LIKE OPEN BORDERS, NATIONALIZED COLLEGE DEBT DESIGNED TO EXPAND THE DEMOCRATS' BASE
By Don Feder
July 3, 2019
In discussing Commissar Bernie's plan to nationalize student debt, everyone is missing the big picture.
Of course it's fiscal suicide. Sanders puts the cost at $2.2 trillion over 10 years. Let's keep piling more spending on a $22-trillion national debt. Laissez le red ink rouler.
By the way, the man who never held a real job says we'll pay for this with a tax on financial transactions – translation: For the latest gold deposit the left wants to mine, the middle class gets the shaft – once again.
And yes, it's unfair. It will punish the 98.5 million Americans who didn't go to college, and the 106 million who were responsible and paid off their debt themselves. It's estimated graduates will have life-time earnings of $1 million more than those without that precious piece of paper. But the former will get to subsidize the latter. Just keep telling yourself: Big government is for the people.
All of these points should be obvious to anyone with half a brain – which excludes most Democratic voters.
Here's the big picture: We'll all be paying for Left Lunacy 101. Aren't you excited at the prospect of paying for millennials to get a degree in Feminist Studies, Black Studies or Transgender Studies?
The late John Silber, for years president of Boston University, once told me that all a college diploma tells you is that the recipient was "institutionalized" for 4 years. Whether it was in a penal institution, a mental institution or an academic institution is anyone's guess.
College education today is like illegal immigration – it expands the Democrats' base at the expense of the rest of the country. Every day, in tens of thousands of classrooms across this vast land, new liberals are being created like Frankenstein's creature.
Searching for a conservative among the professoriate is like looking for a Southern Baptist in the Vatican.
In 2016, Brooklyn College business professor Mitchell Langbert looked at the political affiliation of faculty members at 40 of the leading universities. He found that, on average, Democrats outnumber Republicans by a ratio of 11.5 to 1.
In some departments, it's far worse. In psychology and philosophy, the blue/red ratio is 17 to 1. In history, it's 33.5 to 1. (The one is about to enter the federal Witness Protection Program.)
At the most prestigious schools, the imbalance beggars the imagination. Among the faculties of Wellesley (Hillary's alma mater), Williams and Strathmore, Democrats outnumber Republicans by – get ready – 120 to 1.
With honorable exceptions (schools like Hillsdale, Grove City and Liberty University), college is a megaphone for Democrats, which is why so many kids from conservative homes graduate thoroughly indoctrinated in left-think.
Besides the political imbalance, professors (who are Antifa without the face scarves) choose textbooks, assign the supplemental reading and determine grades, often based on a student's ability to parrot propaganda.
They also design the courses. Portland State University in Oregon rejected a political science professor's request to teach a course in Conservative Political Thought. Colleagues in his department said questions about diversity had not been adequately addressed. They probably wanted equal time for Marxism.
On the other hand, according to Young America's Foundation, in the 2016-17 academic year, the University of Florida offered a course in Black Hair Politics. At the University of South Carolina students could take a course in Ecofeminism. "An exploration of the connections between oppression of women and the oppression of nature." Gloria Steinem meets global warming.
This scratches the surface. Yale offers a class called Transgender Cultural Production. Other courses which doubtless take a thoroughly objective approach include: Racial Capitalism (Williams College), Queering God: Feminist and Queer Theology (Swarthmore), Environmental Justice (University of Missouri), and Transgender Latina Immigration: Politics of Belonging and Labor in the United States (Bowdoin College).
The catalogue says the Williams course, "will interrogate the ways in which capitalist economies have 'always and everywhere' relied upon forms of racist exclusion" – which is why so many from socialist third world countries clamor to come here – for the opportunity to be oppressed and excluded.
All of this indoctrination doesn't come cheap. At a private 4-year institution, the median salary for presidents is around $400,000. There are 30 colleges and universities where the president makes in excess of $1 million. On average, full-time professors get $98,974 annually. You think it's easy teaching a course in feminist theology or Black Hair Politics? You try doing it.
Salaries are just a part of it. Between 1993 and 2009, administrative positions at institutions of higher learning grew by 60%. UCLA spends $3.2 million a year on diversity salaries.
Naturally, the Democrats want to shovel trillions more at colleges and universities, this time in the form of a federal takeover of student loans.
If there's one place in America where the left has a near total monopoly, it's higher education. It's also the place least tolerant of dissent from the prevailing orthodoxy and most likely to brutalize dissidents – in the name of tolerance and diversity, of course.
Conservatives take their lives in their hands speaking on many campuses. It used to be catcalls and the censor's veto. Now it's rioting and assault. On February 19, a conservative activist at UC Berkeley was punched in the face by a leftist thug who took offense at a sign about fake hate crimes, like the Jussie Smollett affair. Milo Yiannopoulos has been met with Molotov cocktails.
Now, they're eating their own. A lesbian, feminist teaching assistant at the UC Santa Barbara stands accused of transphobia for claiming that "No man will ever be a woman." This is a "disgusting lie" that spreads hatred and violence, activists shriek. Imagine what will happen when she looks for a job in academia.
How much does all of it matter?
At the very least, a disproportionate number of college grads will vote reliably left, which wasn't the case in the past. According to Pew Research, in 2018, 54% of college graduates identified with the Democratic Party, compared to 39% who self-identified as Republicans.
And a plurality of Millennials (44%) favor socialism – despite a century of evidence and horror stories from Nicaragua to North Korea. And this Bernie and friends want to add another $2.2 trillion to the National Debt to subsidize.
I've got a better idea. Let's pay Millennials to spend 20 hours a week for four years watching FOX News and listening to Rush Limbaugh.
Don Feder is a former Boston Herald writer who is now a political/communications consultant. He also maintains a Facebook page.