Saturday, July 23, 2011

Why the Government is out of Money

Recently the University of California has provided a microcosm of what is wrong with the government budget. The University system is cutting back programs and tuition is going up to pay for the budgetary shortfalls. Of course, that is not all there is to the story. Not all programs are being cut. The diversity programs are thriving.

Not only have diversity sinecures been protected from budget cuts, their numbers are actually growing. The University of California at San Diego, for example, is creating a new full-time "vice chancellor for equity, diversity, and inclusion." This position would augment UC San Diego’s already massive diversity apparatus, which includes the Chancellor’s Diversity Office, the associate vice chancellor for faculty equity, the assistant vice chancellor for diversity, the faculty equity advisors, the graduate diversity coordinators, the staff diversity liaison, the undergraduate student diversity liaison, the graduate student diversity liaison, the chief diversity officer, the director of development for diversity initiatives, the Office of Academic Diversity and Equal Opportunity, the Committee on Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Issues, the Committee on the Status of Women, the Campus Council on Climate, Culture and Inclusion, the Diversity Council, and the directors of the Cross-Cultural Center, the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Center, and the Women’s Center.

The University of California San Diego is cutting its master's degree programs in computer and electrical engineering, showing that according to the leadership of that university it is not engineering that will lead to a productive and prosperous future but it is diversity training that is what students need most to succeed after graduation. Meanwhile prize faculty are being bid away to other schools, such as three professors from the biology department who were offered a 40% raise to teach elsewhere.

Already it is apparent that college education is the most recent bubble to start to go down in an economy composed almost entirely of bubbles. Due to unemployment and underemployment as well as due to the ever accelerating increase in costs, the lifetime earning differential of a college education is falling below the cost of that education. In general college education is becoming a bad investment.

This one example from the University of California San Diego combines many of the problems with government today. Diversity programs are emphasized at the expense of science programs in an education that costs more and delivers less. The political is emphasized at the expense of the economic to deliver high cost solutions that fail to solve anything and due to their cost interfere with actual efforts to solve society’s problems.

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