Sunday, October 21, 2012

End, Don't Reduce, Federal Student Higher Education Funding

As the editors of the NJ Star-Ledger note in Best Student Loan Debt Policies Reduce Hurdles, neither presidential candidate suggests eliminating government involvement in higher education funding. But the legitimacy of government financing of higher education is just what we should be debating.

I left the following comments:

The capacity for evasion in apparently infinite for many. We're still struggling to recover from the government-created easy-money-and-credit housing bubble meltdown, and here we have statists dogmatically defending this latest easy-money-and-credit bubble.

Government subsidization of higher education has had predictable results--exploding college costs; the creation of a fraudulent college-or-bust mentality that leaves intelligent, motivated non-college grads unfairly out in the cold; a mountain of college debt disconnected from appropriate marketable skills; a huge diversion of capital resources from profitable private investment to useless public "investments in the country's future"; and so on.

The so-called student loan crisis is a direct result of government subsidization of higher education in the form of grants, tax advantages, and loan guarantees--the predictable consequences of which decades of economic theory and practice foretold. And as usual, this subsidy program is rooted in immoral and improper government actions. The government has no right to forcibly seize private earnings and wealth to fund anyone's college education. It is legalized theft, and nothing more. Education loans are properly a voluntary contractual matter between private individuals and private lenders. Government has no valid role other than enforcing contracts and prosecuting fraud.

Government subsidization of college education is immoral and impractical. It must be ended across the board.

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