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Cell Phones and College Tuition (Why are cell phones getting cheaper and better but not college?)
American Thinker ^ | 10/10/2012 | Steve Baker

Posted on 10/10/2012 7:43:31 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

In 1978, my college tuition was about $1,200 per year. In 1985 my first cell phone also cost me $1,200, and its sole function was that it could make phone calls -- at about a buck per minute. (Motorola's first cell phone hit the market at $3,995!)

But something interesting happened to both products on the way to the year 2012...

Today, my daughter (and her parents) are staring down college tuitions in the range of $22,000 to $40,000 per year to prepare for her declared career interest. My new iPhone has moved in exactly the opposite direction -- purchased for only $199.

But that's not the whole story. My iPhone has a thousand times more computing power than my first $4,000 computer. It also shoots hi-def video much better than my first camera, which cost me more than $1,000. It will hold and play back over 1,000 songs and music videos. My first CD player cost me $400 and would hold only one compact disc (10-15 songs) and was not portable. My iPhone has replaced my wristwatch, my alarm clock, my stopwatch, my encyclopedias, my radios, my micro-recorder, my flashlight, my compass, my calculator, my DayTimer, my magazine and newspaper subscriptions, my cookbooks, my mapbooks, my GPS, my metronome, my tuner, and a dozen other pieces of outmoded technology -- and most of those items have been replaced with free apps. It tells me where the nearest Starbucks is and when my children are not where they're supposed to be; it unlocks my car when I forget my keys; and I can even mix the live audio sound of my band...from my friggin' phone, dude!

(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: cellphones; college; education
Yet, somehow, the cost of that phone is a tiny fraction of not just the cost of my first phone, but also the combined costs of everything it replaced -- and will soon replace. It literally saves me thousands of dollars and fits in my shirt pocket, compared to the square footage necessary to store all the antiques it has made obsolete or redundant.

By way of comparison, in the same time frame, college tuitions have outpaced inflation tenfold.

1 posted on 10/10/2012 7:43:41 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

All electronics are getting cheaper and better. If you want a cheaper education, do it online.


2 posted on 10/10/2012 7:45:28 AM PDT by chopperman
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To: SeekAndFind

Some of us still like real books and CDs.


3 posted on 10/10/2012 7:46:20 AM PDT by wastedyears (The First Law of Heavy Metal: Not all metal is satanic.)
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To: wastedyears

I agree that college is not necessarily equated with being educated.

Unfortunately, Most of American businesses look at your diploma as some sort of a rite of passage — proof that you can tackle the complexities of a job.


4 posted on 10/10/2012 7:48:32 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

What an irrelevant question. The two have nothing to do with each other.


5 posted on 10/10/2012 7:51:22 AM PDT by AppyPappy (If you really want to annoy someone, point out something obvious that they are trying hard to ignore)
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To: SeekAndFind

How much of the college tuition increase is due to the “dumbing down” of public education and forcing colleges to assume the job of teaching kids stuff they were supposed to know before they got there?


6 posted on 10/10/2012 7:53:59 AM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: AppyPappy

RE: What an irrelevant question. The two have nothing to do with each other.

The author of this article is arguing that the basic economic principles behind the fall in cell phone prices and the increase in its quality vs the increase in college tuition and the decrease in quality, APPLY.

Can you imagine the CEO’s of cell phone makers for instance, spending more money on administrators than designers, software developers and marketing? Yet, that’s what many of our schools do. WHY? Because they can count on TAXPAYER MONEY to come in.

The author concludes thusly:

The only fix for the out-of-control cost spiral in the education sector is to eliminate this illegal, redistributionary infusion of government-directed taxpayer funding. So long as those college administrators can count on billions of forcibly extracted dollars to flow from the taxpayers, prices will continue to rise at ten times the rate of inflation, or worse. (Health care costs have risen at six times inflation during the same period. I wonder why! Trend, anyone?)

