Friday, March 5, 2010

To The Streets

Well, it seems like old times, turning on the television and seeing student protests. This time it's not war or civil rights that motivates American college students, but ever increasing tuition costs as well as a shrinking curricula.
I've written about this in the past, and finally there seems to be a willingness on the part of students to begin the fight.
We can not have a modern economy without a well educated work force, nor can we have any real class mobility with an undereducated population. It's about time that somebody realizes this and is willing to put up the good fight to provide free higher education for all. As of right now, the protests are just about keeping tuition prices at a reasonable level and stopping the loss of classes, but in the long run the real struggle has to be open access, and free higher education. And that includes graduate schools.
Again, this goes back to the short sighted stupidity of Ronald Reagan and the tax rebellion. Always ready with a quick quip, when Reagan was asked why he wanted to get rid of free college education in California, he made a joke about not wanting to pay for the education of students who were going to protest his policies. As fun as Ronnie could be, what it got down to was that low taxes and nonexistent government are the goals of the modern conservative movement. What's that old line about fools knowing the cost of everything but the value of nothing?
This is an idea right of the top of my head and it might not be workable. After all, I ran out of money and dropped out of college, so I'm not educated enough to do the math. A national Internet sales tax, including song downloads. Steve Jobs should be able to figure out the best way to collect it. Then, minus administration costs, redistribute those taxes to the states, based on population, on the condition that all college and grad school tuition be eliminated. Hey Steve, a well educated work force makes more money, so they'll buy more stuff on line. In the long run, those profits are going to go up, up, and up, in return for a little sacrifice (in effort) now.

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