Grow Economy by Cutting Law School Subsidies

by Hans Bader on April 9, 2012 · 1 comment

in Deregulate to Stimulate, Economy, Employment

The economy remains slow, recovering from the recession at an unusually low rate, partly due to economically-harmful Obama administration policies. “U.S. stocks fell, dragging the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index lower . . . after employers added fewer jobs than forecast in March,” reports Bloomberg News. As one columnist notes, “Were it not for people dropping out of the labor force, the unemployment rate would be well over 11%.”

Under the Obama administration, the Education Department has poured increasing amounts of financial aid into law schools, while seeking to cut vocational education needed to train certain kinds of skilled factory workers who are in short supply, impeding the expansion of factory operations that would also provide jobs to many unskilled workers. As the American Bar Association’s ABA Journal notes, “Law students . . . are treated generously as future professionals and able to borrow, with virtually no cap, significantly more money than undergrads. . . For several decades, most higher education loans were made by private lenders with the federal government providing guarantees against loss—and, in some cases, interest rate subsidies.”

The leftist law professors who dominate many law schools openly teach law students a contempt for property rights, the rule of law, and the free-market system, telling them that a lawyer’s role is to be “either a social engineer or a parasite on society.” Many law schools are more like incubators of evil than centers of learning. Based on my experience as a graduate of Harvard Law School, much of what law schools teach their students is useless drivel, as some law professors themselves have conceded. Imagine how much more economic growth there could be if taxpayers no longer subsidized law schools and their indoctrination of students in left-wing group-think. (Since many law schools fail to teach much in the way of practical skills, there is also no reason to require people to attend law school before sitting for the bar exam, a requirement that merely enables law schools to jack up tuition.) The lawsuits and social engineering promoted by left-wing law professors harm economic growth.

Cutting subsidies to law schools would allow the government to either reduce the skyrocketing budget deficit, or redirect the money thereby saved to more productive uses, like vocational education. As The Washington Post has noted, as senior skilled factory workers are retiring, no one is taking their place, since “many of the younger workers who might have taken their place have avoided the manufacturing sector because of the . . . stigma of factory work.” Our government’s prejudice against manufacturing and in favor of white-collar college degrees is causing serious harm to our economy. As the Post observes, “A recent report by Deloitte for the Manufacturing Institute, based on a survey of manufacturers, found that as many as 600,000 jobs are going unfilled.” Meanwhile, millions of people are unemployed, many of them people with economically useless college degrees in politically correct majors that teach few useful skills.

Yet the Obama administration wants to slash useful vocational education that leads to high-paying blue-collar jobs, even as it seeks to increase wasteful education spending that has fueled massive administrative bloat and enormous college bureaucracies. As The New York Times notes, President Obama “aims to shrink the small amount of federal spending for vocational training in public high schools and community colleges. . .The administration has proposed a 20 percent reduction in its fiscal 2012 budget for career and technical education, to a little more than $1 billion, even as it seeks to increase overall education funding by 11 percent.”

Meanwhile, universities continue to expand their bureaucracies to include more duplicative jobs for campus administrators and left-wing apparatchiks. There are now “more administrators than teachers” at many colleges. One university that claims to have cut spending “to the bone” is expanding its huge bureaucracy even further, creating a new full-time “vice chancellor for equity, diversity, and inclusion.” As Heather Mac Donald notes, that position augments the university’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.”

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