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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:06 am 
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Having been part of the "system" for more than 50 years I offer the following comments:

1. Universities have been living under a favorable tax program forever. This is especially true of Graduate Student tuition and Stipends. The entire setup is a "false economy." I never favored these tax breaks. The vast majority of today's graduate students are foreign nationals. The reason for this is that very few American citizens want to forego the lure of industrial salaries over the pittance they are paid to go to graduate school. The very few Americans who chose to go to graduate school are not in it for the tax breaks. So, my point here is that most of this subsidy is not going to Americans in the first place.

2. Tuition waivers for the dependents of faculty and staff are another are of the "false economy." I speak from experience in that I had three of my children graduate from Tulane under the tuition waiver program. Did I enjoy taking advantage of this? Damn right. But this was directly related to the level of my salary. Had I been paid more I would not need the tuition free advantage. It is true that I probably could not have afforded to send my kids to Tulane, but that is what a free economy is all about. I am sure that they would have been just as successful had they gone to a more affordable school. Tulane is a good school, but it is not Harvard or MIT.

3. Look at the salaries of University Presidents, Vice Presidents and lover level administrators. It is my opinion that they are out of line with the "value" of their jobs. At the same time, faculty jobs are compensated at a much lower level. If they are attracting faculty with the "carrot" of a tuition waiver for kids (which in essence costs the University little or nothing), then why not eliminate that perk and raise the salary level of all faculty?

4. I no longer have anything to gain or lose in this fight. But I felt the same way when I WAS a faculty member. Continuing to raise tuition, paying very large salaries to upper administrators and counting on the government to fund graduate education (mostly for non-Americans) and the rest of the "false economy" issues is something that must stop. The administrators seem to be unaware that in the not too distant future there will be NO undergraduate universities as we know them today. Almost all lower level university classes will be delivered over the Internet. So then, ONLY graduate schools will exist, primarily for research in laboratories (and not in classrooms). Graduate studies in the non-laboratory subjects will also be delivered via the Internet. When this happens, it should be the industries that benefit from the graduates of the "laboratory" programs who should fund them.

5. I realize that most of what I have said (especially in item 5) is not going to happen soon. Even then, it will be in the Government's interest to fund many of the graduate programs, especially those directed to the defense industry. But even then, why should those industries who get huge defense contracts be the ones to support the research?

Sorry for the diatribe.

My name is Victor Law and I approve these statements :evil2:

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 Post subject: Correction
PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:11 am 
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But even then, why shouldn't those industries who get huge defense contracts be the ones to support the research?

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 Post subject: Re: Correction
PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:12 am 
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PCWave wrote:
But even then, why shouldn't those industries who get huge defense contracts be the ones to support the research?


Ylu van just hit the edit button to edit your post


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:35 am 
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PCWave wrote:
Having been part of the "system" for more than 50 years I offer the following comments:

1. Universities have been living under a favorable tax program forever. This is especially true of Graduate Student tuition and Stipends. The entire setup is a "false economy." I never favored these tax breaks. The vast majority of today's graduate students are foreign nationals. The reason for this is that very few American citizens want to forego the lure of industrial salaries over the pittance they are paid to go to graduate school. The very few Americans who chose to go to graduate school are not in it for the tax breaks. So, my point here is that most of this subsidy is not going to Americans in the first place.

2. Tuition waivers for the dependents of faculty and staff are another are of the "false economy." I speak from experience in that I had three of my children graduate from Tulane under the tuition waiver program. Did I enjoy taking advantage of this? Damn right. But this was directly related to the level of my salary. Had I been paid more I would not need the tuition free advantage. It is true that I probably could not have afforded to send my kids to Tulane, but that is what a free economy is all about. I am sure that they would have been just as successful had they gone to a more affordable school. Tulane is a good school, but it is not Harvard or MIT.

3. Look at the salaries of University Presidents, Vice Presidents and lover level administrators. It is my opinion that they are out of line with the "value" of their jobs. At the same time, faculty jobs are compensated at a much lower level. If they are attracting faculty with the "carrot" of a tuition waiver for kids (which in essence costs the University little or nothing), then why not eliminate that perk and raise the salary level of all faculty?

4. I no longer have anything to gain or lose in this fight. But I felt the same way when I WAS a faculty member. Continuing to raise tuition, paying very large salaries to upper administrators and counting on the government to fund graduate education (mostly for non-Americans) and the rest of the "false economy" issues is something that must stop. The administrators seem to be unaware that in the not too distant future there will be NO undergraduate universities as we know them today. Almost all lower level university classes will be delivered over the Internet. So then, ONLY graduate schools will exist, primarily for research in laboratories (and not in classrooms). Graduate studies in the non-laboratory subjects will also be delivered via the Internet. When this happens, it should be the industries that benefit from the graduates of the "laboratory" programs who should fund them.

5. I realize that most of what I have said (especially in item 5) is not going to happen soon. Even then, it will be in the Government's interest to fund many of the graduate programs, especially those directed to the defense industry. But even then, why should those industries who get huge defense contracts be the ones to support the research?

Sorry for the diatribe.

My name is Victor Law and I approve these statements :evil2:
If I can put aside your apparent xenophobia, you make some interesting points. I mostly disagree, but interesting nonetheless. It all comes down to the government encouraging certain behaviors through use of favorable tax codes. If however the intent is to truly wean entire structures off of the government dole, I believe one can’t just pick and choose because you may not agree with a beneficiary’s place of birth.

So. Why give US religious entities tax exemptions? I am serious here. Using the logic you enumerated, church/parish/congregation/synagogue/mosque/stake members should pay their clergy an excellent or at least living wage and do away with any favored tax status. Tax all cathedrals, synagogues, mosques, meeting houses on the true value of their massive holdings. And on and on.

