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Old 06-29-2010, 10:08 AM   #141
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So are we saying that philosophy degrees should be almost entirely taxpayer-subsidized while degrees in science, engineering, business and pre-professional studies should have no subsidy at all (and perhaps charged more than cost in order to subsidize history majors)?

[Edit to add: If some majors are charged more because of the need to pay higher salaries to compete with private industry in that field, that's one thing and I can see that. But I don't think taxpayer subsidies should vary.]
I think some professors have too many years in academia to know how the real world works..........it is a common malady.........
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Old 06-29-2010, 10:21 AM   #142
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I have known many government employees over the years.
Not one has been overworked or put under near the stress that employees such as my self have been submitted working in an industry that is monitored 100% of the time by numerous federal employees on site who can artibtrarily shut down the lines and make life miserable for no justifiable reason.
Gotta call this one out. Not one overworked or overstressed? You must have a very limited exposure. I liked many aspects of the jobs I held in over 30 years fed and 5 years city but there was substantial stress in every job. High levels of stress induced me to make a 180 from HR to IT in the mid 90s. Ten years later I pulled the plug on my IT career which I liked enough to have continued into my 60s were it not for high levels of stress. You had federal inspectors looking over your shoulder, we had auditors second guessing our every move. Virtually all of my peers experienced high stress and we were in standard bureaucratic environments. What do you say about law enforcement - another group of government employees? No stress there?
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Old 06-29-2010, 11:40 AM   #143
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Since the state cannot declare bankruptcy, the federal government can put the state into receivership.
No it can't. There is no such power.
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Old 06-29-2010, 12:00 PM   #144
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I have known many government employees over the years.
Not one has been overworked or put under near the stress that employees such as my self have been submitted working in an industry that is monitored 100% of the time by numerous federal employees on site who can artibtrarily shut down the lines and make life miserable for no justifiable reason.
wow , you never met a member of the military? Or a fire fighter? Police officer? Air traffic controller? VA physician or nurse? Prison guard? Urban social worker? Mental hospital caretaker? My father was a cloud chaser, who rode DC-3s through nuclear fallout clouds to collect radioactive samples. FSOs have died at their embassy for their country. Are you saying that their stress free lives don't compare with the life altering worry of having a production line shut down? Or just that you never met one?
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Old 06-29-2010, 12:04 PM   #145
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Tuition increases in state universities are largely due to
1) demand for more expensive subjects
2) reduction in state support
3) desire to study at a research university

they have studied the instructional costs of subjects taught in 1968 that are taught today. There is not much change relative to the cost of living
I'm on staff at a large public university - in the last 10 years, my responsibilities have moved from 100% student support & advising to 20% student support & advising / 80% dealing with mandatory federal and state data reporting. Just in our one college (of eight within the university) we have also added an Assessment office with one faculty (who does not teach) and one staff member. Several faculty have been moved from teaching to assessment responsibilities to comply with state and federal assessment requirements. Several years ago, the state imposed a mandatory comprehensive assessment with no financial support. The choice was to eliminate the programs, pass all fees to the students, or cut everywhere else to come up with the resources. We're doing a combination dance, but it's hurt everything. The constant demand for increased data (which is mostly useless) has bloated the payroll - but feds and state legislature keep upping the requirements.

So you need to add "increased data and assessment requirements" to that list.
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Old 06-29-2010, 12:28 PM   #146
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So are we saying that philosophy degrees should be almost entirely taxpayer-subsidized while degrees in science, engineering, business and pre-professional studies should have no subsidy at all (and perhaps charged more than cost in order to subsidize history majors)?

[Edit to add: If some majors are charged more because of the need to pay higher salaries to compete with private industry in that field, that's one thing and I can see that. But I don't think taxpayer subsidies should vary.]

I was describing the public policy claim. First of all "return on a degree" is not the same as salary. and High private return in this context is relative, not absolute. Education is a mix of what economists call public and private goods. It has public and private returns. It is understood than when you talk of salary related to education you are describing the private return and ignoring the public return. As an example the cost of educating a cadet at West point is enormous. The return in that case is almost all public, i.e. we need West point graduates for the society. So we pay the full cost and then some. When we talk of fairness in students paying tuition we are describing the "private return". If the private return is high and the public return is low it is easy to justify the student paying full cost tuition. The absolute cost of tuition is related to the cost of the education.

Engineers have high salaries and the education is expensive. For more than a hundred years we have believed that the public return is high relative to the private return. That is why we subsidize the education of engineers, Nurses, Teachers and many other professions, despite the costs.

In some professions like law, the private returns are very high but the public also needs some of the professionals. In such cases it is rational to have the students pay the money and then repay their educational costs as they do public service.

Many researchers believe that the return on classic "liberal arts" like philosophy and history is split about half and half between public and private. The absolute return is not high, but the education is fairly cheap.

Music and other arts are another story. The education is expensive and the total return is not high by the measure we use. But those measures may be flawed. Its hard to quantify the value of culture, so we guess.
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Old 06-29-2010, 12:31 PM   #147
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I think some professors have too many years in academia to know how the real world works..........it is a common malady.........
When we are describing the cost and return and competition etc in higher education, academia is the real world.
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Old 06-29-2010, 01:19 PM   #148
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When we are describing the cost and return and competition etc in higher education, academia is the real world.
You need to get out more............
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Old 06-29-2010, 01:47 PM   #149
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You need to get out more............
Oh I do. But to a farmer the farm is the real world. to a banker a bank is the real world, to an actor the theater is the real world. Like the blind men and the elephant we all have a part of the "real world" in our hands.
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