“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The UC Situation and the Student Loan Crisis

Reagan died in 2008 when Lehmann tanked. But his zombies lurch on, and we must stop them. My colleague Mike Ziser writes the following very eloquent contextualization of the kairos that the pepper spray incident has opened up:

As various studies have revealed, the rise of poor quality for-profit colleges and technical schools that encourage students to finance their rising tuition through publicly subsidized loans has led to a large transfer of public funds to politically connected private "entrepreducational" corporations.  One can think of it as a giant money-laundering scheme--one in which citizens desperate for a route to improved economic conditions are compelled to launder funds pilfered from the public treasury.  

There is no serious attempt to address the 40% default rate on government loans to students at for-profit colleges because, from the perspective of the elites making the loans and receiving the funds, it doesn't matter whether the cost is borne by a low-wage graduate or is socialized to the 99% as a whole. As Nathan noted, this model of university education as a "profit-center" is now well entrenched in ostensibly "public" schools.  The education bubble and its inevitable collapse will be a disaster of historic proportions for the entire educational system, but even medium-term consequences are of course of no concern to those who will already have fed on this public system and moved on to the next target.

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