The Cost of Higher Education rose Twice as Much as Health Care Costs

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 31st, 2013

Week in Review

It’s bad enough that higher education is programming our kids to become good liberals.  But their getting rich in the process is just rubbing salt into the wound (see College Costs Surge 500% in U.S. Since 1985: Chart of the Day by Michelle Jamrisko & Ilan Kolet posted 8/26/2013 on Bloomberg).

The cost of higher education has surged more than 500 percent since 1985, illustrating why there have been renewed calls for change from both political parties.

The CHART OF THE DAY shows that tuition expenses have increased 538 percent in the 28-year period, compared with a 286 percent jump in medical costs and a 121 percent gain in the consumer price index. The ballooning charges have generated swelling demand for educational loans while threatening to make college unaffordable for domestic and international students.

What expenses does a college have?  There are shelters (i.e., buildings) where students sit and learn.  But shelter costs rose nowhere near the amount going to college did.  So it’s not the buildings.  So what else do colleges have?  That tuition pays for?  Excluding books and living expenses that are above and beyond tuition expenses?  Well, the only other thing they really have are people.

College administrators and college professors.  If the high tuition costs are not due the costs of the buildings on the college campus then we must be paying the people too much.  In pay and benefits.  So let’s crunch some numbers.

The average annual cost for a 4-year public college is about $18,000 (see The Average Cost of a U.S. College Education posted 8/24/2010 in US News and World Repot).  Based on a typical enrollment of 40,000 students that comes to an annual college revenue of $720,000,000.  If the college has $1.5 billion in debt on its books for capital improvements on average at 6% that comes to an annual interest expense of $90 million.  Let’s assume they retire $50 million in debt every year.  And their operating costs (everything else but pay and benefits for administrators and professors) are, say, $25 million.  Subtracting all this from the annual tuition revenue leaves $555 million for pay and benefits each year.  Assuming a professor/administrator for each 20 students that gives us 900 professors/administrators.  Dividing this into that $555 million gives us about $617,000 per professor/administrator annually.

This is just a rough estimate but it does give you an idea about the amount of money we’re talking about here.  Not all professors are making $617,000 but if you’re tenured you’re living well.  Very well.  And administrators typically live far better than tenured professors.  This is what students are going in debt for.  To give a privileged few a life others can only dream about.  Worse, a lot of these students who graduate have an unmarketable degree.  In an economy where employers are looking for people with math and science skills people with degrees in romantic languages or gender studies will not fare well.  But the people who sold them those degrees will be doing very well.  This is why we have a student loan debt problem.  Students took on enormous debt for a degree they can’t use.

Everyone loves to complain about the high cost of health care.  And demand that government do something about it.  Well, they did.  They gave us Obamacare.  Which promises to squeeze hospitals and doctors.  To make them do more for less.  Obamacare is so bad that it is causing some doctors to retire early.  Just so they don’t have to deal with it.  Yet the cost of college has gone up at twice the rate of health care costs.  But where is the outcry over that?  Where are the people demanding that government do something?   To squeeze those universities, professors and administrators?  Why should they get rich at providing education.  If doctors shouldn’t get rich saving lives why should educators be allowed to get rich selling unmarketable degrees?  Just why is it educators can get away with being the greediest of the greedy and escape government scrutiny?

Because they teach their students to be good liberals, that’s why.  And this is so valuable to Democrats that they are willing to raise the taxes on their constituents as much as it takes.  Because without the programming higher education provides few would vote Democrat.

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FT165: “Republicans vote as responsible adults while Democrats vote as selfish children programmed to hate and fear Republicans.” —Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 12th, 2013

Fundamental Truth

Our Public Schools teach our Children that Capitalism is Bad and Government is Good

The Democrats want some form of national childcare.  President Obama just said that he wanted 4 year olds in preschool.  Some political operative just made a video saying that we need to destroy the notion that children belong to their parents.  And get people thinking more collectively about their children.  That they belong to the community.  Not to their parents.  So why this push to take children away from their parents and place them into institutions more controlled by the state?  For one reason.  To make them think ‘correctly’.

