Posts Tagged ‘College’
Exiled from Vanderbilt: How Colleges are Driving Religious Groups off Campus
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Freedom of association is under assault on campus. Across the country, universities are using “non-discrimination” policies to force student groups to admit members and leaders who do not share the core values and beliefs of the group.
In practical terms, that means Republican groups would be required to allow Democrats to join and apply for leadership positions, pro-life groups would have to include pro-abortion activists, and religious groups would be forced to admit those who oppose their religion and seek to destroy their group through a “hostile takeover” with their own members.
Vanderbilt University has informed a small Christian student organization that it will no longer be recognized as a student group because it requires its members to have a personal commitment to Jesus Christ, according to email correspondence provided to Fox News.
“It just shows how radical the Vanderbilt administration has become in enforcing a policy that is nonsense,” said Kim Colby, senior counsel for the Christian Legal Society’s Center for Law and Religious Freedom. “A lot of jaws dropped when we saw how far the Vanderbilt administration was taking this.”
Colby told Fox News the Christian group did not want to be identified because “they just don’t want to be caught in the crossfire of the culture wars.”
The group reached out to the Vandy chapter of the Christian Legal Society so others would know what had happened, Colby said.
“They are a small group of students who want to gather together and worship God,” she said. “That’s basically all they want to do.”
According to email correspondence from the university, the group’s constitution was not approved because the university took issue with a requirement that leaders have a “personal commitment to Jesus Christ.”
[...] Colby said the student group has decided not to comply with the university’s demands.
“They’re going to leave campus rather than take those five words out of their constitution,” Colby told Fox News.
Colby said it’s becoming clear that Vanderbilt University is specifically targeting Christian organizations.
Unfortunately, this isn’t an isolated incident. Similar policies are being adopted across the country:
Rollins College has determined that a Christian student organization is in violation of the school’s nondiscrimination policy because the group requires its leaders to be followers of Christ.
The college’s board of trustees voted unanimously not to exempt the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship from the policy – meaning the Christian group will no longer receive funding and will not be recognized as an official campus organization.
Will your alma mater or child’s university be next? Go to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education to learn more.
Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge calls it “The Scariest Chart Of The Quarter“:
We have already discussed the student loan bubble, and its popping previously, most extensively in this article. Today, we get the Q3 consumer credit breakdown update courtesy of the NY Fed’s quarterly credit breakdown. And it is quite ghastly. As of September 30, Federal (not total, just Federal) rose to a gargantuan $956 billion, an increase of $42 billion in the quarter – the biggest quarterly update since 2006.
But this is no surprise to anyone who read our latest piece on the topic. What also shouldn’t be a surprise, at least to our readers who read about it here first, but what will stun the general public are the two charts below, the first of which shows the amount of 90+ day student loan delinquencies, and the second shows the amount of newly delinquent 30+ day student loan balances. The charts speak for themselves.
[...] We’ll let readers calculate on their own what a surge in 90+ day delinquency from 9% to 11% (or as footnote 2 explains: 22%) in one quarter on $1 trillion in student debt means. For those confused, read all about it in this September article: “The Next Subprime Crisis Is Here: Over $120 Billion In Federal Student Loans In Default” which predicted just this.
Easy credit and the push to send an ever-increasing number of young people to college have combined to create what University of Tennessee law professor Glenn Reynolds has termed the “higher education bubble.” College has become much more expensive, but barely 60 percent of enrollees complete a four-year degree within six years. The other 40 percent are left with no degree, and plenty of debt.
For obvious reasons, loan burden falls almost exclusively on youth. Almost 40 percent of loans belong to people younger than 30, an age category hit hard by the current economic stagnation. That’s still no reason to stick taxpayers — many of whom don’t have college degrees — with the bill for graduates.
By removing the sliver of budgetary discipline that comes from holding individuals responsible for paying off debt, loan forgiveness encourages bad decisions. It also fosters the expectation of a “free” college education — with free meaning taxpayers foot the bill. The better solution is to cut off taxpayer-subsidized credit to universities. This would force institutions of higher learning to provide students an education that is actually valuable, not merely a credential.
Revealing Politics went around the streets asking people what Kindergartners should be taught about Thanksgiving. The most common answer? How America is a racist, genocidal, oppressive nation that exterminated the Native Americans and stole all their land:
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I’ll bet none of their Marxist professors told them about all the atrocities of the countries that millions of immigrants have fled to come to these shores, or how Communism killed over 100 million people just in the last century alone. But why quibble over facts?
The video’s producer Ben Howe, a RedState contributor and Revealing Politics creative director, told TheBlaze on Wednesday that the respondents in the video displayed “repulsive anti-Americanism and thought.”
