George Will returns to UM for Convocation

TANYA THOMPSON // The Miami Hurricane

TANYA THOMPSON // The Miami Hurricane

Pulitzer Prize winning columnist George Will returned to the BankUnited Center at the University of Miami last Friday to deliver the New Student Convocation address to the incoming freshmen class.

Last year, Will delivered a lecture entitled “The Political Argument Today,” where he argued that the nation had become a welfare state that redistributed capital from the working young to the retired and dispossessed.

This year, Will re-emphasized the danger posed by entitlement programs, discussing the problem in the context of national health reform.

“Obama is determined to expand the government’s role in the marketplace,” he said. “He wants to bring equality to the system by circumscribing free action.”

Will argued that government programs addressing inequality result in unintended consequences that are often disastrous. He referenced Cash for Clunkers, the government program offering Americans money towards fuel-efficient cars when trading in vehicles that get less than 18 miles per gallon.

“But the program hurts the charities that receive these cars as donations,” countered Will.

Adriyan Rotati, a freshman political science major, asked Will if the coverage of 46 million uninsured Americans was a moral or fiscal issue. Will said it was both.

“Spending other people’s money for a program they would not spend money on is a moral hazard,” he said.

The focal point of Will’s lecture was the importance of thoughtful discourse and the danger of reliance on the government for solutions.

“Anyone can be a Republican or a Democrat but not everyone can be a Hurricane,” said Will. “You have to be able to think.”

Will referenced several other examples of ineffective government programs such as subsidizing ethanol production, which led to corn riots in Mexico. He did not endorse any of the proposed health care or climate legislation.

At the end of his lecture, he said students should relish in the widening income gap between America’s poorest and richest, as it validated the worth of their degrees. Quoting the poet Robert Frost, Will said he did not want to live in a society where everyone is on equal footing.

“You are here to rise. You are here to join the elite.”

August 23, 2009


Mark Daniels

Contributing News Writer

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

University of Miami linebacker Jamie Gordinier has had another unfortunate setback, effectively side ...

The calmest coach on the planet got mad Friday after football practice. University of Miami coach Ma ...

Lester Williams wasn’t on the field playing for the Miami Hurricanes when they won their first natio ...

An extremely frustrated University of Miami football coach Mark Richt began his media availability b ...

UM chatter: • One lesson learned in recent years, as one UM official put it: Don’t get your hopes up ...

UM’s new chief academic officer holds some 40 patents, and in 2017 was inducted into the National Ac ...

University of Miami students and researchers are blogging during a month-long expedition in the Gulf ...

María de Lourdes Dieck-Assad, a world-renowned economist and former ambassador, fills a new role for ...

Through the U Dreamers Grant, DACA students find essential support as they pursue their college degr ...

UM students talk about their internships up north in a city that never sleeps. ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.