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Comment count is 25
Hooker - 2015-07-11

So let's see.

* Student loans take forever to pay off, so it makes no sense to make college free.

* You can already pay for college if work 40 hours a week as well.

* Employers are complaining that people coming out of college aren't as smart as they want, so let's educate people less.

* High school education isn't up to par, so let's not even talk about college.

* Some people are too stupid to be educated.

* "I don't understand what free means"

Anyone want to defend one of those devil's advocate style?

Sanest Man Alive - 2015-07-11

That's a lot of bullet points for EvilHomer to vomit paragraphs at, give him time.

15th - 2015-07-11

All of the answers are in this 131 page PDF I found.

http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201207_cfpb_Reports_Private -Student-Loans.pdf

baleen - 2015-07-11

The last several years of severe anti-college rhetoric from the conservative punditosphere has little to do with those bullet points, or any seasoned argument really. Rather, it is part of a wider strategic attack on intellectualism from a population of people who possess what David Graeber calls "bullshit jobs." (http://strikemag.org/bullshit-jobs/)

The guy who works in an Ohio suburb performing middle management at a logistics company that provides napkins for fast food restaurants knows that his work is not valuable, as least not as important as the work of a teacher, professor, counselor, or therapist. Of course, he can convince himself otherwise, but nothing really pisses off guys like that then knowing that they are not connected with the CULTURAL DIALOG. They are on the outskirts, looking in, and it burns them to hell.
It's enough to make you hate college and berate "worthless" degrees in things like climate science, archaeology, history, and worst of the worst, liberal arts. There's a reason these guys hate teachers unions and not the bureaucrats that control school boards (who are paid far more for doing far less work): Teachers get to do useful work.

The other reason conservatives are attacking college has to do with a much more time honored reason that the GOP has been mining for a long time, and that is that military service personnel have to "sacrifice for their country" to get college money. All those liberals, do they work for it? No, they go into debt. Here we see rural class resentment of the ivory tower establishment at its most blatant. Real men and women have to go into the military to get an education, everybody else is just a pig at the trough.

Finally, there's realpolitik going on here. Big Education is a huge, huge contributor to the Democratic Party. Just take a look at some of Obama's top donors for 2012, the inverse of the big banks that sought to buy him in 2008: https://www.opensecrets.org/pres12/contrib.php?id=N00009638

With the Democrats being essentially an army for big universities, it fits all too well in the paranoiac fantasy that climate science is a hoax, feminism is taking over, and we as white people should apologize for everything.

That's my angle anyway.

Hooker - 2015-07-12

Oh, come on, baleen. The bullshit jobs idea is an interesting one but you are going through some serious fucking mental contortions to draw a line connecting it to the American right's anti-intellectualism. Is this really the most coherent explanation you can come up with?

How about the fact that the better educated an American is, the more likely they are to vote Democrat. Doesn't that seem like a much more profound, coherent, and holistic explanation of pretty much every angle on this? What about how post-secondary education rates are much lower in Republican strongholds (the south and rural areas)? What about more educated people's stronger resistance to advertising, buying on credit, and wasteful consumption? I can keep going.

I love reading your posts, but sometimes I really have to question how self-critical you are.

baleen - 2015-07-12

"Is this really the most coherent explanation you can come up with?"

No Hooker, but Graeber's argument is pretty coherent.
You go on to sort of reinforce my second point. Conservatives have been mining the gap between secondary and graduate-level educations for a long time now. If you are on Facebook, subscribe to "Intellectual Takeout." They are a conservative libertarian page that has kindly allowed me to be a snarky socialist libertarian on their posts for a few years now, which has actually made me respect them a little bit. They used to actually write back to me and even invited me to write "Leftist perspective" stuff on their blog, but they've kind of given up.

The reason I bring it up is because the majority of their posts (and those of their fans) are concerned with how meaningless college is. "Learn a trade. You aren't smarter if you go to college. Climate science is a liberal ruse. Look at all these useless degrees." I'm sure you know the narrative.

I kind of want to agree with you entirely because it feels good, but unfortunately there are a lot of college-educated Republican strongholds that are fine enough believing all this bullshit. The guys on Wall Street are buying Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity books, despite their MBA's from Ivies. In order to navigate the circuitous statistical hand waving you are doing with "Republicans not with college because redneck, Democrats with college because smart," you have to ignore a whole lot of things.

baleen - 2015-07-12

*Drunken correction, I am a social democrat, not a socialist libertarian.

Bort - 2015-07-12

A few ways in which college is bad for the Republicans:

- College is often the first place a Christian hears a good explanation of evolution, or the Documentary Hypothesis for that matter.

- College is a place to meet people from diverse backgrounds, including liberals, gays, atheists, and even blacks. It's a good place for misconceptions to be dispelled.

