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Critical Reactions to March 4: We’re Selfish Rich Kids

Posted By Alex Bigman On Mar 8, 2010 @ 2:57 pm In News | Comments Disabled


Occasionally, The Clog takes interest in what old people think. While we’re all wading through last Thursday’s excitement in the form of Facebook statuses and top-notch student media coverage (wink), we thought it might be fun to take a look at two published views from the grumpy, grumbly perspectives.

Peter Robinson, Reagan speechwriter and fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, did not sympathize [1] with the protests. In an article titled “The Golden State’s Me Generation,” he essentially argues that, armed with rhetorical device, student protesters selfishly painted the budget cuts – really an act of financial desperation – as an act of oppression.

According to Robinson, they did this as a money-grabbing strategy for their selfish selves, without regard for the economic plight of non-student Americans or even the fact that, even after budget cuts, California still devotes considerably more money per student than do states like Illinois or New York. He says:

We have here the vocabulary of the peace movement, of the struggle for decent conditions for migrants and other exploited workers, and of the civil-rights movement. Yet what did the protesters demand? Peace? Human rights? No. Money. And for whom? For the downtrodden and oppressed? No. For themselves.

Robinson does not discuss the possibility that California students are, in fact, better.

William Tierney, professor at USC, suggests in an article titled “Why subsidize wealthy college kids?” [2] that there is nothing wrong with fee increases, in and of themselves. In fact, aiming to keep fees well below market price (which, if you agree that $25,000 per year Cal and $50,000 per year Stanford provide comparable educations, you must admit that they are) gives a discount to all the students who can afford to pay more.

So, instead of advocating across-the-board fee increase reductions and, in effect, subsidizing rich kids, Tierney suggests instead focusing on maintaining aid for those who need it. There isn’t enough tax dollars to do both.

Tierney does not discuss the possibility that UC Berkeley students of all socioeconomic backgrounds are, in fact, better.

Image Source: Idiolector [3] under Creative Commons
The Golden State’s Me Generation [WSJ [1]]
Why subsidize wealthy college kids? [CNN [2]]

Article printed from The Daily Clog: http://clog.dailycal.org

URL to article: http://clog.dailycal.org/2010/03/08/critical-reactions-to-march-4-were-selfish-rich-kids/

URLs in this post:

[1] did not sympathize: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703915204575103273147345014.html?mod=rss_Today%27s_Most_Popular

[2] “Why subsidize wealthy college kids?”: http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/03/08/tierney.college.costs/

[3] Idiolector: http://www.flickr.com/photos/idiolector/9441035/

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