Politics & Prejudices
Senate dumbs down
The faulty belief that tax cuts are more important than producing more qualified graduates
Published: May 9, 2012
They've had to get efficient, in part because the idiots in Lansing have been starving them for revenue. The more it is clear that more higher education is desperately needed, the more our politicians have cut spending on them.
Phil Power, the founder of the nonpartisan Center for Michigan, tells me that we are now among the bottom 10 states in the country in per-student spending on higher education.
Even to stay level with where we are now, Michigan will need more than 1 million more college graduates in the next dozen years. But the Jack Brandenburgs seem not to understand this, and the Rick Snyders apparently don't care, or have a naïve childlike faith in the hidden hand of the market.
Yes, conventional college is not for everyone. The state does need to put resources as well into training plumbers and welders and brilliant mechanics. And while we need to do more, we are actually doing a fair amount of that through our community colleges, which have endured fewer budget cuts.
But it is clear that being successful with only a high school education isn't possible for anyone anymore, unless you can be the next Kardashian girl or the next Prince Fielder.
If we are to have any chance at a future, what's most important is that Michigan elects new leaders who have overcome two stupid superstitions that are destroying our economy and our future. One is a naïve belief that higher education is unnecessary, even morally bad.
The second, which President Obama needs to start more openly denouncing, is the hysterical right-wing mantra that taxes are always bad, and the government can't do anything right. In fact, much of what passes for civilization is the creation of government, from schools to cops to sewers to go with flush toilets.
And there is something wrong with what the yahoos call "European-style socialism." We don't have nearly enough of it.
Now run and tell momma that this columnist is a commie.
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