Distributing blame in a broken federal system

“The federal government had delegated regulation of private vocational colleges to state governments.”

– Margaret Simons in “Exodus”, on the decline of the international student industry, The Monthly, November 2010

The feds do find constitutional tricks to control things over which, like education, they have no constitutional authority. But private vocational colleges have been particularly tricky as many of them don’t take the poison of Commonwealth cash. The feds cannot ‘delegate’ powers they do not have.

Comments like this one by Margaret Simons highlight one drawback of taking on all problems and using the states as sub-contractors. The Commonwealth gets blamed for things like dodgy colleges that are not its fault – or at least not beyond giving shonks an incentive to set up colleges as migration rackets.

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