Our public schools teach our children at an early age about global warming.  Why?  There’s nothing children can do about it.  And it’s likely not man-made.  For the glaciers moved their farthest before man ever put warming emissions into the atmosphere.  So why scare them of an impending global warming apocalypse?  Filling their heads with things to give them nightmares?  Because it is useful to make them fear global warming.  Useful how?  Well, who is it that is supposedly causing global warming?  Businesses.  Corporations.  In general, capitalism.  In particular, unfettered capitalism.  Which teaches children what?  That if left to its own devises unfettered capitalism will destroy the world.  So we need government to act like cops.  To protect these children, their families and the world from these evil and greedy corporations that are trying to kill people with global warming.  Just so they can make a buck.

This is what they’re teaching our children in the public schools.  That unfettered capitalism is unfair.  Cruel.  And will kill us to make a buck.  So our children learn the evils of the profit incentive.  And the goodness of government.  They teach our children how FDR, LBJ and President Obama made the country better.  By preventing the evil corporations from running wild in pursuit of profits.  They don’t teach them how America became the world’s number one economy with the greatest liberty and highest standard of liberty because of unfettered capitalism.  Or why this was the reason people immigrated to the United States.  No.  Instead they teach them to fear corporations.  And support unions.  Because unions like government stop the evil corporations from hurting people to make a buck.  They’ll even hold picket signs for their teachers when they go on strike.  Teachers repeat this lesson over and over again.  Corporations bad.  Capitalism bad.  Unions good.  Government good.  So when they start voting they will vote ‘correctly’.

Someone has to Teach People to have Negative Views of Republicans because they’re not Born with Them

So this is why the Democrats want to take children away from their parents.  So they can start teaching them how to think ‘correctly’.  So they will vote ‘correctly’.  And when our kids get to college they take it up a notch.  Back in the Sixties radicals protested at college campuses.  Protested the Vietnam War.  Wearing shirts with pictures of communist icons like Chairman Mao and Chez Guevara.  They wanted to establish communism in the United States.  They hated the profit-incentive.  And corporate America.  They wanted to abolish private property.  Make everything communal.  They even lived in communes.  Just like the communists they so admired.  Even though the communist utopias in the Soviet Union and The People’s Republic of China oppressed and killed their people if they didn’t think ‘correctly’.

They wanted a world where everyone had whatever they needed without having to work for the man.  So they could spend their days the way they believed people should pass their days.  Getting high, engaging in free love and singing songs about love.  These radicals then changed their tactics.  Instead of fighting the system from the outside they began fighting it from the inside.  By becoming college professors.  Now they are teaching our kids.  And writing the curriculum.  Even those who went to jail for acts of domestic terrorism are joining the faculty at our colleges.  And those who avoided jail on a technicality.  Liberal Democrats revere these people.  And the students they’re programming to become good liberal Democrats love them.  For they, too, want to enjoy a life full of drugs and sex.  They see these radical professors as enlightened.  For they find nothing wrong with enjoying the moment.  Instead of sacrificing for the future.  Like their parents did.  Who always frowned on their having a good time.  Most colleges today lean left.  And the radical Left keeps out the riff raff.  Conservatives.  Who are just too much like these students’ parents.  And bestows tenure on those who think as radically as they do.  While denying it to those who don’t.  Those conservatives.

Conservative students have recorded some of these classes.  Where we can hear liberal professors telling their captive audience that Republicans are all racist white men.  And are the most inflexible in their thinking.  Stubborn.  And mean spirited.  That they hate minorities, the poor and women.  Even want to prevent them from voting.  They want to put blacks back at the back of the bus.  And women back into the Fifties where they’re barefoot and pregnant.  Are these isolated incidents?  Or is this what they teach all of our children?  Well, if you watch the Daily Show, Saturday Night Live, most any television sitcom, most any Hollywood movie or watch the network news you have to believe this teaching is pervasive.  As no one is born with political views someone had to teach these people to have these negative views of Republicans.  And who teaches our kids?  Our public schools.  And our colleges.

Liberal Democrats don’t Engage in Debate but Instead Lie and Launch Personal Attacks

The liberal viewpoint is a minority viewpoint.  Only about 21% of the people identify themselves as liberal.  While 35% identify themselves as moderate.  And 40% identify themselves as conservative (see Conservatives Remain the Largest Ideological Group in U.S. on Gallup).  So those wishing to implement a liberal agenda have their work cut out for them.  Because about 75% of the people don’t think like they do.  That is, not yet.

