A little more on the University of California strikes over the fee hikes from the previous post. Mostly links I want to categorize for myself.
A few things.
1. One move I find disturbing is the planning of doubling the number of out of state students, who pay more in tuition. This is a move from accepting students based on their marginal ability to learn and contribute to the learning of their peers and instead accepting students based on their marginal ability to pay. That’s the logic of a corporation, and it’s fantastic….in most circumstances. When you have a public institution in a region whose focus should be on grooming and fashioning a generation of high-skilled people, selecting them outside that region based on how much money you can get from them runs in a counter-productive manner.
(Is there room for a pooling equilibrium model where high skill kids in two different regions have to travel to the other region, paying higher costs, if the university has power in selecting them? Need to think that through…)
2. People who are most marginally effected by the changes, those at the border of being able to enter college or not, are the ones protesting the loudest. I’d recommend checking out this link: Why I’m More Inspired by UC Student Actions than I am by NYC Student Actions:
See a difference? yeah, that’s right, there are ACTUALLY WAY MORE students of color who are being radicalized, standing up, and fighting back. they’re not all caught up in the trappings of white anarcho-punk subculture (look! they wear colors! and no bandanas! and they’re also wearing their college sweatshirts, oh dear god, SCHOOL SPIRIT!) – instead, they’re caught up in the fact that their tuition is going up by 32%, that their classes are regularly cancelled due to lack of funding, that this is the ONLY WAY THEY CAN GO TO SCHOOL and it’s being taken away from them. they aren’t fighting back against bourgeois ennui and problems with authority.
We’ve pushed the collective risk-sharing of providing human capital to the next generation back to the individual, a process that will exacerbate inequality. That $20K in student debt, to be paid off by students during their 20s and 30s, could be a car. It could be a down payment on a house. It could be rainy-day money for the income volatility that comes with having a child. Instead it gets seeded off to help pay for something previous generations could take for granted.
And I bring it up because taking out 5 grand in loans a year is what is expected to be affordable for students of the UC system.
4. I wasn’t actually moved at all by the worries that the poorest were paying the most to educate the richest; It was in direct conflict with the “lucky ducky” argument that most people in this space put forward. That was until I read Ed over at ginandtacos, in an entry you should read:
Here in Georgia we have a particularly egregious legislative “fuck you” to the poor called the HOPE Scholarship program. It essentially provides any Georgia high school student who graduates with a 3.0 (which, if I recall high school correctly, is real hard to get) with four years of free tuition at state universities. It is contingent upon maintaining a 3.0 in college, but the vast majority of students I see are paying no tuition. So where does the money come from? A Harvard-sized endowment? Hardly. A generous state legislature? Perish the thought. No, it comes from Lotto tickets.
Whatever measure that are going to be available to try and make education more affordable are going to come most easily, that is with the least amount of political opposition, from de facto taxing the poor with lotto ticket and gambling revenues. States are doing this everywhere.