'Tuition fees are socially unjust'

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NorthReport
'Tuition fees are socially unjust'

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NorthReport

Of course they are, but our so-called progressive politicial parties are just floundering in a sea of right-wing gobbledygook.

Germany Scraps Tuition Fees. Should Canada Follow?

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/10/01/tuition-fees-germany-canada_n_59...

cco

What a misleading clickbait headline. "Germany abandons brief idiotic experiment with tuition fees" would be far more accurate. But that said, YES!!! Québec put up a bit of a stink over this two years ago.

Gratuité scolaire pour toutes et tous!

Slumberjack

The salaries of university execs are unjust, as are BA programs.

lagatta

Why are BA programmes unjust?

Slumberjack

Most of the BA grads I know are lucky to pull a few shifts at the drive thru.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Bullshit, Slumberjack, I know lots of BAs who are gainfully employed. 

BillBC

If there are no tuition fees, working people will be paying through their taxes so that lawyers and accountants can get their degrees for free.  Is this socially just?

cco

Yes.

NorthReport

Lawyers and accountants are the main reason our economies are worth shit. All they do is move paper around instead of actually making something.

Seriously, who, apart from the rich, needs them?

BillBC

@cco.  Why yes?

BillBC

@ timebandit.  You make a good point, and I certainly am not proposing "fuck education."  Still though, I wonder if an accountant will pay enough taxes during her life to make up for the difference between her income and a barista's....

No one ever seems to propose an alternative idea:  that tuition should be free, but that entrance should be strictly regulated through entrance examinations that would weed out some of the not very intelligent or motivated types who go to university now.  I think in Germany, whose policy started this thread, far fewer kids go to university....the trades are more valued there, and university attendance is more limited.

 

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

BillBC wrote:

If there are no tuition fees, working people will be paying through their taxes so that lawyers and accountants can get their degrees for free.  Is this socially just?

The lawyers and accountants will also be paying through their taxes.  And if their incomes are higher, then they will be paying proportionately more - which is as it should be.  And then the educational system is open to all, instead of just the kids from higher income families.

Coming from a family of tradespeople and having worked at a worker's compensation board for about 5 years, the one thing that bothers me about the "degrees are bullshit, go to college or trade school" argument is that work that is physically demanding can make for a shorter career, especially in the building trades.  All it takes is one bad injury.  A lawyer with a bad back can still work - so can the guy with a BA and an office job, which may not be as lucrative at the beginning of the career but may be considerably more so later on.

I just find this whole argument in multiple threads here on babble isn't given a lot of nuance, and it doesn't sound like there's much point in engaging with - there's no real argument built, no back and forth.  Is "fuck education" really the position worth holding here?  And is that all you've got, argument-wise?

[ETA - last paragraph not aimed specifically at Bill]

Unionist

I think we should institute tuition fees for K-12, along with strict entrance exams. Otherwise, law-abiding hard-working taxpayers just end up subsidizing losers and lawyers.

We then need to have a close look at our municipal garbage collection. Why do we have free pickup for: 1) millionaires, who could readily afford private collection? 2) losers, whose homes look like a pigsty? I think the middle class is getting it up the you know what.

And don't - do not - get me started on hospitals.

 

Caissa

Education is a right. There should not be tuition fees at any level.

Unionist

Caissa wrote:

Education is a right. There should not be tuition fees at any level.

Wouldn't it be nice if the Charter was amended to include: "Every person has an inalienable right to education, health care, and employment"?

I remember once years ago having a little debate with Ed Broadbent about that, during a Q&A after he spoke at some union conference. I was talking about employment as a Charter right. He said he didn't believe the Constitution should include rights of an "economic" nature. We agreed to disagree, both about the substance and the characterization.

Education is a right of the individual. And it is a need of the society. Society should pay.

 

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

The problem I have with the entrance exams limiting attendance is that kids who grow up in lower-income families may not have the same academic skills despite being every bit as intelligent and motivated as kids from higher-income homes.  Sure, there needs to be a benchmark for getting in, but most institutions already have that (we are looking at the early admission process for my daughter right now).  I also think the the university students who are unmotivated or not very bright schtick is more caricature than reality.  There may be a smattering of lazy dimwits, but when I was teaching as a sessional it was not my experience that they were anything but a very small minority of students.

ETA:  Wot Unionist sed.  And Caissa.

BillBC

"Education is a right of the individual. And it is a need of the society. Society should pay."

how many lawyers and accountants does society need?

as for free tuition...that doesn't level the playing field...there are many other expenses, such as living expenses, books etc.  Should it all be free, for everyone?

Unionist

BillBC wrote:

how many lawyers and accountants does society need?

Not sure - I've asked the accountants to prepare an estimate.

Quote:
as for free tuition...that doesn't level the playing field...there are many other expenses, such as living expenses, books etc.  Should it all be free, for everyone?

Yes. But the lawyers tell me to go one step at a time.

 

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

BillBC wrote:

"Education is a right of the individual. And it is a need of the society. Society should pay."

how many lawyers and accountants does society need?

as for free tuition...that doesn't level the playing field...there are many other expenses, such as living expenses, books etc.  Should it all be free, for everyone?

