Posts Tagged ‘Rick Santorum’

College for all is an economic red herring

April 9, 2015

wages-productivity-educationSource: The Atlantic.

SDT-higher-education-02-11-2014-0-06Senator Rick Santorum was right, or at least partly right.  Only a snob would think that you have to be a college graduate to be a success in life.

Now President Obama didn’t exactly say that in the 2012 campaign, not in so many words, but the focus of his policy is that high schools should make their graduates “college-ready” and that a college diploma is a key to economic success.

This is a red herring.  It is a diversion from the real economic problems, especially the erosion of the wage-earning middle class.

Thomas Geoghegan pointed out in his new book, Only One Thing Can Save Us, that when the President says lack of higher education is the cause of economic inequality, he is writing off the 68 percent of Americans age 24 to 64 who don’t have college diplomas and never will.

Suppose, he asked, that Obama and the Democrats succeed in pushing the college graduation rate up to 35 percent or even 40 percent, which would be hard to do.   Obama is still writing off the majority of working-age Americans.

The President is in effect telling high school graduates that the reason it is so hard for them to find decent-paying jobs is that they didn’t go to college.  And as for the the one in five male college graduates and one in seven women graduates whose income is less than that of the average high school graduate, it is because they attended the wrong college or majored in the wrong subject.

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Rick Santorum and the GOP dilemma

February 24, 2012

Any political party depends on two kinds of people—the people who contribute the money, and the people who do the work.   Within the Republican Party, the hardest workers are the religious conservatives, the so-called religious right.

Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich know this, and they catered to the religious right, but the religious conservatives don’t trust them.  Rick Santorum, on the other hand, is obviously sincere.  No politician would take the stand he takes, for example, on contraception unless he really believed it.   The religious conservatives trust him, but in gaining their trust, he may have alienated the majority of Americans.

Many Americans oppose abortion and gay rights, and others are ambivalent.  But contraception is another matter.   The majority of Catholics as well as the majority of the population generally take the right to contraception for granted.   If Rick Santorum is the candidate and contraception is the central issue of the 2012 Presidential election, the Republicans will lose.

The Republican dilemma is the result of the flawed U.S. system for nominating Presidential candidates.  Among all the Republican Governors, Senators and other national figures, there surely are some that would both be more electable and be better Presidents than the current crop.  But many of them probably didn’t want to subject themselves to the ordeal of campaigning and fund-raising, and now it is too late to get into the race.