I think that there are two central, basic, extremely important services that any society should offer to all of its citizens for free in order to consider itself civilized: medical care and education. The rest can be debated, discussed and disagreed upon. These two things, however, are two important to deny to people on a monetary basis. The question every civilized society needs to ask itself is: can we offer these two important things to all of us for free? And if not, what do we need to do in order to make it happen? After this goal is reached, we can proceed to concentrate on other issues.
At this point, however, we have been led to believe that we don’t have money for either of these things and that cuts need to be made to one of them to salvage some remnants of the other. And that’s just wrong.
Look at what’s happening in California, for example:
The Regents of the University of California are meeting to discuss a multiyear funding proposal that will increase tuition by a cumulative 81% in the next four years, if the state does not increase funding. As a point of reference, UC tuition has already gone up 330% since the year 2000. And as Bob Samuels points out, if past experience is any guide, it’s much more likely that the state will actually decrease public funding in the next four years, and that tuition will rise even higher and faster than that.
In short, while UC students paid around $4,000 a year in tuition in 2000, their successors will pay over $22,000 a year in 2015.
Just multiply 22,000 by four and you will see who is going to be able to afford higher education in this country.
All these people who don’t believe that healthcare and education should be free for all, who are they and how do they justify this to themselves? They’ve got to be telling themselves something to explain how all of this is right. So what is it? What’s going on in their very very empty heads, I wonder.
5 thoughts on “Healthcare and Education”
Maybe you should direct your readers to this organisation: http://pratichi.org/ They’re founded on exactly those principles, plus gender equality.
They also employ me, but I work for them because I admire the work they do, not because I’ve developed a sudden admiration post-employment.
If you want to understand the behaviour of the reagents board at U of C then you have to look at the individual members. For analytic purposes, I examined the current chair of the board, Sherry Lansing, in more detail. She is currently a independent board director at QUALCOMM, Dole foods Inc. and RealID Inc. According to Forbes magazine, total compensation for a director at Qualcomm in 2010 was $359K including $121K fees, $188K stock options and $50K other. Assuming that the other two directorships are in the same ballpark which I think is reasonable, this lady is probably earning north of a million dollars a year which puts her in the top 1% of income makers who send their own kids to private schools and don’t give a rat’s ass about the rest of society.
Notice that she’s also a director at Dole foods which uses a toxic anti-nematode, DBCP, on their banana plantations in Latin America. In El Viejo and other villages in Nicaragua’s banana-growing province of Chinandega, where activists estimate 16,500 people were harmed and more than 1,000 died from exposure, DBCP goes under the name “Death’s Dew”. If this behaviour is acceptable to the board members then why would they care about screwing some kids out of a whole lot of money?
That’s ok, the Dole people exploit little brown people in this country also. Recall that the Dole family was a major backer of the armed coup that overthrew the sovereign kingdom of Hawaii in 1893 and then petitioned the US Congress for admission to the US as a territory. Sort of like a successful William Walker.
Until recently all state higher education institutions in California were tuition free for residents. It cost to go to Stanford or USC, but Berkeley, UCLA and on down to the local junior colleges were free. So that makes the move to $22,000 tuition seem even more outrageous. I just goes to show you how much this country has deteriorated since the idyllic 1950s 😉
Four thousand dollars oO.
I don’t think I have ever owned that much money at once. And it also makes me happy to live and study in Germany. I have to pay 185€ per Semester and that is not for tuition but for lower cafeteria prices, the MSDNAA and other software and a semester ticket for public transportation in the entire region. Which, in my case, is conveniently paid by a corporation 😉