Saving KP: Close the State Academies

[B]Economists: Efficiency through Economy of Scale[/B]
Right now, six separate Academies, six college presidents, six gaggles of various vice-presidents, and you get the image. All of that administration places a big burden on the cost of operating any college or university. Add to that six sets of engineering and deck simulators, the buildings and utilities to serve them, and you have a very expensive continuing state investment that’s difficult (if not impossible) to share among the other State Maritime Academies. Then there’s six STCW programs, complete with periodic USCG audits, the costs of travel and entertainment for all of the engineering and deck officer faculty to meet and discuss STCW, Maritime Administration, and the USCG—hey, and the cost of all of those faculty. Just think what other programs those states can offer, if those capital and operating expenses are liberated?

If the other posters are correct, dropping job prospects and employment opportunities, doesn’t argue in favor of all of these states producing graduates to compete for jobs one Academy can fulfill. In fact, what happens when one unemployable graduate can’t find a job, and sues his/her alma mater? Ask the Law Schools. That’s happening now.

[B]All Politics Are Local[/B]
State General Assemblies, Governors vote with their diminishing dollars to best meet the job market needs of their own states and respective labor markets. If prospects drop, their contributions drop and tuition and fees increase. When user fees increase, federal financial aid and loan program funding increases. And, what about the repayment rates of those graduates who can’t find employment? This is really a race to the bottom.

Maritime programs are both capital intensive and feature high operating costs, like health care. The difference: There is a continuing unmet demand for healthcare professionals. It won’t take too long for state legislators to realize that funding now spent on a declining US maritime industry can be better spent on healthcare we all need. Meanwhile, the federal government can, and should, continue its commitment at USMMA through good times and bad. The federal government can shrink or expand the Academy’s program to meet the changing maritime employment market. The states cannot do the same cost-effectively for their taxpayers.

And, if local power companies want mechanical engineers to staff their power generating facilities, then offer degree programs without the STCW competencies, the maritime simulators, the staffing and cost of the school ships, and all of the regimental “stuff.” Local power companies do not need yet another operating subsidy, especially one that is “billed” to the maritime industry.

[B]Maintenance of Effort (MOE)[/B]
The federal government isn’t stupid. If federal dollars going to Kings Point went to the states instead, each newly arriving federal dollar would be allow each state to withdraw one of their state dollars. That’s why other federal programs require state programs to maintain their MOE, if they want federal dollars as well. Unless, of course, you want to fund six separate state academies, all of their overhead, all of their capital investment all with federal dollars—not state dollars. Those “cost-effective” state programs would finally show their true cost, if all state funding disappeared, and the whole cost had to be funded by the federal taxpayers. [See economy of scale above.]

And what about those school ships? The state maritime academies are campaigning for hundreds of millions of dollars in federal investment for how many ships? Operating subsidies? And, now they’re sending their cadets to the commercial maritime fleet to gain sea time. How is that? [Again, see economy of scale.]

[B]Only the Federal Government Can Do This[/B]
If the recent maritime disasters happened off the coast of the U.S., we’d have the 1936 legislation all over again. U.S. citizens will demand safe, secure shipping, navigation, and engineering. In fact, if LNG shipping really took off in this country, the prospect of floating explosives—even without a disaster—would create the same sense of urgency. There are some things ONLY the federal government can do. Unfortunately, federal ownership causes everyone to forget that 50 state FAA agencies wouldn’t make any sense. Instead, we focus on the problems of the FAA, but we really couldn’t live without the FAA. Get over it.

Remember this: We are an ocean trading nation. Unless we expect coal, commodities, and foreign cars to arrive in individual size packages, shipped by Boeing and Airbus, and sold to us by Apple, big ships, the Panama Canal, harbors and ports, and safe passage are a fact of life. Jones Act? Okay, a disappointment, and right now everyone but the U.S. is in a superior position. Yet, every country has its own version of the Jones Act, and one day China can become a net importing country, and the U.S. will once again become a world exporter the way it once was. What comes around goes around. Ask Smith and Schumpeter. You and I may not see it, but it will happen.

