All posts by Wintery Knight

https://winteryknight.com/

Why are college tuition and college textbooks so expensive?

As subsidies increase, so do tuition costs
As subsidies increase, so do tuition costs

This article from Investors Business Daily is very helpful.

It says:

Grey Gordon and Aaron Hedlund, economists at Indiana University and the University of Missouri, developed a method to test various explanations for the share rise in tuition costs. Is it state funding cuts? Or the increased wage premium for a college degree? Or is it related to general cost increases in the services industries?

Not exactly. In a working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research the economists report that these factors contributed insignificantly to the rapid rise in tuition between 1987 and 2010.

What did account for almost all of it was, ironically enough, the massive explosion in federal aid over the past several decades. Federal aid — in the form of subsidized loans, grants and tax credits — shot up 134% in the past 15 years, according to the College Board. It’s climbed 22% just under President Obama.

Combined with state aid, the government is pouring more than $239 billion a year into programs designed to make college less expensive.

What the authors found is that all this aid money has simply let college administrators spend more and jack up tuition to pay for it, without hurting enrollment. The result is there to see for anyone who visits a college campus these days — gourmet kitchens, luxurious dorms, shiny new administrative buildings, beautiful landscapes, state of the art workout facilities, etc.

[…]Not only does the increased federal aid lead to higher tuition, the authors found, but it perversely leads to “more debt, and in the absence of higher labor market returns, more loan default inevitably occurs.”

This hypothesis – that it is government subsidies that drive up tuition rates – is supported in the radically leftist New York Times, of all places.

This is by Paul F. Campos, law professor at the radically leftist UC Boulder, explains that government handouts is causing the rise in college tuition:

[…][T]he astonishing rise in college tuition correlates closely with a huge increase in public subsidies for higher education. If over the past three decades car prices had gone up as fast as tuition, the average new car would cost more than $80,000.

[…]As the baby boomers reached college age, state appropriations to higher education skyrocketed, increasing more than fourfold in today’s dollars, from $11.1 billion in 1960 to $48.2 billion in 1975. By 1980, state funding for higher education had increased a mind-boggling 390 percent in real terms over the previous 20 years. This tsunami of public money did not reduce tuition: quite the contrary.

But where is the money going? Is it mostly going to research? To the classroom? To hire more and better professors?

No:

Interestingly, increased spending has not been going into the pockets of the typical professor. Salaries of full-time faculty members are, on average, barely higher than they were in 1970. Moreover, while 45 years ago 78 percent of college and university professors were full time, today half of postsecondary faculty members are lower-paid part-time employees, meaning that the average salaries of the people who do the teaching in American higher education are actually quite a bit lower than they were in 1970.

By contrast, a major factor driving increasing costs is the constant expansion of university administration. According to the Department of Education data, administrative positions at colleges and universities grew by 60 percent between 1993 and 2009, which Bloomberg reported was 10 times the rate of growth of tenured faculty positions.

Even more strikingly, an analysis by a professor at California Polytechnic University, Pomona, found that, while the total number of full-time faculty members in the C.S.U. system grew from 11,614 to 12,019 between 1975 and 2008, the total number of administrators grew from 3,800 to 12,183 — a 221 percent increase.

Do you wonder why college is so liberal? It’s because instead of hiring professors to teach you how to do useful work for money, they are hiring useless administrators who just enforce politically correct secular leftism onto the students.

The cost of college text books is skyrocketing
The cost of college text books is skyrocketing

College textbook prices are also going way up because of government subsidies.

One way the textbook market is insulated from competition and market forces is that the professor, not the student, makes the decision on the textbook for a course, and it’s probably the case that many professors are unaware of the retail cost of the books they assign for their students. And once the professor decides on a textbook, there are no substitutes for the new edition of the book assigned. If a professor assigns Mankiw’s Principles of Economics textbook, students can’t substitute McConnell’sPrinciples of Economics textbook.

Another reason for skyrocketing textbook prices could be that they are being fueled by easy and cheap credit in the form of student loan debt, which now exceeds $1.36 trillion and has doubled in less than eight years, and tripled in the last decade! Students borrow money not just for college tuition and fees, but also to finance the purchase of textbooks that now routinely cost more than $300, and sometimes approach $400.

