Why is (American) College So Expensive? - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#14799084
JSTOR Daily wrote:New York is the latest state to offer free tuition (with some catches) to middle-class students. The move is a response to the rapidly accelerating cost of higher education.

But why is college getting so expensive, so fast? In a 2010 paper, Pablo A. Peña looked at the rise in tuition at private, nonprofit four-year schools in the U.S. He noted that between 1980 and 2005 tuition at these colleges more than doubled. At the same time, the total endowment of the schools grew by a factor of seven.

You might think that, as colleges get much richer, they would reduce the costs they burden their students with. But Peña argues that the exact opposite seems to be the case.

To see why, he starts with the idea that colleges want to maximize their prestige. That means producing graduates who go on to successful careers. The way Peña models the colleges’ choices, there are two ways to go about this: investing more per student on facilities, professors, and so on, or recruiting students who seem to have high potential.

For students, a better school—both in terms of high-quality education and a better college experience—may be worth paying higher tuition. Because the college’s endowment subsidizes the cost of good professors and nice dorms, they can pay more tuition and still get a good deal. (Though, let’s pause to note that increasingly wealthy colleges don’t necessarily offer better pay and working conditions to the people doing the actual teaching.)

Peña writes that this means that the most talented students tend to end up at the schools with the most wealth, ultimately promoting greater income inequality. Peña doesn’t delve into questions about which students are identified as “talented,” but it’s worth remembering that, due to a variety of structural factors, race and class backgrounds heavily influence scores on all-important standardized tests.

When it comes to public policy implications of his research, Peña writes that subsidies to make tuition more affordable may not be a good approach.

“If the government gives students a subsidy redeemable against tuition fees, students’ willingness to pay for college education increases,” he writes. “At least a fraction of the subsidy reaches colleges and translates into higher quality, which in turn increases the willingness to pay of students and could translate into higher net prices.”

Of course, this conclusion depends partly on the way subsidies are structured, and doesn’t address the question of whether government programs can help reduce financial burdens on students from low-income backgrounds. But it does point to the likelihood that colleges will continue their arms race toward ever-fancier campuses and programs unless they somehow shift their priorities away from prestige and toward offering good, affordable education.


To me, this seems obvious that the problem is to change the colleges into a capitalist institution with all the trapping. And so we get the same problems—Low pay for the workers, lots of profit, and an attempt to get as many customers paying as much as possible.
#14799093
The Immortal Goon wrote:To me, this seems obvious that the problem is to change the colleges into a capitalist institution with all the trapping. And so we get the same problems—Low pay for the workers, lots of profit, and an attempt to get as many customers paying as much as possible.


They always were "capitalist institutions" and worked just fine that way for centuries. The difference is now they get subsidies and they get customers armed with near infinite borrowing ability.

There is a tug of war of incentives going on all the time anytime any bunch of strangers interact for some trade: staff want more pay, the institution wants to pay them less, the customers want to pay less and the institution wants them to pay more. But if one side starts winning too much then the other side stop wanting to play anymore and in so far as both sides are needed for the trade to continue the winning side will make a concession to bring the others back to the game.

The real problem is that subsidies and loans are free money for the institutions that allow them to win over staff and especially their customers. Subsidies and infinite loans are fuel for price bubbles.
#14799096
The Immortal Goon wrote:To me, this seems obvious that the problem is to change the colleges into a capitalist institution with all the trapping. And so we get the same problems—Low pay for the workers, lots of profit, and an attempt to get as many customers paying as much as possible.


Real reason it is so expensive is that Liberal Elites want to educate only the Rich, or the none white House Slaves culture they are creating.
#14799104
SolarCross wrote:They always were "capitalist institutions" and worked just fine that way for centuries. The difference is now they get subsidies and they get customers armed with near infinite borrowing ability.


I'm being a little simple here. I went to school in Ireland, and though it's a capitalist country and the universities are capitalist, there are still medieval survivals in the system that make the universities far less cut-throat and dependent upon the whims of the market than in the United States. Some of these are small things, like the bureaucracy is far more simplified than in the US and reliant upon reluctant academics who have to take turns doing it or play an elaborate game-of-chairs in order to position themselves to be the best contender to head the department.

Some of the time it's a broader institutional change, like how funding is applied.

