LLR Pages

Friday, April 2, 2010

Financial Aid: There is No More Choice

Attached as an Amendment to the “health care reform” deemed to have passed the House of Representatives and voted on in the Senate as part of reconciliation, was a provision known as “The Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act” that forces potential college students to get financial aid directly from the federal government. US Senator Lamar Alexander said, "The government will borrow money at 2.8 percent and loan it to students at 6.8 percent, then spend the difference on more government. Any savings should go to the students, not the government.”

The House Committee on Education & Labor says that by converting “all new federal student lending to the stable, effective and cost-efficient Direct Loan program. Beginning July 1, 2010, all new federal student loans will be originated through the Direct Loan program, instead of through the federally-guaranteed student loan program. The Direct Loan program is a more reliable lender for students and more cost-effective for taxpayers.”
And will:
“Invest the bill’s savings to make college affordable and help more Americans graduate
* Invests $36 billion over 10 years to increase the maximum annual Pell Grant scholarship to $5,550 in 2010 and to $5,975 by 2017. Starting in 2013, the scholarship will be linked to match rising costs-of-living by indexing it to the Consumer Price Index. This includes an investment of $13.5 billion to fund a shortfall in the Pell Grant scholarship program due to increased demand for the scholarship.
* Invests $750 million to bolster college access and completion support for students. It will increase funding for the College Access Challenge Grant program, and will also fund innovative programs at states and institutions that focus on increasing financial literacy and helping retain and graduate students.
* Makes federal loans more affordable for borrowers to repay by investing $1.5 billion to strengthen an Income-Based Repayment program that currently allows borrowers to cap their monthly federal student loan payments at 15 percent of their discretionary income. These new provisions would lower this monthly cap to just 10 percent for new borrowers after 2014.
* Invests $2.55 billion in Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority-Serving Institutions to provide students with the support they need to stay in school and graduate.
* Invests $2 billion in a competitive grant program for community colleges to develop and improve educational or career training programs.”

While this reform may make it “easier” for students to get financial aid, it ignores the real question. Why is college so expensive?
There are many reasons; increased administrative costs, increased teacher salaries both play a part, not to mention easy money that helps drive the cost up.
This “reform” will not bring down the cost of higher education, only a change in the philosophy of college presidents and administrators will bring costs down.

Starting Work on My New Book "Red, White, and Left-Libertarian"

I am now announcing that I have begun working on my first new book, which will be officially titled Red, White, and Left-Libertarian: America's Need to Reclaim Its Pro-Freedom Heritage. I started to conceive this book project years ago under its original working title Red, White, and Libertarian: America's Need to Reclaim Its Pro-Freedom Heritage, but since then, my pro-liberty views have evolved to a certain extent. At one point, it was retitled The Free Marketeer, but I didn't like it in the grand scheme of things. I like the new title, as it is catchy, so it will be published by Xlibris under that name.

I project that the book will be released later this year, but it could be much later than that. Either way, work on this piece is under way.

I'm quite ecstatic about it, and I'm sure my blog readers are too. It will be out soon.

Keep your eyes peeled for future announcements. While I'm not at liberty to say what the book will be about, it's going to be quite an interesting read.

What's Sauce for the Goose Is Sauce for the Gander

Proponents of Obama's pro-subsidized insurance industry medical-care "reform" a.k.a. ObamaCare are absolutely (and entirely) correct to object to the death threats and acts of physical violence directed at some congressmen that followed the recent ObamaCare vote in the House. It is paramount to stress that all decent and civil people must condemn and reject the actions of those who partook in them. Regardless of their reasons, what transpired was and still is immoral in every step of the way. It's immoral because it violates the essence and spirit of the Non Aggression Principle (NAP) and should not be tolerated across the board. Not only that, it sullies the cause of human liberty, which entails the diminishing of State power over the lives of freethinking individuals.

Having said that, the supporters of the so-called overhaul come off as nothing more than hypocrites because of their support for State violence against nonviolent individuals who just want to be left to their own devices. These individuals should be renouncing violence, yet they embrace it by supporting the plan. Considering the fact that the Obama administration has ordered the IRS to hire 16,00 new employees to be armed and loaded and carry out the medical-care mandate, violators, who happen to be uninsured Americans and who refuse to comply with the federal mandates and regulations by enrolling and paying for the newly state-mandated insurance, will be levied fines of nearly $700, which is nothing more than an assault on his or her liberty. Those fines can include, but not limited to, a confiscation of the violator's property, further sanctions such as arrest and incarceration, etc. All those things coupled with resistance to arrest and incarceration can, and will eventually, include the mighty wrath of the vile and pernicious State. And that simply can occur because an innocent and peaceful individual rightfully abstained from complying with a government mandate.

The point is that, if universal health care were such a noble endeavor and a goal truly worth of praise (and it would most certainly be), it would have been enacted freely and voluntarily in the absence of the State. This would be best achieved exclusively via voluntary exchange and social cooperation, not via brute force. After all, as the legendary George Washington once pointed out, "Government is not eloquence. It is not reason. It is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master." While they could have implemented otherwise, the proponents of ObamaCare decided that coercion must be employed (by using threats of violence) to get their way. That attitude is predicated on the notion that the ends must always justify the means. If they oppose violence by speaking out against the death threats and other threats of violence aimed at them, talk about the pot calling the kettle black. They are hardly setting a good example.

Advocates of liberty across the board must reject such calls of violence. They need not to sink to their level.