What should young people considering college do? If you’re going to college or trade school, go to a low-cost school. Do a STEM degree (e.g. petroleum engineering) or learn to do a trade that pays well (e.g. – electrician). Try to get tuition assistance even if it means going to a less prestigious school. And work at every opportunity you get in the most serious job you can find. Don’t spend your money – save it. Especially don’t spend your money on fun, vacations and alcohol. As soon as you grow up, you’re going to wish you could have it all back.

Radical feminist magazine Teen Vogue promotes legalization of prostitution

Ten Vogue urges young women to legalize sex trafficking
Ten Vogue urges young women to legalize sex trafficking of women

Third wave feminism promotes the conditions that allow women to bypass the traditional path to marriage (chastity, courtship, marriage, children, stay at home wife and mother) and “have sex like a man” without any shame or repercussions. They want sex outside of marriage is seen as normal. sex outside of marriage is seen as normal.

Here’s the latest article “Why Sex Work is Real Work” from Teen Vogue, a feminist magazine that is read by millions of teenage girls.

They write:

[C]ontinued criminalization of sex work and sex workers is a form of violence by governments and contributes to the high level of stigma and discrimination.

[…]But governments often fail to accept the evidence for the economic and social bases for sex work; the ILO estimates that “sex workers support between five and eight other people with their earnings. Sex workers also contribute to the economy.” Governments ignore the nuanced histories and contexts in different countries and thus continue to wrongfully offer blanket solutions and “rescue” models that advocate for partial decriminalization or continued criminalization. They also ignore the wishes of sex workers, who want full decriminalization, as supported by the Global Commission on HIV and the Law, and the Lancet, as well as human rights organizations like Amnesty International.

Now, since the author is a radical feminist, you can imagine what she would say to my suggestions that instead of incentivizing women to avoid sex work, we should instead provide incentives for women to be chaste, stay debt-free, choose marriage-minded men, marry before having sex. She would say that this life plan would stigmatize women who have sex before marriage with men who won’t commit. She would say that this life plan would stigmatize women who choose to raise girls without a father (who are far more likely to engage in sex work). She would say that the most important thing government can do is to promote a “good” lifestyle for women that would make the women who want sex with hot bad boys outside of marriage feel “bad” about their own choices. What we need, she thinks, is laws and social spending that allow women who make poor choices and raise fatherless daughters to escape shame, stigma and discrimination.

But what comes next, after countries have decriminalized “sex work” as Teen Vogue urges?

The far-left UK Guardian explains:

Until his dramatic fall from grace, Jürgen Rudloff was the self-proclaimed “brothel king” of Germany. Owner of a chain of clubs he boasted was the “the largest marketplace for sex in Europe”, he was every inch the well-dressed entrepreneur, a regular face on reality TV and chat shows.

Rudloff is now serving a five-year sentence for aiding and abetting trafficking. His trial laid bare the misery and abuse of women working as prostitutes at his club who, according to court documents, were treated like animals and beaten if they didn’t make enough money. His imprisonment has dismantled the idea of Germany’s “clean prostitution” industry and raised troubling questions about what lies behind the legalised, booming sex trade.

Prostitution – legalised in Germany in 2002 – is worth an annual €15bn (£13.4bn), and more than a million men visit prostitutes every day. The change in the law led to a rise in “super brothels”, attracting tourists from countries where such establishments are illegal.

[…]Rudloff’s high-volume, low-cost model only works if the supply of women is enough to satisfy demand and bring enough customers through the doors.

According to court documents, this became a problem for Paradise almost immediately. There weren’t enough women to fill the clubs. So Rudloff’s friends in the industry offered to help him out.

[…]In a trial lasting almost a year, testimony from the jailed pimps revealed that trafficking was crucial to the success of Rudloff’s business.

Legalizing prostitution inevitably leads to sex-trafficking, and the radical feminists who promote legalized prostitution to young women know that. They know that if they remove moral and legal barriers to legalized prostitution, then they will cause more young women to find it attractive, leading to easier targets for sex-trafficking. Sex-trafficking is the end goal of the radical feminists.

Don’t believe me? I’ll prove it.

