Friday, April 07, 2006

News around campus

A few short items from around campus:

1. Congratulations to Amanda Grove and Andrew Hooley for their smashing victory in the WSA elections. They won a majority in a three-way race. After a baseless challenge, the results were made official at the last meeting.

2. Just when I was starting to think that the Western Herald is staffed entirely by fools, I read an interesting column in Thursday's edition. Andrew VanSingel makes the point that increasing government subsidies for colleges may have the unintended effect of increasing the cost of college. He writes:

"The theory behind this is: If a community college’s yearly tuition is $2,000, and the individual stands to take a $1,500 tax reduction from the cost of tuition, the community college could raise tuition by 50 percent (to $3,000) and the student would still be better off than before the policy, with a net cost of $1,500 for tuition, $500 cheaper than the original amount."

He points out that tuition has doubled in the past nine years:

"Check the history — tuition at WMU in 1997 was $98.75 per credit hour for freshman and sophomores. The same student would pay a base rate of $194.18 per credit hour last year, an annual increase around 8 percent over the last nine years — of course, this may vary a little due to the flat rate."

There's some nonsense in there about tax cuts for the rich, but the overall point is still a good one. This is why understanding economics is so important. Deducing this outcome is easy if you understand a few basic principles. The supply of college education is relatively fixed. If government subsidizes it, demand will increase. If demand increases, then price will increase.

Of course, anyone who votes to limit government college subsidies will be attacked as against education.

3. Apparently BAMN held an event tonight on campus. It's interesting that liberals are perfectly willing to tolerate, if not support, a communist group. Communists, you will recall, murdered more than 100 million people. Communism as such has gone out of fashion, but the mindset of liberals is the same now as when they defended Alger Hiss, if not worse.

4. The WMU College Republicans just held an election for our executive board for next year. You can view the results on our news page. Congratulations to Tom Barrett for being elected Chairman, and to the rest of the winners. These are the people who will be giving liberals and the administration migranes over the next year.

No comments: