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    “Why should we devote resources begging people to act in their own self interest?”

    “Why should we devote resources begging people to act in their own self interest?”

    That’s the question asked by Justin Katz at Anchor Rising, a Rhode Island based conservative blog, in the context of handwringing over the “skills gap” and plan to pump more money into motivating people to get educated:

    They’ll seek to pour additional money into secondary and post secondary education, taking money out of the economy in order to make it as easy as possible for young adults to stumble into the jobs that they want to fill. But the underlying problem is much deeper, as one can begin to see in this quotation:

    “State leaders have long known of a skills gap in Rhode Island and have been working to find solutions, said Ray Di Pasquale, CCRI president and state commissioner of higher education. But, he acknowledged, the state needs to do more to cater to student needs to keep them in school. ”

    Why should we devote resources begging people to act in their own self interest? They ought to want to pursue a path that leads them to high-paying jobs. If the route to a comfortable life is to stay in school, all that ought to be needed is for young Americans to be made to understand that — and to understand that hard work, dedication, and sacrifice on their own part is going to be required.

     Interestingly, Rich Lowry has a column up today about The Rise of Uncompassionate Conservatism, focusing on Rick Perry and generalized Republican rejection of the Bush-era of big goverment:

    As the press clues into the new anti-Bush drift of the GOP, we can expect a revival in Bush’s reputation. He will be portrayed as more reasonable, more internationalist, and altogether more statesmanlike than his benighted compatriots. If only it were still the party of George W. Bush will be the lament. And it will make the party even more glad that it’s not.

    I never liked the phrase “compassionate conservative” because it suggests that conservatives are not generally compassionate.

    Allowing people to find their own way in life, to succeed through their own efforts, to become all they are able to achieve, while maintaining a safety net which is not so expansive that it entangles those who it seeks to save.  That’s pretty compassionate to me.

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    Comments



     
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    blue star | June 21, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    That quote in the title is good in or out of context.

    […] “Why should we devote resources begging people to act in their own self interest?” […]


     
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    Ipso Facto | June 21, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    When people are isolated from the negative consequences of their own behavior, they become developmentally stunted and they never develop to their fullest potential. This is why the Democrats are causing wide-spread suffering in the lower class communities. They take away all the negative consequences of unwise behaviors in the name of compassion only to continually feed the cycle of poverty.

    Our educational system today is totally broken. When they start giving ALL kids real grades based upon the quality of their homework and the extent to which they reached the clearly stated learning objectives, only then will we see any change. When kids who underperform are kept back, watch their motivation soar. There is also another fact that is often ignored. The same curriculum is used in all the schools, if middle class kids can learn from it, what’s the problem? Hint: it ain’t the teachers and it ain’t the amount of money spent.


     
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    Barnabus | June 22, 2011 at 4:53 am

    The deal is:”We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    Pursue or not; it’s up to you.

    Why should we devote resources begging people to act in their own self interest? They ought to want to pursue a path that leads them to high-paying jobs.

    It’s the SECOND sentence that I have a problem with in this quote. The problem is that the path of higher education no longer leads to high-paying jobs because of the over-saturation in the market. Let’s take the legal field as an example: The AVERAGE pay for a lawyer coming out of law school today is roughly 40-45 Thousand annually. This, after spending roughly somewhere north of 150K on Undergraduate Study, and another 150K to 200K on Law School (plus Bar Study) and being unable to work more than 20 hours per week for roughly 3 years (if a full time Law student per ABA regs).

    The 200+ law schools, each churning out between 100 and 150 students annually has flooded the market with degrees, thus lowering the “value” of a law degree, and causing individuals with one to have to fight for the higher paying jobs. Some might argue that this is economics (more people see potential for a higher wage and take the risk). It’s NOT. What it IS is an outgrowth of cheap loans made available by government subsidization. By making it cheaper for individuals to get higher education, it reduces the outcomes for ALL the individuals because there is higher competition. Is it good for the economy and general public? Usually, as they get a less-expensive service through the increased competition. But it is NOT so much in the individual’s self interest anymore because that education does NOT create a high probability (let alone a guarantee) of a high-paying job.


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