[B]So, What Is This Really About?[/B]
It’s about poor stewardship by the DoT and the Maritime Administration. The relationship between the Academy and the Maritime Administration has always been troubled. The Maritime Administration lost its regulatory responsibilities, isn’t viewed by anyone in the maritime industry as an advocate, and without the RRF, it only has the Academy. All of that firepower and talent has no target, but the Academy. So “oversight” becomes “micromanagement.”

There is little doubt the Secretary wants the best for the Academy. Unfortunately, secretaries are surrounded by political hacks and flacks—the folks who drove the campaign car and did all of the unpaid advance work in support of their candidate. America has the government it deserves. Add that to the Maritime Administration—the little engine that could, and what Superintendent at the Academy stands a chance of success?

Finally, when they tell the tale of the KP Alums, you hear “rags to riches” stories funded by the federal taxpayer. Are these guys appropriately thankful and gracious for a gift from the taxpayers? No, they want to have a “say,” in what happens, but pony up the cash? Show their support and gratitude? With several noteworthy exceptions, they are a disappointment and a disgrace. Actually, that’s a libel to the terms “disappointment” and “disgrace.”
It takes a village to raise an idiot. Congratulations. We have the village.

[B]Blog Sites and Cowardice[/B]
My name is Howard Weiner. I’m the recently retired CIO of the Academy, and I wrote this posting. If you want me to respond to your thoughts, then tell us who you are! Blog sites, in general, and this one in particular, have become the last refuge for cowards. Each of whom is so brave, when they post less than civil (and recently racist) comments and hide their true identity. I had no idea the men and women of the US commercial maritime industry harbored so many cowards.

Kings Point is hindered by the simple fact that it is federal. The state schools are more efficient at producing mariners at less cost. KP cannot hire and fire procedures the way it needs out spend its budget the way it beefs because of federal oversight.

The federal money should go to scholarships for worthy students at state schools, not to the state schools directly.

1 Like

[QUOTE=ThatGuy;65250][B]… what happens when one unemployable graduate can’t find a job, and sues his/her alma mater? Ask the Law Schools. That’s happening now…[/QUOTE]

Hey, at least those baby lawyers are using their training to keep more experienced lawyers employed.

KP just pumps out baby mates that grow up to become MarAd lobbyists and Beltway scavengers. They don’t contribute much of anything to the industry, they just milk the system that created them.

if you want me to respond to your thoughts, then tell us who you are! Blog sites, in general, and this one in particular, have become the last refuge for cowards. Each of whom is so brave, when they post less than civil (and recently racist) comments and hide their true identity. I had no idea the men and women of the us commercial maritime industry harbored so many cowards.

[B]BULLSHIT TO YOU SIR! You do not get to make the claim that my posts are irrelevant because i do not identify myself here and the last thing i am is a coward! You sir have now opened yourself and your extremely biased statements and claims to my retort which will be forthcoming today as i can go through your assertions one by one. What’s a CIO anyway? Chief Information Officer? I’d say A PAID PROPAGANDIST!

I can say this right now…YOU’RE WRONG! Let’s have it out right here in this open forum of maritime professionals and let them judge the outcome of this debate or are they cowards too since their identities are also not disclosed? Hmmm?

I hope you are prepared to stand and fight now to defend your statements now made or will you prove to be the one who’s the coward like so many before who make their pathetic bleats and whines but end up just disappearing rather that enter into a real debate argued with logic and reason. Let’s see who prevails in this one? Are you man enough? If you are then OK…let’s go!
[/B]

Goddammit…I was hoping to have a productive day working on my house and now I have to take on this clown instead…EFF!

.

As a State Academy Cadet…I think I should be offended.

I’m not very smart or I would be attending USMMA, but I have to ask - when did the Federal Gov’t become the model for efficiency?
Wouldn’t someone who has to pony up $20k per year have a bit more skin in the game than someone who is going along for a free eductional ride?

Just askin.

Oh, btw - nice first post.

Humm, I went to a state school and paid a lot of money to go. There’s no way KP is less of a drain on the economy than a state school. You sir are nothing more than a troll and no one has a clue about who you are or what you do.

