Beware politicians’ “investment” con. People typically invest their own money for their personal gain. But politicians “invest” by confiscating taxpayers’ money for their own political gain. The education “investments” in the 2011 State of the Union address take your money to strengthen the bloated government school cartel. In return, the President and his political allies receive campaign contributions from teachers’ unions.
President Obama praises the post-Sputnik “investment” in education. But subsequent PSAT math scores fell or stagnated for decades while school funding soared. Now he wants to “prepare 100,000 new teachers” in engineering, science, and math. Why? Since 1970, the number of teachers per student has increased by 50% and the cost of K-12 government schools has almost quadrupled. Meanwhile, national standardized test scores have not improved.
The president is no better with higher education. He has increased tax-subsidies for higher education and says the United States should have the “highest proportion of college graduates in the world.”
But thanks to political meddling, there may be too many college students already. ABC news just reported that “After four years, 36 percent of [college] students did not demonstrate significant improvement” in “key measures of critical thinking, complex reasoning and writing.” Economist Richard Vedder found that “30 percent of the working college graduates in the U.S. … have jobs that do not require a college degree.”
President Obama says “our free enterprise system … drives innovation.” Then instead of restricting parents’ school choice with monopolistic politically-controlled schools, he should promote free enterprise in education.
Other responses to the state of the union:
- John Stossel his own address
- economist Don Boudreaux:
My concern about the president’s cozying-up to business differs greatly from the concern that animates the political left. Contrary to popular presumption, being friendly to business is not the same as being pro-economic growth or pro-free-market.
- columnist David Harsanyi: “Obama says that ‘none of us can predict with certainty what the next big industry will be or where the new jobs will come from.'” But then Obama goes and picks winners with your money.