Women's March
Women’s March says that banning sex-trafficking of women is wrong

I remember when the Women’s March came out in favor of sex-trafficking, because they didn’t want women to feel shame, stigma and discrimination for having sex outside of marriage.

Well, here’s an article from The Federalist to explain.

Excerpt:

Last Friday, the FBI seized Backpage.com, a website well known for facilitating the sale of trafficked minors, mostly girls, for sex all over the United States. On Monday, seven top Backpage officials were arrested after being indicted on 93 counts, including money laundering and facilitating prostitution, 17 cases of which involve trafficking victims as young as 14. The Washington Post says Backpage earned an estimated $500 million in prostitution-related revenue since its launch in 2004.

The National Center on Missing and Exploited Children reports that 73 percent of all child sex trafficking cases it has handled involved Backpage.com. According to the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, Backpage reached 97 countries and was the world’s largest single facilitator of sex trafficking. NCOSE also reports that from January 2013 to March 2015, 99 percent of Backpage’s global revenue was attributable to prostitution advertising. During that time, it made nearly $51 million from prostitution ads in California alone.

The rest of the The Federalist article makes clear that nothing in that web site’s operations made sex-trafficking “safer” for women. In fact, the whole “sex work” business is dangerous for women:

We do know, thanks to the research of Melissa Farley at Prostitution Research and Education, that 70 percent of those in the sex industry link their entry to prior sexual abuse.

Most say they entered as minors, which in the United States qualifies as trafficking. Many enter feeling they have no other options, reducing the sense of free choice in the matter. Once they’re in, 89 percent of “sex workers” say they want to get out of the industry but feel they have limited options. You don’t call an industry safe when women are coerced into it and have difficulty getting out.

According to Farley’s comprehensive studies, as many as 99 percent of those in the sex industry have said they experienced violence within it.

And of course, in the feminized UK, radical feminists voted in regime after regime of secular leftists, who imported thousands of unskilled workers from Muslim countries, who proceeded to immediately set up sex-trafficking rings where young girls were taken from their single mothers and passed around at parties like a cigarette. Taking women out of married homes where they will be influenced by their biological fathers and taught Judeo-Christian values like chastity, sobriety, and self-control is the primary aim of the radical feminists. And if a few teenage girls need to be sex-trafficked, then too bad for them. The important thing is that young women grow up without fathers, have sex outside of marriage, and depend on the government to help them with “health care”: contraceptives, abortions and treatment for STDs. Women must never choose men to be husbands and fathers in a married home: that’s sexist.

Keep in mind that the VAST MAJORITY of the young women who enter sex work do so because their mothers freely chose to have sex outside of marriage to men who they were attracted to on a superficial level: tall, piercings, tattoos, bad boy, criminal record, etc. As a society, we’re more concerned with preventing these women from being shamed (and supporting their recklessness with taxpayer dollars) then we are with encouraging them towards the marriage life plan: chastity, sobriety, courting, marriage, being a stay-at-home wife and mother. We attacked the “shaming” of reckless single mothers that created sex-trafficking instead, thinking that eliminating the moral boundaries that protected daughters from their mother’s hypergamy was the real target.

Whenever you see a girl in difficult circumstances, always remember that this is the result of a chain of reckless decisions by her mother, and her mother’s mother, and so on, to flout the moral law by choosing irresponsible, immoral men that she found more attractive than “boring” men who were chaste, sober, Christians looking for marriage before sex. And always remember that these women were encouraged in their choices about who to have sex with and when to have sex by radical feminists, who were MORE ANXIOUS to have these women avoid moral judgment (“shame, stigma and discrimination”), probably because they felt that their own moral failures would look better if they could trick more younger women into repeating (and surpassing) their own moral failures. Third-wave feminism is ultimately a movement by adult sluts to escape the shame of their slutting by manipulating younger women away from chastity, sobriety, marriage and wed motherhood with lies.

The war on Christianity and moral judgment by radical feminists in the end results in subsequent generations of women living in conditions that Christian stay at home wives and mothers of generations could not possibly have imagined. But this is what happened when we decided that out public policy and laws should be based on feelings and compassion, rather than on moral laws grounded in the Christian worldview. When non-judgmental intuitions are elevated about moral boundaries to sin, the end result is far worse than the “shaming” that the tolerance crowd sought to eliminate in the first place.

