Jane Sanders’ academic utopia: A planned future that never came

Vermont's tiny Burlington College goes down the tubes, a casualty of Jane Sanders' grand, unaffordable vision. Students and faculty "feel the Bern."

Jane and husband Bernie Sanders. Campaign image.

WASHINGTON, May 18, 2016 — If you happen to land on Burlington College’s official website, you’ll see it offering an exciting “Travel+Learn” program for students interested in exploring “the development of Cuban agro-ecology and its innovative food systems,” and learning the “parallels and differences in the Cuban and Vermont food systems.”

One obvious distinction, of course, is that America – the “land of plenty” – has an overabundance of food at extremely reasonable prices. Food in socialist paradises like Cuba and Venezuela, however, is rationed.

Rationing is the mechanism socialist systems employ to compensate for the inability of state planners to, well, plan. It stems from “scientific” socialism’s absurd belief in determinism, based on the scientific explorations of Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov.

In 1919, Pavlov had an important visitor to his laboratory, none other than founding Soviet dictator Vladimir Lenin. “I want the masses of Russia to follow a communistic pattern of thinking and reacting,” said Lenin.

“Do you mean that you would like to standardize the population of Russia? Make them all behave in the same way?” asked the incredulous Pavlov.

“Exactly,” said Lenin, “Man can be corrected. Man can be made what we want him to be.”

Economic philosopher Friedrich Hayek said the chief difference between socialism and free-market capitalism is that socialist planners “appear clearly to know how they want to achieve” a particular result, “while the free world has only its past achievements to show, being by its very nature unable to offer any detailed ‘plan’ for further growth.”

In other words, socialism’s profound failing is its inability to make good on its planned future. One that time and time again fails to materialize.

History, especially American history, shows that free people, working in cooperation with one another, produce a brighter, more prosperous future with little or no regard to planning.


And that brings us back to Burlington College.

Burlington College President Carol Moore has announced that Burlington College will close its doors after 44 years, citing the institution’s “crushing weight of debt.”

“Burlington College grew into a small, regionally accredited liberal arts college,” reports the Burlington Free Press, “but financial strain and academic probation created by an ambitious but ill-fated expansion under then-President Jane Sanders onto a new campus on prime waterfront land led to the school’s demise.”

And yes, Jane Sanders is the wife of Democratic presidential candidate and proud democratic socialist Bernie “feel the Bern” Sanders.

Burlington’s dean of operations, Caralee Holm, told the Free Press that Mrs. Sanders’ “vision was enrollment would grow, which it did, but not at the level that would have allowed us to manage the financial debt we had incurred. So, here we are.”

The newspaper said Holm and Moore “declined to criticize [Jane] Sanders,” with the Sanders’ campaign refusing “a request for comment.”

And here’s the moral to this sordid story: Whether you’re a daffy, leftist college president like Jane Sanders, who borrowed large sums of other people’s money for land speculation for growing “projected enrollment,” or a floundering socialist state planner in collapsing and impoverished Cuba or Venezuela, being a bumbling, incompetent fool whose plans for the future fail to materialize means never, ever having to say you’re sorry.

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