“No nation on earth is blameless. No people are blameless,” he added. “Ideally something like Thanksgiving is an opportunity for us to share in our common humanity not our common feelings of guilt. But given that it is a uniquely American holiday, I guess these people just can’t pass up the opportunity to trash her.”
Howe went on: “I’m not saying we don’t bear any responsibility for any scars that were left in our history. Clearly America has had its moral failings. The point is that Thanksgiving is supposed to be a time of coming together, but for these people and so many like them they just can’t let go and prefer to live in a world where blame always rests on the shoulders of someone else.”
Having been indoctrinated by government schools to hate their country and loathe its traditions, it should come as no surprise that they are venting their anger online while their countrymen celebrate:
“While many Americans try to set politics aside for the Thanksgiving holiday, it’s too much to ask of a vocal group of Twitter users who are using the day to slam America,” the staff at Twitchy said. [...]
“[H]appy thanksgiving, the most racist/colonialist of ALL the holidays! wiping out native people really gets me in the mood for some pie (sic),” tweeted ”lizzie c.”
“[T]hanksgiving is the most american holiday because like america its hella racist and like america its all about food (sic),” added ”Weed Supreme.”
“I’ll say happy Family Day….’Happy Thanksgiving’ is racist….Native Americans did not sit around & sing kumbaya with the pilgrims smh (sic),” another person tweeted.
Twitchy said that a number attacked cartoon character Charlie Brown as racist.
“You gotta love vaguely-racist-towards-Native-American people Peanuts Thanksgiving specials,” tweeted ”Kyle Elphick.” [...]
Unfortunately, it’s the kind of reaction one expects from liberals on Twitter these days.
“It is sad when our country is belittled and trashed at every turn by Liberals,” a commenter at Twitchy said.
“The Progressive motto: ‘We cannot be happy until you are as miserable as we are.’ Happy Thanksgiving anyway, folks,” another person wrote.
I guess this would explain why George Soros and his union minions planned for months to ruin the holidays for travelers and shoppers this year.
Good for Wheaton and these other universities for standing up against this assault on human life and religious freedom!
Wheaton College, an evangelical institution, joined forces Wednesday with Catholic University of America to sue the government for requiring that it provide health insurance coverage for some abortifacient drugs to its employees and students.
Wheaton’s main reason for filing suit, Dr. Philip Ryken, president of Wheaton College, explained in a Wednesday conference call with reporters, is that the pro-life institution opposes the use of abortifacient drugs and would be forced to violate its religious beliefs.
“This insurance mandate is against our conscience and against our Christian convictions. We have no recourse now but to file suit,” Ryken said.
Ryken added that Wheaton and Catholic University also wanted to demonstrate cross-denominational solidarity on the issue of religious freedom.
“We have a respect for Roman Catholic institutions and in this case we recognize we have common cause with Catholic University of America and other Catholic institutions in defending religious liberty. We’re, in effect, co-belligerents in this fight against government action. I think the fact that evangelicals and Catholics are coming together on this issue ought to be a sign to all Americans that something really significant for religious liberty is at stake.”
John Garvey, president of Catholic University of America, said that the addition of Wheaton College to the now 24 lawsuits demonstrates that the issue is about religious freedom, not contraception.
There’s nothing “neutral” about forcing adherence to the national orthodoxy. Christians need to wake up.
A Christian student at a Georgia university who was expelled from her school’s counseling program for expressing her disagreement with homosexuality has lost a court case against the school.
“(Jennifer) Keeton’s speech and conduct were evidently impelled by the absolutist philosophical character of her beliefs, but that character does not entitle her to university accommodation and it is irrelevant to the court’s analysis,” wrote Judge J. Randall Hall, of the Southern District of Georgia, siding with the university. “Neutrality as a legal standard is immutable, it does not bend to the strength or tenor of personal conviction.”
Keeton refused to change the way she engages with homosexual students because of her religious beliefs, and was expelled from the counseling program at Augusta State University in 2010, which stressed that the program should not discriminate against students regardless of their sexual orientation.
Keeton argued, however, that it was the school that showed discrimination for firing her because of the way she applied her religious views. The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) filed a lawsuit on behalf of the former counselor in July 2010, citing that she was fired by Augusta State for expressing her religious views on homosexuality in a private conversation.
“We are currently evaluating the district court’s opinion and will make a determination on our next step in the case shortly,” ADF Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco shared with The Christian Post Thursday.
Keeton was initially placed on probation, and school officials required her to follow a “remediation plan.” This included attending sensitivity training, going to gay pride events and writing papers on her experiences and the lessons she had learned in tolerance. When Keeton refused to comply, she was removed from her position.
“The remediation plan imposed on Keeton pursuant to those policies placed limits on her speech and burdened her religious beliefs, but, as the allegations show, the plan was motivated by a legitimate pedagogical interest in cultivating a professional demeanor and concern that she might prove unreceptive to certain issues and openly judge her clients,” the judge said. “The allegations show, in sum, that while Keeton was motivated by her religious beliefs, Defendants were not.”
