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Trump U a problem? So is every other college and university

To The Daily Sun,

Trump is being vilified in the headlines for scamming people at his namesake university. There is little doubt Trump University tuitions were exchanged for anything of real value. But if we are going to hang Trump "out to dry" for ripping off the public, then higher education in its broadest definition has to be held accountable to the same gold standard Trump is being held to where hugs sums of money are exchanged for what passes as higher "education."
The statistics emanating from higher education are beyond deplorable. Dropout rates are horrific today, even with peoples "own money" on the line. Who thinks getting a free education, where students have NO SKIN of their own in the game are going to improve that outcome? Sky-high drop out rates should not surprise anyone. An absolutely astounding 75 percent of students nationally applying for community college require remedial reading and math classes to enter while fewer than 10 percent of those graduate on time.
The ratio of debt to inability to pay is unknown. Who thinks GOVERNMENT LURING even LOWER QUALITY students into college to take advantage of FREE is going to improve what already is incredible failure by any definition. Did luring ever larger numbers of people into welfare reduce the number of poor America? Did luring poorly qualified people to take out artificially low priced GOVERNMENT FUNDED mortgages benefit anyone? Has inducing people into government subsidized Obama care stopped the disaster of run away health care costs in America? The answer to all three questions is, NOPE!
The real question that needs to be answered (and colleges don't want to answer it for self interest reasons) is what is the percentage of students in college who deserve to be there, but are struggling financially versus the percentage there who are there who shouldn't be there based on academic qualifications who are borrowing recklessly to be there.
When students drop out at high rates, whether on their dime or taxpayer's, the EARNINGS BENEFIT plummets or disappears altogether. Only 54 percent of students graduate from all four-year colleges within SIX years. EVEN WORSE, at four-year colleges with open enrollment, only 33 percent of students graduate in six years. These outcomes are beyond FAILURE and the emotional and economic damage to families is beyond reprehensible.
What we have is a union created and MAINTAINED productivity crisis on campus which causes tuitions to rise uncontrollably in to perpetuity, and we have a student academic quality crisis of those entering college. Colleges and universities REFUSE steadfastly to address either of those crises because the existence of both cements the current and future existence of those colleges. Working much more productively and raising higher academic quality for entrance would put thousands of colleges OUT OF BUSINESS, and of course cut student debt crisis in the hundreds of billions. Billions those colleges NEED to STAY IN BUSINESS. If Trump university should never have been in business then we have to make the same hard analysis of every other college and university. Many of which fail their mission exactly the same way Trump University did. Millions paying an incredibly INFLATED PRICE for a product of highly dubious value. There are thousands of Trump Universities operating under other names that produce the same, failed outcomes while trading huge sums of money, BORROWED for something it turns out has little value to so many millions of people.
Tony Boutin

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Mr. Trump is questioning whether anohter is qualified?

To The Daily Sun

"She (former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton) even appointed to the National Security Board someone with no national security experience. Instead, he (securities trader Rajiv Fernando) was a donor, a recent donor to Hillary Clinton's campaign and also gave as much as $250,000 to his foundation," presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump said Friday. "They all looked, they said 'Where did this guy come from?' He made a contribution of $250,000 all of a sudden he's on this very important, vital board. This position dealt with tactical nuclear weapons and had top secret clearance and he knew nothing about it."
That's the quote — right from the horse's mouth, that of Mr. Donald J. Trump. I heard it with my own ears. Here are my conclusions, which are certainly subject to criticism as being determined on the basis of a "liberal" or "conservative" analysis. But I think, really, my thought process is pure and objective, and fact based, near as I can tell. Some will think not, but here goes. I hope it is helpful; I think it is correct.

The President of the United States is constitutionally responsible for the conduct of American foreign policy. The president relies upon the secretary of state and the diplomatic corps to assist in this regard, and represent the United States at postings around the world. Key among these positions are our ambassadors, many of whom are drawn from career diplomats — professionals who've made their career in the Department of State.

Ambassadors may also be so-called "political appointees," men and women who may or may not have any actual experience or training in foreign affairs, but who're rewarded with ambassadorships by the president based upon other considerations — not the least of which is political support, including financial contributions to the president's election campaign. This is true, regardless of political affiliation. The practice of appointing people as ambassadors of the United States based upon politics — and not practical experience and training — is as common as finding loaves of bread at the supermarket. It has been done this way since the founding of the nation.

It is highly likely — a certainty, in fact — that ambassadors will interact with other operatives from our national security apparatus, including most notably agents of the CIA, who're working closely with embassy diplomatic personnel for security and intelligence gathering purposes. As seen in Kabul in 1979, and Benghazi more recently, the job of an ambassador involves more than attending black-tie dinners and cultural affairs; Ambassadors Rudolph Dubs and Chris Stevens sacrificed their lives in the line of duty. More than ever, our diplomatic personnel — including politically appointed ambassadors with no foreign affairs, intelligence or national security training or experience, and who may have never even worked a single day in government — function in positions that are fraught with danger. Such is the risk ambassadors take, whether a skilled diplomat, or a private citizen who made a significant campaign contribution but is a neophyte in government service.

What's my first conclusion, one might ask. It is simply, that hundreds — if not thousands — of men and women with absolutely no training or experience in foreign affairs, national security or intelligence, have served as American diplomats in positions of far greater consequence than this gentleman, Rajiv Fernandez, was to undertake as a member of a State Department advisory committee — and, as nearly as I can tell, the practice of political appointment of unskilled, untested and largely unqualified people to serve our nation abroad has been ongoing without complaint for centuries, unless there is a political agenda to be served (as I believe is the case presently with Mr. Trump and the GOP, but is not limited to members of their party).

That's my sense of it mainly, but also that to say that anyone who is truly concerned over this man Fernando's appointment, ought be frantic over the extent to which individuals with absolutely no "national security experience" populate the Department of State at the highest possible levels, put there by politicians with a debt to pay.

I have a second conclusion, and it is one which is likely to raise the hackles of some. I offer it not as persuasive argument or a "gotcha" partisan attack on Mr. Trump (which is an impossibility, I suppose, given Mr. Trump and I are members of the same political party). Thankfully, it won't be expressed with the same longwindedness as the foregoing.

It is, simply, that if Mr. Trump questions the qualifications of Mr. Fernando to serve as a member of this State Department Advisory Committee, then it would logically follow that someone equally unskilled and untrained in foreign affairs, without a shred of national security experience, no military service, and no credentials whatsoever in the field of intelligence, would be dismally unqualified to be President of the United States, our nation's Commander in Chief. With apologies for my intellectual shortcomings, I'm unable to distinguish the relative merits of Mr. Fernando's lack of qualifications to be a member of a State Department committee, and those of Mr. Trump to serve as president — with Trump hoping to serve not in an advisory capacity, but rather as the person with his finger actually on the nuclear button. Likewise, lest it be thought that this is an attack on the GOP's presumptive nominee for president, it occurs to me that the vast majority of members of the House and Senate also have limited, or no, qualifications that would justify their participation in the most important decisions of our national security.

Bottom line, it strikes me as ludicrously illogical to label Mr. Fernando's appointment inappropriate and "unethical" (as Mr. Trump and others have suggested), without also finding many political appointees in the State Department and similarly situated congressional representatives, woefully ill equipped to handle their duties with the necessary gravitas to ensure our nation's security. And, maybe that's the problem.

Bruce Van Derven

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