Blogs May 1, 2012 at 8:43 am


When I first moved to CA in the late nineties, the college system was dirt cheap. Community College charged something like 7 dollars a credit and the UC system, one of the best in the country, was maybe 4,000. Now, CC is 46 dollars a credit and UC system is approaching 15 grand in tuition and fees.

Unless you have a trust fund, how on earth are you supposed to work enough to pay that type of cost?
@1 Yes. Mid 90's tution was something like $15-30 per credit in my state for junior college and state u was about $70. Now CC is over $120 and state is around $200. It's loony tunes, I tell ya.
This is partially why I found it strange that Romney's "ask your parents for a loan" statement got so much flak. Granted, it is way out of touch with the common man, but way less so than many things he says.

Due to the increases in costs, you essentially have to borrow money to go to college anymore, and many graduates have been floated through by their parents. I would rather borow from my folks than a bank, if I could.

It is still a statment that ignores the root problem, but I guess I do not see how it was so out of line, given the current state of the GOP, and how many people pay for college.
25 years ago annual tuition at UCLA was $1,000 and the California minimum wage was $3.80. Now tuition is $12,600 and the minimum wage is $8.00. This means that today's students have to work SIX TIMES LONGER to pay their way through school than they did when I started college, thanks largely to a string of Republican California governors (Deukmejian, Wilson and Arnold).
People like McKenna want to turn this state into another Alabama and Mississippi. The middle class disappears and a new slavery is created.
I hope the morons who flock to the dailies' comment threads and the moron running for governor for the GOP don't signal this is going to be a thing in the wider world. I've never heard something like this from people around me, and trust me, I know a lot of oooooooooold folks.
i am prolly around the same age as old man McKenna, and i too benefited from an inexpensive public education. how inexpensive? when i entered Western Washington University in fall 1974, tuition was $165 per quarter. when i left in spring 1979, it was around $170 per quarter. and how did i pay for all this? pell grants, work study, a small scholarship and a $700 loan, all of which were plentiful back then. $165 won't even get you a textbook nowadays. if i shook my head everytime i read about the cost of a modern education, people would think i had parkinson's.

i agree with gus: i know a lotta old folks, too, and none of 'em spout the 'get a job' BS.
My conservative friends point out that it is classic economics: easy availability of cheap money (in the form of aid, grants, and loans) has caused universities and colleges to raise tuition to get more of that money.

Not being a student of the dismal science of economics, i dont have a counter-argument. In fact, it makes sense. Flooding this particular market with money has created high inflationary pressure. And the hell with providing cheap education.

Is turning down the spigot of money a solution?
Well, yeah... that's the conservative's mantra: "I got mine, the rest of you can go fuck yourselves."


Uh..yeah, Jerry Brown (Democrat) was Governor when Prop 13 was passed...and he is Governor today!

Question: Will any Hollywood Liberals support the repeat of Prop 13 and pay fair value on their mansions?

If you look at the return on investment for attending a 4 year university, it's one of the best around.

The salaries basically make it easy for most to pay off the loans by 10 years after which the rest is all profit.
Exactly what Urgutha said.
I was with you right up until the end where you pretend to know McKenna's mind, and paint it as a childish caricature. Bad form, Goldy. You can only know what people do and say, not what they think and feel, and that's doubly true for journalists.
Why would RepubliKKKans ever want to support education? They get nothing out of it, since it turns the childrens into lesbians--or even worse--liberals!

Have you looked at the data? Young people today are impoverished. They get paid squat. Compare average net worth and average income of a 25 year old now vs a generation or two ago. In real dollars. Go look at the data and then come back and say that.

Nobody is saying getting ahead used to be easy. They're saying it used to be possible.
I've been around a good while and young folks have my total sympathy. I think that's true of just about everyone I know in my age(d) cohort.

I'm pretty sure the only old people who are bitching about the lazy kids are the same folks who bitch about the government taking over their medicare while chain smoking cigs and toting O2 tanks on the back of their motorized chairs.


I'm not sure where you're getting the idea that your hairdresser cousin didn't continue her education past high school. Hairdressers are required to get a vocational degree.

