Political and Personal Finance, And, What Does The Election Mean For Education?

All anyone is focused on the first part of this week is tomorrow’s election, who will win, lose, and what that means.

The markets think the Republicans are done for in the House and are pretty bearish:

Price for Republican Party 2006 Mid Term Election Control at TradeSports.com

But still have a chance in the Senate and are somewhat bullish, though with as many races as tight as they are I don’t see it.

Price for Republican Party 2006 Mid Term Election Control at TradeSports.com

All that data is from Ireland-based Tradesports.com, where you can also follow and buy shares of Senate, Gubernatorial, and competitive House race futures.

Though overall the stakes are high in this election, for education less so. That’s because on the big issue of the day — No Child Left Behind — regardless of who the players are, a general consensus exists. In the House a Chairman Miller will provide more oversight of the Department of Education –something sorely needed — but he isn’t going to oversee an evisceration of No Child Left Behind. In the Senate Kennedy is pretty vested in the law as well and thus far seems more interested in new directions than refighting the old battles. In fact, I think we’ll see more attention to higher ed than K-12 over the next two years because it’s (a) more salient for swing voters* and (b) once you move past the student loan issues and Republican water-carrying for the student loan industry there is actually a fair degree of consensus on some of the policy issues.

*One reason it’s salient is that the financial services industries have everyone scared to death on college costs. Sure, they’re rising, and sure, saving is a very good idea, but these astronomical projects of college costs in 15 or 20 years are simply not politically tenable. Complete aside: If I were an analyst of personal finance issues I’d be interested in some data on the extent to which people are unwisely saving for college at the expense of personal retirement based on these projections.

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