Why College Tuition Is So Expensive
College tuition is increasingly expensive these days – even for the top online schools. To battle the rising costs, our wonderful politicians seek ways to get more people access to education funds and debt. As Peter Schiff discusses in one of his recent posts, this “solution” is exactly the problem.
Take the recent student loan reforms that were slipped into the health care bill. Obama wants to reduce the cost of providing student loans by taking the profits out of the industry. According to Obama, student loans are too expensive because banks profit from making them. If the government nationalizes the function, we would apparently bring down costs by eliminating those pesky profits.
First of all, why the heck was this “fix” inserted into the health reform bill? Why don’t we have separate legislation for completely separate solutions? This is ridiculous.
This is a Marxist argument, pure and simple. If true, it would apply to all industries, not just banking. States like Cuba and North Korea would be the envy of the world, as they prohibit profits across the board. The truth is that profits, earned from free-market competition, keep cost down. By taking the profits out and putting the bureaucrats in, any incentive to provide better service or lower costs is eliminated. It’s not hard to predict that student loan costs will now rise faster than ever.
That is clearly not the result we want. To solve the problem, people must understand that college tuitions are so expensive specifically because the government has guaranteed student loans (see my video blog on this topic for a detailed explanation). Guaranteed loans don’t mean more access to education, but rather that universities are free to charge more per pupil than if their customers were paying out-of-pocket.
Obama’s plan only serves to remove more market forces and creates an even bigger moral hazard. Under the new rules, students will be required to repay a much smaller portion of what they borrow. As a result, students will be willing to borrow even greater amounts of cash to pay inflated tuitions, making it that much easier for colleges and universities to raise them.
This is one of the best market based explanations for rising education costs I’ve read. This is the kind of discussion surrounding the nation’s fiscal matters that is so lacking these days. Schiff sums up his position on education and other areas with the following:
Whether it is in education, housing, health care, automobiles, insurance, or banking, greater government involvement in the economy means higher prices, lower productivity, more bailouts, bigger deficits, increased taxes, diminished industrial capacity, fewer private sector jobs, less freedom, and a falling standard of living.