Streetwise Professor

August 11, 2015

Chronicles of Hillary, Book the Second: The Felon’s Education Plan

Filed under: Economics,Politics — The Professor @ 7:13 pm

A few weeks ago I wrote the first in what I anticipated would be a running series of posts on Hillary Clinton. If the US is still a country of laws, not men (or women, in this instance), or if Hillary Clinton is an honorable individual, this would be a short-lived serial indeed. For today the State Department Inspector General determined that Clinton’s private email server contained a least two emails classified at extremely high levels. This despite her adamant (though utterly risible) denials that she ever discussed classified matters via her personal email. (I say risible because what Secretary of State would never discuss classified information in writing? If you believe she never did, I have a bridge spanning boroughs to sell to you cheap.)

Pair this story with another story that has been in the news and you know how bad it is. Namely, the story that the Chinese have penetrated the private emails of virtually all high ranking national security officials since at least 2010. And you know the Russians have done the same. And the Iranians. And maybe even the Tongans.

This is a felony. It appears to be open and shut. Hillary Clinton has no business holding any office or trust in the United States government, let alone the presidency. If this is a country of laws, she will be prosecuted and convicted, like David Petraeus. If she were a woman of honor, she would terminate her candidacy. But I have serious doubts on both scores-especially the last. Expect a barrage of vicious attacks on her critics (protect the queen! kill the messenger!), combined wit a campaign of obfuscation and denial. It’s the Clinton way. I can hope, but seriously I think this episode will be yet another demonstration of the low state to which this nation has descended.

Pending the outcome of this despicable affair, I will add to the Hillary Chronicles by writing about her New College Compact. I read it, so you don’t have to. Suffice it to say that it proves that Hillary only excels her dishonesty with her economic retardation. This document is triple distilled economic stupidity. 199 Proof.

Where to begin? Start with her formulation of the problem:

Either they say, “We just can’t afford it,” and pass up on all the opportunities that a degree offers — or they do whatever it takes to pay for it, even if that means going deeply into debt.

Now, for most people, the return on investment of a college degree is still worth it. On average, people with four-year degrees earn over half a million dollars more over their careers than people with high school degrees.

So it’s too expensive, but it’s worth it. Or something. But what about those for whom it isn’t worth it? Then why the hell should they be doing it? And why the hell should somebody else be paying for it?

But the worst part is this: “we’ll make sure cost isn’t a barrier.”

Under my plan, tuition will be affordable for every family. Students should never have to take out a loan to pay for tuition at their state’s public university. We’ll make sure the federal government and the states step up to help pay the cost, so the burden doesn’t fall on families alone.

Further, Hillary proposes to make community college free, and to subsidize the student loans that are undertaken, and to refinance outstanding loans at subsidized rates. (Come to think of it, Hillary’s proposal has a lot in common with China’s recent bailout of local government funding vehicles.) The refinancing portion is particularly daft, because those costs are sunk. This is just a pure transfer, and likely a regressive transfer because as Hillary herself admits, the college educated have higher incomes.

Most economic train wrecks occur when those who receive the benefits don’t pay the cost. One of the virtues of student loans is that the person who borrows out the wazoo to pay for the degree in anthropology (or puppetry!) has to bear the misery of his/her unwise choice. Their experiences should be spread far and wide, pour encourager les autres. A Scared Straight program is in order, but instead Hillary proposes to saddle taxpayers with bearing the cost of the romantic or juvenile or just plain stupid choices college bound students make, which often includes the choice of bounding off to college in the first place.

Here’s Hillary’s plan, such as it is:

  • Under the New College Compact, no student should have to borrow to pay tuition at a public college.
  • Schools will have to control their costs and show more accountability to their students.
  • States will have to meet their obligation to invest in higher education.
  • The federal government will increase its investment in education, and won’t profit off student loans.
  • And millions with student debt will be able to refinance it at lower rates.

First, I note the massive amount of federal coercion on the states inherent in the plan. Second: I laughed out loud at the “federal government . . . won’t profit off student loans.” That’s pretty much guaranteed.

Third, the South Park Underwear Gnomes plan is about as coherent: “1. Collect underwear. 2. ? 3. Profit!”

The outcome of this plan, if heaven forfend it is implemented, will be: 1. a massive misallocation of human resources, as too many people go to college and too many people choose the wrong degree. 2. Deadweight losses from the taxation required to pay the estimated $350 billion cost of the program (which is doubtless an underestimate). 3. The cost of college–the real cost incurred, not the cost paid by the beneficiaries of the program–will go up, as surely as day follows night. The objective of the program is to raise the demand for college education, which will increase output, total cost, and marginal cost.

This is the first of Hillary’s big, bad ideas. If justice is done it will be the last. But, alas, I doubt justice will be served, and that more big, bad ideas are to come. When they are, I’ll add to the chronicles.

 

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2 Comments »

  1. She should have been named Hubris instead of Hillary

    Comment by @pointsnfigures — August 14, 2015 @ 11:27 am

  2. @Pointsnfigures-Or Marie Antoinette. Or The Red Queen.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — August 14, 2015 @ 6:29 pm

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