This isn’t news to anyone who’s been active within the home-schooling community for any length of time.
More than 2 million U.S. students in grades K-12 were home-schooled in 2010, accounting for nearly 4 percent of all school-aged children, according to the National Home Education Research Institute. Studies suggest that those who go on to college will outperform their peers.
Students coming from a home school graduated college at a higher rate than their peers—66.7 percent compared to 57.5 percent—and earned higher grade point averages along the way, according to a study that compared students at one doctoral university from 2004-2009.
They’re also better socialized than most high school students, says Joe Kelly, an author and parenting expert who home-schooled his twin daughters.
“I know that sounds counterintuitive because they’re not around dozens or hundreds of other kids every day, but I would argue that’s why they’re better socialized,” Kelly says. “Many home-schoolers play on athletic teams, but they’re also interactive with students of different ages.”
Home-schooled students often spend less time in class, Kelly says, giving them more opportunity to get out into the world and engage with adults and teens alike.
“The socialization thing is really a nonissue for most home schoolers,” he says. “They’re getting a lot of it.”
[...] Home-schooled students often choose academic and social pursuits because they find them important and meaningful, and college admissions officers are drawn to that authenticity, Shaevitz says.
“They have to take account of time … that other students have structured,” she says. “The possibilities of showing all the kinds of things that colleges are looking for—curiosity, confidence, resourcefulness, ability to deal with challenges—you name it. That’s a part of being a home-schooled student.”
Here we go again!
“Like all booms, higher education has been fueled by credit.”
Conversely, easy, cheap credit fools entrepreneurs into believing that society’s collective time preference has fallen, enticing them into investing in higher-order goods, such as land, factories, and the like — when in fact the collective time preference hasn’t changed, and the demand for higher-order goods is merely a mirage. The result is booms and busts rather than genuine growth.
College degrees are similar to what the Austrians call higher-order goods. It’s thought that a student will gain knowledge and seasoning in college that will make him or her more productive and a candidate for a high-paying career. The investment of time and money in knowledge pays through higher productivity and is translated into higher income. Higher education is the higher-order means to a successful career.
PayPal founder and early Facebook investor Peter Thiel, questioning the value of higher education, tells TechCrunch,
A true bubble is when something is overvalued and intensely believed. Education may be the only thing people still believe in in the United States. To question education is really dangerous. It is the absolute taboo. It’s like telling the world there’s no Santa Claus.
The excesses of both college and homeownership were always excused by a core national belief that, no matter what happens in the world, these were the best investments you could make. Housing prices would always go up, and you will always make more money if you are college educated.
The New York Times‘ David Leonhardt even claims,
Construction workers, police officers, plumbers, retail salespeople and secretaries, among others, make significantly more with a degree than without one. Why? Education helps people do higher-skilled work, get jobs with better-paying companies or open their own businesses.
Using data from the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University, Leonhardt asserts that dishwashers with college degrees make $34,000 a year while those without make $19,000.
No employer in their right mind would pay nearly double for a dishwasher with a college degree. However, there are plenty of fresh college graduates cobbling together multiple low-level jobs just to make ends meet.
“More college graduates are working in second jobs that don’t require college degrees,” writes Hannah Seligson in the New York Times, “part of a phenomenon called ‘mal-employment.’ In short, many baby-sitters, sales clerks, telemarketers and bartenders are overqualified for their jobs.”
Nearly 2 million college graduates were mal-employed last year, up 17 percent from 2007. Nearly half of all college graduates are working at a job not requiring a degree.
In the United States, 80,000 bartenders as well as 317,000 waiters and waitresses have college degrees. Nearly a quarter of all retail salespersons have a college degree. In all, 17 million Americans with college degrees are working at jobs that do not require a bachelor’s degree.
“Young college graduates working multiple jobs is a natural consequence of a bad labor market and having, on average, $20,000 worth of student loans to pay off,” said Carl E. Van Horn, director of the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers.
“The median starting salary for those who graduated from four-year degree programs in 2009 and 2010 was $27,000, down from $30,000 for those who graduated in 2006 to 2008, before the recession,” Seligson writes, adding, “Try living on $27,000 a year — before taxes — in a city like New York, Washington or Chicago.”
Like all booms, higher education has been fueled by credit. In June of last year, total student-loan debt exceeded total credit-card debt outstanding for the first time, totaling more than $900 billion.“Not only are the returns poor, but the quality of the product is poor.”
All of this credit has pushed the average cost of tuition up 440 percent in the last 25 years, more than four times the rate of inflation. But while the factors of production on campus have been bid up, just as they are in any other asset boom, the return on investment is a bust. In 1992, there were 5.1 million mal-employed college graduates. By 2008, the number was 17 million.
