Commentary

Jerry Bowyer: The Crippling Load of Student Debt

Well, we just found out that student debt is at an all-time high. It’s just a whisker below 1.6 trillion dollars. Yes, trillion, with a “t.”

But it’s all worth it, right? Our young people need education. Not. So. Fast.

A new study shows the average freshly-minted college grad makes almost $11,000 less annually than he or she expected—and it’s true over a wide range of majors.

What gave these young people such unrealistic expectations? One factor is easy to recognize: Our serial exaggeration of the benefits expected from a degree.

Making it worse: Tuition has soared—faster than almost any other expense category in our economy. Recruiters and marketers have in turn hyped the value of their institutions and their degrees.

It’s time to scrap the myth that all young people should go to college, and that every school and every major is worth the price.

The debt load is simply crippling.

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Michael Medved: Time to Proclaim: “Family First”

The collapse of the family stands at the heart of America’s most pressing, painful problems—addiction and suicide, economic inequality, educational under-performance, and even homelessness.

Recent statistics show that majorities of millennials who produce children, do so outside of marriage. A University of Michigan study indicates that an amazing 20% of young adults report no contact—none!—with their birth fathers.

In response to the crisis, the left emphasizes redistribution of wealth or more generous welfare programs.

On the right, we stress the need for religious revival to strengthen family life, despite the prevalence of divorce and out-of-wedlock birth even among the fervently faithful. We need fresh efforts to change values and culture from leaders in government, media, business, religion and education, mobilized under a two-word slogan: “Family First!”

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Michael Medved: Problems Beyond Politics

I’m sure I’m not alone in knowing several families that are prosperous, hard-working and deeply religious and yet lose children to the world of drugs, out-of-wedlock birth, welfare dependence and hopelessness.

It’s also increasingly common to see solidly middle-class couples who, after 20 or 30 years of seemingly successful marriage, suddenly break up, causing pain to themselves, their children and even their grandchildren. In spite of a booming economy and increased opportunity, so-called “deaths of despair”—through suicide, alcoholism or drug overdoses—have reached unprecedented levels.

This explains the seeming disconnect between our prevailing prosperity and the big majorities who believe America’s on the wrong track for our future.

The essential problem involves the collapse of family life, and with neither liberals nor conservatives addressing the issue in meaningful ways, our politics seems to offer only a sideshow rather than a solution.

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Lanhee Chen: Standing for Liberty in Hong Kong

The free world recently mourned the 30th anniversary of China’s brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protestors in Tiananmen Square.

Although the dreams of a freer, more open China were crushed in June 1989, today in Hong Kong the voices of freedom are again speaking out against tyranny.

Hong Kong’s civil liberties and autonomy are at risk.

Youth protestors originally took to the streets to oppose legislation that would allow for extradition of criminal suspects to mainland China. Although the proposed law has been shelved, the protestors–numbering about two million at one point–continue to speak out against the government in Beijing and in favor of democracy and the preservation of liberty in Hong Kong.

There’s a temptation to ignore the cries for freedom, half a world away. But we should always stand with those who seek liberty and democracy, wherever that might be.

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David Davenport: The Democrats’ Dilemma: Principle or Politics?

With over 20 Democrats announcing 2020 presidential bids, the campaign reflects the chaos of a NASCAR race.

But already there is one defining separation in the pack: Will Democrats steer hard left with Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren or Kamala Harris, or center-left with Joe Biden?

The dangerous myth Democrats believe is that anyone can beat Donald Trump, but the polls show only Biden with a significant lead. For many Democrats, however, including young voters, Biden is old school and too moderate. They want their vote to count on some big progressive, even socialist, ideas.

So here’s the Democrats’ dilemma: The principle or the politics. Do they want to win the presidency, where Biden is their best bet, or seek to change the country but lose? We have a year to learn their answer.

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Medved: Taxpayer Funding for Abortion is Not Pro-Choice


Joe Biden’s abandonment of his long-standing support for the Hyde Amendment has not only damaged his campaign, but should bring permanent changes to the language we use on the abortion issue.

Biden and other Catholic Democrats often insisted that they personally disapproved of abortion, but they didn’t want government to interfere with a woman’s so-called “Right to Choose.”

But if the Hyde Amendment is removed, that means the “Right to Choose” becomes a right to government funding for terminating your pregnancy. Many of those who said they wanted government to stay out of the abortion decision, now insist that government must get directly involved—by providing federal funding.

This is not a “Pro-Choice” position—it’s a “Pro-Abortion” position, demanding government subsidies. In the future, liberals who favor such funding should accept the “Pro Abortion” designation just as proudly as conservatives acknowledge that we are anti-abortion—and pro- life.

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