Albert Maslar / March 3, 2014

Education & ‘Too Big to Fail’ Controversies

Wall Street Journal columnist Daniel Henninger tweeted on the “Reality Gap”:

“11% of business leaders say college grads have poor skills. 96% of college chiefs say we’re doing great. The Gallup survey was commissioned by the Lumina Foundation, which is also supporting an ‘encouraging effort by Gallup and Purdue University’ to measure the performance of colleges and universities.”

Who is right: business leaders or college chiefs? Consider which side of the argument has the most to lose, and the answer is: higher education of colleges and universities have the most to lose as they are over-funded and over-expanded, fitting them into the category of “Too Big to Fail.”

The real controversy should be, “Why are colleges failing so big?” Professors with tenure cannot be fired or dismissed, and are the contemporary equivalent of Congressional Incumbents that are professional politicians first, last, and always. Perversion of education is due to professors indoctrinating instead of educating, and colleges more interested in grants and government loans to students that perpetuate college advocacies ad infinitum.

Bloated college budgets and unlimited spending with no restraining caps on tuition for education institutions that care less about education than they do about escalating tuition, grants, foundations, alumni gifts, and estates in final wills, to keep colleges growing to the level of too-big-to-fail. Colleges are permanently and constantly bailed out and have no reason to contain costs for often-worthless education.

College graduates are ill-trained for professions in their majors, as business requirements are quantum leaps higher than training offered at the college level. If anything, higher education should partner with business to create a system of paid part-time intern programs that would accomplish at least five goals. 1. Training in the desired field of endeavor; 2. Student income for services provided while training; 3. College credits toward graduation requirements; 4. Development of social skills required for professional integrity; 5. Reduction of burdensome borrowing needed to pay for degrees without resulting in adequate jobs.

College should also allow at least some courses online to minimize student costs, and permit them to work any hours, and pursue the college courses at all hours. In this modern day and age of technology, off-campus courses should be an absolute, but the indentured have no desire to tighten their collective belts. At a given point, the old business models are obsolete, just as the horse and buggy industries folded after the automobile became an acceptable replacement.

According to the College Board, “The average cost of tuition and fees for the 2013–2014 school year was $30,094 at private colleges, $8,893 for state residents at public colleges, and $22,203 for out-of-state residents attending public universities. Public college fees for state residents is reasonable; every student need not attend Ivy League and other prestigious institutions; institutions being the operative word.

Costs for Public School students are extremely excessive with K–12 costs averaging over $12,000 per student per year, often approximating and even exceeding college costs. Real estate taxes are generally the piggy-bank source of public school costs, but there is a limit to how much the traffic will bear for intentional incompetence.

To explain high public school costs, one need look no further than Teachers’ Unions, boasting the largest union membership in the country that spares no expense, perk, and benefit for its teachers that routinely threaten strikes right after vacation and prior to the opening on the new school year, cooling the heels of students and parents, disrupting jobs, and vacations, along with education that takes a back seat to excessive union demands, though teacher pay exceeds averages for those with similar levels of education. Unions go so far as to protect sexual predator teachers, forcing full pay while suspended from direct teaching.

Administrative costs for public schools are laden with local political layer upon layer of administrators, principals, who do much of nothing at crony excessive salaries and perks. Private schools operate at substantially less cost while delivering better education as far as the vital three Rs are concerned, and more private school students enter and graduate from college.

Adding insult to injury, Michelle Obama prides herself on the school lunch program that fails as kids will not eat her fares; more food thrown into the garbage, and more money down the drain, but if it makes her feel good.

Education is not alone in the too-big-to-fail category that includes banks, financial institutions, insurance, auto companies, and a host of solar and green energy companies, some of which failed almost immediately after bailout, all at taxpayer expense.

Too-big-to-fail Wall Street is bailed out every month with $85 billion of new Federal Reserve funny money, now supposedly reduced to $75 billion. These cash injections find their way to banks and the speculative investment markets that give a false sense of business recovery, boosting profits of those needing them least.

Never-ending too-big-to fail wars on many fronts boost profits of the Military Industrial Complex that has more lobbyists than any other group. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of non-elected government "workers” unceasingly maintain their jobs by issuing countless rules and regulations, the more complicated, the better, that bind employers into knots as their lawyers are “earning” massive fees ad infinitum.

Government itself is too-big-to-fail as all it takes is one Senator Harry Reid to block any and all good solid fiscal reform. All talk emanating from Congress is like blowing their hot air at windmills to make them turn, and believe it or not, it works.

The Polar Vortex is the topic of the day as its essentially a mass of extremely cold air that usually circulates above the Arctic Circle and is contained by strong winds, drops down into the U.S. across the Midwest, Great Lakes, through the South, Mid-Atlantic, and New England, dropping temperatures up to 20 to 30 degrees below normal while dumping record-setting snow where it is least expected.

“Blowin’ In The Wind” was written by Bob Dylan in 1962 with the refrain, “The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind; The answer is blowin’ in the wind,” and the Polar Vortex is just one cold front that blows a hole in the Global Warming-Climate Change theory designed solely for the hated Carbon Tax pet theory of alarmists that have more than a foothold in the White House with Barack Obama as the chief wind blower.

Wind is invisible but its force is not, sometimes beneficial as it cleanses the air of pollutants, but unpredictable and can be destructive beyond imagination. Storms are named and Sandy is one of the more destructive in recent memory. Extreme weather changes beyond normal and historic levels cause havoc in the most unexpected places. Cold places get unexpected warmth, and warm places get unexpected cold and record snowfalls.

Climate Change activists spout global warming statistics ad nausea, going from the ridiculous to the sublime, in which they blame both, excessive heat and excessive cold, on global warming. Evidently the answer to “Two Plus Two” is whatever answer is desired.

Planet Earth has an elliptical nearly circular orbit around the Sun, with a slight wobble that can affect climate. Man-caused climate change is supposedly not as great as the effect of cattle that are suspected to cause more carbon dioxide than do humans.

There are many problems that need attention but changing and controlling the weather is the job of nature that was likewise installed by the Creator. All the best efforts of mice and men will but divert humanity from problems within its power to resolve.

Only Don Quixote of La Mancha would dare take on the “Impossible Dream” of Climate Change, but perhaps Quixote is alive and well ensconced in the White House when not in campaign mode. Question is: “Who in the White House play Sancho Panza and Dulcinea,” perhaps White House Press Secretary Jay Carney as Honcho Sancho, and Valerie Jarrett Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama as Dulcinea.

“To dream the impossible dream; To fight the unbeatable foe; To bear with unbearable sorrow; And to run where the brave dare not go; To right the unrightable wrong.”

WRONG, in the White House it is “To WRONG the unleftable RIGHT.

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