Only when colleges have to compete directly for the pocketbooks of the parents and/or the students will costs plummet. Quality of service will also increase, and test scores will rise. But when that happens, politicians will lose one of their favorite vote-buying schemes. Administrators will have to rethink the décor of their offices, as well as the terms of tenure, pensions, and other perks not necessarily found in the private sector.


7 posted on 10/10/2012 7:58:53 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: AppyPappy

EDIT TO ADD... we can ask ourselves the same question when it comes to healthcare.

Why for instance is the price of LASIK SURGERY going down while the cost of healthcare going up?

The cost of LASIK has decreased ~70% since its inception, despite significant technological breakthroughs that make it more effective and less risky. Meanwhile general health care costs have increased at an annual rate double, or more than double, the rate of inflation for the last two decades.

HINT: LASIK depends on COMPETITION and is NOT SUBSIDIZED in healthcare plans. Neither are healthcare providers FORCED by government to pay for it.


8 posted on 10/10/2012 8:02:34 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

It’s proof that you can listen to people talk and take tests.


9 posted on 10/10/2012 8:03:21 AM PDT by wastedyears (The First Law of Heavy Metal: Not all metal is satanic.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Tuition is high because it’s high only for rich White kids who can pay full tuition. It’s really not high for downtrodden, underpriveleged, have-nots. Cell phones are low because they are low-priced, and the cost is spread over all the people who pay for their phones.

Both are redistribution of wealth. Both are wrong.


10 posted on 10/10/2012 8:04:55 AM PDT by I want the USA back
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To: SeekAndFind

Cost of cell phones is not going down. They are just changing the paradigm. I used to pay $100 a year and now I pay $35 a month, $70 for a data plan.

Tuition is going up because people are willing to pay it.


11 posted on 10/10/2012 8:04:56 AM PDT by AppyPappy (If you really want to annoy someone, point out something obvious that they are trying hard to ignore)
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To: SeekAndFind

You can’t get a degree from an cell phone, but a motivated person could probably get an education.


12 posted on 10/10/2012 8:04:59 AM PDT by Mr Ramsbotham (Laws against sodomy are honored in the breech.)
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To: AppyPappy

RE: Tuition is going up because people are willing to pay it.

Reminds me of a Real estate agent in 2004 who told me that housing prices are going up because people are willing to pay for it.

I see some troubling parallels here ( especially when lots of college kids are graduating with humongous tuition debt and not finding jobs whose salaries can pay it down).


13 posted on 10/10/2012 8:19:33 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

“( especially when lots of college kids are graduating with humongous tuition debt and not finding jobs whose salaries can pay it down).”

Largely a lack of trying to get tuition help (grants, scholarships) and not caring how much it costs. It is similar to the ARM mortgage phenomena.


14 posted on 10/10/2012 8:26:19 AM PDT by AppyPappy (If you really want to annoy someone, point out something obvious that they are trying hard to ignore)
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To: AppyPappy

Well, not exactly. It’s all about public employee contracts and benefits, and affirmative action. Someone has to pay for those “disadvantaged” students, who are on full scholarship, including spending money. Yeah, that’s right, some of them get a better deal than the foot ball players, full tuition, room and board, books and a thousand dollars spending money, a trimester at the University of WA.

In WA, the governor shifted the responsibility for raising tuition to the colleges and universities, to insulate the elected officials from the voter fall out. So, the young idiots keep voting for Democrats, and focus their wrath on the college administrators.


15 posted on 10/10/2012 8:33:35 AM PDT by Eva (Obama and Hillary lied, Americans died.)
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To: AppyPappy

“Largely a lack of trying to get tuition help (grants, scholarships) and not caring how much it costs. It is similar to the ARM mortgage phenomena.”

Ummm, no! In my experience with my own college kids it’s not a lack of attempting to get ‘help’, it’s a matter of where that help goes! Which is NOT to the white kids.

Applied for every dang grant/scholarship out there and nada.

