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July 28, 2022

The Morning Rant: Minimalist Edition


One would be hard pressed to name an institution that has done more damage to America than our universities. 1930s and 1940s? Hotbeds of communism. 1960s? Pure, unadulterated cowardice in the face of a small group of communist-inspired "students" hell bent on destroying classical educations and giving control over the curriculum to students barely out of high school. 1970s? The same stuff, only with more violence! 1980s? The emergence of the 1960s student protestors as instructors and professors, gleefully watering down the education of America's youth, injecting the insanity of postmodernism, and beginning to create entire departments dedicated to the rejection of the Enlightenment. The 1990s saw the pace accelerate, with these radicals entering the upper levels of the administrations of our formerly great universities.

The 21st century saw the watering down of the college degree, as the consequences of the catastrophe of Griggs v. Duke Power Co. provided an amazing opportunity for the academy to grow, as business ceded evaluation of their potential employees and simply accepted a college degree as proof of minimum competency.

And grow they did, building dormitories and classrooms and Kafkaesque administrations dedicated to increasing "diversity" while simultaneously creating the conditions for the Balkanization of our campuses. All the while the quality of the education afforded to our youth decreased, while the costs skyrocketed. And four years gradually turned into more than five years to complete these degrees, adding to student debt but growing the coffers of the universities, since they didn't grow their teaching ranks as quickly as they increased tuition.

Along the way they became unimaginably wealthy, with Harvard University leading the pack with a $50 billion endowment. How they manage to charge tuition of more than $75,000 while sitting on investments that could yield enough income to make it free is beyond me, but the idea that they are a non-profit organization dedicated to research and education is simply laughable.

Apparently President Trump thought the same thing, and perhaps the 1.4% tax on their endowments was his opening salvo against the academy.

Ivy League schools pleading with Congress for tax break in reconciliation bill

The lobbying effort came as the Ivy League university's endowment increased by $11.3 billion in the 2020-2021 fiscal year, an increase of 33% from the previous year. Similarly, Stanford's investments increased by 40.1% in the same fiscal year.

Despite the massive increase in their endowments, the universities have continued to push for the repeal of the 1.4% tax, which was enacted in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed by then-President Donald Trump.

Obviously the current stock market has shrunk their endowments, but they are still huge, and are used for things that are antithetical to the concept of the free expression of ideas. Can anyone not wearing a straitjacket argue with a straight face that America's universities are dedicated to anything other than a hard left world view with its attendant political, racial, class and increasingly gender-based segregation and hierarchy?

It is time to defund higher education in America. President Trump got it exactly right, and the next sane president should go after the academy hammer and tongs, push to classify them as for-profit institutions and tax their income just as Exxon and 3M and Joe's Diner are taxed. Then change the bankruptcy laws to allow student loan debt to be included, and then perhaps our institutions of higher learning (Hah!) will be held accountable and be exposed to market pressures, rather than being protected from the results of their failure to provide value for the inflated tuition they charge.

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posted by CBD at 11:00 AM

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