Ryan T. Anderson lectures on marriage and why it matters

Marriage and family
Marriage and family

Here’s the lecture:

About the speaker:

Ryan T. Anderson researches and writes about marriage and religious liberty as the William E. Simon Fellow at The Heritage Foundation. He also focuses on justice and moral principles in economic thought, health care and education, and has expertise in bioethics and natural law theory.

Anderson, who joined the leading Washington think tank’s DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society in 2012, also is the editor of Public Discourse, the online journal of the Witherspoon Institute of Princeton, N.J.

Anderson’s recent work at Heritage focuses on the constitutional questions surrounding same-sex “marriage.” He is the co-author with Princeton’s Robert P. George and Sherif Girgis of the acclaimed book “What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense” (Encounter Books, December 2012).

The lecture starts at 7:20 in. The lecture ends at 49:35. There are 32 minutes of Q&A.

Introduction:

  • When talking about marriage in public, we should talk about philosophy, sociology and public policy
  • Gay marriage proponents need to be pressed to define what marriage is, on their view
  • Every definition of marriage is going to include some relationships, and exclude others
  • It’s meaningless to portray one side as nice and the other mean
  • Typically, marriage redefiners view marriage as a more intense emotional relationship
  • Marriage redefiners should be challenged in three ways:
  • 1) Does the redefined version of marriage have a public policy reason to prefer only two people?
  • 2) Does the redefined version of marriage have a reason to prefer permanence?
  • 3) Does the redefined version of marriage have a reason to prefer sexual exclusivity?
  • Also, if marriage is just about romance, then why is the state getting involved in recognizing it?
  • The talk: 1) What marriage is, 2) Why marriage matters, 3) What are the consequences of redefining marriage?

What marriage is:

  • Marriage unites spouses – hearts, minds and bodies
  • Marriage unites spouses to perform a good: creating a human being and raising that human being
  • Marriage is a commitment: permanent and exclusive
  • Male and female natures are distinct and complementary

The public purpose of marriage:

  • to attach men and women to each other
  • to attach mothers and fathers to their children
  • there is no such thing as parenting, there is only mothering and fathering
  • the evidence shows that children benefit from mothering and fathering
  • boys who grow up without fathers are more likely to commit crimes
  • girls who grow up without fathers are more likely to have sex earlier
  • Children benefit from having a mother and a father
  • can’t say that fathers are essential for children if we support gay marriage, which makes fathers optional
  • without marriage: child poverty increases, crime increases, social mobility decreases, welfare spending increases
  • when government encourages marriage, then government has less do to – stays smaller, spends less
  • if we promote marriage as an idea, we are not excluding gay relationships or even partner benefits
  • finally, gay marriage has shown itself to be hostile to religious liberty

Consequences redefining marriage:

  • it undermines the norm in public like that kids deserve a mom and a dad – moms and dads are interchangeable
  • it changes the institution of marriage away from the needs of children, and towards the needs of adults
  • it undermines the norm of permanence
  • we learned what happens when marriage is redefined before: with no-fault divorce
  • no-fault divorce: after this became law, divorce rates doubled – the law changed society
  • gay marriage would teach society that mothers and fathers are optional when raising children
  • if marriage is what people with intense feelings do, then how can you rationally limit marriage to only two people?
  • if marriage is what people with intense feelings do, then if other people cause intense feelings, there’s no fidelity
  • if marriage is what people with intense feelings do, then if the feelings go away, there is no permanence
  • the public policy consequences to undermining the norms of exclusivity and permanence = fatherless children and fragmented families
  • a final consequences is the decline and elimination of religious liberty – e.g. – adoption agencies closing, businesses being sued

We’re doing very well on abortion, but we need to get better at knowing how to discuss marriage. If you’re looking for something short to read, click here. If you want to read a long paper that his book is based on.

New “Science Uprising” video series seeks to counter naturalist dogma

The Circumstellar Habitable Zone, where liquid water could potentially exist
The Circumstellar Habitable Zone, where liquid water could potentially exist

What is the nature of reality? Is the universe self-existing and eternal or did it coming into being? Can we attribute the the diversity of life to natural processes, or was their a designing agent involved? Whether people have thought deeply about these questions or not, they all live their lives as if one view or another were true. Is there any way to educate these busy people?

