I’ve been saying for some time now that, if the Left is going to push for more student benefits, it needs to do so under a pro-welfare banner, something it has not really done. My piece in Dissent on this topic features my latest rehash of this point:
If we are actually going [...]
Conor P. Williams has a piece at 74 million that purports to be a simulation of what critics of Teach for America must be like. Apparently, in Wiliams’ view, they are coffee shop elite hipsters. As far as this genre of writing goes, Williams’ piece is not particularly funny, insightful, or well-executed. It [...]
In Dissent, I explained the case against free college. The short of it is that, because of who attends college and what kind of colleges they attend, free college is simply not an egalitarian benefit. To me, that calls into question the entire benefit category. What precisely is the point of subsidizing goods [...]
Conor P. Williams has a piece at 74 million that dabbles in a genre I’ve been meaning to comment on for a while. The nut of it is suggested by the title: Liberals Push to Correct Inequality — Just Not If It Involves Opening Up Our Neighborhood Schools.
Now I have little faith [...]
The college financing debate has a lot of weird quirks in it. One of those weird quirks is what gets spoken of as the costs of attending college. Consider the following three costs:
Opportunity costs (i.e. foregone income in the years you are studying).
Direct costs of college itself (i.e. tuition, books, fees, etc.). [...]
It’s commonplace for some to note that there are racial and class disparities in student debt levels and then hastily conclude that the cost of college is a cause of wealth inequality. These analyses strike me as deeply confused. Consider the following example.
Scenario One: Non-Free + Price Discrimination
In the status [...]
Giulia Pines has a piece at Jacobin in which she cautions people not to celebrate too much about Germany’s free college tuition because, among other things, they put kids on educational tracks early in life. This, she suggests, has the effect of baking in class distinctions because working class kids presumably get put [...]
One of the weird things people emphasize when tuition subsidies and the like are brought up is that such things don’t even cover the full “cost” of attending. This is because, they explain, students’ housing and food and other miscellaneous expenses cost a good deal of money and tuition subsidies don’t reach those things. The [...]
Supposing college was free, what would the social narrative about the recipients of it be? I have seen two basic approaches:
1. It is a right. I owe nothing.
Under this narrative, recipients of free college are due free college as a matter of right. To deprive them of it is to oppress them. [...]
The price of a year at college has increased by more than 1,200 percent over the last 30 years, far outpacing any other price the government tracks: food, housing, cars, gasoline, TVs, you name it.
He links to this Bloomberg piece from 2012 to support this claim. As [...]