Not only are the returns poor, but the quality of the product is poor (as in the case of new-construction quality in the housing boom). According to the authors of Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses, 45 percent of students make no gains in their critical reasoning and thinking skills, as well as writing ability, after two years in college. More than one out of three college seniors were no better at writing and thinking than they were when they first arrived at their campuses.
Many projects contemplated and started during the real-estate boom are never completed, as prices are bid up, and owners run out of capital. Such is the case for many attending college, as over 45 percent of those who enroll as freshmen ultimately give up, realizing they lack the disciplinary and mental capital, and do not graduate.
Similar to the government push for increased homeownership, government is foursquare behind having more young people attend universities. One of President Obama’s top goals is to increase the number of Americans attending college.
But why? “Among the members of the class of 2010, just 56 percent had held at least one job by this spring, when the survey was conducted,” reported the Times recently. “That compares with 90 percent of graduates from the classes of 2006 and 2007.”
And because they can’t find jobs, 85 percent of college grads move back in with their parents after they graduate. According to a poll by Twentysomething Inc., a marketing and research firm based in Philadelphia, that rate has steadily risen from 67 percent in 2006.
Parents scrape and save to send their children to college, presumably so they will be able to get a better job and become more educated.
Unfortunately, the reality is that too many universities and colleges have become Leftist re-education camps and propagandist training for political activism.
As high school seniors throughout America will be receiving acceptance letters to colleges within the next month, it would be nice for parents to meditate on what they are getting for the $20–$50,000 they will pay each year.
The United States is no better than any other country, and in many areas worse than many. On the world stage, America is an imperialist country, and domestically it mistreats its minorities and neglects its poor, while discriminating against non-whites.
There is no better and no worse in literature and the arts. The reason universities in the past taught Shakespeare, Michelangelo, and Bach rather than, let us say, Guatemalan poets, Sri Lankan musicians, and Native American storytellers was “Eurocentrism.”
God is at best a non-issue, and at worst, a foolish and dangerous belief.
Christianity is largely a history of inquisitions, crusades, oppression, and anti-intellectualism. Islam, on the other hand, is “a religion of peace.” Therefore, criticism of Christianity is enlightened, while criticism of Islam is Islamophobia.
Israel is a racist state, morally no different from apartheid South Africa.
Big government is the only humane way to govern a country.
The South votes Republican because it is still racist and the Republican party caters to racists.
Mothers and fathers are interchangeable. Claims that married mothers and fathers are the parental ideal and bring unique things to a child are heterosexist and homophobic.
Whites can be racist; non-whites cannot be (because whites have power and the powerless cannot be racist).
The great world and societal battles are not between good and evil, but between rich and poor and the powerful and the powerless.
Patriotism is usually a euphemism for chauvinism.
War is ignoble. Pacifism is noble.
Human beings are animals. They differ from “other animals” primarily in having better brains.
We live in a patriarchal society, which is injurious to women.
Women are victims of men.
Blacks are victims of whites.
Latinos are victims of Anglos.
Muslims are victims of non-Muslims.
Gays are victims of straights.
Big corporations are bad. Big unions are good.
There is no objective meaning to a text. Every text only means what the reader perceives it to mean.
The American Founders were sexist, racist slaveholders whose primary concern was preserving their wealthy status.
The Constitution says what progressives think it should say.
The American dropping of the atom bomb on Hiroshima was an act of racism and a war crime. The wealthy have stacked the capitalist system to maintain their power and economic benefits.
The wealthy Western nations became wealthy by exploiting Third World nations through colonialism and imperialism.
Defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman is as immoral as defining marriage as the union of a white and a white.
If this list is accurate — and that may be confirmed by visiting a college bookstore and seeing what books are assigned by any given instructor — most American parents and/or their child are going into debt in order to support an institution that for four years, during the most impressionable years of a person’s life, instills values that are the opposite of those of their parents.
And that is intentional.
The intro was done by Andrew Breitbart himself, shortly before his death:
View at Breitbart.tv
Breitbart.com has received exclusive tape of an Occupy Strategy Session at New York University, billed as a group talk on “The Abolition of Capitalism.” One of the headline speakers at this session was Stephen Lerner, former leader and International Board Member of the SEIU and frequent Obama White House visitor. Lerner argued in favor of people not paying their mortgages and “occupying” their homes; he spoke in favor of invading annual shareholders meetings to shut them down. But his big goal was to get workers to shut down their workplaces. That’s where the SEIU agenda and the Occupy agenda truly meet: once workers begin to occupy.
These anti-capitalist activists – many of which hold prominent and powerful positions within unions and higher education – openly admit that democracy cannot coexist with capitalism, and they’re right. Free markets require individual liberty, which is the antithesis of tyranny by majority vote. That’s why they want to destroy what’s left of America’s free market system (much has already been socialized).