Part Uno:

Right now, six separate Academies, six college presidents, six gaggles of various vice-presidents, and you get the image. All of that administration places a big burden on the cost of operating any college or university. Add to that six sets of engineering and deck simulators, the buildings and utilities to serve them, and you have a very expensive continuing state investment that’s difficult (if not impossible) to share among the other State Maritime Academies. Then there’s six STCW programs, complete with periodic USCG audits, the costs of travel and entertainment for all of the engineering and deck officer faculty to meet and discuss STCW, Maritime Administration, and the USCG—hey, and the cost of all of those faculty. Just think what other programs those states can offer, if those capital and operating expenses are liberated?

By your logic sir then there should be only one university teaching any discipline because having more that one is redundant. If any education or training should be subject to economies of scale, then we only need one of anything anywhere.

Also, by your flawed logic, if one institution were to become the soul source of maritime education in the nation, why must the Federal Government be that provider? Should it not be to the school that can provide a the education at the most efficient cost? If it were KP, would MarAd offer 100% scholarships for “all” maritime students attending as it does now? If an additional 2000 students were to live on campus at KP, where would they be housed? How would the academic facilities be increased to accommodate all the extra mideshipmen within the limited size of KP’s property?
If the existing USMMA not be adequate to educate so many new students, then are you saying that a new academy be constructed? Funded by who exactly? The taxpayers? The states? Is that not a new expense far exceeding the cost to just keep operating the existing schools?

If the other posters are correct, dropping job prospects and employment opportunities, doesn’t argue in favor of all of these states producing graduates to compete for jobs one Academy can fulfill. In fact, what happens when one unemployable graduate can’t find a job, and sues his/her alma mater? Ask the Law Schools. That’s happening now.

Do you genuinely think sir, that there is no need for any of the state school graduates in the industry? Can KP really supply ever single person that is needed and all the other schools be closed? Really, only 120 men and women to fill every vacancy created?

State General Assemblies, Governors vote with their diminishing dollars to best meet the job market needs of their own states and respective labor markets. If prospects drop, their contributions drop and tuition and fees increase. When user fees increase, federal financial aid and loan program funding increases. And, what about the repayment rates of those graduates who can’t find employment? This is really a race to the bottom.

First, what is this “State General Assemblies” nonsense? Is this the UN or Communist China here?

Now, please provide for us exact numbers of how much the cost is to the Federal Government for each KP grad? How much Federal aid goes to each state school graduate? How much state aid for each of the same? What is the default rate of holders of student loans for state maritime academy graduates? Please provide hard verifiable facts please.

Maritime programs are both capital intensive and feature high operating costs, like health care. The difference: There is a continuing unmet demand for healthcare professionals. It won’t take too long for state legislators to realize that funding now spent on a declining US maritime industry can be better spent on healthcare we all need.

OK, then why not close KP and then divert $86M (+ $54M in new capital spending announced by LaHood) to Federal healthcare commitments or is all spending on healthcare a state responsibility only? You see, utter indefensible nonsense from you sir.

Meanwhile, the federal government can, and should, continue its commitment at USMMA through good times and bad. The federal government can shrink or expand the Academy’s program to meet the changing maritime employment market. The states cannot do the same cost-effectively for their taxpayers.

Please justify this statement with numbers? First, how can the Federal commitment to providing maritime officers grow and shrink with demand? KP can only support a limited number of midshipmen. How can it grow within its confines? Where will the money come from? Are you saying the KP needs to become tuition based and self supporting? If so, just say it and my argument is won! Also justify for us your statement that only the Federal government can produce maritime officers more “cost-effectively” when it is proven that a KP graduate costs the taxpayers $360K per and a state graduate maybe $80K (which is not Federally funded anyway). Please clarify for us that you believe that all maritime officer students should have the costs of their educations funded by the Federal government or paid for by the student? If the former, then why only maritime officers? Why not airline pilots then? They too need educations and to be licensed and are transportation assets to the Nation?

And, if local power companies want mechanical engineers to staff their power generating facilities, then offer degree programs without the STCW competencies, the maritime simulators, the staffing and cost of the school ships, and all of the regimental “stuff.” Local power companies do not need yet another operating subsidy, especially one that is “billed” to the maritime industry.

