Higher (Cost) Education

Mark Twain observed that everyone complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it. He was of course making a typically wry comment, but leave it to liberals to take it to heart. First to jump on the let’s-try-to-monkey-with-the weather bandwagon was Al Gore, who has since made millions off the hoax known as “global warming,” but which sometimes goes by the alias of “climate change.” More recently, we had the Con Man-in-Chief mention it in his State of the Union address, promising to domesticate Mother Nature with the same ease with which he has cowed the media.

The real problem isn’t that corrupt politicians lie to their own advantage, which is a given, but that most liberal voters are so gullible that fooling them is the equivalent of shooting fish in a barrel.

Next, let us consider the rising cost of what is jokingly referred to as higher education. Obama is constantly fretting about the burden of college loans and the ensuing debt that graduates must bear. But, oddly enough, the debt he feels free to ignore is the $16.5 trillion currently crushing America’s economy.

However, the bottom line is that there is no good reason why anyone should ever have to take out a student loan. If the federal government would simply remove itself from the business of education, and if the self-serving system didn’t insist on people wasting four years taking unnecessary classes; overpaying administrators, coaches and professors; and squandering a fortune on fancy landscaping, college would cost about the same as high school.

In the midst of all the hyperbole surrounding guns, it is worth noting that in 1999, Illinois State Senator Barack Obama voted “present” on a piece of legislation that would require adult prosecution for anyone 15 years of age or older who discharged a gun in or near a school. The bill, which was proposed in response to the murders at Columbine High School, was enacted by a vote of 52-1. Even the Chicago Tribune pilloried Obama and four of his colleagues who joined him in voting “present,” calling them “gutless sheep.”

Considering how gung-ho Obama is these days to have the Second Amendment declared null and void, one can only assume that, as with same-sex marriages and women in frontline combat, his position has, as Jay Carney likes to say, evolved. Isn’t it a shame that his positions never evolve in the right direction?

Speaking of corrupt Democrats, the ex-mayor of San Diego, Maureen O’Connor, has recently been indicted for stealing over two million bucks from her late husband’s charitable foundation. That’s on top of the $50 million or so that she inherited when Robert Peterson, founder of the Jack-in-the-Box fast food chain, passed away. Apparently her game of choice was video poker, so she can’t even blame card cheaters nicknamed “Doc,” “Slick” and “Fingers.” Instead, she pissed it all away to a machine. How embarrassing is that!

On the other hand, I can fully sympathize with Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife, Mrs. Jr. After all, why would the ex-congressman and the missus ever imagine the feds would get so doggone persnickety over the misuse of a measly $750,000 in campaign funds when his dad raised corporate extortion to the level of an art form and was never even indicted for jay-walking?

Speaking of embarrassing offspring, when I see the spoiled likes of Robert Kennedy Jr. being arrested outside the White House, I get one of those huge headaches one generally only comes across in Excedrin commercials. I mean here’s a wealthy doofus who has made a career out of condemning the oil industry for polluting the world while flying all over the world on private jets and riding around in gas-guzzling limos.

Naturally, his amen chorus of environmental zealots hold him in high esteem, and never once question his sincerity. The fact that he allows himself to be arrested, along with high-profile bimbo Daryl Hannah, while demonstrating on Pennsylvania Avenue is enough to establish his bona fides among the pinheads on the Left, even if he bails himself out 10 minutes later so he can fly off to Timbuktu and deliver a bromide-laden monologue on the evils of fossil fuels.

Remember the good old days when rich men’s sons spent all their time gambling, boozing and frolicking with chorus cuties, and poor people could at least use them as object lessons when lecturing their own offspring on the perils of a debauched life style that would inevitably lead to a life-shattering comeuppance?

Back then, the worst thing you could say about these ne’er-do-wells was that they were wastrels and incorrigible rascals, but never, it should be acknowledged, that they were a passel of self-righteous bores and hypocrites.

©2013 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write BurtPrelutsky@aol.com.

Author Bio:

Burt Prelutsky, a very nice person once you get to know him, has been a humor columnist for the L.A. Times and a movie critic for Los Angeles magazine. As a freelancer, he has written for the New York Times, Washington Times, TV Guide, Modern Maturity, Emmy, Holiday, American Film, and Sports Illustrated. For television, he has written for Dragnet, McMillan & Wife, MASH, Mary Tyler Moore, Rhoda, Bob Newhart, Family Ties, Dr. Quinn and Diagnosis Murder. In addition, he has written a batch of terrific TV movies. View Burt’s IMDB profile. Talk about being well-rounded, he plays tennis and poker... and rarely cheats at either. He lives in the San Fernando Valley, where he takes his marching orders from a wife named Yvonne and a dog named Angel.
Author website: http://www.burtprelutsky.com/
  • Burt Prelutsky

    1Haole: Obama doesn’t have to worry about being re-elected. That often helps politicians “evolve” on issues.