Regardless, the set up is different. And even in my experiences with American universities it has been rapidly changing to more of a commercial model.

The real problem is that subsidies and loans are free money for the institutions that allow them to win over staff and especially their customers. Subsidies and infinite loans are fuel for price bubbles.


Historically, this has not been the case.

http://gse.buffalo.edu/fas/johnston/privatization.html
http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/201 ... ation.html
https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/08/10/private
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/16/educa ... .html?_r=0

Oxymoron wrote:Real reason it is so expensive is that Liberal Elites want to educate only the Rich, or the none white House Slaves culture they are creating.


Indeed. Which is why I favour a communist revolution.
#14799106
The Immortal Goon wrote:I'm being a little simple here. I went to school in Ireland, and though it's a capitalist country and the universities are capitalist, there are still medieval survivals in the system that make the universities far less cut-throat and dependent upon the whims of the market than in the United States. Some of these are small things, like the bureaucracy is far more simplified than in the US and reliant upon reluctant academics who have to take turns doing it or play an elaborate game-of-chairs in order to position themselves to be the best contender to head the department.

Some of the time it's a broader institutional change, like how funding is applied.

Regardless, the set up is different. And even in my experiences with American universities it has been rapidly changing to more of a commercial model.


The "whims of the market", you know right that the market is actual real people, the prospective students, it is those that would teach them and those that would supply the materials that support that activity? I wonder on the psychology of people who disparage "the market" as if it was some hostile and alien god that needs to be trapped, banished or murdered as a matter of self-defence.
#14799113
SolarCross wrote:The "whims of the market", you know right that the market is actual real people, the prospective students, it is those that would teach them and those that would supply the materials that support that activity? I wonder on the psychology of people who disparage "the market" as if it was some hostile and alien god that needs to be trapped, banished or murdered as a matter of self-defence.


It would be extremely odd for you, or really anybody talking economics, to throw out the metaphor of, "some hostile and alien god." After all, is this not another name for Adam Smith's The Invisible Hand?

And I suspect you know that, I assume you are going to pretend to be as thickheaded as possible to avoid actually addressing anything substantial and instead have a good pout.
#14799117
The Immortal Goon wrote:It would be extremely odd for you, or really anybody talking economics, to throw out the metaphor of, "some hostile and alien god." After all, is this not another name for Adam Smith's The Invisible Hand?

And I suspect you know that, I assume you are going to pretend to be as thickheaded as possible to avoid actually addressing anything substantial and instead have a good pout.


Indeed though Adam Smith casts his imaginary being as mostly or just accidentally benevolent, whereas in contrast those such as yourself who decry the market seem to prefer to cast this imaginary being as irredeemably malevolent.

Imaginary beings are imaginary though and my point is that behind the stupid metaphor is real people and it is real people that you will be trapping, banishing and murdering when you war against the market.
#14799128
SolarCross wrote:Imaginary beings are imaginary though and my point is that behind the stupid metaphor is real people and it is real people that you will be trapping, banishing and murdering when you war against the market.


Sure. And it is real people that the market currently traps, banishes, and murders.

James Connolly wrote:One great source of the strength of the ruling class has ever been their willingness to kill in defence of their power and privileges. Let their power be once attacked either by foreign foes, or domestic revolutionists, and at once we see the rulers prepared to kill, and kill, and kill. The readiness of the ruling class to order killing, the small value the ruling class has ever set upon human life, is in marked contrast to the reluctance of all revolutionists to shed blood.

The French Reign of Terror is spoken of with horror and execration by the people who talk in joyful praise about the mad adventure of the Dardanelles. And yet in any one day of battle at the Dardanelles there were more lives lost than in all the nine months of the Reign of Terror.

Should the day ever come when revolutionary leaders are prepared to sacrifice the lives of those under them as recklessly as the ruling class do in every war, there will not be a throne or despotic government left in the world. Our rulers reign by virtue of their readiness to destroy human life in order to reign; their reign will end on the day their discontented subjects care as little for the destruction of human life as they do.
#14799137
The Immortal Goon wrote:Sure. And it is real people that the market currently traps, banishes, and murders.

Right but because the market is people or at least those people who have the liberty to negotiate if you ban the market you are just banning people's basic liberty to make their own choices. But choices must still be made and where the market is banned it will only be those who did the banning that will make the choices. Presumably you imagine that will be you after the revolution, commissar in charge of educational rationing or somesuch.