You realize I hope that you just made my argument that ever KP graduate must sail on commercial vessels after graduation and need to continue to do so long afterwards. If any KP’er “goes ashore” to work then the Federal government is “billed” for their educations. You are saying that any USMMA graduate who goes to work in a power plant is ripping off the taxpayer…correct? What about brokerages, law firms, government?

The federal government isn’t stupid. If federal dollars going to Kings Point went to the states instead, each newly arriving federal dollar would be allow each state to withdraw one of their state dollars.

Did you not just write above that the state dollars going to their maritime schools should go to healthcare! Hmmm?

Better yet, close all the maritime academies, state and KP, and have everyone hawsepipe. Enough of this antiquated system of gentlemen officers.

But enough of my modest proposal.

This entire discussion about KP verses state academies is no less ridiculous than if you were arguing whether government should build sports cars verses SUVs. As long as personal, corporate or union funds can produce quality maritime officers - they do! - then the tax payer shouldn’t be footing the bill for you gentlemen to avoid dirtying your hands en route to your cardboard shoulder boards.

parte due:

That’s why other federal programs require state programs to maintain their MOE, if they want federal dollars as well. Unless, of course, you want to fund six separate state academies, all of their overhead, all of their capital investment all with federal dollars—not state dollars. Those “cost-effective” state programs would finally show their true cost, if all state funding disappeared, and the whole cost had to be funded by the federal taxpayers. [See economy of scale above.]

Asked already…please provide us numbers. How much state money to each state maritime student? How much Federal money to each KP midshipman? Would not the lowest number of the two be the more “cost-effective”?

And what about those school ships? The state maritime academies are campaigning for hundreds of millions of dollars in federal investment for how many ships? Operating subsidies? And, now they’re sending their cadets to the commercial maritime fleet to gain sea time. How is that? [Again, see economy of scale.]

No argument here about the state schoolships. They are a complete waste of MarAd money. The best at sea learning is on a real vessels doing real work. Put maritime students from the state schools go on commercial ships for their entire sea training. Why just limit them to US flag merchant ships? Put them on foreign flagged ships. Besides, you can learn seafaring from any type of vessel. Put them on drillships and other offshore vessels. Put them on ferries. Put them on tugs and workboats. Put them on anything that is out there working and make them work as an a/b or oiler so they really learn to be a seaman and not a little officer wannabe. If they can cut it as an unlicensed seaman, then they’ll cut it as an officer.

Only the Federal Government Can Do This

Very simply…why?

If the recent maritime disasters happened off the coast of the U.S., we’d have the 1936 legislation all over again. U.S. citizens will demand safe, secure shipping, navigation, and engineering. In fact, if LNG shipping really took off in this country, the prospect of floating explosives—even without a disaster—would create the same sense of urgency. There are some things ONLY the federal government can do.

And state school graduates are not qualified or competent to operate large sophisticated merchant ships? Only a KP’er can? How many KP’ers as a % make up all merchant ship officers in the US fleet? I would say 10% is too generous. How many accidents happen on all those ships in a given year? How many of those accidents are attributable to “quality of training”? How many KP’ers are responsible for accidents?

Nothing you say here is defensible by you. State school graduates and hawsepipers have served honorably as merchant vessel officers in both war and peace. They are capable and dedicated professionals. There is not one thing that makes any KP’er better than any one of his non alumni shipmates and there are many who would say that many KP grads are not the “best and brightest” at sea. I think it has to do with the ridiculous regiment they have at that little mini me Annapolis.

Unfortunately, federal ownership causes everyone to forget that 50 state FAA agencies wouldn’t make any sense. Instead, we focus on the problems of the FAA, but we really couldn’t live without the FAA.

The FAA does not run a Federally funded academy training pilots or giving degrees to air traffic controllers. The FAA licenses airline pilots and train its air traffic controllers just like the USCG licenses mariners and trains vessel traffic service controllers. All valid goverment functions and nothing wrong with that at all.

Get over it.

No, I don’t think I will…sorry.