Our founders gave us a constitutional republic based on the rule of law instead of simple majority vote for this very reason. They knew from history that democracy inevitably dissolved into anarchy and finally totalitarianism.
What the Left in America wants is nothing less than the destruction of our free market, liberty-oriented constitutional republic and the establishment of a new socialist economy and system of government.
They cry openly for the overthrow and takeover of our nation. If this isn’t treason, what is?
This is yet another reason to get the government OUT of the student loan business altogether: picking winners and losers, and now specifically targeting religious institutions as the “losers,” is completely unconstitutional and immoral.
The Obama administration views anything the church does outside of the church building itself as not covered by the First Amendment’s religious liberty language.
Just as ObamaCare gave the Obama administration incredible power to regulate the health care industry – power it is now using to mandate limits to how Catholics live out their faith in America – the government takeover of the student loan business has empowered government to make these new student loans forgiveness rules, by which the administration again attacks religious organizations that dare to reach out to the broader community.
Religious organization often view community outreach ministries as part of their religious mission. A church operating a free clinic for the poor, a shelter for the homeless, or gathering clothing and food for the less fortunate often views its efforts as both living out the will of the Savior and seeking to bring more people to Him. In other words, charity is often also a form of proselytizing.
Such not-for-profit ministries need good college graduates, but because they generally can’t or won’t pay as well as jobs in the for-profit sector, the student loan forgiveness program was there to help them compete for good talent.
But the new rule barring loan forgiveness for graduates whose “job duties” are “related to … any form of proselytizing” is not a narrow prohibition against government helping fund, say, the salary of a preacher or rabbi, but an overly broad rule through which the government can now refuse to forgive student loans for anyone who takes almost any job at any non-profit connected to a church or religious organization.
While religion-based public service is now on the Obama administration’s enemies list, graduates can get part of their student loans forgiven if they take a job with federal, state or local government agency or a government organization such as public water, bridge or housing districts, or nonprofit organizations that the Internal Revenue Service has designated as tax exempt. Also, graduates who take a job in emergency management, the military, public safety, law enforcement are eligible, as are graduates who take a job at a public health service, public library, public school or other public-school-based service, public interest law firms, or in early childhood education; public service for individuals with disabilities and the elderly.
The new rules are designed to steer graduates away from faith-based public service, to the only kind of public service the Left admires: government and secular. It doesn’t matter at all to the Left that faith-based public service organizations are very effective at helping people. In fact, they seem to view it as an affront to their vision of a society run by Big Government in which the faithful do not allow their faith to guide their lives outside of the church door.
So, under the new student loan forgiveness rules, if you take a job with your state’s Emergency Management Agency, you’re cool, but if you take a job with a large religious organizations’ disaster relief program, you’re not. If you take a job at the local city health clinic, you can get your student loans forgiven, but not if you go to work for a non-profit hospital run by the Catholic Church.
“… we try to arrange things so that students who enter as bigoted, homophobic, religious fundamentalists will leave college with views more like our own…we are going to go right on trying to discredit you in the eyes of your children, trying to strip your fundamentalist religious community of dignity, trying to make your views seem silly rather than discussable.” ~ University Professor Richard Rorty
Santorum is right on target with this one.
Rick Santorum accused President Obama of wanting Americans to go to colleges and universities that will indoctrinate them to be liberals.
“It’s no wonder President Obama wants every kid to go college,” Santorum said Wednesday in Florida, according to CBS News. “The indoctrination that occurs in American universities is one of the keys to the left holding and maintaining power in America. And it is indoctrination. If it was the other way around, the ACLU would be out there making sure there wasn’t one penny of government dollars going to colleges and universities, right?”
In Obama’s State of the Union speech a day earlier, he called on higher-education institutions to become more affordable or face funding cuts from the federal government.
“Higher education can’t be a luxury — it is an economic imperative that every family in America should be able to afford,” Obama said in his speech.
Santorum said that if higher-education institutions “taught Judeo-Christian principles,” “they would be stripped of every dollar.”
“If they teach radical secular ideology, they get all the government support that they can possibly give them,” Santorum continued. “Because, you know, 62 percent of children who enter college with a faith conviction leave without it.”
When I was in college, I made a conscious choice: I would only take as many classes as I could pay for up front. No loans. I didn’t want to be saddled with large debts for a degree field (Journalism/Communications) that didn’t have a guaranteed high-paying job to pay them back on the other side. Instead, I worked full time and went to school part time, and eventually stopped going altogether to save money while I paid off other debts.
Some would say that I failed because I never finished. Others would argue that I should have been able to go for “free” (translation: at other people’s expense). I argue neither. I succeeded because I learned some very valuable skills which serve me well as a blogger, and was able to do it DEBT FREE. That to me is worth more than a degree with a ball-and-chain of student debt to strain my family’s budget ad infinitum.
