Imagine my horror this morning when I turned on the radio and heard adults–people who have actually been issued drivers’ licenses; who are authorized to open bank accounts; who even (Heaven help us!) vote–arguing for universal college education, paid for by the government, of course. “By the government,” for those unfamiliar with the not entirely honest use of language customary among those who try to shape public policy, means “by you, you suckers.”
“Universal” means everybody goes. Well, almost everybody already goes to college. As long as you’re willing to pay for it, there’s a college, somewhere, that will admit you.
In the same broadcast I learned that the total amount of outstanding student loan debt has just topped one trillion dollars. So what we’re talking about here is the American taxpayer getting gored for another trillion bucks (that’s a thousand billion, folks) and then adding onto it from there. Hey, the money just rains down out of the skies–right? It’s not like we have to work for it.
Once we get universal college paid for by the American people, it doesn’t take much of an imagination to envision the next two steps. 1) Make it compulsory, because that’s the only way to make it “fair,” and government is really into fairness. 2) Once everybody (literally) has a college degree, the degree will mean absolutely nothing, so we’ll have to go on to… universal grad school!
Forsooth–how many people do we need with master’s degrees in women’s studies, queer studies, victimology, self-esteem, white hispanic studies, black hispanic studies, scab-picking, and head-butting? Meanwhile, you keep all these individuals in college for 10, 15, or 20 years, and there are that many people not out in the marketplace working themselves to death, paying for it all.
This is a much, much, much dafter fantasy than anything that any fantasy writer has ever come up with.