What about any charitable donations? Just because I go through the paperwork and establish a 501. 3(c) entity to protect the spotted plover, why should my activities pay any less taxes than any other activity?

What about the holy grail of mortgage deductibility? The legions of entwined special interests have pretty much ensured that its trial balloon was machine gunned while barely aloft, but what makes that tax break so special such that mortgage holders get the break and renters don’t?

I think the current efforts by Congress are really truly about robbing Peter to pay Paul. Since it is a zero sum game, mostly, unless you don’t give a cr@p about expanding deficits, many oxen will need to be gored. So now what we are really talking about is which beasts can be shot with the least amount of uproar so that people like me can pay a few thousand dollars a year less in taxes.

I could understand a truly revolutionary way of resetting our tax structure but what’s under discussion now is nibbling around the edges. Sure, eliminate tax exempt status, but go full boat. Counting grad student tuition as income because one doesn’t like the tribe grad students are from is indefensible, at least in the United States whose constitution I swore to uphold and defend.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:53 am 
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And I think this is now getting quite political, regardless of your views. I'm all for the discussion, but this is a few short steps from blowing up.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:03 am 
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gerryb323 wrote:
And I think this is now getting quite political, regardless of your views. I'm all for the discussion, but this is a few short steps from blowing up.
I was just now considering the same question. In my "moderator judgment," the discussion has remained non-confrontational. As long as it remains a non-heated discussion, I'm of a mind to let it stand.

I can't speak for the opinion of other mods, however, and I will readily accept any alternate determination they might make, as well as any action they deem appropriate.

However, be aware--if at any time I feel the discussion is getting too heated or too personal, I won't take the intermediate step of locking it--I will simply nuke it altogether. (Ah, what power JtS has vested!).
:king:

So keep it civil, OK?


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:28 am 
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Roller wrote:
gerryb323 wrote:
And I think this is now getting quite political, regardless of your views. I'm all for the discussion, but this is a few short steps from blowing up.
I was just now considering the same question. In my "moderator judgment," the discussion has remained non-confrontational. As long as it remains a non-heated discussion, I'm of a mind to let it stand.

I can't speak for the opinion of other mods, however, and I will readily accept any alternate determination they might make, as well as any action they deem appropriate.

However, be aware--if at any time I feel the discussion is getting too heated or too personal, I won't take the intermediate step of locking it--I will simply nuke it altogether. (Ah, what power JtS has vested!).
:king:

So keep it civil, OK?


Civil, like the war? Dibs on being a cavalier


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:49 am 
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gerryb323 wrote:
And I think this is now getting quite political, regardless of your views. I'm all for the discussion, but this is a few short steps from blowing up.

Agreed.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:59 am 
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PCWave wrote:

4. I no longer have anything to gain or lose in this fight. But I felt the same way when I WAS a faculty member. Continuing to raise tuition, paying very large salaries to upper administrators and counting on the government to fund graduate education (mostly for non-Americans) and the rest of the "false economy" issues is something that must stop. The administrators seem to be unaware that in the not too distant future there will be NO undergraduate universities as we know them today. Almost all lower level university classes will be delivered over the Internet. So then, ONLY graduate schools will exist, primarily for research in laboratories (and not in classrooms). Graduate studies in the non-laboratory subjects will also be delivered via the Internet. When this happens, it should be the industries that benefit from the graduates of the "laboratory" programs who should fund them.



I mourn the day that we abandon higher education for the internet. An online class is NOT the same as a regular undergraduate one, if the live one is done properly. Exactly zero of my graduate courses in history were straight lectures; they all would have been essentially destroyed by being internet only. I certainly would have been unable to attend graduate school had my stipend been taxed. By the same token, the school I attended (which is much less prosperous than Tulane) would have had real problems affording instructors for freshman-level classes.

I would also note that my graduate program had exactly one foreigner in it (an Irishman, who has since become a citizen and a professor at an American university). While I am sure it varies by field and by school, I do not buy that the majority of graduate students are foreign-born. Among the foreigners, based upon my experience in speaking to others, fewer are on assistantship or stipend (as a percentage) than natives. Either way, stipends are not free--you work for them, usually by teaching but sometimes by assisting faculty with lab work or through research. By taxing them, you shut these programs down. Almost no one in graduate school could afford to pay tax on these, and no university can afford to pay them enough to do so. Cutting tuition--again, with essentially no notice or time to plan for it--would also be impractical. Many students do pay tuition (especially foreign ones, ironically) and the schools do need the money.

Certainly, there are real issues in higher education that should be fixed. You are absolutely right about administrative costs (both salaries and how many of them there are). I don't think this bludgeon in the way to accomplish that, especially since it would be with very little notice and force massively sweeping changes in a very short time, which would be certain to have a negative effect on schools and students.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:55 pm 
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75 million guaranteed for a football coach

Lazy rivers

Nonsense classes taught in nonsense majors that have little utility and course titles that sound like caricatures with "professors," when explaining their field of studies and theories, sound like theater of the absurd.

What defense do the universities have? Please please don't take away our preferential tax treatment we're educating America's future. How can universities with a straight face complain about this while wasting the resources they have?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 4:31 pm 
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windywave wrote:
75 million guaranteed for a football coach

Lazy rivers

Nonsense classes taught in nonsense majors that have little utility and course titles that sound like caricatures with "professors," when explaining their field of studies and theories, sound like theater of the absurd.

What defense do the universities have? Please please don't take away our preferential tax treatment we're educating America's future. How can universities with a straight face complain about this while wasting the resources they have?

You can do a lot of crazy things with zero cost of labor...


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