I found an article in CNS News about a new series of short videos that challenge the naturalistic view of origins that dominates society today.

Excerpt:

A new YouTube series, Science Uprising, challenges the notion that the smart money is on atheism.

I was part of the creative team behind the project. One of our aims was to reach Generation Z, “digital natives” who get much of their impression of the wider world from the internet, including streaming services like YouTube.

This generation tends to encounter well-articulated arguments for unbelief much earlier than their parents did, and they often encounter those arguments online. Science Uprising is among an increasingly rich body of online video material that pushes back against the flood of anti-theistic online propaganda.

The video series features researchers at the forefront of the intelligent design movement, including Lehigh University biochemist Michael Behe and Cambridge-trained philosopher of science Stephen Meyer. But it also feature some top researchers outside this circle, including renowned research psychiatrist Jeffrey Schwartz, leading synthetic organic chemist James Tour, and physicist Frank Tipler. For you physics/cosmology folks out there—yes, that Tipler.

Each Science Uprising video is 6-8 minutes long, fast-paced, and produced by filmmakers with extensive experience in the television industry. David Arabia, whose camera work can be seen on the popular History Channel series Mountain Men, headed up the project.

Each episode begins with a masked host who appears to hack into television and internet feeds around the country to offer a contrary perspective. One moment people in restaurants, classrooms, living rooms, Times Square, etc., are watching science popularizers like Bill Nye and Neal DeGrasse Tyson peddle a vision of man and nature as mere matter in motion. The next moment, the hacker host has replaced them onscreen to question their claims and introduce the episode topic.

In the first episode, released June 3, Carl Sagan famously intones that “the cosmos is all that is, or ever was, or ever will be,” then the masked host crackles onto the screen and asks, “How do they know the cosmos is all there is?”

In the second episode, released Monday, evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne tells his audience that free will is an illusion since humans are essentially just “robots made out of meat.” The masked host then asks, “Are you and I really robots?”

The point of this hacker framing device isn’t that we live in an Orwellian police state. The United States enjoys tremendous press freedom—a freedom we are taking full advantage of through this video series. The idea, rather, is that if you passively absorb mainstream media and public education in the West, you will get a blinkered sense of what the latest scientific evidence suggests about the nature and origin of humankind and the cosmos.

Subsequent episodes will be released every Monday into July. They explore everything from DNA and genetic mutations to the curious way Earth and the laws of nature appear to be fine-tuned to allow for life. Each video includes one or more experts providing evidence that reality is more than matter, and that the world is charged with purpose and design.

Here is the first video:

 

And here is the second video:

 

 

And here is the third video:

 

 

 

And the fourth video:

If you want to share something on your wall to start a discussion, then these videos would be a good choice. Of course, to be able to debate these topics, you might need to read an article or a book about each topic. But that’s what I had to do, and it’s pretty fun to win arguments and beat up atheists.

Why is America so much more prosperous than other nations?

It occurred to me that young people are being taught in government-run schools that central planning of the economy by the federal government works better than allowing states to decide policy for themselves. Naturally, the students – lacking life experience and at the mercy of the unionized teacher’s grading pen – have no choice except to be indoctrinated. But what are the facts?

The genius of America is that the Founding Fathers allowed the federal government to only have power in certain areas of life. Other areas of policy were delegated to the states. This allows states to try different policies to see what works best, or even just what works best for them. Then the other states have the option to emulate that success, or continue doing what doesn’t work. States that do what works will see more success, with more businesses and people migrating to their states. States that persist in doing what doesn’t work will see business and taxpayers flee. That is the genius of America’s design.

Federalism encourages states to operate according to the “principle of subsidiarity”, which is an economic principle that states that problems are best solved at the lowest level possible (individual -> family -> church – > business -> community -> local government -> state government -> federal government). This is because the people at the lowest level have the most KNOWLEDGE about how to solve the problem.

Case study: right-to-work laws

Let’s look at an example – unions and right to work laws. Starting after world war 2, some states decided to pass right to work laws. These laws allowed workers to decide for themselves whether to join a union or not. Since workers had the choice about whether to join the union, the union had to care about the workers and advocate for them, instead of enriching themselves at the expense of the workers via corruption and thuggery.

