None of this makes sense, since the schools are sitting on such gigantic piles of cash. The Congressional Research Service says that if the 20 schools with the largest endowments would spend 0.7 percent of those endowments each year, they could eliminate the need for tuition increases. Since most students who graduate will eventually give money back to their university, that would seem a reasonable investment in the future. Yet federal interference in the market means schools don’t have to reinvest much of their endowments in their future.
Another place the government distorts the market is in agriculture.
Washington spends about $25 billion each year in farm subsidies. It’s sold as support for small farms, but the USDA says most of the money goes to corporate farms which have an average income of $200,000 and an average net worth of over $2 million. And lawmakers keep making things worse.
In April, they added $2.4 billion in mandatory milk subsidies to a national security spending bill. Now, even if “moo juice” was critical to the nation’s security, there’s no reason to subsidize it. Anyone who’s been in a dairy aisle recently knows milk prices have jumped.
The average price of a gallon of whole milk was $3.83 last month, up 50 cents since January and 66 cents from a year ago. CNN explains that “Experts blame the price spike on milk shortages in Europe and Australia.” Well, if there’s a shortage, why are we paying farmers to make it? Their natural quest for profits should be all the encouragement they need to pump out as much milk as possible.
It’s time to stop investing taxpayer money in a product that’s in such demand that its prices are soaring. In fact, the same goes for all federal farm subsidies. There’s plenty of demand for corn, cotton, rice, soy and wheat (the most heavily subsidized crops), so there’s no reason for Washington to pay farmers to grow them.
The quest for wealth drives the free market. Under this system, people are able to decide what jobs they should do and what amount of pay they’ll accept. Perhaps more importantly, they’re able to decide what they’re willing to pay for goods and services.
Government interference distorts the market, forcing people to pay more for college, milk, corn and all subsidized products. Meanwhile, it forces taxpayers to shell out money to support things that people were going to pay for, anyway. It’s time for our country to have more greed and less government.