Remember this: We are an ocean trading nation. Unless we expect coal, commodities, and foreign cars to arrive in individual size packages, shipped by Boeing and Airbus, and sold to us by Apple, big ships, the Panama Canal, harbors and ports, and safe passage are a fact of life. Jones Act? Okay, a disappointment, and right now everyone but the U.S. is in a superior position. Yet, every country has its own version of the Jones Act, and one day China can become a net importing country, and the U.S. will once again become a world exporter the way it once was. What comes around goes around. Ask Smith and Schumpeter. You and I may not see it, but it will happen.

What the hell does any of this have to do with your contention that we should close the State maritime schools and only have KP? Who the hell are Smith and Schumpeter anyway? You are right though when you say that most every other major maritime nation is superior to us yet having a KP does not make this any less so. You can defend that though if you care to try.

Don’t reply to cowards. Tell us who you are. Then I’ll give you the answers.

Who are you and who are you calling a coward, slick.

[QUOTE=ThatGuy;65272]Don’t reply to cowards. Tell us who you are. Then I’ll give you the answers.[/QUOTE]

It’s the f@cking internet, get real. You don’t need to know someone’s name to debate them.

Wow. Look at you. You can almost drop the F-Bomb.

It isn’t debate without the facts and the willingness to stand by them. Instead, we see illiteracy, libel, and racist statements made by people who lack the courage of their convictions to tell us who they are. For all we know, some of these writers are 12 year old girls, home schooled by their parents, and enough free time to “have some fun” with everyone who reads this blog. If you’re an expert in your field, if you really want to debate, then do it. Instead, we see lots of brave comments made by…cowards. That’s not debate. Then again, they aren’t citing real facts either.

Don’t reply to cowards. Tell us who you are. Then I’ll give you the answers.

[B]EFF YOU if you intend to hide behind that one! Remember it isn’t me your trying to convince you’re right in what you say, it is everyone else here who will stand in judgement. So far each and everyone of you KP sycophants has started on here with your rah isn’t KP just golly awesome only to just vaporize in the face of opposition. Go on Mr. retired USMMA CIO, you started this shitstorm, you gonna run away now. I’d call that cowardice.

…debate me like a man if you’ve got the balls? By the way, you’re coming across already like a major ASSHOLE…just read everyone else’s comments. We may all be cowards here in your eyes but we’re also MARINERS unlike you who sucked on that great huge government nipple for their whole career. I’ll bet you were USMS too we’re you? A fucking military benefits package for a fucking civilian in a uniform! If you get uniformed service benefits then serve in the fucking SERVICE! The fucking USMS makes me want to vomit!

There how to you like those f-bombs effing asshole!

[/B]
btw, parte tre is still coming but I am setting tile today so be patient.

For all we know, some of these writers are 12 year old girls, home schooled by their parents, and enough free time to “have some fun” with everyone who reads this blog

How do we know your the real Howard Weener? You could be using his name to make him seem like an asshole when he actually might be a decent chap. For all we know you’re a mentally ill psychotic writing this from another institution than KP! There pal…see how that sword cuts both ways!

Love it when C. Capt gets on a roll.

Popcorn anyone?

I’ll take an extra large with extra butter please…

“Haters” and Facts Don’t Always Get Along

One of the frequent points made by the federal government “haters,” is that a state-provided degree is always less costly than its federal counterpart. In general, the state education is less costly to provide, but not nearly at the difference the “haters” will have you believe.

For example, the federal government provides the school ships and their maintenance (although not the fuel), and $1.3M contribution to California Maritime’s outstanding simulation center. Less widely understood, however, is the impact of the privatization of higher education and the federal government’s increasing role in financing a state-provided education.

Privatization of Higher Education

The original state-federal compact on higher education had the states funding education to make it affordable, while the federal role was to widen access. As state budgets take a hit, their funding commitment to their colleges and universities stagnated—in some cases, seriously so. When state funding drops, tuition and fees increases, and the cost of obtaining an education shifts from the state to the student.

Unfortunately, the students’ ability to pay cannot keep pace due to stagnating family incomes and annual cost increases in tuition, fees, room, and board that can easily exceed annual increases in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Take SUNY Maritime as an example.

