Privatize the University of California
The University of California suffered more controversy in recent weeks on two campuses. Yesterday, as Katy Grimes reported, conservative students at UC Berkeley mocked über-political correctness and racial and other quotas at the school and in the state. The students held a “bake sale,” offering discounts to minorities.
The protest garnered strong opposition from the PC Establishment, which likes to pigeonhole everyone as this or that, instead of treating us as individuals. The PC Establishment then earns billions of dollars for itself for gigantic pay, perks and pensions — in return for running and ruining our lives. Example: Ever hear a UC campus president talk?
The other controversy was at UC Irvine, where the “Irvine 11″ Muslim students this week were convicted of criminal disruption of a speech by the ambassador from Israel.
The trial and conviction generated unpredictable reactions from all sides of the political spectrum. The Orange County Register editorial page, my old newspaper, printed opposing reactions from two liberal law profs.
Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz, best known as one of the lawyers that helped O.J. Simpson beat a murder rap, said the criminal ruling was constitutionally sound. Dershowitz previously has defended the farthest reaches of free speech. I remember about 30 years ago he defended Harvard students showing pornography on campus.
On the opposite side was Irwin Chemerinsky, the dean of the Law School at UC Irvine. He wrote that the students’ action was wrong and the disruption did not involve free speech. But he said that stiff disciplinary action by the school itself was adequate.
My solution: Privatize these schools and the rest of the UC System. If schools were private, then this would be a matter of private property. It would be just like someone standing on your front lawn and shouting obscenities at you. It’s your lawn, so you can make your own rules and remove anyone whom you don’t want there.
Granted, public and private are mixed too much in modern America, especially at schools — such as at “private” Harvard, Stanford, USC, etc. — that get hundreds of millions of dollars in tax money every year for student scholarships and loans, and for government research programs.
Solution: Cut that money off, too. Government loans to students, in particular, have created a generation of serfs because, unlike other loans, you can’t get out from under them through bankruptcy. Read this article on how enslaving student loans are for youngsters.
As to government research, that would best be done in the private sector anyway. See historian Tom Woods’ recent book, “Rollback,” on how private research is much better than scelerotic, bureaucracy-ridden government research.
Ending all government involvement in colleges and universities also would sharply reduce the cost of going to school. The reason tuition has risen so greatly in recent decades is that tax dollars flow into the system in record amounts, allowing schools to pay professors and administrators exorbitant salaries.
Another factor is that real universities are separate from the government. Those associated with the government really shouldn’t call themselves “XYZ University,” but something like XYZ Government Propaganda Institute.
Up until World War II, most colleges and universities were wholly private. And even the state schools were run entirely by state governments, with no federal involvement.
The war changed that, as schools were drafted into the war effort. After the war, the G.I. Bill sent millions of veterans through the schools, their tuition and other expenses paid for by taxpayers. This put the federal government in charge of the schools, including private ones.
Today only a few colleges — and no universities — are entirely free of government money. So the government controls them. The schools’ greatest treasure — independence — has been severely compromised. Most schools now are just brainwashing adjuncts of the federal government.
If you doubt me, talk to some youngsters who have just graduated from one of these schools. A couple of weeks ago I listened to the horror stories of a young man who just graduated from Cal State Long Beach and had survived the mental waterboarding of ultra-PC professors.
No wonder so many kids get through these academic gulags by getting blotto like Bluto.
– Sept. 28, 2011
June 18, 2013