Thursday, November 25, 2010

"Why should I pay for their university?..."

An attempt at debunking right-wing logic

You hear a lot of it these days: "why should the bus driver/waiter/street cleaner be compelled to pay for the improvements in someone's life chances that his further education will bring?".

Apply the same logic to any other aspect of life:

- Why should I pay towards the NHS bill of someone who broke their leg on a ski trip while I lead a safe life?
- Why should I contribute to the expenses of a serial fry-up eater who's just had a triple heart bypass surgery?
- Why should I pay for rail subsidies if I never ever use trains?
- Why should I pay for street cleaning so that those lowlife kids can chuck their rubbish down anywhere they like?
- Why should I fund the Citizens Advice Bureau if I'm never going to use it?
- Why should I subsidise someone else's free childcare when I don't have any kids myself?...

"Each for himself and god for us all", right?


FlipC said...

Amusingly there are some right-wing commentators who already state those points in all sincerity.

Jackart said...

Of course the principal beneficiary of higher education is the student.

You can either have

1) an elite going to university, well funded by the plebs.
2) mass higher education funded by students themselves

What you can't have is
3) mass taxpayer funded higher education.

Of course the Labour party crossed the rubicon on this. But they didn't get rioted, because squits like Aaron Porter are Labour politicians.

So. Rather than engaging whataboutery, answer your rhetoricial question: Why, exactly should a street cleaner pay for my higher education which allows me to become a stockbroker?

claude said...

Because one day the street cleaner too will need well-trained doctors, dentists, social workers, primary and secondary school teachers for his kids and grandkids, accountants and consultants, architects and urban planners, engineers and computer technicians and so on.

We don't live as islands. We are not atoms.

I will, however, say this loud and clear (as I have done before on several blog posts). Tony Blair's egomaniac plan to get 50 per cent of young people into university was appalling, crap, counterproductive, delusional, you name it.

Ironically my opinion is that the best approach to University was the one the Conservative Party had in the run-up to the 2005 general election.

At the time the Tories suggested much stricter admission criteria to university.
The sweetener they offered was the abolition of tuition fees.

That would have been true meritocracy. Students would have had to earn their place at University through hard work, as opposed to daddy's bank account.

Also back then the Tories spoke of the importance of expanding vocational qualifications and apprenticeships.

That was the one area where I agreed with them wholeheartedly.
Of course though that remained pure politicking because they ditched those proposal quicker than they could change their underpants.

Jackart said...

So we agree. You go for option (1). A Tax-payer funded elite, who get a massive benefit paid for by the vast majority of people who don't get to enjoy it.

Reactionary, even by my standards.

You can mewl all you like about "hard work vs daddy's bank balance" the current proposals actively prevent "daddys bank balance" by punishing early repayment or payment of fees in advance. Repayment is based on income, and is written off after 30 years. Rich graduates subsidise poor ones. It is, in essence a graduate tax.

However the only think the left is sure about is that whatever the tories do, it is wrong. Even when they agree.

You lot ARE funny.

claude said...

You lot are as inconsistent as a piece of rotten socks. Absolutely laughable.

So why were you frothing at the mouth a mere 5 years ago when New Labour introduced the same concept that you are now supporting so blindly?

It was exactly the same. It wasn't up-front fees. It was only repayable past a certain threshold. The threshold was lower, yeah, but the amount was ONE THIRD (1/3) of what your idols are currently proposing.

I'm not the one who changed his mind.

You and your idols are. Because Libservatives don't believe in principle. You believe in what is politically convenient that specific moment.

"Repayment is based on income, and is written off after 30 years. Rich graduates subsidise poor ones. It is, in essence a graduate tax."

The system is unsustainable. Even Lord Browne said less than 40% of all graduates are expected to repay the full amount. How the fuck will that work?

I also love it that the ConDem's fans conveniently gloss over the fact that teaching budgets will be slashed by an avarage of 40% - just for the record. How will that improve quality and service ("the market", isn't it) only a Tory will be able to tell after, surely, consulting the Good Book Of The Free Market Hymns.

As for your contempt for anything "taxpayer funded", you're just loaded with ideology. It's like debating with a 1950s style communist.

claude said...

By the way:

The Institute For Fiscal Studies 17 Nov 2010:

"Government proposals for higher education would squeeze high earners less and cost the taxpayer more".

Stan Moss said...

Indeed the rightwing fella on this thread looks a little bit confused.

Does he support the Tories' tuition fees plan or does he think it means that "Rich graduates subsidise poor ones. It is, in essence a graduate tax."?

Make up you mind, pal.

The Coalition are playing down the fact people will kick off their working life with a debt each of £27,000 plus interests.

History repeating itself and all. We'll have masses of people defaulting and a system funded on the assumption that they will instead pay back. Hasn't the crash taught you anything FFS?

Unless of course, you seriously expect most graduates to earn £40,000 a piece. Oh that, and pigs able to fly.

Let's hope this blog and this comments thread are still around in ten years' time for the news that HE funding in Britain will be about to collapse. We'll have a right chuckle.

But then the Tory here will probably blame the Euro or political correctness gone mad or Labour feminists or something. Anything but right wing ineptitude.