Rising tuition costs are a problem at institutions of higher learning around the country. When it is more expensive to go to college, fewer people can afford it. Various strategies have been tried to fix this problem, but the latest hits close to home for me. This week, South Carolina governor Mark Sanford proposed strict new spending rules for public colleges. From the Charleston Post and Courier article:
“The state’s Budget and Control Board could decide this week whether to place a moratorium on new building projects on public college and university campuses as a way to reduce the cost of tuition.”
Statewide, school administrators have greeted this announcement with strong resistance. Fundamentally, it all comes down to different philosophies of government. Conservatives like Mark Sanford support lower taxes and lower spending, while liberals favor a “tax and spend” strategy. Which is more appropriate for state-funded colleges?
I recently heard an excellent quote about conservation issues. The source of this quote is, of all people, my new home state’s embattled Governor. Mark Sanford, prior to his “hiking the Appalachian Trail” scandal, was a well-respected small government conservative. During a speech about his views, he stated that “the issue of environmental conservation sits squarely on the battle line between government and liberty.”
I really believe that, and too few other environmentalists seem to agree. Although we usually have the best of intentions, every time we make a new conservation policy, the government is telling citizens that they can’t do something. Every time the government tells citizens that we can’t do something, we all lose a little freedom.
I’m certainly not advocating that we stop making new policies to protect the environment. All I’m saying is that it would be nice if more people recognized the human impact of some of these policies instead of demonizing people like fisherman and developers.