The new American Dream: Clinton-style Posted by: McQ
on Monday, July 31, 2006
Ms. Hillary Clinton is putting the theme for her '08 presidential campaign together. Here is her version of the new American Dream:
Every American should have the opportunity and responsibility to go to college and earn a degree, and to get the lifelong training they need.
Every worker should have the opportunity and responsibility to save for a secure retirement.
Every business should have the opportunity to grow and prosper in the strongest private economy on Earth, and the responsibility to equip workers with the same tools of success as management.
Every individual should have the opportunity and responsibility to start building wealth from day one, and the security and community that come from owning a home.
Every family should have the opportunity to afford health insurance for their children, and the responsibility to obtain it.
Does anyone else feel a bit concerned when they see the words "opportunity" and "responsibility" used by Democrats in general and Clinton specifically?
When used in conjuction with the 5 points listed above, they sound more like "you must" and "you will" than how I understand "opportunity" and "responsiblity". Well except in the case of business. In that case they "may" have the opportunity to grow and prosper, but they "will" equip workers "with the same tools of success as management". Whatever that means. Whatever it means, it means telling business how to run their business. And we all know where those costs will end up, eventually.
The one point on which she does provide some details is a college education in which the "opportunity", as usual, will be provide by others:
We propose a plan to produce one million more college graduates a year by 2015 — so that within a decade, more than half our young people will finish college with a degree. Paid for by getting rid of wasteful business subsidies, our plan consolidates existing tax credits into a new $3,000 refundable tax credit for four years of college or training, and proposes a performance-based block grant that will enable states to reduce tuition costs and increase graduation rates. Together, these ideas will make it possible for any student willing to work part-time or perform community service to go to college for four years tuition-free.
Oh it sounds wonderful, that's for sure, and we've talked about the fact that theoretically Americans want less government but practically vote for more government when they see such a vote as benefiting them. This is perfect vote getting fodder. After all, it has the word "free" in it.
Clinton isn't the only politician in the next few years who will wheel out a platform of goodies to entice voters to pull the lever for her. And before we all get into a lather about no mention of national security, etc., this is her domestic platform as indicated by the theme of the American Dream. Of course, on a platform which targets helping the middle class, one area conspicuously missing is immigration reform. In my estimation, illegal immigrants, who will work for much less than the prevailing blue collar wage, are the one's putting the squeeze on the middle class by their consistent underbidding of wages. I'll be interested to see how she handles that eventual question when it arises.
The pillars of the American Dream — a college degree, a home, a secure retirement, and the chance to get ahead in a growing economy — are central to our basic values. When we demand responsibility, it makes our families, our markets, and our democracy stronger. When our success depends on how hard we work, not how well we're born, there is no limit to how high we'll reach or how far we'll go.
So there is your "American Dream" redefined, Democrat style. Any guess as to where they really see the 'resonsibility' for all of this falling? Hint: I don't think it is with those who are supposed to benefit from all of this.
Tell me again why every American needs a college degree?
Could it be simply that our K-12 education system is now so decrepit that an additional four years is required to make a citizen minimally functional, in an environment where grades actually mean something? (Not as much as they used to, but something.)
Why not just fix our educational system? Why are we spending more money teaching college freshmen "Remedial English" when they’ve already had twelve years of education in English?
Is is possible that Ms. Clinton is not the least bit interested in the answers to any of those questions because those answers would offend some of her biggest supporters - the NEA and associated teacher’s unions?
The Democrats just love driving up the cost of a college education. Every time the costs are paid for by someone other than the actual student it allows universities to increase the amount of money they spend and charge. Democrats gripe about price gouging in every industry except one - post-secondary education. Apparently price increases well above the rate of inflation for DECADES is not enough to trigger liberal outrage. I wonder why that is?
our plan consolidates existing tax credits into a new $3,000 refundable tax credit for four years of college or training
I didn’t finish college and am well into my 30s, will I be able to use these credits to pay for my books for 3 years of college? (nevermind where I’ll get the rest of the money to pay for college).
My point is that for my niece who’s now a junior in high school, $3000 is a rather paltry sum compared to the cost of college tuitions, and continued tuition assistance, plus this constant desire to push more kids into college who don’t need to be there is only making those degrees more and more expensive; 4 years tuition is more expensive than houses in many parts of the country.