Based on 2009 data from the IPEDS Data Center, a unit of the National Center for Educational Statistics, the General Assembly of NY appropriated enough state funding to cover approximately 60% of the cost of operating SUNY Maritime. Tuition and fees charged to their students paid for a little more than another 24% of Maritime’s operating costs.

Tuition, fees, room, and board are not inexpensive anywhere and that includes Maritime. According to IPEDS for 2009, 20% of their student body received a federal Pell Grant to help cover these costs. The average Pell Grant was for $6,186, and a federal cost of approximately $1.9M.

As is all too common these days, 60% of the student body secured a loan for one year at the average of $7,452. Now, there are a number of different loan programs. In some, federal funds are loaned, in others federal funds help pay the interest costs. In all cases, a loan default often shifts the cost of the unpaid balance to the federal government. The good news, Maritime’s default rate for 2008 was only 3.48%, while the national average was over twice as high. However, more recent data isn’t available, and the current economic difficulties continued through (some will say) today.

Attending and Graduating

Not everyone completes a degree in four years. Some take longer. In fact, IPEDS/NCES measures these things in six—not four—year cohorts. Six years is the new four year degree program. So, the modal undergraduate receives Pell Grants for longer periods of time, and loan balances are getting larger.

If all of that isn’t depressing enough, not everyone who attends will graduate–including those who have received Pell Grants and federally subsidized loans. At SUNY Maritime, the undergraduate graduation rate reported in 2009 is 51% for men and 57% for women. That means that all of the costs for 49% of the men, and 43% of the women, do not result in a SUNY Maritime degree. To be fair, some undergraduates may transfer and graduate elsewhere, perhaps even as deck or engine officers, but this is not what usually happens.

Economic News Isn’t Good

Remember, this data is from 2009, some from 2010—the latest available from IPEDS/NCES. Since then, all costs of college attendance have increased. State appropriations from General Assemblies failed to keep pace. Students paid even more to attend. Pell Grant awards were higher, funds borrowed increased, and even more students had to apply for financial aid.

Students who are paying back their loans find there are times they are unemployed or face other economic hardships. Each can apply for a temporary reprieve from loan payments. Unfortunately, the interest continues to compound, and federal subsidies continue long after graduation.

Comparing Those Pesky Apples

“Haters” are too often also “Reductionists.” Their world is simple, and all of these so-called “facts” just get in the way of their view of the world. Comparing any two State Maritime Academies is a difficult task, because of regional, cost, and economic realities. Comparing the State Maritime Academies to the USMMA is also a difficult task for most, except of course, the “Haters.”

The Maine Maritime Alumni Association said it best, when they said, “The comparison of federal funding at King’s Point to the state maritime academies is not an “apples-to-apples” proposition, however. At Mass. Maritime, for example, the total annual budget is about $30 million, far short of what it costs to run the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. But, extrapolating that budget across the five maritime academies in a linear fashion would produce a total state academy budget of well in excess of $100 million and when that is done, the perceived funding gap narrows considerably.” [Note: In the interest of full disclosure this was in 2007, when the USMMA operating budget was about $45M.]

Capital Improvement Plan funding makes these comparisons even more challenging. For example, by all accounts the retiring President of California Maritime is an able advocate for his school, and one who has done a great job in a challenging state during difficult economic times. During his tenure he doubled the school’s operating budget, and spent $37M on Capital Improvements. Another $52M in planned Capital Improvements is planned. That’s $92M in capital Improvements at California Maritime alone.

Much has been made by the “Haters” concerning the $54M of Capital Improvement Plan funding directly attributed to Secretary LaHood. My apologies to Secretary LaHood, but he’s a piker compared to President Eisenhardt.

Unfortunately, the “Haters” cannot distinguish between operating funds and capital funds. To them all money is the same color of green, treated the exact same way when computing a cost per graduate. In their world, you pick the outcome first and then bend the facts to make the case.

parte tre:

It’s about poor stewardship by the DoT and the Maritime Administration. The relationship between the Academy and the Maritime Administration has always been troubled. The Maritime Administration lost its regulatory responsibilities, isn’t viewed by anyone in the maritime industry as an advocate, and without the RRF, it only has the Academy. All of that firepower and talent has no target, but the Academy. So “oversight” becomes “micromanagement.”