And, unlike vocational degrees, an all-around B.A. in liberal arts is applicable to many kinds of jobs and careers. It's a sensible choice for anyone who doesn't know what they want to do in life when they're graduating from high school, which would apply to just about every teenager I've ever known.
@11: So what? Jerry Brown had nothing to do with the passing of Prop 13. It was an initiative of the people.

Well who needs data when you have three anecdotes? I have an 85 year old uncle who smokes a pack a day, and do we need to know any more than that about cigarettes and health?

I suppose I have to Google this for you and give you links, right?

And putting tax revenue back up to where it used to be is not "shoveling money" into higher education. We weren't shoveling money around a generation ago. What we've done is gut the system by failing to address the structural flaws in Washington's tax code.

Guys like McKenna like it that way, because they've got theirs already.
I don't understand how "adequately funding education at all levels" turns into "dumping money into schools" - public colleges and universities are, by their very definition, to be funded by the states that found them. Private colleges and universities, not so much. So tell me why public, private, and for-profit universities are getting ever closer to costing the same thing? Don't tell me "market forces" - the whole point of publicly-funded schools is to avoid the temper of the market.

There are some increases in costs over the years - new facilities that replace old ones, etc... And there is a "mini-baby-boom" group of teens entering college that has to be accounted for. But the real problem is that the cost of a public college education is steadily being transferred away from the public at large to individual students (and their parents if said students are lucky enough to have parents able to help afford the costs involved). It's reached the point where schools like the University of Florida and Michigan receive virtually NO funding from the state, and public colleges within our state have seen drastic cuts in financial support from the state legislature, and by extension, the taxpayers.

Conservatives will have you believe that it's only about cheap money chasing credentials and the ol' boogeyman, "waste." But it''s the redistribution of financial responsibility, in effect the state telling the individual, "You're on your own, bub" when it comes to becoming a long-term high-value contributor to society, effectively dismantling one of our wisest investments in maintaining our society in future years, that is the root cause.

(And by the way, this is why Conservatives in Congress hate keeping interest rates on student loans low - their benefactors, who loan the money for said loans, get to take advantage of forcing state legislatures to transfer the cost of a college education completely on to the back of individual students by loaning money to those same students at above-standard rates.)
@25 I went to high school with quite a few girls who got vocational training to be hairdressers/beauticians/whatever they're called. I don't think any of them have jobs cutting hair. It doesn't matter what kind of school you went to. It's still hard to find a job.

Good for her. Too bad for the majority of high school students that vocational training is not widely available in public schools. But I'm sure you knew that.
Education costs are high and rising, and quality declining, for one reason: government.

Tax-funding for government schools artificially props up demand, while government regulations artificially restrict supply of education. Any student of Econ 101 knows that an increase in demand and decrease in supply, necessarily leads to increase in price.

Without government aid, students would shop around more, and suppliers of education would have to lower their price. One way price can and is being lowered, is through distance-learning via the internet and cable TV. Another way would be to fire most administrators, affirmative action bureaucrats; and shut down useless programs like ethnic or marxist studies.

Once government controls funding and regulation of education, of course then education will dance to the tune put forth by government. Imagine the DMV put in charge of automobile production, and you will get an idea of how absurd is the present system of education in America.
Yeah...the WA university system was $1200-1500/quarter when I attended and is now upwards of $5k/quarter. It's a tragedy that the costs have skyrocketed like that.


The biggest 2 factors that would improve education in this country, pre-college, are physical education and after-school programs.

Some of the highest funded districts in this country are some of the poorest in terms of educational quality of the students within them.

The primary reasons are because they are fat (unhealthy bodies contain unhealthy brains) and because they do not have a positive learning environment in their homes, or parents that encourage their natural intellectual curiosity.

PE helps with the fat problem. After-school programs help with the environmental issues in the home.

I don't know that the government caused it, but they have certainly been slow to recognize and react to it.

Bush's 1st Surgeon General started speaking out about the health part of the deal, but he didn't last long, so perhaps the government is to blame now...

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