges only graduate a third of their students in four years. We have to give credit to those who quit in time to avoid four whole years of college debt. The low graduation rate belies the seriousness of students’ commitment. Many of them just want to be away from home or real world responsibilities. And with the cost being deferred they choose a continuation of high school.
There are ways for serious students to get a college education. But those ways are crowded out by federal programs. Many potential contributors see less of a need because of subsidized loans. Most colleges have endowments that fund scholarships for qualified students. Students who look at the big picture work toward qualifying for these programs. The fact that they work at it is a big factor that is considered in the decision to give them the money.
Public school gives each student that same opportunity for access to an affordable college education. Hanging out on main street or playing video games are not essential for students who recognize that effort today multiplies benefits in the future.
Federal student loans throw a monkey wrench into a system that could vet the pool of potential college students, weeding out those who would do better entering the workforce straight out of high school. With two thirds of college students squandering their first year in college that means two thirds of college infrastructure and two thirds of college personnel are not worth it.
People say college helps us meet new people and discover things that we otherwise would never know about. This is true of a job as well. And natural curiosity, unless stifled by a regimented, compulsory routine can guide us to a world even more expansive than the confines of a university.
We make the decision to attend college generally about seven years before a brain is fully developed. But parents should know better. Any literate person can see these executive orders are unconstitutional, as if that matters anymore.
Canceling student debt props up an industry of education that is way overbuilt. It cheats those of us who take responsibility for our actions. It cheats students who sacrificed for their future. It sets a precedent that potential college attendees will use to decide in taking a costly wrong turn in their lives. It is bribery of a demographic that is most likely to vote. It is corrupt.
“Prior to capitalism,…
the way the people amassed great wealth was by looting, plundering and enslaving their fellow man. Capitalism made it possible to become wealthy by serving your fellow man.”
Walter E. Williams
People I grew up with
Tony Rice and friends
Tulsi rocks again
Reality: China Is Our Greatest Ally
As the Cold War was winding down in 1989 the military/industrial complex needed a new enemy. Muslim jihadists with their strange unfamiliarity were the ultimate villains. We were driven out of Iraq and then Afghanistan. Putting missiles on Russia’s western border brought us a new spending stream. CBS News did an excellent documentary showing that 70% of U.S. aid to Ukraine was unaccounted for but soon took it down.
A huge number of products Americans buy are labeled “Made in China.” Donald Trump saw this as a way to put a face on the enemy in order to gain power. His tariffs raised prices for U.S. manufacturers but did nothing to punish China. A big hoorah went up instead of an admission of failure. Mr. Biden’s offensive against China is subsidies for American companies who can’t compete with their Chinese counterparts.
Pick a media source and look at it for two minutes and you can see who a person’s preferred enemy of the day is. For instance, viewers of CNN, NPR, or MSNBC fear the “far right.” Readers of The Epoch Times are convinced China is our enemy. Will they storm our beaches? Raid our bank accounts? September 11 proved that leaving these matters to government is a bad idea.
The military maneuvers in Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (which happens to overlap such zones of neighboring countries) makes gullible U.S. officials think that China is about to attack. But China has more invested in Taiwan than in the United States and is their largest trading partner. Trade is the reason for their peace.
Of Richard Nixon’s notable accomplishments, good or bad, is the normalization of relations with China. If we think about Americans’ lifestyles since that time, a dominant element has been affordable labor saving and recreational products. We can thank Nixon for a part of our comfortable existence.
The other part we can give credit to is Chinese capitalism. Once there was a farmer who was concerned about his continued poverty despite the promise of the Cultural Revolution. The powers-that-be in his village decided to allow him to keep a portion of his crops so he and his family could subsidize the meager stipend that was returned to him by their Marxist system. His productivity improved so much that they allowed the whole village this taste of creeping capitalism.
The rest is history. Chinese capitalism has empowered it to become our most important trading partner.
The military/industrial complex has been joined by climate and other profiteers whose products would never sell given the free choice of consumers. We are quickly mimicking the communist China of the past as a reaction to the perceived China threat. Their advantage is legalization of private property. Our disadvantage is not lack of subsidies to inefficient producers, it is those very subsidies that reward failure.
China fits the definition of ally better than almost any country on Earth. Yet against the greater good of our people, it looks like we will fall for the scams of the crony-capitalists once again.
There is hardly another country who returns our friendship better than China. Trade enforces that relationship, keeps the peace, and supports our luxurious lifestyle.