Hence the market is immortal, because there will always be people and choices will always need to be made, if not everyone in a free market, the substance of people in a regulated market as now or a tiny minority of technocrats (and black marketeers) in a USSR style economy. You don't aim to overthrow the market you aim for your own narcissism to be the totality of it.
#14799180
SolarCross wrote:the market is people or at least those people who have the liberty to negotiate if you ban the market you are just banning people's basic liberty to make their own choices.


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NYT wrote:DHAKA, Bangladesh — A labor activist who was arrested two years ago for his role in protests against low wages in Bangladesh’s garment industry was found murdered outside this city last week, labor rights advocates and the police said on Monday.

The killing of the activist, Aminul Islam, marks a morbid turn in the often tense relations between labor groups, on one side, and Bangladesh’s extensive garment industry, which makes clothes for Western companies like Walmart, Tommy Hilfiger and H&M. In 2010, Mr. Islam, a former textile factory worker, was arrested and, he and other labor activists said, was tortured by the police and intelligence services.

Mr. Islam, 40, was last seen alive on Wednesday near Ashulia, a garment-industry hub outside Dhaka. His tortured body was found on Thursday on the side of a road near a police station in Ghatail, 61 miles to the north, according to the police and labor activists.


:excited:

SolarCross wrote:Hence the market is immortal, because there will always be people and choices will always need to be made


Yes, so long as you define, "the market," as, "choices," which is a profoundly stupid thing to do, you can make up whatever crazy definitions you feel like!

Since you get to just make up that definition, I feel like defining, "socialism," as, "Complete and undisputed human emancipation."

Why are you against undisputed human emancipation?
#14799221
The Immortal Goon wrote::excited:


Sure you can find shit to fling at "the market" even if you have to go as far as Bangladesh because the market is just people and people can be (or perhaps usually are) arseholes. It remains however that communists are arseholes too and so will make dubious saviours for the rest of us, witness every actual (as opposed to imaginary) communist regime ever.

It might also be noted that Bangladesh's problems come from overpopulation more than anything you want to blame on trade and commerce. It is overpolulation that makes labour so cheap there. The fact that people come from outside to find ways for those vast numbers of people to earn some dollar is a help to them though. Realistically what would your solution be, mass unemployment and starvation? A cull? Do tell!

The Immortal Goon wrote:Yes, so long as you define, "the market," as, "choices," which is a profoundly stupid thing to do, you can make up whatever crazy definitions you feel like!

Since you get to just make up that definition, I feel like defining, "socialism," as, "Complete and undisputed human emancipation."

Why are you against undisputed human emancipation?


Noting that the reality of the market is exactly people choosing (sometimes poorly and inevitably from a limited menu) is not nearly as stupid or crazy as yourself denouncing it as if it were an evil god.

You could do with throwing up a lot less denouncing of everyday reality and tell us exactly how you and your wannabe commisar buddies would do it differently without making things worse.

You are advertising communism as your product or service but all we ever hear from you is how brand X is so much worse but tellingly you don't have much to say on how yours would be better. That kind of negative advertising is not very persuasive actually.
#14799230
Very simple answer: because they can.

Higher education is probably the biggest boom market of the decade because politicians have taken a simple observation, that graduates earn more, and taken it as a cast iron fact that a degree increases your earning potential.
#14799240
SolarCross wrote:
Sure you can find shit to fling at "the market" even if you have to go as far as Bangladesh because the market is just people and people can be (or perhaps usually are) arseholes. It remains however that communists are arseholes too and so will make dubious saviours for the rest of us, witness every actual (as opposed to imaginary) communist regime ever.

It might also be noted that Bangladesh's problems come from overpopulation more than anything you want to blame on trade and commerce. It is overpolulation that makes labour so cheap there. The fact that people come from outside to find ways for those vast numbers of people to earn some dollar is a help to them though. Realistically what would your solution be, mass unemployment and starvation? A cull? Do tell!



Noting that the reality of the market is exactly people choosing (sometimes poorly and inevitably from a limited menu) is not nearly as stupid or crazy as yourself denouncing it as if it were an evil god.

You could do with throwing up a lot less denouncing of everyday reality and tell us exactly how you and your wannabe commisar buddies would do it differently without making things worse.

