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somemore eithorism

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A rather hilarious moment buried in an article bringing what seems to be a rare bit of good news out of Washington. The good news is that the House and Senate are very close to approving a reform of the student grant / loan situation – among other changes, federal funds will be redirected from subsidies for banks to direct grants to students. Great news – and obviously the hideously corrupt private-sector student loan industry is rather upset. But check this out:

Some Republicans said such proposals would unnecessarily increase the federal debt and encourage irresponsible borrowing. "This incentivizes people, I suggest perversely, to borrow money to go to college rather than working," said Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.).

Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of the Web site FinAid.org and an expert on student loans, wrote in an analysis circulating on Capitol Hill yesterday that the proposed subsidy cuts were too large and might reduce competition in the industry.

A great paring of paragraphs there. On the one hand, the foul hand of government intervention in the form of direct grants to poor and middle class kids to help them pay for college distorts the smooth operation of the invisible hand, which would otherwise be smacking idlers upside the head with a strong dose of competitive self-reliance, thus keeping them honest. On the other hand, in the very next paragraph, government handouts (not corporate welfare of course of course) somehow serve to increase competitiveness (and, we imagine, efficiency, right?) when it comes to banks and other predatorial financial organizations.

I’m still looking for a catchy phrase for this sort of backflipping eitherorism. (This is a slightly different version than the last one, which was of the economy up / economy down = it’s always the best possible time for labor reform / tax cuts etc. This one goes government subsidy = inducement to gilded apathy (when it comes to poor kids) or spur to competitive drive (when it comes to corporations).

Written by adswithoutproducts

July 20, 2007 at 11:33 pm

Posted in rationalization

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