Is the college application scandal evidence of an erosion of the moral compass of America? Not really, but there are many other larger and more important activities that could lead one to believe that America’s ethical standards are crumbling.
The outrageous and brazen actions taken by wealthy parents to assure their children’s acceptance at elite schools has been branded by the press, social media, politicians and scholars as an egregious form of behavior. But, how many people have actually been harmed by bribes and felonious activities? The answer is not many.
To date, 50 incidents have been documented although more are expected. Therefore 50 deserving students were denied a coveted acceptance to a college. Even if the number increases tenfold, the scandal is minute by any standard given that 2 million new freshmen enter college each year.
Of course the individuals who perpetrated the scam including professional college advisors, college admissions officers, sports coaches and even university presidents are going to pay a huge price. Many will be indicted and lose their jobs for taking bribes, forging documents and/or turning a blind eye.
It’s clear that the American public has been provoked by the press. They are salivating over the fate of the parent offenders. It’s tabloid news at its worst. Unfortunately, too many Americans love to read about the untoward and felonious acts of movie stars and wealthy people. You can be sure this highly charged atmosphere is going to have a meaningful impact on the wealthy, colleges and students in the future.
For sure liberals in Congress will indict the wealthy 1% for the measly, stupid and illegal acts by the aforementioned parents. They will say that the behavior of a few is a result of the entitlements and advantages bestowed upon the rich. It’s likely that perspectives relating to income inequality and taxation will be used to justify efforts to punish the group.
Further, efforts by universities and colleges to clean up this public relations disaster will be under a microscope.
Many educational institutions need to encourage big donors to give more to offset higher operating costs. Unfortunately critics of this practice only focus on the significant endowments at the most elite schools. Not every college has a billion dollars in a bank account.
The solicitation of large gifts will surely be a target of liberal lawmakers. They may try to end or decrease the deductibility of donations to colleges and even rescind tax exemptions affiliated with interest income generated by endowments. These actions could exacerbate the financial problems at smaller “non-elite” schools.
Liberals should appreciate that large donors subsidize scholarships given to needy students and even to middle class enrollees. Making it less attractive to donate to higher education would be tragic.
The moral compass of Americans should not be measured by the college scandal. It is but a microcosm of the real problems facing the country.
The liberal press is greatly responsible for diverting focus from more important issues to a scandal involving 50 students for the sake of readership, ratings and sensationalism.
It would be more productive if the press would look at the severe damage caused by cheating in other areas. One of the most obvious activities that greatly diminish our country is tax evasion.
Regarding tax evasion, the federal government loses more than $400 billion each year because of cheating. It occurs in many forms including failure to report income, phony deductions, failure to report tips and gifts, paying people off the books and hiding gambling earnings.
The press should spend more time investigating these types of misdemeanors and felonies. The payoff of uncovering cheating could be monumental.