It’s damn pathetic and maddening. Can’t wait till they are done! Imagine, paying to have dopey professors push their filth, and all the work it takes to ‘detox’ them during the random phone calls and time at home. It’s exhausting!

Oh, and just to give clarity, alot of the scholarship monies available just two years ago has now gone to propping up the athletic programs and some weird funky ‘art’ erected around campus. It’s a sick sick game.


16 posted on 10/10/2012 8:41:50 AM PDT by AllAmericanGirl44 (Fluck this adminstration of misfits.)
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To: SeekAndFind

It’s the “big education” cycle:

-Govt makes unlimited low cost loans available to students

-Colleges raise prices to absorb funds

-Colleges pay profs and admins massive salaries

-Profs and admins donate to Democrats

(and repeat)


17 posted on 10/10/2012 8:47:12 AM PDT by nascarnation (Defeat Baraq 2012. Deport Baraq 2013)
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To: I want the USA back
Tuition is high because it’s high only for rich White kids who can pay full tuition. It’s really not high for downtrodden, underpriveleged, have-nots. Cell phones are low because they are low-priced, and the cost is spread over all the people who pay for their phones. Both are redistribution of wealth. Both are wrong.

Similarly, health care costs are high for the people who pay for them, and zero for the people who don't, and the hospitals have to recoup their costs from the people who pay.

18 posted on 10/10/2012 8:47:28 AM PDT by PapaBear3625 (Charlie Daniels - Payback Time http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWwTJj_nosI)
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To: wastedyears

Some of us still think music sounds better on vinyl.


19 posted on 10/10/2012 8:47:51 AM PDT by Emperor Palpatine ("On the ascent of Olympus, what's a botched bar or two?" -Artur Schnabel)
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To: SeekAndFind

It’s not sensible to compare the price changes of products to the price changes of services. For products, you can find cheaper materials, parts, more efficient manufacturing and distribution, but for services, at the end of the day, you still have to pay enough to convince another human being to get off their duff and do what you want. The tuitions are inflated, but this is not the right way to highlight that.


20 posted on 10/10/2012 8:48:20 AM PDT by Boogieman
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To: SeekAndFind

the people thay hire to roast students brains into useless mush keep getting higher!!!


21 posted on 10/10/2012 9:00:58 AM PDT by dalereed
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To: SeekAndFind

If one removes the few percent of scientist/engineers from our colleges, and also removes the even fewer percent of lib arts profs who can do something else besides write and teach incoherent drivel, we are left with a vast hoard of talentless do-nothings who could not hold a position at McDs.

These tenured nothings consume vast quantities of your money...and pee it away.

Get rid of tenure, get rid of 90% of university departments, and watch what happens to costs.


22 posted on 10/10/2012 9:10:08 AM PDT by Da Coyote
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To: SeekAndFind

The main reason for tuition increases was government intervention. When politicians tried to outspend one another on higher education and increased the availability of student loans the costs shot through the roof. The quality and value of that education decreased.

John Stossel did an excellent show about this and I would recommend it if you could find it on youtube.


23 posted on 10/10/2012 9:14:41 AM PDT by volunbeer (We must embrace austerity or austerity will embrace us)
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To: chopperman

Yep, wgu.edu


24 posted on 10/10/2012 10:18:38 AM PDT by SeaHawkFan
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To: AllAmericanGirl44

My club gives a $2500 scholarship every year and I don’t think race is even on the form. It’s more a matter of too many people chasing scholarships.


25 posted on 10/10/2012 12:04:08 PM PDT by AppyPappy (If you really want to annoy someone, point out something obvious that they are trying hard to ignore)
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To: SeekAndFind
It is not a fair analogy. There is not education equivalent to Moore's Law.
That said, the price of education should not go up more than twice the rate of inflation.
26 posted on 10/10/2012 2:34:15 PM PDT by rmlew ("Mosques are our barracks, minarets our bayonets, domes our helmets, the believers our soldiers.")
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