Here is how different states adopted right to work laws at different times:

Map of states showing adoption of right-to-work laws
Map of states showing adoption of right-to-work laws

What happened in these states? Well job creating businesses started to move from forced-union-membership states to right-to-work states. Why? Because unions were stopping them from innovating. Companies would figure out new ways to improve productivity, such as using machines and computers. But the unions would step in and insist that the old ways were best. The unions wanted their union members to just be able to do the same job, e.g. – pulling a lever over and over, for the entire 35 years of their career. And the unions wanted their members to be paid like a software engineer or a doctor for pulling a lever over and over. The unions also wanted to make sure that underperforming workers could never be fired, or replaced. And so on. Companies realized that they couldn’t compete in a global market like this, so they got up and left for right-to-work states.

Here’s what happened next:

Rates of employment in forced union states vs right to work states
Rates of employment in forced union states vs right to work states

States with right-to-work laws never said that there couldn’t be unions, only that workers wouldn’t have to join a union to work. And in right-to-work states, not only did workers not join unions, they voted not to unionize at all. This resulted in a massive decline in private sector unions in America:

Decline in private sector union membership
Decline in private sector union membership

As a result of job creating businesses not being hampered by union corruption and thuggery, American businesses quickly outpaced their rivals in forced union membership states in productivity, as measured by GDP. They also outpaced the productivity per worker in other economically illiterate countries. Why? Because allowing companies to innovate meant that workers were using more machinery and computers to do their jobs. They learned new skills. Underperforming workers could be replaced with workers who were willing to grow and adapt. Non-union workers higher productivity allowed them to find other jobs if they were laid off.

Right to work states innovate, creating more skilled workers
Right to work states innovate, creating more skilled workers

The job security of the American worker comes from his improved worker productivity – not from the union. Not only did unemployment go down in right to work states (more jobs!) but salaries and benefits also increases, as companies had to compete with each other for workers. However, companies were ok with paying more for workers, because they would rather pay ONLY the workers who deserved it, rather than pay one rate for all union workers, regardless of performance.

This article from the far-left New York Times explains how slaries and benefits rise when job creators move to right-to-work states: Income Rises When Right-to-Work Laws Are Passed because job creators must offer workers a lot in order to get them to sign. Not just salaries and benefits, but realistic development plans to grow the workers skills, making them even more resistant to layoffs and economic downturns.

Quote:

While some persons may favor right-to-work laws largely on philosophical grounds (people should have the freedom to decide whether they want to belong to a union or not), the major reason I support such laws is that they seem to promote prosperity — specifically, higher incomes. Real personal income in the right-to-work states rose nearly twice as much as in other states from 1970 and 2013.

To be sure, most of that reflected higher population growth in right-to-work states — there was massive in-migration to these states from the states denying workers the right to not join a union. Yet even after correcting for population growth, income per person on average rose somewhat more in the right to work jurisdictions. Capital moves to right-to-work states with a more stable labor environment, and that increases labor demand and, ultimately, income and wages.

Although unions mostly died out in the private sector, the ones that remained actually functioned well as unions – focusing on their workers instead of enriching union bosses. They had to, because if they didn’t, then the workers would just opt out of them. The only places where unions still survive is in the public sector, i.e. – government. This is because government is (by law) a monopoly, where consumers have no choice except to accept the garbage that they are offered. They can’t go anywhere else for a lower price, or a better product, or a better service. Public sector unions are immune to innovation, because they lobby the government to prevent any improvement or accountability.

Here is an example of a public sector union’s effort to “help the customer”:

Political contributions by the American Federation of Teachers union
Political contributions by the American Federation of Teachers union

And here’s what those efforts to “help the customer” produced for the customer:

Education spending has tripled since 1970
Education spending has tripled since 1970

They aren’t really helping the customer, are they? What they do is collect dues, enrich their union leaders, intimidate their opponents with threats and force, and then give money to secular left politicians to prevent their customers from opting out of a system that doesn’t produce higher quality and lower prices for the customer. The secular left politicians pass laws that prevent the customers (parents) from being able to get a better product (education for their children) for a lower price. We should abolish public sector unions in order to get the benefits for the customer that we see in the private sector.