Sunday, March 22, 2009

Lessons Wall Street Could Learn from Hillsdale College

Education should be an on going process. If a person becomes too old to learn, they are simply too old. Wall Street institutions that lined up for hand outs should have went back to college before they became wards of the federal government. They should have went to Hillsdale College.

Hillsdale College is a private institution in Michigan that is noted for its commitment to independent thinking, its love of country and for producing outstanding alumni. It also doesn't receive a single penny from either the federal or state governments. Not even financial aid from its students. It argues that this has been the secret of its independence.

In fact, the financial geniuses on Wall Street didn't even have to go back to school, they could have simply visited Hillsdale's website, which states that "In 1975, the federal government said that Hillsdale had to sign a form stating that we did not discriminate on the basis of sex. Hillsdale College had never discriminated on any basis, and had never accepted federal taxpayer subsidies of any sort, so the College felt no obligation to comply, fearing that doing so would open the door to additional federal mandates and control. Our trustees pledged two things: first, that the College would continue its long-standing policy of non-discrimination, and second, that it would not accept any encroachments on its independence. The case went to court, and Hillsdale College won a partial victory, but the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals did rule that Hillsdale College was an “indirect recipient” of federal funding because of participation in federal grant and loan programs. In 1984, Grove City College in Pennsylvania fought and lost a similar legal battle. The case then went to the Supreme Court, and in Grove City v. Bell, it was determined that if even one student received a federal grant or loan, it made that institution a direct recipient of federal funds. To avoid the hassles of government control, Hillsdale College announced its decision to end participation in all federal financial aid programs in 1985. In 2007, Hillsdale announced that it would no longer accept State of Michigan taxpayer subsidies earmarked for student financial aid, thereby making the College completely independent of taxpayer support" (emphasis added).

Rarely in history has the government funded any business or institution without ultimately controlling it. It is naive to think that a government that exercises so much control over businesses in the form of taxation, regulations and licensure laws without funding them would not expect more -- much more -- from companies they actually financed. Now they have dined at the government's table, businesses will be looking at spending millions in legal costs to extract itself from the monster it has wed (if that is even possible). The first legal battle will come quickly, with the government retroactively taxing AIG for bonuses it paid its employees.

The admonishment to "do your homework" isn't limited to businesses. All of us need to take a much more careful approach in dealing with this government today.
Kevin Price is Host of the Price of Business, the longest running show on CNN 650 (M-F at 11 am). Eric Bolling of Fox News and Fox Business and says that Price’s Blog “is very influential and moves the blogosphere.” Steve Moore of the Wall Street Journal calls Price the “best business talk show host in the country.” Find out why and visit his blog at www.BizPlusBlog.com and his show site at www.PriceofBusiness.com.

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home