Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Republicans Drink Kool Aid, Believe In Pixie Dust

Scott Walker is floating an idea out there to tie tuition hikes at the University of Wisconsin to the rate of inflation.

Owen Robinson, aghast at the thought, clutched his pearls and swooned back on his fainting couch at the very notion:
What I don’t like about this proposal is that it assumes that the current tuition is appropriate compared to the average Wisconsinite’s other relative costs. Is it? Could it cost less and still provide the same or better education? Just because a family’s other expenses increase, does that automatically mean that tuition should go up by the same amount? Why? Why shouldn’t the legislature’s efforts go into driving down the price of tuition relative to a family’s overall expenditures as a tuition freeze does over time? Wouldn’t that be preferable to locking in automatic tuition increases every year? And yes… I assume that if this is in place that UW would jack up tuition by the rate of inflation every year if they were able to.
One thing you should know about Old Lady Robinson is that he grew up in Texas, where plantation economics has been drilled in their heads for generations, thus he has a skewed sense of reality.  That also explains why he is gullible enough to think that austerity works and that everything Americans for (the Kochs') prosperity is gospel truth.

That tea-flavored Kool Aid is powerful stuff.

What Robinson forgets (or ignores) in his greed is the fact that universities used electricity, natural gas water, and other essentials just like everyone else.  He also forgets (or ignores) that the faculty at the universities are staffed with the people who have families that also see their cost goes up.

Apparently Robinson has drunk so much of the Kool Aid that he thinks that universities - and their staff - all use free pixie dust to light and heat their buildings, power their vehicles and keep their staff fed and clothed.

What Robinson can't admit to himself, much less anyone else, is that maybe if he, his company and his church carried their fair share of the tax burden, his taxes wouldn't have to go up at all.  In fact, they would actually go down.

Before Robinson could even begin to comprehend this, he'd have to get off the hard stuff first.


  1. It's foolish to talk about tuition vs inflation without also considering state aid vs inflation.
    If state aid to UW had kept pace with inflation and enrollment since 1973-74, the UW System would have an additional $775M/yr to work with. If you put all of that towards resident undergrad tuition relief, tuition could be about $1,000/yr. That'd be an 87% drop.
    Check this out:

    The cost of running a relevant university system should actually outpace CPI inflation. In addition to the costs you mention above, the UW also has to pay for things like buildings, I/T infrastructure, lab equipment, and nuclear reactor maintenance -- stuff that's not in the "basket" used to calculate CPI.

  2. I love it when free Republicans resort to artificial price controls in order to promote their free market agenda.

    1. Thanks for mentioning this! I immediately thought of price controls too when I heard this this morning. Gee, Governor Walker, shouldn't we let the market decide the price of a college education? I'm sure if the price gets high enough supply will eventually balance demand. And if you're concerned for some reason that underpaid Wisconsinites won't be able to compete on tuition payments with well-to-do students and parents from those prosperous Democratic hell holes on either coast, you can always do the Socialist thing and subsidize a realistic chunk of in-state tuition instead of pretending that you can starve the goose and still get the same quality and quantity of golden eggs. For the good of the State! Or have you forgotten all about Wisconsin already?

  3. Funny how the GOP never mentions this:

    Marquette University tuition (full time undergraduate - 2 terms)

    2000-2001 $16,280

    2014-2015 $35,480

    Wow a private sector higher education institutions has increased its tuition.

  4. State University tuition in Texas is ridiculously cheap because of mineral rights on public school land. He probably does not understand that you cannot compare funding of colleges in Texas to Wisconsin.