Love him or hate him, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to claim that Donald Trump has no substantiative plans for his administration. You may argue that his policies suck or won’t work, but Trump has some very clear policy stances, and none have impressed me quite as much as his plans for higher education.
I’m gonna say it: this man is a genius.
I’ve been on the Trump Train since the first debate, when Trump shrugged off Megyn Kelly, refusing to be bullied by her ‘you’re a misogynist’ bullshit. Just to refresh your memory, Kelly said Trump called women pigs, dogs and slobs and Trump immediately countered by saying he called Rosie O’Donnell those names. I just started to cheer. Yes! Rosie O’Donnell is not all women, and she is a big, fat dog-ugly slob and finally someone will say fuck your feelings, Megyn. Trump went on in that debate to say he didn’t have time for political correctness and neither did America, and I knew he was gonna blow the whole thing up.
I also knew he was going to win, and I am still predicting he will be the first POTUS in history to take all 50 states. He has played the game of persuasion perfectly, and is now moving into the solid policy realm of the campaign, and I am now convinced that not only is Trump a man with balls of carbon steel, he has a mind to match.
This guy is smart.
Let’s look at Trump’s plan for higher education as an example. It boils down to three important features:
- Get the government out of student loans
- Hold colleges partially or fully liable for student outcomes
- Transfer the Office for Civil Rights from the Department of Education to the Justice Department
Get the government out of student loans
YES! Lending small sums of money is not a core competency of the government, nor should it be. Banks are experts in loaning money, and have highly sophisticated mechanisms for determining risk, and then loaning in accordance. The government essentially takes no real risk when loaning money to students, and thus has no real incentive to make sure it is making wise loans. Government loans shove all the risks off onto students. This is, or should be, complete bullshit. Let the banks take on some of the risk associated with student loans. What’s the first thing a bank is likely to consider when faced with a student requesting a loan: What are the odds you will be able to pay this back?
Students are pissing and moaning they are saddled with exorbitant amounts of student debt upon graduation, but a lot of that has to do with students being retarded enough to spend $100K on a degree in feminist dance therapy. And you didn’t get a job upon graduation? Who saw that coming???
Banks will exert tremendous pressure on students to engage in acquiring skills the market actually wants. This would go a long ways towards solving the HB1 Visa problem, for example. Not enough people skilled in coding? The banks will see the market value of coding and offer preferential loans for that specialty. The market demands will spill down the chain. Colleges will become furious they have tons of applicants for coding programs, but none of the students have graduated with anything approaching the required math and analytical skills. College will go to war with high schools and the clean-up of a seriously fucked up secondary education system will begin.
This is how the market works. How it’s supposed to work. The more the government steps in to take over services the market could offer more efficiently (because the market players are taking a risk the government isn’t taking), the more fucked up, inefficient and moribund those services are going to become.
Let banks offer student loans. Loaning is the core capability of a bank. It’s what they do. Let them work.
Hold colleges partially or fully liable for student loans
Trump calls this ‘having skin in the game’ and he’s dead right here. I wouldn’t hold colleges 100% liable for student loans, but instead come up with some sort of formula that students have to commit a certain percentage of their income to paying down a student loan, based on their incomes after graduation, and the college must make up the rest of a pre-agreed sum. So, for example, if the college agreed to admit the dance therapy major, and a bank agreed to loan the student $50K, before that loan was issued repayment terms would be set: $500/mo after graduation. When the student gets a fulltime job at McDonalds after graduation, and 25% of her salary amounts to $200/mo, the college would be on the hook for $300/mo.
This would have a number of practical effects:
- Colleges wouldn’t offer retarded programs to students who needed to borrow money. Elite colleges might, because the value of the school brand is so high, it doesn’t matter what degree you study. Goodbye women’s studies, film theory, social justice, urban anthropology and every other ridiculous liberal arts degree that no one needs or cares about.
- Colleges would invest heavily in making sure students didn’t drop out or fail to complete their programs. Drop outs who don’t earn their degrees are not likely to be able to repay their loans. This would benefit students of color and poor students (especially men) of all races in particular.
- Colleges would invest heavily in job services for alumni. If an accountant graduates and finds a job that pays reasonably well, but still leaves the college on the hook for a percentage of her loan, the college has an incentive to help that graduate locate a better position. Until colleges have cleared their liability to zero, they have an incentive to provide career services to students even after graduation. This information will assist them in understanding what programs are in demand in the marketplace. It’s a self-reinforcing information loop. And again, poor working white men and students of color stand to benefit the most here.
Move the Office of Civil Rights from the Department of Education to the Justice Department
Boom! The whole due process, Title IX and absurd rape claims are gone. The Justice Department will use its own data to guide programs, and the DOJ has pretty much the only reliable sexual assault data out there. Take the idiot, ideologically driven fanatics from gender issues and toss them to the curb like a bag of trash. Let the justice department handle issues of justice.
Think about it: Trump tables three pieces of legislation. He transfers responsibility for student loans to banks and lets the market sort out the details. The government is now done with this issue. He holds colleges partly responsible for the loans they agree to accept, then lets the colleges begin the process of understanding what to offer students. The government is now done with the issue. He transfers OCR to Justice and lets the DOJ do their job.
This is masterful delegation. This is what leadership looks like. This is what effective decision making looks like. Trump seeks to turn over responsibility to the people most capable of making decisions, while setting in place firm rules for how they will held accountable. The institutions best qualified to make loans are banks. The institutions best qualified to set academic programming are colleges. The institutions best qualified to determine justice issues are the courts. Trump sets a framework that forces them to work together in the best interests of not only the students, but all of society.
I am deeply, profoundly impressed.
Trump just righted 99% of the crazy ass shenanigans plaguing college campuses. Daddy just set limits that his subordinates have every incentive to enforce.
If women’s studies majors actually understood how markets, incentives and competition worked, they would be freaking out over Trump’s plans for colleges. Fortunately, it appears they have not a clue.
Let the revolution begin.
Buh-bye #Trigglypuff. It was fun getting to know you.
Lots of love,