You are advertising communism as your product or service but all we ever hear from you is how brand X is so much worse but tellingly you don't have much to say on how yours would be better. That kind of negative advertising is not very persuasive actually.


The answer to this is quite simple. Anything that stands in the way of raising the education level of the general population in any form is evil. It is the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT THING after basic survival. You can accuse the communists of many things but in terms of educating the masses, they have a better track-record.
#14799249
SolarCross wrote:It might also be noted that Bangladesh's problems come from overpopulation more than anything you want to blame on trade and commerce. It is overpolulation that makes labour so cheap there. The fact that people come from outside to find ways for those vast numbers of people to earn some dollar is a help to them though. Realistically what would your solution be, mass unemployment and starvation? A cull? Do tell!


Give me a population target, and I can probably find a place where labour was murdered instead of negotiated with. You want somewhere rural? Off the top of my head there's the Ludlow Massacre and various places in South America.

But you're always going to be searching for that one true Scotsman...

SolarCross wrote:Noting that the reality of the market is exactly people choosing (sometimes poorly and inevitably from a limited menu) is not nearly as stupid or crazy as yourself denouncing it as if it were an evil god.


Making up your own personal definition of capitalism that nobody else shares is less crazy than using Adam Smith and associated rhetoric in common usage for nearly the last three centuries. Well, we should tell every economist that has ever lived that you have corrected them :lol:
#14799283
Oxymoron wrote:
Real reason it is so expensive is that Liberal Elites want to educate only the Rich, or the none white House Slaves culture they are creating.


I thought it was the Conservative Elite who wanted colleges to be prestigious AKA only affordable for the wealthy and those from prominent households.
#14799289
Very simple answer: because they can.

Higher education is probably the biggest boom market of the decade because politicians have taken a simple observation, that graduates earn more, and taken it as a cast iron fact that a degree increases your earning potential.


I agree with the first part. Because they can.

Here is the deal. The US student loan system has made the amount paid for a particular college or university a matter for the future. You ask the people least qualified or inclined to make hard decisions to decide to "settle" for less. I have consulted in professional program recruiting (health care professionals) for quite a long time. One thing is certain. Very few students or new grads have a real understanding of what they will earn and even less what it costs to live. So we ask these people to "settle" for a less expensive college (or none in favor of a trade) and then to destroy any chance that they will act rationally, offer to loan them virtually any amount of money the want to attend their "school of choice".

So I have MD friends who graduate from medical school $300K in debt. Lets do the math:

A new family practice doc makes about $130K here. As a single person they are going to pay about $40K in taxes. That leaves them $90K to live on. Not bad. Now figure their student loans. If they pay 30% of their income on loan payments they will pay $27K per year for 17 years at 5%. That leaves them $63K per year to live on. Not much for a doctor. Not enough in many large cities. But they don't realize that. Smart as they are that is down the road and doctors make sooooo much money. Right?

But here is the fuck job. Because the colleges know that kids can borrow whatever they want to charge, and are just naive enough to do it, they have no incentive to be affordable. There is simply very little reason for colleges and universities to economize at all. It is against their self interest to advise students to do so as well.

I was talking to a young MPH at a convention a few months ago. She told me that she expected to earn over $100K. When I told her that the average for an epidemiologist with an MPH is $60K she almost lost it. When I told her that top 10% earn $78K she was nearly in tears. She had over $100K in student loans and had no idea how she would pay them off. She wanted to live in the Atlanta area and her dream job is with the CDC. She did not know that her chances of getting that job are slim to none.

So my point is that, as was said, because they can.
#14799340
The Immortal Goon wrote:Give me a population target, and I can probably find a place where labour was murdered instead of negotiated with. You want somewhere rural? Off the top of my head there's the Ludlow Massacre and various places in South America.

But you're always going to be searching for that one true Scotsman...

Let me help you out with that...

The Novocherkassk massacre[1] refers to events tied to the labor strike of a locomotive building plant in Novocherkassk, a city in the Russian SFSR, Soviet Union. The events eventually culminated in riots of June 1–2, 1962 when reportedly 26 protesters were killed by Soviet Army troops, and 87 were wounded.[2]

The riots were a direct result of shortages of food and provisions, as well as the poor working conditions in the factory. The protest began on June 1 in the Budyonny Electric Locomotive Factory, when workers from the foundry and forge shops stopped work after factory management refused to hear their complaints. The strike and attendant discussions had spread throughout the whole factory by noon.

