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And, yes, I DO take it personally: The real purpose of higher education
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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The real purpose of higher education

ah...! the priceless benefits of a college education, not the least of which is to insure that you will be forever in servitude to the money and power elites that make the rules...

barbara ehrenreich
...

[N]ever forget that your real purpose here is to shake off the pointless freedom of youth and assume the burden of debt. To this end, we have just raised our tuition in an attempt to keep up with such top-of-the-line institutions as George Washington University (now weighing in at $39,210 a year, or $50,000 with room and board). You will find us also charging a plethora of additional fees -- a "student activities fee," a "technology fee," and an "incidentals fee." In addition, we will be experimenting this year with a "snow removal fee," a "lecture hall seat-use fee," and the installation of pay toilets in the dorms.

[...]

On average, you will graduate with a respectable-sized debt of $20,000, which will enable you to establish your all-important "credit history." If we have succeeded in our educational mission, you will be a first-rate debtor, capable of making minimum monthly payments much of the time. As fresh offers of credit cards and home equity loans pour in, you will beam with pride at your achievement.

Please note carefully that Fleece U degree cannot guarantee you a future income that will allow you to pay off your debts. Many of our most promising graduates are now, three or four years later, working for $8-12 an hour serving up latt├ęs, counseling disturbed youth or creating business computer networks. They are set for a lifetime of debt, and we are proud that they first began to accrue it right here, on our lovely mock Oxfordian campus.

We don't have to remind you not to stigmatize debt as a condition associated with poverty. In 2006, for the first time, the average household's debt exceeded its income. By becoming a debtor, you will have entered the American mainstream! We have confidence that you will go on to mature effortlessly from college debt to car loan to mortgage to medical debts occasioned by the ever-growing gaps in coverage.

as the parent of three children, all of them saddled with significant debt left over from their college educations, i all too well understand the dynamics of this particular form of slavery...

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