The spoiled parade of clueless, “educated” Occupiers whining about their student debts because they bit off more than they could chew without bothering to think ahead has only reaffirmed to me that I made the right choice.
Unfortunately, there are far to many young Americans who are clueless about money and credit and got themselves way in over their heads. At some point, what goes up must come down.
One of the oldest economic maxims, “if you subsidize something, you get more of it” has created the next trillion dollar-plus bubble for which American taxpayers will be on the hook. The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education discovered that published college tuition and fees increased 439 percent from 1982 to 2007, while median family income rose 147 percent. What is driving those costs? The idea that every high school graduate should attend college, and that government — meaning taxpayers — will guarantee loans made to those students.
The bill gets larger each year. Federal assistance to college students has risen 60 percent in the last three years from $97.7 billion in 2008 to $156.1 billion this year. This reflects a steady trend in making ever more money available to students who need financial aid in order to afford college. Back in the mid-1980s, there was a $2500 annual cap on the amount of federal student loans one could access to attend college. Thus, the maximum amount of federal debt one could amass in the process of getting a four-year degree was $10,000.
That amount has more than tripled. For most students, $31,000 is now available and, unsurprisingly, student debt has skyrocketed. The current average debt load for student borrowers is a record $25,250, even as those who attend high-tuition colleges are averaging double that, at over $55,000 per student. And as college tuition continues to rise, so do the number of borrowers. According to the College Board, more than 50 percent of all full-time undergrads at public colleges and universities are now full-time borrowers. At private nonprofit schools, two-thirds of students have outstanding loans.
As indicated above, more money available for borrowing by students has led directly to massive increases in tuition. Those increases substantially exceed the actual costs of the education itself. The Cato Institute reveals that it costs roughly $8,000 to educate an undergraduate at an average residential college, even as a private four-year university averages $37,000 to attend and a public equivalent averages $16,000. The resulting profits allow colleges to expand their facilities, their bureaucracies and their amenities, leading to higher tuition charges.
Hence, a vicious cycle: as college tuition costs increase, the government makes more funding available to students to pay for them. The more funding available — guaranteed by the taxpayers, so that colleges never face the possibility of a loan default — the more they can raise their tuition costs without ever having to worry about getting stiffed.
The American taxpayer, on the other hand, is getting stiffed with increasing regularity. According to the American Department of Education, student default rates rose sharply in 2009, the last year for which statistics are available. 15 percent of borrowers at for-profit colleges and 7 percent of borrowers at public colleges defaulted in the first two years of repayment. This represents increases of 11.6 percent and 7 percent, respectively. Of the 3.6 million borrowers whose first loan payments came due between Oct. 1, 2008, and Sept. 30, 2009, as many as 320,000 walked away from their obligations.
This too creates a vicious cycle. Since student loans are not dischargeable, even through bankruptcy, borrowers face long-term consequences that impinge on their ability to lead the kind of life one expects a college diploma to provide. It can become impossible to borrow money to buy a house or a car, wages can be garnished, tax returns can be seized, and in the ultimate irony, one can have difficulty finding a job in an era where employers are increasingly checking a prospective employee’s credit status.
Unfortunately, it’s not just defaults that burden the taxpayer. In March 2010, a Democratically-controlled Congress instituted a government takeover of the student loan program as part of Obamacare. Slated to begin in July 2014, those owing student loans would see their payments reduced to 10 percent of their disposable income, down from the current 15 percent. Those who keep up their payments will have their loans forgiven after 20 years, instead of 25. Yet on October 25, in a transparent pander to the youth vote, the president, by executive order, moved the timetable up to 2012.
Both of these moves virtually guarantee that once again “profit,” aka a college education, will be privatized, while losses, resulting from the failure to pay one’s freely undertaken obligation — either in the form of outright default, or the “forgiveness,” of a loan before it is completely paid off — will be socialized.
Yet for those more fully suffused with the American entitlement mentality, even this arrangement is insufficient. In what proponents are laughably characterizing as an economic stimulus, Rep. Hansen Clarke (D-MI) is proposing HR 365, part of which advocates forgiveness of student debt. Why? Government bailed out “rich” bankers, why not “poor” college students?
Such a plan is preposterous. Doubling down on the same bailout mentality that has engendered a massive amount of public anger with respect to the banking system is a fool’s errand. It’s bad enough the government spent $700 billion of borrowed money on that monstrosity, even if it was a necessary evil. Government has no business subsidizing irresponsible behavior, especially when it is rationalized as two wrongs making a right. Furthermore, why should those Americans who wanted to go to college but didn’t, because they couldn’t afford it, underwrite the expenses of those who simply want to renege on their responsibilities?