This is why the president wants to get 4 year olds into state-paid childcare.  And why liberals want to take our children away so the state can raise them.  So the liberals can get them while they’re young.  And diminish the influence of their parents.  Especially when those parents are conservatives.  Who resist the liberal indoctrination of their children.  And undo some of the hard work they’ve done in getting these children to think ‘correctly’.  Which is a big problem for liberal Democrats.  Because they can’t win on the merits of their policies.  Not when 75% of the people don’t think like they do.

So liberal Democrats teach our kids to fear and hate those who don’t think like they do.  And they mock, belittle, disparage, demean, deride, etc., these people who don’t think like they do.  They don’t engage in debate.  They lie.  And launch personal attacks.  Which our high school and college kids find so entertaining.  They fill the audience at the Daily Show and the Late Show with David Lettermen.  They may not understand the issues.  But they know that they should laugh.  And how they should vote.  For they know that corporations are bad.  Capitalism is bad.  While unions are good.  And government is good.  The cool people they admire so much are liberal Democrats.  So they, too, are liberal Democrats.  And until they learn from age and experience to vote like adults they will continue to vote as self-indulgent children.  Living to maximize the pleasure of the moment.  No matter the long-term consequence of their actions.

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Perception, President Obama and the Rand Paul Filibuster

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 14th, 2013

Politics 101

Sound Bites and Photo Opportunities define our Politicians Today

Perception is in the eye of the beholder.  Are you familiar with the story about a real estate broker?  He works in a small town with a main road through it connecting two larger cities.  A lot of traffic travels this road.  This broker has two properties listed for sale.  One on the road into town.  And one on the road out of town.  All of these cars driving through this town see those two signs and think, “Wow, this guy must be the biggest broker in town.  I see his signs everywhere.”

But he is not the biggest broker in town.  But because his two signs are on the busiest road in town the perception is that he is.  Because people can’t enter the town or leave the town without seeing one of what seem to be many of his signs.  If they drove on the other streets of this town they would not see any of his signs.  While they would see a great many of his competitors’ signs.  With a detailed analysis people would conclude that this real estate broker is the smallest and least successful in town.  But with only a cursory glance he is the biggest broker in town.  This is perception.

Politicians understand perception.  So they work hard to shape what people see and hear.  And less on substance.  That’s why sound bites and photo opportunities define our politicians.  Politicians get their picture taken with babies and the down trodden to show how much they care.  Their speeches will be nothing but a series of sound bites suitable for quoting by the talking heads on television and in political ads.  And they will always answer a question with a prepared talking point.  Instead of answering the question.  And when it comes to campaigning they will take everything their opponents say out of context to change everyone’s perception about them.

Our Schools teach our Kids that a Just Society uses Government to Redistribute Wealth to make Society Fairer

Democrats are masters at creating perception.  Which is easy to do when you have the mainstream media in your pocket.  As well as college professors and high school teachers.  The entertainment industry.  The music industry.  Etc.  This small sliver of people has a profound impact on the masses.  For they dominate what people hear and learn.  And with them having a far left ideology their message is far left.  So when this small sliver of people fills our airwaves, cable television, movies and our classrooms their minority viewpoint creates the perception of being the majority viewpoint.  Like that real estate broker.  Because it’s everywhere.  While the majority of people who don’t share their ideology aren’t on television or in the movies.  On the radio or teaching our kids in the classroom.

The perception our kids have of America when graduating from high school is not that good.  Our teachers teach them that America stole the land from the Indians.  And stole Spanish America from the Spanish who stole it from the Indians.  They teach that slavery is America’s original sin.  As if America invented the institution of slavery.  Despite slavery having been around as long as civilization has been around.  They teach that America grew rich because of free slave labor.  Despite the South losing the American Civil War because the institution of slavery so impoverished the South that it was no match for what the North’s paid-labor could produce.  They teach our kids that capitalism is unfair and that profits are evil.  Despite the greatest oppression of people (as well as the lowest standards of living and greatest famines) has always been in anti-capitalistic nations (the Soviet Union, the People’s Republic of China, North Korea, Cuba, the countries of Eastern Europe during the cold war, etc.).  While at the same time they teach our kids the goodness of government.  And gloss over the oppression and privations of socialist/communist countries everywhere.

