posted by King Minos in Money / Career

Higher Education A Jobs Program?

December 13, 2012

Well, no it isn't! And Gov. Nathan Deal is wrong to demand the state's higher education system help improve the economy!

The new formula is one of a series of steps Georgia is taking that acknowledges the state’s economic future depends on colleges producing a more skilled workforce to attract and keep employers.

That's WRONG!


Ever since the Great Contraction began around 2007, education officials have been lobbying to protect and expand their state allotments. Generally they have been successful and seen modest rises in their own spending each year even as the private economy discarded workers and shrank. At UGA, even by their own numbers which do not include a lot of their spending and revenues, their budgets increased by about 50 percent over the past decade. (But this didn't stop Chancellor Hank Huckaby from falsely acknowledging previous state cuts which hadn't actually been made!** He then went on, after setting the stage with this big fat lie, to tell the assembled leaders and members of the media that he and the University System of GA were "not a bunch of whiners!" He should have truthfully told the public he and his fellow bureaucrats were instead, a pack of accomplished liars!)

And this brings me to observation #1:

Spending in our current education programs (public K12; USG) does not improve the economy of GA; given the fact that the Great Recession hit us AFTER this spending had been greatly increased, means that higher spending THERE actually makes our economy worse! After all, if we believed the Regents, the GA economy should be something of a bullet-proof, super-economy, already; instead, like everywhere else the economy was flattened, and it did not matter how much money we had shoveled at all things called "education!"

Observation #2: Spending on K12 education or higher education in GA WILL NOT repair our economy! Manufacturers will not come to GA because we have a bunch of new engineers courtesy of UGA. They will not come here because we have a highly educated work force when what they really want is an uneducated, poor work force! In fact, nearly EVERY claim made by education bureaucrats and higher ed insiders regarding their budgets and GA's economy are false claims -- and demonstrably so!

Observation #3: Education, per se, is not intended to boost our economy; it is instead one of the rare fruits of our civilized society that affords the opportunity to our young and old to further educate themselves. Education, particularly higher education, can INDIRECTLY boost our economy at best. Forcing professors, for instance, to rebuild the GA economy; well, that's a torture worse than water boarding, funny to all the wrong types, out there, and less productive than anything I could possibly imagine!

SEE, a robust GA economy is the EGG. A robust and thriving system of K12, and higher education, is the CHICKEN hatched from that EGG, and AFTER it was layed; and NOT before! Got, it?!

Unless, of course, Mr. Deal supposes he will erase eons of historical and logical development of educational systems! Can it now be wished into existence -- as some sort of mighty volcano of an economy booster -- FIRST! And then ... the economy will follow, delivering some sort of unprecedented economic miracle, and all in reverse, and for the very first time in state history, and perhaps the history of the world? Shouldn't the first Georgia colonists have built the educational institutions first; and worried about food and shelter for them and their children AFTER all the education bureaucrats and quack "improvers" had had their fill at the public trough?

BECAUSE, education is a luxury; it is a fruit of a civilized society and a fruit of a robust economy. It is supported by a good and growing economy and by far-sighted leadership willing to invest spare state proceeds; and more importantly, to take a distinctly sober, "hands-on" approach to just how those scarce funds are spent and accounted for! AGAIN, it does not create THAT economy; it rests on top of it!

Observation #4: Saying education funding is meant to help our GA economy sets the system up to fail. As noted, it doesn't work; and after a while, people get the cruel joke and then turn nasty and unappreciative. MORE IMPORTANTLY, all the state funds thrown at education are monies and resources then UNAVAILABLE to real, concrete efforts that could actually boost and IMPROVE the GA economy, and make life better for all our citizens!

Observation #5: What happened to the economy, anyway?

Well, it wasn't "education's" fault. It was the fault of local, state and national leadership that signed-on to disastrous policies in trade; financial liberalization; labor flows and other concrete developments and amendments to historical policy. It matters NOT how much we spend on education; unless and until these REAL problems are addressed, the GA and US economy must remain mired in a distressed state!

Finally, we see state leaders, again, playing little games with those charged with educating our citizens; they act all afraid as though UGA, for instance, might lose its accreditation should political leaders "interfere" in higher education. WELL, from the King's point of view, this reticence to get all "hands on" may well retard educational opportunities and achievements FAR, FAR into GA's future. In fact, things are SO BAD both in K12 and higher education, that both public systems might well collapse; leaving interested parties with few choices or options.

I GET THAT, probably, Nathan Deal wants to go along and get along, and hopefully get 4 more years; I figure he also wants all Georgians to do better in the future.

Unfortunately, regarding education in GA, the little games are not going to cut it! The single biggest problem we have is a lack of leadership and I blame the Governors because of who they have appointed to the Regents; and for their reticence to challenge federal mandates and rules interfering with both K12 and higher education; and for the way many of them have been intimidated by a handful of charlatans lording over and feasting upon the state's system of K12 and higher education;

Of course, the "safe" route for elected leaders is to continue playing games with Hank Huckaby and John Barge; the King, for one, is not fooled. (Why not order a hanging, instead?) Of course, as with many things, I will be around to judge the carnage; of that, at least, I can be thankful! It was all crystal clear, to me; when the highest paid University worker is the football coach but the University claims he doesn't work for THEM, then you know things aren't exactly right! These are supposedly honest and honorable men telling lies a 3rd grader would get, right off!

If you provide HOPE scholarships, state schools will boost tuition in order to "get" all the HOPE dollars!

If you give out money based on graduation rates, you ought to expect them to skyrocket!

Games, games, and more games! All the way to the educational abyss!

NOW, what to do to improve GA's economy, for real?!

(First, STOP believing all the bullsxxx from the Regents, John Barge and their fellow quacks and self-serving bamboozlers ...)

NOTE: Much has been made about an increase in the number of part-time and non tenure track faculty in the USG. Some leaders in the USG have asserted these budget cutbacks have been caused by stingy, often GOP, state legislators; in fact, these academic leaders, themselves, published and carried out plans over many years that reduced the number of teachers and increased class sizes! They did it to themselves, but now wish to blame state leaders!

LOOK, if UGA wishes to spend a gazillion dollars on sports programs, compensation for top administrative talent, and build-out the campus, all at the same time .... well something has to give, and it did!

But from start to finish, it was the "fault" of educational leaders; they thought they'd turn around and claim the state hadn't fully funded them when in fact they'd wasted or misinvested vast quanities of taxpayers dollars, themselves!

The notion of now "fully" funding the USG is one more ruse or machination coming from a universe of under worked, over payed charlatans and con-men ever promising great things, but delivering ever fewer.

**Hey, wait a minute! State proceeds headed into the USG have been tamped-down a few times! First, "education" (K12, USG) has been spared the larger cuts seen in other state agencies. Secondly, in terms of overall spending budgets, the USG has gone up, not down! In other words, even as some state cutbacks have materialized, other monies came in so that budgets ROSE! Because the USG is composed of public institutions, all the monies they spend are public dollars! And they have seen NO decline in their level of spending but instead a rise in spending even as other agencies have seen real cuts and the private economy has been hit very hard! Furthermore, the USG utilizes "special" accounting to hide a lot of their spending and revenues; for instance, the multimillion dollar budget of the GAA is not reflected as USG spending; it is rechristened as a "private charity" operating outside the U.S.G.

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