    Burt

  • wally12

    Burt: I agree that it shouldn’t cost a fortune to get a college degree. Sure when I went to school back in the late 50′s and the early sixties the cost were cheaper but the hardship to make money was also evident. I came from a family who owned a very small farm and my father worked as a logger while my mother and us kids helped. We had hand me down clothes. I remember my pants had patches upon patches but I do not recall feeling poor or disadvantaged. All five of us graduated from very good colleges. Mich state, U. of Mich., Northern Mich. and Mich. tech. We worked summers to get through and required an extra semester in some cases to obtain the required credits. I believe as you do that costs have risen higher than necessary and do do reflect what they should. I believe it is due to government intervention. Take Finland for example. It is number one in the world in education. Some of the features that may make the Finland example stand out is that children do not begin school until the age of 7. No testing of kids until the age 16, all kids, smart or not are taught in the same classroom, 30% get extra help in the 1st nine years, the difference between the smartest and dumbest is the the smallest in the world, the government provides only a general guide as to education and leaves the teaching to the schools and teachers, the cost to educate is 30% less per student than the US and finally the cost of living in Finland is higher than the US. Why doesn’t the government get out of the business and why doesn’t the educational system adopt some successful alternatives from the rest of the world? I think I know the answer.

    • Burt Prelutsky

      Wally: I’m convinced you do. It should be kept in mind, though, that Finland is a nation of Finns. And a small nation, at that. So they don’t face the same problems as the U.S. Still, if the federal government would get its shnoz out of education, it would be a great first step.

      Burt

      • wally12

        I totally agree with that. If the federal government got out of education, I believe the cost would go down immediately by at least 2/3′s since I assume the old adage of a return of 1/3 for every tax collected. Also, putting education back into local hands would make the system similar to Finnish size. However, we must break the strangle hold of the teachers union on education so that the process becomes teaching and not union issues. I also believe that Finland has some answers that need to be considered since Norway which has some similarity to the US system is not as successful as Finland in terms of outcome

  • http://www.facebook.com/troy.savage.58 Troy Savage

    When I took my first college classes back in the fall of 85 it cost $494 for unlimited hours. When my sister was going in the mid to late 70s it was less than $100 for a trimester of classes. Anytime government money gets involved, costs go up exponentially.

    • Burt Prelutsky

      Troy: Cost goes up and quality goes down.

      Burt

  • GlenFS

    Burt, good point on the Jesse Jackson Jr conviction. How was he to know after growing up under his father’s racial extortion that campaign funds were not fair game too? It’s like playing musical chairs without someone explaining the rules!

    • Burt Prelutsky

      Glen: I think Junior knew the rules, but, like his old man, the extortionist, he assumed they didn’t apply to him.

      Burt

  • JohnInMA

    While the cost of higher education is shamefully distorted as you describe, I’m not so sure that making it cheap gets all the intended results. Cheaper, or more ‘naturally’ priced, yes. But there is a good argument that having to either work hard and save or acquire loans that WON’T be later twiddled with by the government (amnesty, relief, subsidy, whatever the scheme of the moment) is beneficial overall, makes sense to me. And I wonder – with all of Obama’s coveting of so many European style social programs and taxation schemes, maybe he also sees a UK model to be the better. The state pays. But then, the state gets to test you and determine if you get to go, or not. Test well, get in this line and go to college if you want. Test below some arbitrary level, get in this other line and enjoy your trade, or whatever. (Not a dig on tradespeople, but a dig on lack of choice).

    • Burt Prelutsky

      John: It shouldn’t take a government test to tell a youngster or his folks if he should move on to an academic pursuit. But our education is so screwed up, I don’t see a solution. Four years of undergrad work is a colossal waste of time and money. Just as English 17-year-olds have to start learning a trade, so should ours…even if the trade is medicine, the law, accounting or architecture. Four years spent with BS classes and beer busts is what it adds up to. Well, that and tens of thousands of squandered dollars and huge debt. Just so Dick and Jane can be indoctrinated by left-wing buffoons.

      Burt

  • Souvoter

    Amen, Burt! Almost as hyprocrital as Obama calling Bush unpatriotic for such a high national debt! What a joke of the century!!!!!

    • Burt Prelutsky

      Sou: We get plenty of jokes from the Left. Unfortunately, none of them are funny.

      Burt

  • http://www.facebook.com/todd.zaino Todd Zaino

    Burt, I live in CT and we in the past have been “treated” to a TV ad featuring Joe Kennedy. In the ad, Kennedy wearing every man clothing is seen taking a hose from a heating oil truck and filling up a needy family’s tank. Seeing Kennedy in that ad, and that charity made low-information crowd feel all warm and fuzzy. What a nice young Kennedy! Not so fast…
    Imagine my “surprise” when I found out last week that this Kennedy “charity” had Joe on the books for $700k per year, and his lovely wife for another $400K. I guess charity truly does begin at home. The hypocrisy of the left never fails to amuse me. Can you imagine if one of the Bush daughters had a similar charity making that kind of cake? The lamestream media would be out for blood!
    Nice to also the moonbats going bananas over The Bible mini-series and the actor who plays the devil, looking a lot like Obama…yet the same moonbats said didly about a movie that featured the assassination of a sitting president…nice.

    • Burt Prelutsky

      Todd: Just how many Joe Kennedys are there? Who the heck is this one? One of Ted’s?

      I didn’t watch the mini-series? Did Satan really resemble Obama? Art imitating life?

      Burt

      • JohnInMA

        Joe is Bobby Kennedy’s number two child. If you want to really fuel your fire, guess where the ‘charitable oil’ he so arduously pumps for the poor comes from……..Citgo….also know as the state oil company of Venezuela.

        But the charity’s name, Citizen’s Energy, pretty much foretells that.

        • Burt Prelutsky

          John: The Kennedys were one family that should have practiced birth control.

          Burt