So our kids graduate from high school with the perception that if government doesn’t greatly regulate the free market the greed of capitalism will cause great unfairness.  And that a just society uses government to redistribute wealth to make society fairer.  And that anyone who opposes higher taxes and greater regulation to facilitate this fairer society hates kids.  They want to pollute our air and water.  They want unsafe food.  They want women to die from cancer.  They hate the planet.  Poor people.  Gay people.  Etc.  They hear this so often and so consistently that they accept it as the majority opinion.  And when they go on to college or start watching the news this perception is reinforced.  Which is why our young people vote Democrat.  Because the perception is that Democrats are for the working man.  The party that puts people before profits.  While the Republicans put rich people, and their money, before everything else.

Was it the Rand filibuster that made President Obama launch a Charm Offensive?

A big part of forming perceptions is not telling the truth. When President Obama was candidate Obama he didn’t want to nationalize health care.  He opposed same-sex marriage.  He didn’t support gun control.  He talked about transparency.  He attacked President Bush for being fiscally irresponsible.  And for running massive deficits that added to the debt.  He talked about not spending more than the government collected.  But the real President Obama was none of this.  And the real President Obama has never left campaign mode.  For he doesn’t govern.  He continues to campaign.  Against Republicans.  Blaming them for every problem exasperated by his own policies.  And, of course, he continues to blame George W. Bush.  Always attacking Republicans.  Always blaming Republicans.  To reinforce a perception of the Republican Party that will benefit him.  And his party.  So he can win the House back in 2014.  And finally govern as he always wanted to govern.  As a president with no political opposition to restrain his powers.

The president’s Middle East foreign policy has been a disaster.  He refused to support a Democracy movement in Iran.  Our enemy.  While supporting a democracy movement in Egypt.  And in Libya.  Our allies in the War on Terror.  (But not in Syria.  An ally of Iran.)  Now the Middle East is becoming Islamist.  And closer to Iran.  Our enemy.  And the enemy of peace and stability.  This disastrous policy came to a head in Benghazi.  Where four Americans died to advance the perception that President Obama had al Qaeda on the ropes.  When in fact they were resurgent in Benghazi.  Which our ambassador knew.  And tried to tell his boss.  Hillary Clinton.  Begging for more security.  Which never came.  When questioned in Congress about who edited the talking points that Secretary Rice used on the Sunday morning talk shows to advance the lie that it was not al Qaeda but a spontaneous uprising in response to a YouTube video that no one had seen she yelled with righteous indignation, “What difference did it make!?!”  An answer no one accepted in the Watergate investigation.  Which Clinton assisted with as a young attorney.  Back then a government cover-up made a big difference.  Which led to impeachment hearings.  That ended when President Nixon resigned.  But the Obama administration would escape that fate.  For the perception was that this was a Republican partisan witch hunt.  Because they were racists and hated the president.  And with all their support in entertainment, education and the news the people accepted this perception.  And apparently didn’t care about the cover-up of Benghazi.  Unlike they were about the cover-up of Watergate that resulted in no dead Americans.

And this is what made the Rand Paul filibuster so powerful.  For he dared to challenge the perception that the Obama administration was sweet and innocent and transparent unlike the ‘criminal’ administration of George W. Bush.  President Obama has expanded the use of drones.  He has killed more people with them than George W. Bush.  And a lot more innocent bystanders.  Including a few Americans.  Even appearing to want to reserve the right to use a drone strike on Americans on U.S. soil without due process even if they posed no imminent threat.  The Obama administration finally stated that they wouldn’t do that.  But not before those on the Left took notice of Rand Paul’s filibuster.  Including Jon Stewart of the Daily Show.  People who expected something like this from the Bush administration.  But not from the Obama administration.  Giving the Obama administration some rare negative press.  Just enough to get some people to ask, “They want to do what?!?”  And the fact that it took a 13-hour filibuster to get a simple ‘no’ out of the administration makes it look like, perhaps, it’s the Democrats who are not trying to cooperate with the Republicans.  Unlike the perception that it’s the Republicans that are being uncooperative.  Perhaps explaining why the president has launched a charm offensive.  To improve a tarnished perception that they never had to do before.  Thanks to the Rand Paul filibuster.