Ah so now it’s MarAd’s fault and the administration of the USMMA is squeeky clean? Sounds to me that you’re a might disgruntled at your previous overlords and that you want a little vengence by pissing on their shoes.

MarAd are inept stooges who allowed the entrenched powers running KP to steal millions and allow unspeakable actions occur within the walls of the compound. I’d say the corruption lives deep in the very filthy soul of that rotten failed institution and the lack of oversight by MarAd has allowed that corruption to grow to become akin to the plant Audrey in “Little Shop of Horrors”. Then again, you were right there the whole time spinning your propaganda to hide the stench of that “Amorphophallus titanum” of the 5 service academies.

the symbolism of the photo is beyond ironic…no?

There is little doubt the Secretary wants the best for the Academy. Unfortunately, secretaries are surrounded by political hacks and flacks—the folks who drove the campaign car and did all of the unpaid advance work in support of their candidate. America has the government it deserves. Add that to the Maritime Administration—the little engine that could, and what Superintendent at the Academy stands a chance of success?

You are so completely and totally off your nut now that you aren’t even on the original subject. WAKE UP THERE…STAY ON MESSAGE!

Finally, when they tell the tale of the KP Alums, you hear “rags to riches” stories funded by the federal taxpayer. Are these guys appropriately thankful and gracious for a gift from the taxpayers? No, they want to have a “say,” in what happens, but pony up the cash? Show their support and gratitude? With several noteworthy exceptions, they are a disappointment and a disgrace. Actually, that’s a libel to the terms “disappointment” and “disgrace.”

So who exactly are those you label as being “a disappointment and a disgrace.”? Graduates of the fine USMMA…how can this be in your eyes? It is not possible!

It takes a village to raise an idiot. Congratulations. We have the village.

You’ve completely drift away into la la land now…but correct me if I am wrong when I summize that what you are trying to say is that KP raises village idiots?

See ya in the funny pages Mr. Weiner…

Federal spending for 2012 $3,796,000,000,000
USMMA budget for 2012 $85,000,000
MARAD budget for 2012 $357,000,000
% of 2012 Federal budget spent on USMMA .00002%
% of 2012 Federal budget spent on MARAD .00009%

There is a lot of hot air blowing over two one hundred thousandths of the federal budget.

The mission of the United States Merchant Marine Academy is to educate and graduate merchant marine officers and leaders of
honor and integrity who serve the maritime industry and the Armed Forces… This mission has been met since KP opened, is still being met, and will continue to be met. The recent difficulties
at KP haven’t changed that fact at all. A quick search of the term “USMMA effectiveness” yields the following from a .gov site:

Does the program address a specific and existing problem, interest, or need?

Explanation: Program educates individuals to serve as well-qualified U.S. maritime labor to support DOD mobilization requirements while
sustaining commerce. USMMA provides the merchant and armed forces reserve officers to maintain a viable US flagged merchant fleet for
peacetime commerce and wartime mobilization. Graduates represent the largest component of merchant marine officers and a substantial
component of reserve officers to support DOD activities.
Evidence: Graduates meet the intent of the declaration of policy by the following ways: (1) The Maritime Security Program which has been
increased from 47 to 60 ships requires USMMA graduates to satisfy USCG licensed officer positions; (2) During Iraqi Freedom, the activation of
the Ready Reserve Fleet would not have been possible without USMMA graduates; and (3) In general, sufficient licensed mariners would not be
available for strategic sealift during times of war or to meet commercial maritime requirements during periods of peace.

“The activation of the RRF for OIF would not have been possible without USMMA graduates”.

Is the program designed so that it is not redundant or duplicative of any other Federal, state, local or private effort?