Let’s hope so!
Counting on voter naivete is a precarious strategy, especially in the age of instant information.
Harvard’s Institute of Politics released a report on Thursday titled “Survey of Young Americans’ Attitudes Toward Politics and Public Service: 20th Edition.” According to Alana Goodman, the report’s conclusions should “alarm” President Obama. She said,
“In 2008, voters under the age of 30 helped catapult Obama into the White House. Three years later, Obama’s approval rating is underwater with the demographic, which is becoming increasingly confident he’ll lose reelection.”
At this moment, only 46% of young Americans approve of the president’s performance while 51% of them disapprove, and Obama’s numbers are heading south quickly among that demographic. Why? Bill Clinton understood the problem, and he coined a phrase to explain it: “It’s the economy, stupid.”
Twenty years later, it’s still the economy, and young Americans aren’t so stupid that they don’t get it. Thankfully, they are finally waking up to reality because they will be the ones called upon to pay the bills that President Obama and his Democratic colleagues in Congress seem determined to run up despite mounting opposition from all sectors of the voting population.
There is a connection between mounting debt and deficits and Gross Domestic Product, and we’ve passed the point as a nation where printing dollars and increasing spending produce positive results. In fact, we don’t even know what the price will be for our largess. There are interest rate and inflation effects associated with runaway spending. Thanks to the global economic slowdown, we haven’t experienced them yet, but we will. It’s as certain as night following day. When inflation rears its ugly head and interest rates shoot through the roof, everybody loses, but young people stand to lose more than others because they are just entering the workforce. They can look forward to a lifetime of struggling to pay off debt that we should not have incurred.
Goodman is correct. President Obama should be alarmed and so should every member of Congress, Democrat or Republican. Little by little, the entire nation is beginning to pay attention, and voters don’t like what they see. Our nation’s debt and deficit problems are totally out of control, and the president doesn’t grasp the enormity of the problems that he has created. Neither do many members of Congress who insist that we still aren’t doing enough for this group or that.
The party’s over. November 2012 is less than a year away. Hopefully, everyone in America will get the message then.
First we outsource the manufacture of electronic components for essential military equipment to China. Now we’re hiring Iranian-linked foreigners to manufacture our fighter jets?
Outsourcing one’s national defense is SUICIDAL. It’s literally putting our own national security in a potential enemy’s hands. What is WRONG with these people???
Late Thursday the Obama administration abruptly knocked Kansas aircraft maker Hawker Beechcraft out of contention for a $1 billion project to make a fleet of lightweight counterinsurgency aircraft for the Air Force. Hawker Beechcraft is, understandably, disturbed and asking questions.
The Air Force has notified Hawker Beechcraft Corp. that its Beechcraft AT-6 has been excluded from competition to build a light attack aircraft, a contract worth nearly $1 billion, the company said.
The company had hoped to its AT-6, an armed version of its T-6 trainer, would be chosen for the Light Air Support Counter Insurgency aircraft for the Afghanistan National Army Corps. The chosen aircraft also would be used as a light attack armed reconnaissance aircraft for the U.S. Air Force.
The piston planes are designed for counterinsurgency, close air support, armed overwatch and homeland security, The Wichita Eagle reported (http://bit.ly/ud7FDM).
Hawker Beechcraft officials said in a news release that they were “confounded and troubled” by the Air Force’s decision. The company said it is asking the Air Force for an explanation and will explore all options.
Hawker Beechcraft said it had been working with the Air Force for two years and had invested more than $100 million to meet the Air Force’s requirements for the plane. It noted that the Beechcraft AT-6 had been found capable of meeting the requirements in a demonstration program led by the Air National Guard.
“We have followed the Air Force’s guidance close, and based on what we have seen, we continue to believe that we submitted the most capable, affordable and sustainable light attack aircraft,” the company said.
The company has said that winning the contract would have kept its T-6 production line running after 2015. About 1,400 employees in 20 states – including 800 at Hawker Beechcraft in Wichita – work on the AT-6 and T-6 programs for Beechcraft and its U.S. suppliers and partners.
So that’s another 1,400 American jobs lost. And it gets worse. By knocking Hawker Beechcraft out, the Pentagon has limited the “competition” to one company, a company that is not only not an American manufacturer, it’s a government-owned entity with ties to our enemies. The company is Embraer, which is controlled by the government of Brazil and has close ties to the government of Iran, as Timothy Lee wrote for the Tatler on Nov. 10.
According to the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, “In 1989, Brazil chose to sell Tucanos, Embraer’s relatively low cost and basic military aircraft, to Iran.” Currently, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Air Force operates around 40 Embraer T-27 Tucanos, according to the Washington Institute. In fact, the Iranians use the Tucano as their primary close air support aircraft.