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Congress keeping Student Loans Cheap for the Youth Vote while Increasing the Cost of Tuition

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 30th, 2012

Week in Review

It’s an election year.  And both the Republicans and the Democrats are trying to garner the youth vote.  By making it easy for them to accumulate a massive student loan debt for what may prove to be a worthless degree in today’s economy.  Because of the highest unemployment since the Great Depression.  If you compare the U-6 unemployment rates.  Which is currently still north of 14%.  So it’s hard for new college graduates to find a job.  Especially for those with degrees in the liberal arts and the social sciences.  Which just aren’t in high demand in a high-tech economy.  But cheap student loans translate into happy students.  Later they’ll be disgruntled college graduates.  But the politicians don’t care about that.  Because at the time of the election they’ll be happy and grateful students looking to thank someone with their vote (see How Cheap Federal Loans May Harm Students by Rick Newman posted 6/25/2012 on US News).

The cost of a college education has been rising by about 9 percent per year over the last decade, more than three times the overall rate of inflation…For many families, education inflation is more onerous than the skyrocketing cost of healthcare, since you can’t buy insurance that pays for college.

Several factors are pushing tuition costs up, including cutbacks in state funding and an increasing number of students competing for university spots. But another pernicious cause may be a sharp increase in financial aid available to students, especially federally subsidized grants and loans…

That’s a huge commitment to college education, and a seemingly smart way for Washington to prioritize spending. Yet many experts say that all that aid artificially increases demand for a college education and the money available to pay for it, which pushes prices up. There was a disturbing parallel in the housing market a few years ago, when interest rates kept artificially low by the Federal Reserve, along with lax lending standards, generated a flood of money available for mortgages. That helped push home values far above healthy levels, creating the housing bubble that began to burst in 2006, triggering a brutal recession.

Employment at colleges and universities, meanwhile, has increased consistently over the last decade, in sharp contrast to the cutbacks that have occurred throughout the private sector and in state and local government. That suggests that there’s little cost pressure forcing universities to become more efficient, as many companies have been forced to do.

No one ever talks about the education bubble.  But after the subprime mortgage crisis we had a Congressional investigation and passed new regulations (Dodd-Frank).  And to address the high cost of health care we’ve attacked doctors, hospitals, private health insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies.  Even passed Obamacare (by saying the tax wasn’t a tax).  Yet educational costs are rising higher than even health care (at least from a parent’s perspective) and there’s no Congressional inquiry to find out why.  There are no administrators called before Congress to explain their excessive spending or the exploding costs of tuition that pays for that spending.  Or why they are even hiring more people while the private sector gets by with fewer people.  No.  Higher education gets a pass.  Why?

Because our colleges and universities teach our young students the most important thing in life.  To vote Democrat.  That’s why higher education gets a pass.  The Democrats always do well with the young and the college educated.  Especially those in the liberal arts and the social sciences.  Those courses without a lot of math.  Leaving the students a lot of time to have the time of their lives.  And to participate in the political activities of their leftist professors.  Those professors in the liberal arts and social sciences.

Still, the Republicans hope by making this a bipartisan action that they will deny some of these student voters from the Democrat column come election day.  Showing they can pander just as well as the Democrats.

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Universities are more Interested in Government Grant Money than Teaching their Pesky Students

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 6th, 2012

Week in Review

Education is sacred.  For in all the budget debates.  In all the class warfare.  One field is exempt from that one most disparaging label.  Greedy.  Everyone is greedy in Western Civilization.  Except the universities and the professors.  Who make more and more while working less and less.  And hand out degrees that have little value in the modern economy.  No.  Their greed is never called out.  These people who add little to our economic wellbeing.  While those who do are called every filthy and vile name in the book.  Because education is sacred.  Apparently.  No matter how substandard it is (see Professors should teach more classes: Experts by Antonella Artuso posted 5/6/2012 on the Toronto Sun).

Ontario’s post-secondary system could improve the quality of students’ education and save money by sending more professors back to class, some experts say.

There is rising concern that hundreds of thousands of Ontario undergraduate students are being short changed by a university system that values research ahead of teaching…

Ontario undergraduate university students learn in ever larger classes and often emerge from their pricey education without the skills they need to find work in a modern economy, he said…

There has long been an informal working ratio for professors — 40% of their time spent on research, 40% on teaching and 20% on administrative duties.

