Monday, October 03, 2011

Yeah, That'll Turn Out Well

Yay! The Michigan Legislature has now solved all the social and economic problems in the state. Well, except for Now they've turned their attention to colleges and universities, well, universities mostly because that's what you do when you run out of poor people and union members.
In an era of government reinvention, Michigan universities should be in for close scrutiny along with every other taxpayer-funded operation in the state according to Rep. Robert Genetski, R-Saugatuck.
Well, every tax funded operation in the state except the Legislature, that is. Nothing to see here. Hey, look over there! Unions!
There is growing frustration with the cost of college education in the state and country. The proposed commission would be doing the state a service in taking seriously the mandate to “analyze the operation ... of state universities.”
Umm...Mr representative sir? Bobby? May we call you Bobby? We agree there is a growing frustration with the cost of college education in the state, to put this politely...State support for higher education in Michigan has decreased dramatically over the last several decades, leaving universities in the state with gaps in funding that threaten the quality of the educational experience.  Since 2001, state budget cuts have reduced the amount of money universities get per student by over $2,500, resulting in 2008 state funding for public universities that is almost $442 million below the amount appropriated in 2002 (plus inflation).

So the biggest reason the cost of a college education has gone up is, well, basically you. See, because when the legislature takes money away from public schools they have to find it somewhere else. No need for a commission to figure that out. Just ask the folks in Indiana, Ohio and Minnesota:
At the same time that Michigan has been "dis-investing" in the future, other states have been investing. A recent article in the Lansing State Journal, "State higher ed funding lags, while others invest" (pdf) explains how other mid-western states like Ohio, Indiana and Minnesota have increased funding to support their colleges and universities as a way to stay competitive.
 Oh man, Indiana? You see that Bobby? Indiana! Maybe you should send your commission down there to figure out how they can beat us with an economy based on corn and pork rinds.
It doesn’t take an advanced degree to recognize the problem. Michigan’s universities could stand to be studied more closely. The Legislature should undertake that study in a responsible way, one that recognizes the vital importance of an affordable college education to Michigan’s future.
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! See what Bobby did there? It "doesn't take an advanced degree..." He made a funny on the fact they he wants to investigate universities which give out "advanced degrees," which apparently he doesn't have. Not that you need one you know.  Not when you have accomplishments like being a member of Right to Life and the National Rifle Association, which, we guess, means if you tell him you're pro-choice he'll shoot you.

1 comment:

Jimbo said...

I am one of those '60s era Libruls. Except I also admire Gov. Bill Scranton (R) of PA (I am from Pittsburgh - Go Steelers) and am from an upwardly oriented, educationally conscious, working class family. Scranton created the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency in the mid-1960s to provide low cost loans to kids who were academically smart but didn't have the means to attend college, even including private liberal arts colleges. I got one of those and attended one of those colleges, something I could not have possibly done on my family's money. It makes an enormous difference in outcomes.

But that was the old - pre-Ronald Reagan GOP. (My comment is not an indictment of state schools, BTW; my (very smart) son is doing very well at a state school. Rather, my point is about diversity and opportunity - to both of which the conservatives are thoroughly opposed and the USA is much worse off for not having.

Constructive subversion as we used to say in Indonesia.