Sunday, November 27, 2005

LANL: UT bid to include tuition discount

By ANDY LENDERMAN | The New Mexican
November 27, 2005

Los Alamos National Laboratory employees could send their children to University of Texas schools at a discounted tuition rate if that school is successful in its effort to take over management of the lab.

A similar program is already in place for employees at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, which has an agreement with the University of Texas system.

Sandia employees pay in-state tuition rates for their children attending UT schools. For example, a full-time, undergraduate business student at the University of Texas at Austin would pay $3,856 for the spring 2006 semester. Normally, an out-of-state resident would pay $8,680.


Full Story

Like many other aspects of UC management of LANL I have long wondered why LANL kids should get "in state" tuition at UC. It is a real advantage for LANL employees of course, but how about the California taxpayers?

Like most state systems the UC tuition is heavily subsidized by the taxpayers. Entrance to UC, especially to the better campuses, is very competitive. So, we have a picture of California taxpayers subsidizing LANL kids who displace California kids at UC. Why are they willing to do this? Because they never talk about it?

As UC runs LANL as a "no loss, no gain" deal, either there is a gain which offsets the "loss" of having LANL kids attend UC, or they are stupid. Like many aspects of the LANL contract, this one deserves examination and discussion.
Notice that the UT system is about 2/3rds the cost of the UC system, for both in- and out-of-state tuitions. But the amount INVESTED by California in UC is TWICE that of UT per student. (Both are on the order of 200,000 students, but UC spends $20 billion, while UT spends $10 billion.) Either you have to admit that UC is relatively a bargain, or else you have to argue that UT should cut its proposed "subsidy" of students of LANL parents by 1/3rd. Do the math, folks; we are getting scr*wed.

But the whole damn Neocon idea is a scr*wjob.

The ultimate scr*wjob may come later, when the DOE-controlled Los Alamos
LLC pension faces possible benefit reductions, regardless of the DOE's
sweet promise of "substantially equivalent" benefits. Let's hope we never
face a situation like the engineers at Motorola in the article below.

If politicians and pollsters are wondering why the American public now
seems mad as hell at the party in power, then look no further than this
article. Those at the top are being allowed to ream out the middle class
with a vengeance these days.


Are pension promises a thing of the past? (MSNBC Business)
-- More companies now finding ways to cut pensions for employees --
"Frank" and others like him are taking a reaming (with no lube) to be sure.

"They just basically stole pensions from people, period," [Frank]says. “They stole money from people." If they stole the money it would have been illegal now, wouldn't it?

Did no one see this coming many years ago? D'oh! Read the other articles they have under "Pension Tension".

A plausible prediction is that over the next decade or two, the only workers who will have defined benefit pension plans are government employees.

If you really want some dire predictions, from people that appear fairly rational, check out the "Fiscal Hurricane" article:

As far as complaining about LANL getting screwed, well that's an exercise in futility and self-pity. I'm sure the workers at GM, Motorola, Delta, Delphi, etc., etc., are really spending a lot of psychic energy feeling bad for LANL having to maybe send their kids to UT, which is quite the screw job. Just like we at LANL felt bad for them over the past decade. Ooops, LANL never even makes the papers where they live, as my parents remind me. My old pals in the So. Cal. defense industry do not even recall seeing an article about the changes happening at LANL.

Get f*ing real. I won't be coming to you for advice if you think anybody gives a sh*t except those of us that work here (and politicians trying to play the situation). For all the smart people we claim to have at LANL, some strike me as quite naive.

Hey, who knows, it seems like now might be the time for people start to start thinking about what they plan to do? Might I suggest that one plan on getting screwed and go from there. If we don't, then we're better off than most.
Lucky, I have to honest - I really don't worry about the taxpayers in CA. At least they showed they had a pain threshold when they passed Prop 13 back in the 70s. Yes, I even went to school, worked and paid taxes there.
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