Economist Don Drummond, who chaired the Dalton McGuinty government’s Commission on the Reform of Ontario’s Public Services, concluded universities — and even a few colleges — now aggressively chase provincial and federal research grants with some institutions using undergraduate tuition fees to pursue government funds…

University of Toronto Professor Ian Clark, co-author of Academic Reform, said the Ontario and federal governments have ramped up research grants in the hope — one that’s shared by most developed nations — that the investment will stimulate the economy.

Professors now spend more time on research, teaching an average of two courses a term, down from three courses a term about 20 years ago, Clark said.

At the same time, there’s been a strong public push to increase the number of Ontarians with a post-secondary education, leading to a 50% jump in undergraduate students over a decade.

“You’re getting less than half as much time per student per faculty member as there used to be. Inevitably, it’s leading to bigger classes and more use of teaching assistants,” said Clark, a former president of the Council of Ontario Universities. “That, we assert — and so do many, many others — is leading to a decline in the quality of the undergraduate education that Ontario students receive…”

Constance Adamson, president of the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA), said professors are aware that class sizes are getting larger, but the fault lies not with the focus on research, but with chronic underfunding of the post-secondary system.

Really?  The problem is chronic underfunding?  It has nothing to do with universities running after all that free government money?  The professors are teaching one less course a term.  Why?  Because they’re too busy chasing all of that free government money.  No wonder these kids are graduating lacking the necessary skills to make it in the modern economy.  Their education is only a distraction to these professors.  Who spend as little time involved in it as possible.  Why?  Because that’s why God made graduate students.

This isn’t a problem unique to the Canadians.  Throughout the world a university degree is becoming a birthright.  More and more kids are going to university.  Because we tell them it’s the gateway to success and wealth.  The problem is that not only are we giving them a part-time, half-hearted education, a lot of the degrees we’re giving them are worthless in the modern economy.  Liberal arts.  Social sciences.  Women studies.  Etc.  None of which are in high demand in the modern high-tech economy.

Perhaps these are the reasons those angry unemployed university graduates are protesting capitalism in all of those occupy movements.  They borrowed a fortune for those degrees.   That were supposed to give them success and wealth.  Only to find that they got huge student loan debts.  For a worthless, part-time, half-hearted education.  Worse, these university graduates don’t even understand capitalism.  For it isn’t capitalism that failed them.  It was their leftist universities that failed them.  Who gave them a substandard education.  While charging them a premium for it.  But do these kids protest these universities or their professors?  No.  They’re protesting the businesses that can’t hire these graduates without spending a fortune on them.  To give them a useful education.  That their university was supposed to provide them.

That’s how bad our education systems have become.  Our universities draw these kids in.  These pesky students.  Selling them a useless degree.  That these kids should have known were worthless.  I mean, exactly what kind of high-paying job do these kids think their degrees in the liberal arts, social sciences, women studies, etc., will prepare them for?  Stock analyst?  Investment banker?  Research engineer?  Doctor?  The truth is that many of these degrees these kids are graduating with have very little if any value in the market place.  In fact the only thing they’re qualified for is to teach these worthless degrees to other unsuspecting students. 

And yet they protest capitalism.  Not the people who made them unfit to enter the world of capitalism.  Which is yet another sad commentary on today’s educational standards.

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FUNDAMENTAL TRUTH #46: “Liberals say ‘do as I say not as I do’ because they can’t point to anything worthwhile they’ve done.” -Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 28th, 2010

The Professors Teaching our Kids are Long-Haired, Maggot-Infested, Flower-Child Hippies who Hate Capitalism

Liberals are know-it-all smarty-pants that want to fix everything.  Even the things that aren’t broken.  Because they are so full of themselves that they just know how to do everything better than anyone else.  Even though they have jack squat experience in the things they’re fixing.  And this is why liberals are destroying this country.

Liberals hate capitalism.  Because no one is in charge.  No one to make things work better.  Or more efficiently.  So they butt in.  Even though few of them have ever run a business.  Or had a real job.  They know absolutely nothing about business or commerce.  But they went to college.  Where they learned nothing useful.  Got a degree in one of the social sciences.  And then set out to make the world a ‘better place’.  All based on what some old, long-haired, maggot-infested, flower-child hippy from the 1960s told them in those useless social science classes.  And those hippies hate capitalism.  When they were young, all they wanted was for Dad to pay their tuition so they could stay stoned and screw their way through college.  They loved it so much they never left college.  They became ‘professors’.  In some useless social science program.

