Sunday, January 4, 2009

Higher Education: Practice for the Welfare State?

Eric Gibson, who has recently been visiting colleges with his high school son, recently wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal titled "Pleading Poverty: Colleges Want Parents to Foot the Bill for Their Largess". He writes:

I've been wide-eyed on some of my visits, struck by the extent to which being a student today resembles living at Versailles, where Louis XIV's every whim was so thoroughly accommodated that there was even a Superintendent of the King's Furniture. One college tour guide proudly informed us that upon arrival every freshman is issued a brand-new laptop. Even if the students already have one? Why, yes, the guide replied....

Until I started these tours, I used to assume that college kids tilted left politically because they were young and impressionable. Maybe, but it's also because they get introduced to the welfare state at a tender age and become addicted. The government (college) offers cradle-to-grave (matriculation-to-graduation) care and feeding, levying higher taxes (tuition) on the populace (parents) whenever the spirit moves them -- which is every year. Not even the actual government is that brazen.
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