For-profit Higher Ed is Fine – Government Funding is the Problem

Minding the CampusGeorge Leef at reminds us of Milton Friedman’s line, “No one spends other people’s money as carefully as he spends his own.”

One of the more annoying tropes of the left is that while it may be all right for profit-oriented businesses to function in many markets — I have yet to hear anyone demand that dry cleaning, for example, be done by non-profit entities – they shouldn’t be in “helping” fields like health care and education. Supposedly, it’s wrong to profit from the needs of others.

That sentiment lurks behind the scenes in the recent regulatory war that Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) has launched against the for-profit sector in higher education. The for-profit schools have been singled out for criticism (some of it perfectly justified) but a blind eye has been turned toward the non-profit sector. Consequently, Congress has created the impression that for-profit higher education seeks only to scam clueless students and pocket tax money intended for education and training.

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