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During my four years at UF, I’ve learned that if you find a passion, learn how to fail and surround yourself with the best people, you will set yourself up for an unforgettable college journey that will set you up for success in life.
Instead of my usual conservative ranting about taxes and regulation, I have decided to write my final two columns on what I’ve learned here at UF.
I have great news for everyone who is graduating and can’t find a job. North Dakota is on a hiring spree and needs people fast.
I know many of you are disappointed you did not win the $640 million Mega Millions jackpot over the weekend. Dreams of never working again, living the high life and naming UF after yourself are gone forever.
Today, the Supreme Court will begin to hear arguments for the most significant case since the likes of Gideon v. Wainwright, Brown v. Board of Education and Miranda v. Arizona in the battle over Obama’s health care reform.
Like many of you who arrived at UF in the fall of 2008 or before, I’ve noticed a giant increase in the cost of attendance. Though tuition is cited as the reason, rising fees are also to blame for the fast-disappearing refunds from Bright Futures that used to be commonplace.
As we get closer to graduation, more of us are looking to make the kind of money we’ve never seen in our lives at new jobs. Friends all around me are getting the dreaded boot from their parents.
After the release of President Obama’s budget a few weeks ago, I was struck at the massiveness of federal spending.
In my four years here at UF, I've gotten to see a lot of Student Government candidates come and go. The ritual is always the same. Some iteration of a Greek-backed party runs against an eclectic group of students seeking to break "the system" and the way certain organizations dominate student politics.
What a week to be a Catholic.
Is there anything UF could do to raise funds for higher education in Florida during this tough-budget environment? The go-to answers are to raise tuition, raise new taxes or get some rich people to donate money, but there is an answer that might not be as obvious: Use the fees charged to UF's endowment fund.
At the risk of sounding like I don't care about poor people (when in fact those who would redistribute income would do more long-term damage than any other policy), the pictures currently painted in the media and by speakers at university campuses are inaccurate. Popular opinion about poverty is consistently warped by preconceptions with little understanding of the statistics behind it.
Friday night at the Graham Center for Public Policy, talk show host Tavis Smiley and Princeton academic Cornel West passionately advocated for the poor and disenfranchised. I have no question as to the genuine sincerity of their compassion for the impoverished.
I hope you all enjoyed the break as much as I did. While we were away, it looks like the horse race for the Republican presidential nomination got even more unusual with the out-of-nowhere surge of Rick Santorum and the evaporation of the previously prominent Newt Gingrich. What interests me the most, however, is the level of support Ron Paul is getting for the White House and what it says about our generation.
I am tired of a lack of personal responsibility in America. It is never my fault. It's always the person standing next to me. There are thousands of people around the world angry at the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans, saying everyone's troubles will be solved if we just tax them more and spread the wealth around. The 99 percent does more to keep itself stuck in that category than the 1 percent ever could. Instead of focusing attention on how much better (you think) our lives would be if only we could hit Billy Donovan and Will Muschamp with 90-percent tax rates, we should focus instead on what we can do with personal finance and consumer decisions that empower us, the 99 percent.
The most dangerous part of the increased cost of attendance at UF is coming from fees that are carelessly foisted on the Student Body and even more carelessly spent on our behalf. There is talk that our fees should go to a renovated and expanded Reitz Union. This talk must end before it begins again.
We are often implored to look local after graduation to find employment. Gainesville has an entrepreneurial culture and is trying to become a center for start-ups, especially in the tech industry. Unfortunately, the policies of the local government will be sure to stunt Gainesville's growth for the foreseeable future. Gainesville is obsessed with collecting large tax revenues, regulating everything and taking profits from brick-and-mortar businesses to give to imaginary ones.
After talking to people in my classes, I find that few know very much about something called a 401(k). How we use it will determine who among us are millionaires at retirement and who will live in poverty. Our grandparents got pensions and worked for the same employer for 30 years. We will be given the option to use one of the most powerful financial tools ever created for retirement, but some will succeed wildly and some will fail miserably. When you go out and get a job after graduation, funding a 401(k) should be near the top of your priority list.
Gov. Rick Scott clearly touched a nerve a few weeks ago when he bashed anthropology majors, saying he thought we had too many. The local responses were furious. While I disagree with his implied premise that a liberal arts education is not as valuable as a STEM education, we really do have too many anthropology majors.
When I was applying to college, I was fortunate enough to have plenty of options. I couldn't wait to see what financial aid I would be able to get as that would decide where I went. Once the packages started rolling in, I saw that even though my family's income was low, all I qualified for was lots of student loans as my parents were frugal savers.