New Pete ad in Iowa taking aim at Warren and Bernie over college affordability/debt (but not by name), arguing they’d alienate half the country by insisting it be “free even for the kids of millionaires”. H/t @McCormickJohn— Alex Thompson (@AlxThomp) November 29, 2019
Look, I'm just a potty-mouth D-list blogger, and I realize that sometimes, government programs benefit the rich and the families of rich people. In fact, rich people benefit from all kinds of programs that people without money can't even access, like different tax breaks and credits for doing cool stuff with their money. And yet, I am skeptical that college affordability needs to be held to a strict means test and tend to think that it's really not that we need to subsidize students, so much as we need to subsidize institutions of learning. Make them really accessible. Make it so anyone can get in, regardless of their ability to pay, but their qualitative merits. Pay teachers. Pay them a fuckton. Pay adjuncts enough to make them upper middle class and not live out of their cars. Pay people who educate people and make education really great. I don't care if Ritzykid McBucksalot gets a full ride from tax money if they really did pay their educational dues and will benefit from a great education. I think we should fund more schools into existence. It might be true that not all kids need college to find jobs, but I think critical thinking and cultural awareness are great things to get grounding in and help with many aspects of just living.
I get the idea that there are "elites" that have benefited a lot from the society that we all share. I think if we all shared the same access to education and the same work ethic regarding educational achievement, it would have an effect of changing the curve. This does not give rich kids greater access--it still gives less-affluent kids greater access, while focusing availability of an education on work.
This is somewhat dependent on public schools also becoming more egalitarian--and I think primary public schools should be funded more equitably and am deeply skeptical of whether private and charter schools even ought to exist. I want more equal opportunities for everyone. I want public schools to be integrated not just on racial, but economic values. I want young people to be confronted when they are at their most impressionable with the diversity of the world in which they will live.
I think talking about education as a commodity is kind of missing the point. It is a cultural asset that makes the human who receives it better capable of achieving more in their selected endeavors. It isn't a transferable good--it is something that only works as a benefit for people who appreciate how to use it. For this reason, why not make it as broadly available as possible, to do the most good?
I'm just saying!