Saturday, August 20, 2016

Why College Students are Taught to be Ignorant

    Your child is not likely to be taught the eternal economic truth that there is no such thing as a free lunch; that neither university professors nor doctors and nurses are slaves who are forced to work for free so that there can be no such thing as “free” higher education or healthcare. Someone has to pay for it, and that someone will be them.

    They will likely graduate without ever hearing that socialism has destroyed the economy of every country where it has been adopted, including most recently oil-rich Venezuela, where middle-class people are literally rooting through garbage in the streets looking for food, barely fifteen years after its socialist “revolution” under the late communist Hugo Chavez. They will not learn that socialist governments in the twentieth century murdered more than 100 million of their own people for dissenting or being suspected of dissenting to the imposition of socialism and the confiscation of their property, farms, and businesses by government thugs.

    The Black Book of Communism and Death by Government, two scholarly, university press books that horrifyingly document all of this, will not be on any reading list. Yet their socialist professors with Che Guevara or Mao posters hanging on their office walls will always take the moral high road while advocating in their classrooms the ideology that was the cause of the worst crimes in human history. (When Yours Truly adopted The Communist Manifesto in a class on “Capitalism and its Critics” one student complained that it was the fourth time he was required to read the book, but the other three professors treated it as a roadmap for a future America, not a poisonous historical relic).

    Your student will not learn that Sweden was a very prosperous country in the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-centuries because it was a limited government, low-tax society that spawned many great inventors and entrepreneurs (Alfred Nobel, Volvo, and Saab, Swiss watches), but that that prosperity was stopped in its tracks when Sweden adopted “democratic socialism” in mid-century. As a result, Sweden ate up (with taxes) the wealth created by previous generations, so much so that not a single net new job was created there from 1950 to 2005 according to the Swedish Economic Association. And when the Swedish central bank tried to bail out the floundering Swedish welfare state, it created 500% interest rates. (The same bank that pretentiously awards the Nobel Prize in Economic Science!).

    Your college student will be subjected to the old socialist propaganda tactic of accusing critics of socialism or socialistic policies of basing their opposition on hate, not logic or facts. A conservative or libertarian professor who discusses how welfare harms the work ethic and causes family break-ups will be accused of hating the poor. An economist who explains that a $15/hour minimum wage would cause massive unemployment among teenagers who are not yet capable of producing $15/hour for a business will be branded a capitalist tool and a paid propagandist. The same goes for the economist who criticizes price controls. Who could be against lower prices but a paid corporate propagandist?

    An economist may well be fired or denied tenure for pointing out the well-known fact that if one controls for marriage and choice of occupation, then there is no male/female “wage gap” caused by “discrimination” at all; in fact, many studies show that after such controls are made American women are paid slightly more than men.

    Good luck to any professor who, following the pioneering research of Nobel laureate economist Gary Becker, explains how competition in a capitalistic marketplace tends to diminish or eliminate wage discrimination based on race. The simple theory is that if an employer pays two equally productive employees differently, say paying the black employee half of what the white employee is paid, he creates a profit opportunity for his competitors, who will certainly take advantage of it. A man who can produce say $100,000/year for a business but who is paid only $30,000 because of discrimination could be offered double the salary by a competing employer who would then pocket the difference between $100,000 and $60,000. And another employer would offer him even more, and perhaps another. If there’s enough labor market competition the wage gap between black and white employees will eventually disappear.

    This very mainstream (in the economics profession, anyway) line of reasoning typically causes heads to explode in the PC world of academe, for one of its most cherished superstitions is that “the legacy of slavery” has forever left black people at an economic disadvantage, no matter how educated, skilled, talented, etc. they become. They still need to be “adopted” for life by the government and cared for like feeble little children.

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