I’ve been struggling for a while now. I’ve been asking myself many of the same questions all of us ask. Who am I? Where did I come from? Where am I going? What flavor of wings should I order today? Honestly, it’s not quite that dramatic. Not quite. But I have been suffering a crisis of sorts trying to reconcile my beliefs with the world around me. On occasion, I take to the blog and concoct some crazy tripe about my personal predicament. Never satisfied, I save the draft and walk away.
Until I can achieve some kind of personal peace with my political persuasion, I suppose I can find some relief by yammering about something else. Today’s topic is an asinine email I received from Senator Harry Reid. You can read the full text of the email here:
Get a tissue because you’ll laugh, you’ll cry and most likely give yourself a bloody nose.
Fair warning, after reading my thoughts you’ll probably feel the same way (except for the laughing and crying part).
So, here’s the gist: Students have too much college debt, so the government must bail them out!
Why do students have too much debt? Because “As higher education becomes more expensive, students are forced to take out more loan debt.” (emphasis added.) They are forced! Of course, the natural question is who is forcing students to take out more loan debt? Logically, you would then ask why is higher education becoming more expensive? After asking these questions, you might think it a good idea to find out who’s jacking up the cost of education and then forcing students to take out loans to pay for it. Wrong! We need a bailout.
There are three things that I ponder as I read the Senator’s words.
First, college education is a choice. Students go into college knowing the cost. If they choose this path in life, then they are also choosing the price that goes with it. If a person goes to a dealership and buys a Ferrari, then it seems silly that they would complain about being forced to make the payments month after month. Maybe they should be more pragmatic in their decisions. They can choose not to go to college or they can choose a less expensive school. There is no coercion.
Second, why is the cost of education going up? While the economy continues to suffer, the cost of higher education just climbs and climbs. Rather than do any real research, I’m just going to paste a couple of the first links that come up in Google when searching for information regarding the increasing cost of education:
The bottom line is that education costs have increased more than 1000% since the 70’s. Name something else that has increased similarly.
Add this to the fact that many schools are already incredibly wealthy. Harvard, for example, has an endowment of about $30 billion. Stanford and Princeton are almost $20 billion each. Yale is more than $20 billion. (Just for kicks, guess what BYU’s endowment is. Less than $1 million.) So again, why is the cost of higher education going up?
Third, Harry Reid says “the average debt per student is at an all-time high – nearly $29,000.” I’m no mathemagician, but that doesn’t seem so high that we need to start bailing everyone out. For example, a lower-end Ford Taurus can run you around $30,000. My guess is that a lot of college students are driving cars that cost more than their college debt.
It seems obvious why this issue is coming up now. The Democrats are trying to buy the votes of college students. To some extent it might work; however, I think a lot of younger voters are starting to wise-up to the political tricks of those in Washington.