Re: Being paid to Learn LO1401

Charles A. Barclay (
Sat, 27 May 1995 11:30:07 -1000

Mariann Jelinek wrote in LO1385:
> Good points, by Bernard, re being paid to learn: too bad we cannot
> get our Republican Congress in the US to recognize the value . they're
> presently at work to severely cut back or eliminate much funding for
> scholarships, research and higher education. Talk about killing the goose
> that laid the golden egg!

The Republican Congress has cut the programs but incresed the funding for
education. The reason for doing this is to save money on administration
and to demonstrate how states running the show is a better approach to
social welfare than Federal bureaucracy practices. It is also factually
incorrect to say that they are cutting federal support for education.

Currently there are at least 43 Federal student aid programs, not to
mention research or basic grants that support research and higher
education, a typical student aid office spends around 25-30% of the amount
given in financial aid on administration. A large part of that money
spent is in the effort of following federal guidelines for each program.

The approach Republicans are taking is to eliminate federal guidelines on
education and let each state set its own, guidelines which are often

To make support of federal educational bureaucracies even worse, the
federal guidelines eliminate the requirement for loan repayment in at
least 12 professional or social situations. This act alone destroys
personal responsibility for getting an education. Having government pay
to educate you is tantamount to saying Government will fix a situation
where families create a poor system to educate its youth.

The government has no business sponsoring certain professions or social
agendas (/domestic situation/gender/race, or geographic location) at the
taxpayers' expense over others in a system of equal opportunity. Yet,
just this type of thing was done in the last 30 years by Clairborne Pell,
Charles Stenholm, and Robert Byrd.

To make the case against federal involvement in student aid, one needs to
look at how long it takes to get aid (average 55-60 days), see how much is
spent on administration (25-30%), see how many students drop out of the
application process because of complex forms and bureaucracy (35%) and how
arbitrary the rules can be (if you are self supporting, or of an
"advantaged group" you are unlikely to get aid).

The names of many grant and loan programs bear the names of their
Democratic sponsors Pell, Stenholm, and Byrd. These programs are
monuments to the sponsoring senators. Its hard to argue the legitimacy of
the multitude programs when confronted with the facts about application
complexity, adminsitrative expense, arbitrary social engineering, and the
creation of monuments in the name of social welfare.

A balanced budget stops the generational transfer of wealth that you and I
have benefitted from in the form of education subsidies over the last 30
years thanks to Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter and the Congress.

It is intellectually shortsighted to suspect that people won't get
educated without federal help. Worse yet, there is a common belief that
we all need federal help to get educated and that without this help
society will deteriorate.

There seems to be a negative correlation between Federal financial help
and improving levels of education. More money was spent and funding
increased through the 80's and yet the education level declined. It
doesn't seem to be working. The reason is based in personal

You can't guide and support an invididual through an education from a
federal bureaucracy and suspect that they will actually benefit from it.
Education requires determined effort and sacrifice. There is a
discernible difference between the student who pays for his/her education
and he or she who has it paid for by an unknown source. These are things
that Federal bureaucracies are ill-equipped to help with.

No one held my hand through college or grad school, and no one gave me
money to go. True, subsidies were paid to the grad school in tax dollars
but I didn't complain that I couldn't get financial aid, and I paid my
taxes in support. I got a job and paid for my education with the
proceeds. If I can do it so can every one else who wants an education.
Furthermore, why should I pay the taxes for someone elses studnet aid
while I get none myself nor even get consideration because I worked?

Demonizing Republicans for cutting aid is morally and intellectually
vapid. You owe it to yourself to find out the facts before engaging in
finger pointing.
Host's Note: Well, there's a lot here! Some of this I'd be delighted to
see as continued discussion on learning-org. Parts not.

I'd be delighted to see a thread about personal responsibility in
education, the potential and real backfires of help and support, etc.

But, I don't think we want to get a political debate here, or even a
public policy debate, except as it might relate to personal and
organizational learning. For the political debate, there are better
places on the internet, I'm sure.

-- Rick Karash,, host for learning-org

Charles Barclay                         2404 Maile Way
Dept. of Mgmt & Ind Relations           Honolulu, HI 96822
University of Hawaii                    Fax:    808 956-2774          Phone:  808 956-8545

"The accounting techniques that we teach are as helpful to managers as trying to drive down the highway looking through your rearview mirror." -----