And they’re teaching our kids today.  Keeping the spirit of the 1960s alive.  Kids graduate without a clue of what capitalism is or what it has done for Western Civilization.  But their professors told them capitalism is bad.  That it isn’t fair.  That they should hate it.  And the only way to make capitalism fair and efficient is to get as much government as possible into it.  These students then do as their told.  And become good liberals.

Liberals are like Addicts in Need of a Fix

So these kids graduate from college programmed to disdain capitalism.  And they do.  They see market forces working freely without government intervention and they get that craving.  Like an addict in need of a fix.  Or a smoker stuck in a smoke-free building craving a cigarette.  And there’s only one way they can calm themselves.  By intervening.

Once upon a time, a long way from here, I worked in a small business.  There was the boss.  He sold and ran operations.  There was his wife who helped out part time when the kids were in school.  And there was me who did everything else in the office.  Sales were increasing.  The business was growing.  We were getting busy.  And I was working late.  Work piled up on my desk.  And it bothered the boss.  He thought it was me.  I was just not working fast enough.  So he went to some business seminar at a local bookstore and bumped into a consultant.  And he hired him.

The consultant was married to a CFO at some big company.  He stayed at home to raise their son.  And consulted.  He used to run the family business (he took over after his dad died).  But after he bankrupted that, he went back to school to get his MBA.  Got a perfect grade point average.  Smart guy.  But he was only good at going to school.  Well, that, and bankrupting businesses. 

Those who Can, Do.  Those who Can’t, Consult.

He started by timing me doing some tasks.  He actually sat beside me with a stopwatch.  Confirmed that I was working too slow.  Came up with some new procedures.  They might have worked in the corporate world they talk about in those MBA courses.  But small business is a different beast.  There’s a lot of ‘seat of your pants’ stuff.  Thinking on the fly.  Sort of like being a Marine.  You have to adapt, innovate and overcome.  Throughout the day.  You just can’t sit on your ass and come up with one-size-fits-all procedures.

But that’s what he did.  And the boss implemented them.  And I worked later into the night.  Some of the tasks worked well with the new procedures.  A lot didn’t.  And to make those tasks fit the new procedures took an inordinate amount of time.  I lost a lot of time elsewhere, too.  He created an Excel spreadsheet for the boss to use for sales forecasting.  The hours he had in developing this spreadsheet totaled $5,000.  And it didn’t work.  I actually debugged it (when you crunch numbers in a small business, a good spreadsheet program becomes your best friend).  Then, when it was working, the boss didn’t use it.  It was too complicated.  The boss was a successful entrepreneur, but he barely graduated high school.  And he never used that spreadsheet.

This consultant’s father was a successful entrepreneur.  He built a successful business.  He was good.  His son was not.  He enjoyed growing up with money.  He never learned a good work ethic.  He never learned the business.  And he destroyed everything his father built.  Sadly, not that uncommon when children take over the family business.  So what does a failed business owner do?  Why, consult, of course.

Good Intentions and Unintended Consequences

This guy was a liberal.  When he found out I was a conservative he had to discuss politics.  To flaunt his brilliance (that perfect GPA).  And condescend to me.  Because I was a conservative.  And he was an elitist.  Who married a rich woman (before he bankrupted the family business).  And lived in one of the most exclusive and affluent neighborhoods.  He never had a real job.  And the only business he tried failed.  He never had to work in his life (first a rich dad then a rich wife).  He had no business experience (at least, none of the good kind).  This guy had no business telling people how to run their businesses.  But he did.

What’s the difference between him and the liberals in Congress?  Not a whole hell of a lot.  They’re both liberal know-it-all smarty-pants.  With no experience in what they’re consulting/legislating.  And they both leave a swath of destruction in their wake.  They both put on their pants the same way.  The only real difference is that when the consultant puts on his pants he bankrupts companies.  When politicians put theirs on they bankrupt the nation.

Business people know how to run businesses.  Politicians don’t.  At least most on the left don’t.  But that doesn’t stop them.  They just have to step in and try to fix things.  To flex those egos.  They can’t help it.  It’s who they are.  They’re just so full of themselves.  Liberals.  They always start with the best of intentions.  But end up crapping unintended consequences all over the place.      

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