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Malcolm Ruthven

University of California Hastings College of the Law (my alma mater) has raised their total tuition and fees for 2010-2011 to $39,085 (resident) and $50,310 (non-resident). The tuition alone has increased from a 1988 level of $1,343 (resident) and $5,633 (non-resident) to the 2010-2011 amounts of $36,000 and $47,225.

Hastings explains the increase from 1900 to today by "In 1990, 80% of our academic budget was provided by the state. Today 27% of our budget is comprised of state support. The drastic cuts in state support have hurt us, and increases in tuition have been absolutely essential."

http://tinyurl.com/yfr3gpd
http://tinyurl.com/ac3799

Chuck Newton

As always, I appreciate you reading my blog, your comments and for participating in the discussion.

I will agree with Hastings that the recent economic crises in California and the loss of nearing all of its state funding this year have contributed to the increase in tuition. However, I think the remaining argument is flawed. This argument prevails in Texas as well. However, if you will look at the state's funding of its public law schools (again, except for this year), its funding of the universities in questions have increased in dollar amounts, at least to the cost of inflation. The problem is that law school tuition (again, except for this year) has more than outstripped the additional money being provided to it. So, when Hastings, and others, state that in 1990 80% of its budget was provided by the state and only 27% is provided now, that is the fault of the law school allowing its budget to balloon for no obvious reason in these years, and not as a result of a lack of increased funding by the state.

Now, some of this might also be the allocation of dollars by the university to the law school. But, I think it is fair to say that with the exception of this year in California, the issue is not that state funding is not keeping up as much as it is that law school budgets have become increasingly irresponsible.

ms

Anytime the state "subsidizes", or over regulates, this will be the result. The free market no longer controls the price, therefore the price has nothing to do with reality.


Just like Mr. Newton likes it.

Chuck Newton

I do not know how much I like regulation, but that statement just does not comport with the facts. First, the tuition at private law schools, which have increased in number, has been increasing steadily as well. Second, the state law schools started increasing when the states acted to deregulate them and the tuition they could charge. That is certainly true for Texas. Just like the deregulation of insurance, derivatives, electricity, water, and other markets have led not to better prices and competition but to manipulation an irresponsible conduct. Fiscal responsibility is all about reasonable regulation. It is the process of some adults making sure people do not spend money in vain and in irresponsible ways. As we can see with the consumer markets that are unregulated. Bad decisions are continuously made in terms of credit card spending, for example. All companies, law schools, and those that deal with the government all want a lack of regulation because they want to manipulate you and me and the market (not comply with true free market) so as to get the most money from us, and not save us money. They do not want anybody looking over their shoulder occasionally to make sure they are being fiscally responsible. And, the same is true for the public law schools. So, they have pushed the legislatures not to do this. It is fine to say the state should not subsidize education and that anybody that cannot afford it will just have to let their children be ignorant and impoverished the rest of their lives. But, then why am I subsidizing the roads you drive on, or the police to keep you safe, or the emergency rooms for when you might have a catastrophic injury. I guess if you do not have the money on you when you arrive in the emergency room, then care should be denied and the trauma not treated. Government ultimately is only about making our lives better -- as a group -- and to help us remain a civil society. If not that, then some propose anarchy. I don't. I do believe in fiscal responsibility. And, in that the government has a legitimate job to make sure its institutions are not wasting money and passing it on its bad decisions to those that cannot afford it.

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