Roger’s Rules

Higher Education Bubble: the Contest!

OK, Possums, you’ve been reading about the higher education bubble.  Maybe, if you are a teacher or a student, you’ve been living it.  But have you played the game?

Here’s how it works. You spend up to thirty minutes a day scouring the internet for some new evidence of bubbledom. You post your findings at your favorite blog.  The person who chalks up the largest number of signs and portents in a month wins!

“Wins what?”  I am still working on that, but I am wagering that this team of bubble sleuths will turn up at least one new outrage per day.

To get the ball rolling, let me contribute this scandal du jour, reported yesterday in The Chronicle for So-Called Higher Education.

The headline alone is worth the price of admission:

“In-State Tuition for Illegal Immigrants Can Be a Plus for Both States and Students”

How’s that again?

* “In-state tuition ”—that would be “taxpayer subsidized” tuition

* “Illegal”—that is, they are breaking the law

* “Immigrants”—but they really are not immigrants yet because the haven’t immigrated, only come here illegally—can be a

* “plus for Both States and Students”—that is, the practice facilitates illegal behavior and employs the minus we taxpayers bear for the plus accorded to illegal aliens and the coffers of the offending educational institutions.

The article begins: “States that allow illegal immigrants to pay cheaper, in-state tuition have seen a 31-percent jump in that population’s college-going rate . . .”  Is that a good thing? Who is paying for that 31 percent jump? As a critic of this legalized form of abetting illegality put it, “In-state tuition represents a significant taxpayer subsidy, thus every illegal alien attending at in-state rates represents a cost.”

Never mind, though, just utter the word “education” and susceptible souls get a glassy look in their eyes, lie down on the ground, wave their arms and legs in the air, and plead “Take my wallet.”

Politicians, some of them, have taken note.  The Governor of Maryland, Martin O’Malley, just signed a law that allows illegal aliens to pay in-state rates at community colleges. What he should have signed was a law that allowed them to pay in-state rates for a bus back to wherever it  was they came from.  (If you agree, give Governor O’Malley’s office a call.  Bonus question: What Party is Governor O’Malley from? If you said “Democrat” you get a gold star.)

You remember the “Doomsday Clock” that the Bulletin of the  Atomic Scientists publishes that shows a clock 6 or 7 minutes from midnight (Midnight = Poof!)?  Some public spirited person ought to start publishing one reporting on the timing of  the implosion of the higher educational establishment.  It probably won’t as loud as the one those concerned Atomic Scientists worry about, but it’s ever so much more likely.  At the moment, I’d put the clock’s hand at about two minutes to midnight.