The unrest began when Nikita Khrushchev raised the prices of meat and butter throughout the Soviet Union on June 1st. On the same day, as required by a separate economic plan, the minimum production quotas for each worker at the factory were increased,[3] thereby effectively reducing pay rates.[4] This culminated in a march on the town hall and police headquarters, and the strike spread to other enterprises after police arrested thirty workers.

Accounts of the government response are varied and often conflicting. There is some debate over who exactly fired on the demonstrators: the Soviet Army or the KGB. Some say that one army officer refused to order his men to fire on the protesters, and that KGB warning shots fired into the air which hit children who had climbed into trees.[4]

According to now available official sources, 26 protesters were killed by the machine-gun-equipped[5][6] Soviet Army troops, and 87 were wounded with 3 of those dying later of their wounds. After the initial demonstrations, a curfew was implemented in the town. The dead bodies were secretly buried in the cemeteries of other towns of the Rostov Oblast. However, the following morning, a large group of several hundred demonstrators again gathered in the square. One hundred and sixteen were arrested, of which fourteen were convicted by show trials, seven of those receiving a death sentence and were executed. The others were sentenced to prison terms of ten to fifteen years.[7]

Following the incident, the Soviet government directed extra food supplies to the region and began an investigation. Additional arrests of workers followed, as did courts martial of military officials involved. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn claimed that individuals wounded in the unrest and their families were exiled to Siberia.

The whole story was never allowed to appear in the press or any other Soviet mass media and remained classified until 1992, when the remains of 20 bodies were recovered and identified in 1992 and buried in the cemetery of Novoshakhtinsk.


See people are arseholes, so where you find people you will find murders, commie or capitalist they are all the same. You can dig up feces to fling all day long, but your alternative would be worse because it won't change human nature one bit but will give excess license for those on top to behave as badly as they like whilst depriving the rest of us anything resembling a civilised trade.

Trade where two strangers turn up to exchange for mutual benefit and nobody gets brained is as good as it gets with human beings who are after all as savage as any other animal under our thin patina of civilisation, and that will always be so.
#14799353
Yay, to New York for making education affordable.

New York just OK'd tuition-free college for middle class
Starting this fall, undergraduate students who attend a State University of New York or City University of New York school will be eligible for the Excelsior Scholarship if their families earn no more than $100,000 a year. The income cap will lift to $110,000 next year and will reach $125,000 in 2019.
Those eligible will pay nothing for tuition, which costs $6,470 annually at four-year schools and about $4,350 a year at community colleges. But they will still be on the hook for the cost of fees and room and board if they live on campus. Those other expenses can add up to $14,000 a year.

http://money.cnn.com/2017/04/08/pf/coll ... e-tuition/

It will help. One of the best investments a country can make, is in education.
#14799357
SolarCross wrote:Trade where two strangers turn up to exchange for mutual benefit and nobody gets brained is as good as it gets with human beings who are after all as savage as any other animal under our thin patina of civilisation, and that will always be so.


"Trade" is not another word for, "capitalism."

Nor does any of this have much to do with colleges being so much money. But I'm just as guilty as derailing here as you...
#14799464
The British gov't increased tuition fees about 15 years ago and allowed universities to set their own rates capped at 9,000 pounds p.a. Many universities ended up charging the max amount because anything less would make them look cheap and nasty. A high caliber education should come with a high price tag.

BTW, the tuition fees students incur only have to be paid back after they earn 20k+ per year. It is a graduate tax rather than some debt that you can never lose through bankruptcy and will haunt you forever.

There are some pretty cool scams in US higher education like States that require people to get a license to practice a pretty banal trade like cutting hair or selling flowers. In order to get the license you must complete 100 hours of classes or sit a bunch of exams at some college. In order to pay for college you have to get a loan. In order to pay off the loan you must sacrifice 10% of your income for the next 10 years. A little convoluted but it's still a nice little protection racket since you risk having the gov't send in a swat team to violently assault anyone who tries to cut hair without a permission slip. The best part is when the victims of this practice campaign in favour of keeping it because its removal would lead to more competition, lower wages and more difficulty in paying off their debts.

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