Explanation: The federal merchant mariner education policy (Merchant Marine Act of 1936) meets MARAD’s long-term goals by ensuring that the
fed’l-state-private partnership produces a sufficient number of obligated, qualified merchant mariners to meet the military and civilian strategic
sealift needs of the nation. USMMA represents the primary federal element of that partnership, and 100% of its graduates have a 5-yr service
obligation. SMA’s voluntarily sponsor mariner education programs as part of their state-focused instructional program, and only those SMA grads
who receive federal tuition assistance have a 3-yr service obligation. USMMA’s intentional program design also ensures its graduates meet the
needs of the military logistics and maritime intermodal communities, by providing comprehensive high-level transportation, logistics, and military
officer training.

Evidence: (1) Federal maritime education policy is set forth in the Merchant Marine Act of 1936 (Title I–Declaration of Policy), et seq. (2) MARAD
Report to Congress, “Maritime Education Program Evaluation” (2003), identified that the number of “…officers from MARAD’s programs with
service obligations [i.e. USMMA and federal tuition assistance program for SMAs] to feed the pool of mariners…” is, however, inadequate to meet
the need for qualified officers under a full-mobilization sealift scenario. (3) USMMA program design is established by 46 App. U.S.C. 1295b,
identifying three core components (baccalaureate degree authority, USCG license, USN commission).

The Merchant Marine Act of 1936 and various federal laws require that the USMMA exist. The USMMA meets the mission as established by these laws. If you have a problem
with these facts, then write your congressman and try to get the law changed.

Is the program design effectively targeted so that resources will address the program’s purpose directly and will reach intended beneficiaries?

Explanation: Financial resources are applied in a value-added process to educate trained mariners who contribute to national defense and
commerce. Service Obligation Contract required by Title 46 App.US Code: 100% of graduates earn a (1) USCG license as deck or engine officers
and are obligated to maintain license currency for at least six years following graduation; (2) reserve officer commission in the US Armed Forces
and maintain the appointment for a period of eight years following graduation; and (3) serve the foreign and domestic commerce and national
defense of the US for a period of at least 5 years following graduation. Of USMMA’s FY05 budget of $55M, $42M is allocated to Academy
operational funding and an additional $13M is earmarked for capital improvements (buildings, grounds). It is estimated that approx. 80% ($34M) of
operational funds will be spent on direct expenses related to education and training (all academic instruction and professional training,
regimental officer training (in-residence leadership instruction), shipboard training, health and physical education.)
Evidence: USMMA midshipmen and graduates serve beneficiary organizations in the U.S. Government (Departments of Defense, Homeland
Security, and Transportation as well as the National Security Agency.) Graduates contribute to the strategic sealift initiatives in time of national
emergencies. Graduates also contribute to the commercial vitality of our nation by virtue of their employment in domestic ports/terminals and
transportation and logistics companies. During the past four years 100% of USMMA graduates either began sailing in the Merchant Marine, or
entered active duty in one of the military serves or are employed in the maritime industry shoreside as approved by MARAD; e.g., shipyards, ports,
terminals. Additionally, alumni records indicate that 20 years after graduation, 70% of USMMA graduates continue to serve in qualifying positions
afloat, the military services, or ashore.

Lots of good stuff in this paragraph. The fact that 70% of USMMA graduates continue to meet their commitments to MARAD and the tax payers 20 years after graduation,
long after their obligation is satisfied really stands out.

The US maritime industry employs hundreds of thousands of Americans, perhaps as many as a million. It is an industry that produces hundreds of billions of economic activity annually. It is also
"the fourth arm of defense" as is frequently quoted. There is plenty of room and need in this vast industry for each years group of new graduates of USMMA and the SMA’s. The flow of hawsepipers into the officer ranks is not high enough to meet the demand, nor will it ever be. The recent STCW training requirements has slowed the advancement up through the hawsepipe significantly. If KP and the SMA’s closed, then the US maritime industry would grind to a halt. One concern that I have is that the SMA’s are slowly evolving away from being maritime academies. The ever increasing amount of non-maritime majors and non-license tracks that they offer and the dwindling amount of graduates that they produce with licenses are proof of that.

Going to sea is a hard life. Those of us who do it for a living and who have made a career of it know this. It is also not for everyone. However, to keep the industry moving forward, new people have to brought in continuously. These new people need to be well educated and technically sophisticated to meet the ever increasing demands of our industry. USMMA is a large source of these individuals.

.