Monday, July 8, 2019

Immigration, Higher Education, and Trump?

By Professor Doom

      You know you’ve made a great achievement in science or mathematics when you relate two things that don’t look like they’d be the same thing at all. The basic example of this is a formula (some scribblings on a page) that perfectly describes some physical thing actually happening in the real world. 

      A recent article tries to relate two things always in the news, and the thing I talk about that just never seems to make the front page. They solidly fail to make the link, but say a few things worth reading all the same:

Trump Derangement Syndrome Blocks Action On Immigration, Higher Ed Crises (They're Related)

     Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) refers to the psychological condition of irrational hatred of everything Trump-related. The best example of this would be a CNN host believing Trump is a monster because he had an extra scoop of ice cream, but this pathology is not restricted to CNN, sufferers are all over the place.

     Now, Trump’s campaign platform was largely based on stopping illegal immigration; I’m pretty sure he’s too little, too late, as the mathematics of the demographics involved all but guarantee the break-up of the United States into more ethnically homogeneous sections in a generation or two (i.e., when the children of the immigrants grow up), but I respect the effort, or would if he’d put some more into it.

     Reforming Higher Ed, on the other hand, was never part of his campaign platform, and while he’s done a few piffling things so far, it’s hardly been enough for me to mention.

Nobody much in Washington, DC seems to be interested in it the stinking, steaming, fetid mountain of dog poop that is our higher-education system. I watched the YouTube video of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos giving a twenty-minute address at the Manhattan Institute on Wednesday. She hardly said anything about Higher Education.

      Those are some harsh, but alarmingly accurate, words from the article I’m quoting above. DeVos is a Trump appointee, and she really hasn’t done much to fix the system.

Immigration’s been a mess for decades; but it’s on Trump’s watch that is has descended into full chaos.

      I have to be a little suspicious of the article’s motives when it says stuff like the above. If we didn’t have full chaos before, why did we decide a mass amnesty in 1986 would be a solution? If that didn’t solve the chaos, why are we discussing it again today?

     So what’s the link here, anyway?

There’s was an immigration angle in the news last week related to the college-admissions cheating scandal.

     Wow, that admissions cheating scandal sure does have legs…and it really shouldn’t. Bottom line, Harvard can only have so many students, it really seems natural that those last few open positions will go to the highest bidder. It’s a private school, they’re under no obligation to serve more than they can possibly serve.

      One of those highest bidders was over the top:

A billionaire tycoon from communist China…surname of Zhao, paid six and a half million to the fixers to get his daughter Molly a place at Stanford.

     China is more socialist than communist now, but for some reason our media doesn’t like to use that word in any negative context. In any event, under socialist/communist regimes, it’s understood that you’re going to have to pay bribes, sometimes huge bribes, just to get basic things done. So while Americans would balk at paying millions in bribe money, a wealthy Chinese person might not.

     I reiterate the real problem with the college admissions scandal isn’t the bribes the wealthy were paying to get their kids into school: this has been going on for a long time. The real problem is the bribe money is no longer going to education. In the past, some magnate would donate a few million to the school to get his kid in; the money would build a library perhaps, but it also would go to scholarships and scholars.

      Now the money just pours into in administrative pockets…and that’s the problem.

That’s why they can afford all those Administrative Assistants to the Secretary for the Associate Dean of Diversity and Inclusion. That’s why they have Departments of Gibberish Studies where ineducable low-IQ students can play at educating themselves. That’s why they have sports coaches on seven-digit salaries.

    The article makes another misstep regarding where this money is coming from:

Where does all the money come from? Four sources:

1.    Alumni with fond memories of their salad days, paying to get a plaque with their name on it affixed to some desk in the college library.

2.    Federal, State, and corporate grants and tax breaks paid for by working Americans.

3.    Middle-class American students beggaring themselves all the way to retirement and beyond with huge tuition loans. [Seniors owe billions in student loan debt: “This will follow me to the grave”, by Mark Strassmann, CBS News, May 1, 2019]

4.    Rich foreigners like Molly Zhao paying full ticket.

       While four reasons are listed above, I assure the gentle reader it’s reason #3 (and not just the middle class), the student loan scam, which is the key source of money. Total student loan debt goes up around a hundred billion a year…Zhao’s lousy six million hardly registers next to that, and it would take over 150 suckers like Zhao before we’d even close to a billion dollars.

       With this dubious link between immigration and higher ed established, the article then heads off the rails:

And they are linked, as the case of Molly Zhao illustrates. Where higher education is concerned, we need to think about how to starve the beast. A good, easy starting point would be to stop issuing visas to foreign students. Those full-tuition foreigners are great for the colleges’ balance sheets, but they take up classroom seats Americans should be sitting in.

     No, emphatically no. It’s not the full-tuition foreigners who are the problem in higher ed, as hundreds of my blog posts show. Not to put too fine a point on things, but a university is supposed to allow all scholars…not just those from a certain region. If we eliminate all the scholars “not from around here,” we run the very real risk of falling even further behind other countries. This is a stupid solution.

      The article then rants against the money being thrown away on Diversity Institutes and such, but this valid rant is a distraction: the money for these abominations isn’t coming from foreigners trying to hurt us, we’re destroying ourselves with student loan money. 

     End the student loan scam. It really is that simple.


  1. Allowing Chinese students and spies into American universities has helped the US in what way, precisely?

    1. China's education system destroys creativity while developing intelligence and wisdom. Those two are history oriented, what has been!

      Creativity [Einstein used imagination] is all there ever can be.

      Things are created from the top down, designed from the middle out, and built from the bottom up.

  2. I support government paying 100% for core courses leading to degrees in STEM or STEM dependent majors. Core courses must be taught in classrooms by full time professors!

    Students at their own expense, can take general studies, electives, etc. courses in community colleges or online.