Phi Beta Cons

Give That Bureaucrat a Raise!

The rich get richer at Arizona and Arizona State, according to Robby Soave and Mark Flatten:

Files obtained under Arizona’s public records law revealed numerous raises of $50,000 or more over the last three years.

Among ASU employees who were already making $150,000, one in three has received a pay raise since 2007, university records show. …

For Dr. Matthew Ladner, vice president of research at the Goldwater Institute, administrative bloat is a symptom of the inability of Arizona’s public universities to control their spending—and at a time when many private citizens are making do with less. He said the universities have continued to spend well beyond their means in spite of the recession, which wiped out a third of the state’s revenue, according to state fiscal data.

“The universities have largely been shielded from the effects of the downturn, and they are spending more now than they’ve ever spent,” Ladner said.

Ladner stressed that university employees who accepted raises hadn’t done anything wrong, and they may have been deserved. But he questioned whether such policies should continue in light of the cost to Arizona’s private sector, which has lost 300,000 jobs since 2007. The universities’ priorities, he argued, don’t reflect the reality of an Arizona with a greatly diminished workforce and yearly budget deficits in the billions of dollars.

“They’re handing out a great deal of taxpayer money,” Ladner said. “Right now, this is taxpayer money we can’t afford to keep paying.”

The universities have increased the number of employees making at least $150,000 in each of the last three years, and employees within this group continue to see significant raises related to promotions and retentions, according to records obtained by the Goldwater Institute.

John J. Miller — John J. Miller is the national correspondent for National Review and the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. His new book is Reading Around: Journalism on Authors, Artists, and Ideas.

Most Popular

White House

John Bolton as National Security Adviser

All his critics call him a neo-con, but he’s a hard-headed realist. The Twitter and cable-TV mob is saying he’s a Fox News analyst, as if that were the sum total of what he’s about, when, of course, he has extensive diplomatic and governmental experience. He is shrewd, knowledgeable, and always speaks his ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Do Not Congratulate

Do you want some good news out of the gargantuan budget bill now making its way through Congress? Buried among the mountains of pork and assorted unmentionables, there is one random provision I really like. It requires the Congressional Research Service -- which does a huge amount of very valuable policy research ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Top Trump Attorney Resigns

John Dowd, the lead attorney representing President Donald Trump in the special-counsel investigation, resigned Thursday, two sources briefed on the matter told the New York Times. [jwplayer PCWBu1GF-wKJ9CRQU] Dowd, who began leading Trump's legal team last summer, has repeatedly floated the idea of ... Read More

Thursday Links

It's William Shatner's birthday: Here he is in 1978 'singing' Rocket Man, plus a Star Trek/Monty Python mashup. Sold: Isaac Newton’s Notes on the Philosopher’s Stone. It was a long time before anyone admitted that he was interested in alchemy. High-tech forgery: Computer-generated 'Rembrandt' ... Read More

Korea: A Deadly Question

Olympic Games often have political significance, as in 1936 and as in the Olympics just past -- the Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Those Games seemed as much political as athletic. I talk about this with Michael Breen on my latest Q&A. Breen is one of our best Korea-watchers, one of our soundest ... Read More
Film & TV

Superannuated ‘Idol’

In the pilot episode of Fox’s American Idol, Simon Cowell defined the show’s thesis: “We are going to tell people who cannot sing and have no talent that they have no talent. And that never makes you popular.” The show’s producers and its three judges -- Cowell, Paula Abdul, and Randy Jackson -- kept ... Read More