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Obama’s Crusade Against Profits

Coming soon to a college near you.

Jul 5, 2010, Vol. 15, No. 40 • By ANDREW FERGUSON
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And both, at their worst, are a swindle, enticing innocents into programs to which they’re poorly suited, for which they’re badly prepared, and from which they depart with slim chances of gainful employment, dangling nearly worthless degrees in such subjects as culinary arts, photographic composition, and English. What is sometimes true of the University of Phoenix is often true of Amherst and Ohio State. 

In fact, the only genuine difference between the two kinds of college is this: One kind earns a profit. And nowadays that’s enough to make you suspect.

If the administration gets its way and the regulatory regime continues to tighten, the for-profit education industry won’t cease to exist. More likely it will regress into a form of state capitalism, as a kind of public utility: utterly dependent on government subsidy, hence utterly submissive to government authority, which can set prices and profit margins. The health insurance industry, with the passage of health care reform, is halfway there already. 

And the sphere of private activity continues to shrink.

 Andrew Ferguson is a senior editor at The Weekly Standard and the author of Crazy U: One Dad’s Crash Course in Getting His Kid Into College.

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