What he said shocked me enough that I had to go home and double check the basic facts. What he claimed was the Democrats wanted college tuition to be as high as it's been, increasing far faster than inflation, so that they can use the tuition money to fund their pet projects-- like green projects. He said it took Republicans and some fiscally conservative Democrats to get past this road block and do something for the people-- of either party.
He claimed the Democrats in the Legislature and the Governorship wanted the high tuition rates that have made college difficult for many middle class families without taking out big loans. It turned my concept of which party is on the side of the middle class upside down. How could this be and why would liberals favor this kind of unfairness? Aren't the left supposed to be those who want everybody more educated?
If you had reason to pay attention to the rising costs of college tuition, you would be in shock as I was to see them going up at a far higher rate than inflation and you ask yourself-- why? One reason I heard is that the colleges have gone administration heavy. Administrators often make more money than instructors. Professors, if they want to have tenure, are pushed to get grants from industry, the wealthy, or any kind of research facility who can pay. How good they are as teachers is secondary for how good they are at begging for research funds. It's how we end up with some of these ridiculous studies and everybody is wondering why or how come they needed to research what everyone has taken as common knowledge. Well it's grant money and that mostly goes to the University.
So what have they been doing with the rising tuition funds, the grant money? Putting it into better instruction? Not so much. It's fancy buildings in some cases, bigger football stadiums in many cases, but also many speciality departments run by-- guess who-- the intellectual elites. So you have not just a Psychology Department but all kinds of secondary issues within psychology with a head for each. Maybe Democrats are really on the side of the intellectual elites and that doesn't mean John and Mary Doe with their middle class income and four kids who need to get an education.
The cost of a college education has become a national disgrace. There are other countries who fund college for all the students who got good grades. When I went to college, much of the cost of the education was being subsidized by government. Well, it still is but the costs have been allowed to skyrocket so much that not only are the taxpayers but the students paying a high price for what is needed but has been going hog-wild. And to get a loan, the students have to promise to not go bankrupt, which means they cannot escape the high interest and loan costs that are far more by the time they get a job than they originally borrowed. This is a national disgrace but worse-- short sighted. It leaves the coming generation without a lot of good options. Remember, they will be the ones running things someday. Do we want to close the middle class out of that option? Or have we simply not paid enough attention to what was happening until we have an offspring heading there.
I am impressed by Washington to lower the tuition in their universities by 20% and in their community colleges by 5%. I hope Oregon competitively finds it necessary to follow suit and then the other universities. It's not right that the only way kids can afford to go to college is to join the military, but for a society gung-ho for more wars, I guess it makes sense-- in a sick sort of way.