Sunday, April 10, 2005

Democrats are partially right

As reported by David Wickert in The News Tribune today, some Democrat legislators are considering making wealthy students (or their families) pay for the full cost of their higher education at state universities.

That makes sense. Why should taxpayers -- many of whom are struggling to cover modest expenses -- foot the bill for rich people?

The problem is, the Democrats don't take their logic far enough. The proposal is rightly dubbed a "Robin Hood plan" since rich families would pay the entire cost of their education plus the cost of education for less wealthy families.

I can't say I think much of Robin Hood for stealing from the rich to give to the poor. Where's the virtue in that?

But...if Government doesn't take money from some people and redistribute it to others (i.e. from each according to his ability, to each according to his need...), how will poor people ever rise above their circumstances? Who else would give them a chance to achieve a college education?

In response to which, I pose another question: Did Government have to force people to donate money to the victims of 9/11? How about victims of the recent tsunami?

No. In fact, as I recall, the individuals and foundations handling relief efforts asked people to stop contributing because the generosity was greater than the need.

Why do we sell people short and abuse government power by assuming similar generosity won't be shown in meeting a need as crucial as education? Countless individuals and foundations already prove the negative assumption wrong.

Wouldn't you?


At 7:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, there has been a quiet extinction of the middle class.

You are either a huge corporation or a worker. The small business person is becoming a dinosaur.

I don't think it is intentional. But if you believe (like I do) that the rich guys will get richer no matter how you hold them down (please listen in Democrats), then the people that get damaged are the middle class.

At 12:37 PM, Blogger Tom said...

Did Robin Hood take from the rich? Didn't the sheriff of Nottingham collect the taxes (take from the rich) and Robin Hood took from the tax collector?

At 3:32 PM, Anonymous Ryan said...

Actually, I thought the sheriff squeezed the tax money from the poor and gave it to the prince. Who Robin Hood then robbed. Making him popular with... The poor.

Sounds like the first version of bribing people with their own money.

At 7:31 AM, Blogger tradersmith said...

Marsha, I was talking to a rich friend recently who said our local charities are worried that all discretionary/charity money is going to the tsunami area. That money is money normally spent locally.

Be nice to followup on. We will know in the next few months.

At 10:22 AM, Blogger Matt Cole said...

Education should not be a system based on wealth; it should be based on merit. A student coming from an upper middle class family who works hard should have the same access to scholarships (gov't or private) as those who are in lower income families. Society rewards those who work the hardest, and if a student wants a university education, then they should work hard to get it.

The other problem I see with this idea is that on paper many people look a lot richer than they are. I have known many students who struggle to get state or federal financial aid because their parents don't make enough to pay for their tuition costs outright, but seem to make more in the eyes of the government and are ineligible for sustainable financial aid. The Robin Hood scheme will run into the same problems.

At 7:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've heard the K-12 levy simple majority bill is gone according to the AP wire & Josef's Public Journal - is this true?

Figure you'd know, being the watchdog of the state's education system...

At 9:04 AM, Anonymous jmmghwa said...

I do not know where the fault lies, but it seems many if not most fail to understand that putting money to work for you takes you from poor to middle class and in more cases than admitted, to 'wealthy'. No matter how little you earn failure to start will keep you where you are, and in time you will convince yourself that 'they' are the cause.

At 8:43 PM, Blogger I am Coyote said...

Actually the Sheriff of Nottingham was the government. Robin Hood was merely trying to limit government by hitting him square in the fudning pipeline.

Kinda like my buddy Bill Sizemore of Oregon. (I would have said Eyman, but he is not my buddy and he is actually just a signature gatherer for hire.)

At 2:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 6:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do we sell people short and abuse government power by assuming similar generosity won't be shown in meeting a need as crucial as education? Countless individuals and foundations already prove the negative assumption wrong.

I'm surprised to see someone as well educated in economics and Humanities as you seem to be ask such a question.


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