Thursday, May 04, 2006

Apples to Oil

I love how Ann Coulter gives me fuel for my blogging. Honestly, could this comparison be any more ridiculous? Ann attempts to suggest that we should really be analyzing the rising costs of college tuition instead of gas prices. I don't want to say her argument is stupid, but...okay I really just want to say her argument is stupid. Here's why:

Ann seems to be making the argument that college is a bastion of liberal thought headed by the outspoken Ward Churchill. Apparently American children are being "taught that America is the worst country on Earth and that the American bond traders who were murdered on 9/11 deserved it." This argument is an interesting rhetorical syllogism which follows ignorant logic. Here's how to map it:

A. All college professors think alike.
B. Ward Churchill is a college professor.
C. All college professors think just like Ward Churchill.

If we all used logic in this manner, our country would indeed be the worst in the world. Thankfully, college is a diverse, unique and overly pluralistic environment. On any given college campus a student can find many different viewpoints and learn different things.

By saying that all college professors deliver the same product, Ann is trying to suggest that its just like gas. You get one mediocre product that you need. But in college I had many different opportunities for learning. Last time I went to the pump, I had three options. I went with the cheapest one.

Her comparison that college tuition mirrors gas prices is all too wrong. The difference is, as I drive down the road, I don't see a lot of change in price between gas stations. However, college tuition is wildly different from school to school. The state schools (those Ann is moaning about being subsidized by the government to spread liberal thought) average roughly 12,000 dollars a year for on-campus students and 5000 dollars a year for off-campus students. However, private schools average 27,000 dollars for on-campus students and 22,000 for off-campus students. I can't quite tell if Shell or Mobil will cost me 15,000 dollars less per year.

My favorite comparison, and one which she make my college professor friends smile, is when she compares college professors to oil executives. I almost lost it when I read"How about investigating the "shameful display of greed" by college professors?" Those damn academics and their slothful ways. How dare they attempt to give themselves a decent standard of living.

Truthfully, college professors make, on average, roughly 80,000 dollars a year. This number may seem high, and it is far above the average salary in the United States. But college professors almost always have doctorates and if you look at the average salary of a person who has taken the time and money to get their doctorate, professors' pay is relatively low. Oil executives make roughly 30 million dollars per year in bonuses and stock options. Is greed in college professors really the issue here?

I can't express how thankful I am that as time progresses, Ms. Coulter's arguments become stranger and more nonsensical. She really is proving to be quite unhinged and ridiculous, which is good for me. It gives me lots to write about.

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