"You will be educated in the System. You will pay for the System. You will work for the System. The System will give you wealth. The System will decide where you live. The System will take care of you and your children, forever. The System is your friend."
Or something to that effect, anyway, is what I get out of it.
"Every American should have the opportunity and responsibility. . ."
Exactly how does the Crone of Chappaqua presume to instill a sense of responsibility in people? Exactly when did the Imperial Federal Government assume the place of parents or peers in assuring you go to college, buy a home, prepare for your retirement or the myriad of other things that make a person a functioning, contributing member of the body politic? What’s next - "every American should have the opportunity and responsibility to work out three times a week and prevent an early-40s heart attack" ?
If this is just focus-grouped blather, that’s bad enough. If Hillary! really believes this nonsense, she’s truly frightening.
Sadly many on the left believe in this kind of nonsense. I refer any who have twenty or thirty minutes on their hands to the Protest Warrior website (www.protestwarrior.com). Check out some of the videos of their confrontations with lefties in the streets. I especially like the woman who says (paraphrasing here), that as long as a dictator provides free college education, a living wage, and free healthcare, she "likes" that dictator. I suspect Hillary’s handlers have been taking their cues from the Castroite crowd here.
You have to hand it to her, Hillary Clinton is one of the best out there at promoting socialism. I mean, she’s brilliant. Now that the Left is firmly and irrevocably entrenched in the public school system (which is increasingly including state-run colleges), the indoctrination can fully ensue unhindered. It makes sense, as a natural progression, that next on the list is to make those very same Leftist think tanks monetarily "free" to the masses. And how can any small-government politician oppose this? I mean, I recently found out that my undergraduate college tuition has *quadrupled* since I graduated in 1994. Either inflation is a lot worse than I thought or there’s a third-party federal government party involved somehow, a la the healthcare system. The bottom line is that people are not going to vote *against* getting a free tuition, as McQ alluded.
And yeah, why does everyone have to go to college again?
I agree with you 100% rammage. Why is a college degree necessary (other than to correct the blunders and failures of the secondary education system)? I’ve been through the undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate university experience and my father-in-law and brother-in-law (neither of whom have spent a day in college) make more than twice what I do. Coupled with significant tuition increases, this gives me exactly what motivation to send any future children of mine to college?
Also, unless a cost-to-benefit ratio can be clearly demonstrated to the American public, no one will ever vote against "free" college tuition or "free" healthcare.
I went at round on the "to go to college" thing a few years ago.
The deans and boards of colleges and universities across the country must salivate each and every time someone couples the "government" and "colleges" especially when the possibility of new money is at work.
The current college and university is a pure capitalist market. Or more simply, the cost of college can expand or contract to absorb any amount of money thrown it’s way. This includes all moneys direct, straight from the government, or indirect, tax credits.
Most colleges directly gauge the financial situation of any student that request financial aid. They figure exactly, from detailed financial information from the family, what the family should be able to contribute and then come up with anywhere form 50% to 100% of what is left (Princeton is often mentioned in the 100% category, so if your applying anyway, don’t forget to add Princeton to your list; it won’t cost any more). If these families have more money via a tax credit, available federal money, etc., it gets absorbed into the family contribution; poof .. the college pays less.
Bottom line, adding more money does virtually nothing, in terms of getting more students to attend.
This means that the real work here has to be done at k-thru-12, as anyone with any kind of ambition can now go to college. The only way to get more students to college is to make more students capable of doing the work required.
So, exactly what is Hillary going to do for k-thru-12 ?
Considering all the scholarships, loans, and grants now available, it is difficult to believe that financial problems prevent anyone from attending some college or university. Anyway, I don’t think we need another million people with degrees in Women’s Studies, Queer Theory, Africana, journalism, etc.
If money is such an obstacle to education, perhaps the schools could consider abolishing mandatory student activity fees, which support various religious and political organizations. Or reduce they number of overpaid speakers(Johnnie Cochran received $25,000 of student money at a school near me). Perhaps someone could find a way to reduce the ridiculous cost of textbooks.
Yeah, we need more people in college who don’t belong there. Brought to you by the same people who brought you Ethnic (racebaiting) Studies and Womyn’s Studies. Hell, my school could cut a lot of costs by getting rid of the College of Liberal Arts.