- You know how the Texas schools are teaching that the Civil War was about states rights and tariffs and only a tiny bit of slavery? There's a reason they want to control the truth. Universities are likely to torpedo their efforts.

Hooker - 2015-07-12

Look, I'm not denying that there are plenty of people with college educations that feel bitter about them, but that is not what is driving the Republican anti-intellectualism narrative. They're happy to have it, but it's way down the list.

TeenerTot - 2015-07-11

Bloo bloo bloo.

Y'know, I did go to a community college and then transfer with an Associate's to university. I did have a job while going to school, and I still needed help from my parents (thank goodness they were willing and able.)
I think free college is a great idea, but I also think trade schools and apprenticeships should be encouraged. Remember when people knew how to make stuff? Maybe we should try making stuff again.

dubz - 2015-07-11

This mirrors my experience pretty well. After a stream of dead end jobs I went to community college at age 40 with my parents' help since I could only work on the weekends (learning how to weld is tiring).

School was paid for by a state grant and I had $$ left over afterwards. No debt, learned a proper trade and got a sweet gig with real benefits and everything. Health Insurance! 401K! Paid time off! No weekends! Even got a tax exemption because I was a full time adult student so I can still say "Thanks Obama"!

SolRo - 2015-07-11

You do understand that the problem for the American worker isn't knowing or not knowing how to make stuff?

The problem is most americans only want to buy the cheapest shit they can, and a trade/tax policy setup so that corporations can make massive profits by bringing cheap shit from overseas (or even cross border) factories here.

You're not going to be able to live indoors and buy food if you try to compete with workers that make 50 cents an hour.

cognitivedissonance - 2015-07-11

Same deal with me. That said, I wish I had waited a decade to know who I am, not who I thought I'd be.

hammsangwich - 2015-07-11

Trade school is a great option. You will be better of as an HVAC guy than working at Starbucks with your philosophy degree.

baleen - 2015-07-11

It's dangerous to conflate higher education solely with higher income, though that's what it has come to mean.

I also think there are important reasons why China and India are starting to invest very heavily in traditional American-style liberal arts degree programs. It has to do with a thriving creative class. Richard Florida predicted the "creative class" would take over the world over a decade ago, and he is right.

About 50% of Singapore is composed of those working in the "creative class." What does that say about the value of all those namby pampy thinky degrees?

There will never be a silver bullet career path that is immune to mechanization and downsizing. One thing that appears to be true for everyone on the planet is that we have to be a more dynamic and multifaceted workforce.

SolRo - 2015-07-11

so basically we should scurry around between the footsteps of our titanic corporate overlords hoping to curry favor, latch on to their disproportionately increasing wealth and hope not to get crushed, for the rest of forever?

I've said it before, but, man, you're so fucking stupid.

memedumpster - 2015-07-12

I am trademarking "scurry for curry."

yogarfield - 2015-07-11

Two douchebags and a fox.

Anaxagoras - 2015-07-11

Clever. Ghost stars to you.

Anaxagoras - 2015-07-11

The WARBLGARBL is strong in these ones.

infinite zest - 2015-07-11

I think I just forgot everything I learned in college in less than 3 minutes. And it was free!

Simillion - 2015-07-12

Depending on where you live, community college is almost free, or was free just recently -- Obama's goal to make COMMUNITY college free isn't too far-fetched -- when I went to community college x2 years it was essentially free -- this is a sad and uninformed response from these moronic punditrons

Jack Dalton - 2015-07-12

What I love about this predictable Fox News take is how it disregards so many things to arrive at the conclusion that this is out of control governemt spending. If they think that shilling out 3k a year for eligible, relatively high achieving (at least somewhat ambitious) students is a waste, someone should remind them of the expense society bears when Corinthian college defrauds thousands of people, takes their federally back student loans, and leaves either the students or the taxpayer holding the bag. For profit education is just the tip of the iceberg... Non-profit schools are bad too. Law schools are terrible... I know people with debt that could buy a small mansion. Why not incentivize people to utilize education systems that are effective and control costs (community colleges)?

Void 71 - 2015-07-12

Rich white and asian people game the public school system by using their wealth to create insurmountable economic walls around the suburbs that house the best public schools. They're the only public schools that function normally in the metro where I currently reside, which is fast becoming a checkerboard of opulence and blight. In many cases, the best and worst schools in the state are a 10 minute drive from each other. Until something is done to equalize the playing field (like making public schools borderless), there's no point in expanding a system that is fundamentally broken.

Binro the Heretic - 2015-07-12

I remember seeing a story on some news channel about how they were talking about making law school more affordable. They interviewed a guy who had just recently become a lawyer and he straight-up said he was against it because it would increase competition in his field and make it harder for him to make a lot of money.

I simultaneously thought, "What an asshole." and, "Wow, that was refreshingly honest."

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