In recent years, Brazil has continued its troubling friendship with Iran and ruthless leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The Hudson Institute notes that, “Another area of tension between Brazil and the United States relates to Iran. In November 2009, President da Silva invited Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Brazil. In May 2010, da Silva helped broker a deal in which Iran would ship only a portion of its low-enriched uranium to Turkey for reprocessing; the rest would remain in Iranian hands, where it could be further enriched for nuclear weapon production.”
That willingness to set ethics aside for the betterment of their bottom line illustrates the danger in the US purchasing military aircraft from Brazil.
The matter becomes even more troublesome as news trickles out about the recent Iran-lead assassination attempts on Saudi/US officials on American soil. Even more recently, details have emerged implicating Iran as the mastermind of an illegal plot to smuggle electronic components used in improvised explosive devices (IEDs) out of the US through Iran for US on our troops in Iraq.
Why is the administration making a decision to exclude an American manufacturer in favor of a maker with such a history? This is the Obama administration’s second billion-dollar giveaway to the Brazilian government in 2011; the first was its outrageous offshore oil loan guarantee decision in March. The two decisions siphon more than $2 billion and more than 21,000 jobs out of the US economy. Of the two, putting a foreign manufacturer with ties to our enemies in charge of a project to build anti-terror weaponry may be the most disturbing. And this is the Obama administration’s second major decision against an American aircraft manufacturer, the first being the NLRB’s unprecedented lawsuit against Boeing and its South Carolina Dreamliner plant. Both states impacted — Kansas and South Carolina — are right-to-work states. And then there’s this president’s sustained rhetorical war against corporate jet owners. Somebody has to make those jets, and Hawker Beechcraft is among the manufacturers indirectly targeted.
What’s “shameful” is that America-hating “educators” like him get tenure to continue brainwashing young law students with their twisted ideology ad infinitum. He also demanded the removal of the American flag. Shocker.
A Massachusetts law professor has created a campus firestorm with an email to colleagues that declares it would be “shameful” to send care packages to U.S. troops “who have gone overseas to kill other human beings.”
Michael Avery, a professor at Suffolk University Law School, sent a five-paragraph email to colleagues in response to a school-wide appeal for care packages for deployed soldiers, Fox affiliate WFXT-TV reports.
“I think it is shameful that it is perceived as legitimate to solicit in an academic institution for support for men and women who have gone overseas to kill other human beings,” Avery wrote.
The professor, who specializes in constitutional law, wrote the email last week in response to a university drive to collect items for U.S. troops, like sunblock and sanitary products. He also wrote that sympathy for American troops in harm’s way is “not particularly rational in today’s world.”
Paul Spera, past commander in chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, blasted Avery’s remarks on Monday, calling the professor’s argument “despicable.”
“The shameful thing is that he’s teaching our young people,” Spera told FoxNews.com.
“One of the things that we’ve learned from Vietnam is to separate the warriors from the war. You can be opposed to the war — you can disagree with the tactics and the political decision involved — but the individuals on the battle field are there protecting us,” said Spera, an Army veteran who served in Vietnam.
“Somebody has to stand up to this man,” he said, noting that the recipients of such care packages are willing to “lay their lives on the line for the freedoms that this man is abusing.”
The university has since been inundated with complaints from students and alumni, claiming Avery’s view is not representative of the school community.
“I don’t think that reflects the overall feelings of Suffolk Law in general,” law student Marisa Roman told the station. “Clearly it’s a patriotic school; we have a huge American flag up in the atrium.”
Avery reportedly takes exception to the flag as well, claiming that its hanging is “not a politically neutral act.”
“Excessive patriotic zeal is a hallmark of national security states. It permits, indeed encourages, excesses in the name of national security, as we saw during the Bush administration, and which continue during the Obama administration,” he wrote.
Suffolk University president and provost Barry Brown issued a statement saying the school supported the “free exchange of ideas and robust debate” and respected the “right of our faculty members to exercise academic freedom.”
But, Brown said, “As a diverse community, no one opinion or perspective is representative of the views of the whole community.”
“While I personally intend to donate a care package for our troops, I respect the right of others to hold a differing perspective,” added Camille Nelson, dean of the university’s law school. “Suffolk Law, while valuing debate on U.S. military policy, has a well-deserved reputation for supporting armed services personnel in the pursuit of their J.D. degrees and career goals.”
Avery declined to comment further on the matter when contacted Monday by FoxNews.com.
The care package drive, meanwhile, will continue despite his objection to it.
“There’s individuals who really appreciate and need things we’re sending,” said student Kelly Bogua.
“I’m participating in it and I think a lot of people are regardless of the email. If anything, he really just discredited himself,” she said.
Weasel Zippers has provided the contact information for the Dean of the law school to express your outrage.
And here’s the link for the USO Wish Book, for sending troops a care package.