According to most polls, Senator Clinton generally receives an unfavorable rating of somewhere between 30 and 42%. IMO, if Pres. George W. Bush can "rule" with about the same "positive" ratings, I have no doubt that President Hillary Clinton can lead with that same number still "hating" her. I DO agree with the commenters on the other side that NOT EVERYONE has a need to go to college....one can be quite successful without doing so, sometimes financially. But the ever increasing demand in the job market is going to require more and more qualifiers.....not to mention the world market competition. Many foreign students come to U.S. to get their COLLEGE degrees and then go home to use them...all well and good; however, should we fall further behind in math and science or other subjects, China, Japan, India, and on and on will leave us in the dust. Unless we want to rank somewhere in the power/size/strength of a "New Zealand" (a good small country), we need to be looking at a well educated, highly technologically advanced population. Bright young people with natural cerebral skills who like to THINK + COLLEGE = a winning combination. R. Crocker Garland, TX.
But Ruth, one of my objections to the ever increasing demand in the job market requiring more and more qualifiers is that the situation is becoming an educational arms race. We are rapidly reaching the point where mid-level management positions (and, in some cases, entry-level positions) are requiring applicants to have graduate degrees. Where are we going to be in ten or twenty years? Do not apply unless you have a Doctorate?
This strikes me, again, as a demonstration of the abject failure of the secondary school system to accomplish its mission. When employers have obviously lost so much faith in the high school diploma that they demand a further four years (and sometimes more) of schooling to determine if a person is competent, this should absolutely be the canary in the mine regarding the failure of the secondary schools. I suspect that we are starting to see that with undergraduate degrees as well. It’s what I call educational devaluation. It’s very much an economic supply and demand issue. If 50% of the labor force has graduate degrees, then employers can afford to attach very little value to those without. Thus degrees begin to slowly lose their value as more and more people obtain the next higher level of education.
Continuing the analogy of arms race here, let’s borrow a theme from President Eisenhower and think about who benefits from such a thing. If employers demand more education, more people will have to attend college (or graduate school). Universities can continue to raise tuition higher and higher as they have an absolute monopoly on obtaining degrees and the poor worker is left with little choice but to pay (or go into serious debt obtaining financial aid). At the same time, because of the outcry over tuition, leftists in government will rally around the idea of government paying for college. Eventually this becomes socialized education and we wind up with the system the Brits use. Why should those who have no intention of ever attending college be forced to pay the tuition of those who do want to attend? This seems like more socialism to me.
I came back on to read more comments on the education article and appreciated the comments, Poet O. I was further enlightened which I always like. I was unaware that British government covered for college tuition. I also was interested in the idea of an "educational arms race" which I have been seeing since I was in elementary school in the 1950’s. I remember a 5th grade teacher saying "one day you will have to have not only a high school degree, but also college degree to get many top jobs." But now I see young people doing resumes to take to McDonald’s. I am not saying I am against that; I just think that it shows more and more that "race" you refer to. Of course, I have lived long enough to see some of the fruition of the talks on late night TV about "ZPG"....zero population growth." I cannot remember the particular social scientist who was warning? against what the results of uncontrolled growth would be, but now I have gone and gotten off on a rabbit trail! Back to the point, I do feel the millions more in the job market in the last 40 years or so has contributed to a lot of dilemmas. I think one day I will be making an appointment to see a fingernail specialist...right hands only! IMO, a lot of these specialty positions are created to accomodate more and more millions coming along. What to do? I am moderate, so "socialism" is not my desire either. But I also have nothing against Pell grants, and the current admin. has cut those pretty drastically....affecting many people. I do have one question regarding the taxpayer paying for services that cover the common good. How do you feel about the couples with no children or grown children who pay property taxes that go into public school education (here in Texas.)? There is a big outcry about vouchers, which a majority do not support (approx. 65 to 35%) in Texas. Since I work in the public school classroom, I am right there in the middle school environment. When a public school is rated "non-performing", the parents have a right to transfer their child to a better school. Last school year there was a front page article in Dallas Morning News regarding the issue. Only three parents elected to take advantage of the offer among hundreds elgible. Probably the saddest part of "public school" education is that too many parents do not care what is happening to their kids in school or at home. Vouchers won’t help but a select group of those particular students. Again, thanks for sharing some points that helped me to learn more. "O, Solutions! Wherefore art thou?" Ruth Crocker, Garland, TX.