If there is no longer a need for lawyers and accountants, or there isn't enough work for the numbers who are seeking that employment, then those who can't find employment in their fields will do other things.  The difference is that they'll have more transferable skills than most carpenters do when building booms go bust.

No, it doesn't totally level the playing field, but it goes a long way to doing so.  Why not have assistance covering those costs based on need?

Slumberjack

Timebandit wrote:
Bullshit, Slumberjack, I know lots of BAs who are gainfully employed.

So do I, as I mentioned.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Right, so why spout nonsense, SJ?  I don't know that many BAs who are "lucky" to be getting shifts at the drive thru.  None of my acquaintance, actually, and other than media constructions for and by the Wente-style columnists of the world, it doesn't seem to be a reality, or if it is, it's nothing more than the period of underemployment most of us went through during the recession of the '90s. 

BillBC

"Why not have assistance covering those costs based on need?"  Yes, and the same for tuition, which was my point.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Because then the onus is on the student to show why they "need" to go to university, to justify the assitance.  It makes it look less attainable than if it's just a matter of course that if you want to go, you can.  Anyone who is below a certain income level should have the assistance guaranteed. 

We have nothing to lose and everything to gain by having a better-educated population.

Unionist

Timebandit wrote:
Why not have assistance covering those costs based on need?

Because a modern humane progressive society should aim for providing socially necessary services to all, at society's expense. Not user fees. Not means tests. Those are dangerous paths. Right now, the Couillard government is proposing higher child care fees for higher-income folks. Very seductive. No. Increase progressive taxes on individuals and corporations to pay for what society needs. Otherwise, why not tuition fees for elementary school and fees for hospital stays, with handouts to the poor to help them pay? No. Universality.

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

tl;dr What Timebandit, Unionist and Caissa said

This mulberry bush again! First, the proposition that humanities degrees will only help you quote Chaucer while you work on the fry line is a) demonstrably not true; b) an extremely vulgar and narrow way to evaluate the value of an education that teaches qualitative, problem solving, holistic ways of viewing the world and how we live inside it; and c) is a one-sided assertion that seeks to blame humanities students for an economic and social catastrophe not of their making. When a liberal arts graduate can't get a job that uses their skills, why don't we ever blame the system that wastes their talents and abilities so? No, instead we blame Shakespeare because he would build a shitty smartphone.

Second, yes, universality. I've been trolled so much by Stephen Gordon on Twitter about how backwards the left is on their thinking of education blah blah blah that it's exhausting to even argue this anymore -- but Unionist is quite right: we have normalized tuition to the extent that we actually believe the imaginary line between high school and post-secondary education is real -- and that it must be marked with a purchase price. Education is not an item you can rent or own. It is a collective and social good that benefits everyone. It is part of our commonwealth and we should nurture, grow and protect it. Damn right put it in the Charter. It should not be cordoned off with hefty pricetags or jealous testing mechanisms that both exclude marginalized people and change the way education is delivered. Education is a right. Education for all. Point.

It is endlessly facinating to me how proud Canadians (and Britons) are of their national health care programs -- and how without blinking they will proudly declare that every one, no matter who they are, is entitled to good health. But apply that notion to things like housing, education and yes, employment, and those same people will tie themselves up in knots explaining why people deserve to remain on the streets.

NorthReport

Tuition fees are never free, but just like health care they need to be paid for out of general taxes.

Canadians should be able to study whatever they want, and not be charged extra for it.  

Canada does though need to get a good apprenticeship program into place like Gerrmany has.

Or do we want foreign workers to get all the good jobs in Canada.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Unionist wrote:

Timebandit wrote:
Why not have assistance covering those costs based on need?

Because a modern humane progressive society should aim for providing socially necessary services to all, at society's expense. Not user fees. Not means tests. Those are dangerous paths. Right now, the Couillard government is proposing higher child care fees for higher-income folks. Very seductive. No. Increase progressive taxes on individuals and corporations to pay for what society needs. Otherwise, why not tuition fees for elementary school and fees for hospital stays, with handouts to the poor to help them pay? No. Universality.

 

Excellent point.  I concur.

 

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

NorthReport wrote:

Or do we want foreign workers to get all the good jobs in Canada.

"Good" is a highly subjective word.  It could mean any number of things.  Not all trades jobs are necessarily "good" in every sense of the word.  Or so thought my grandfather, the tradesman.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

NorthReport wrote:
Or do we want foreign workers to get all the good jobs in Canada.

Wtf?

Unionist

Catchfire wrote:

NorthReport wrote:
Or do we want foreign workers to get all the good jobs in Canada.

Wtf?

Well, it sounds a bit sketchy, but I think I know what NR means. For many decades, Canadian capitalists and governments have refused to invest in skilled trades apprenticeships, preferring to wait for critical shortages and then import tradespeople - at once time from the British Isles, then elsewhere in Europe, then India, the Philippines, etc. Goverments must prioritize and subsidize and promote skilled trades training. If that's what NR means, I'm in full agreement.

Oh and by the way, we need a massive cultural and educational shift so that women are actually allowed to enter this male domain. It's one of the last big job ghettoes that's hardly been breached at all:

[url=http://rabble.ca/babble/qu%C3%A9bec/women-pushed-out-non-traditional-job... pushed out of "non-traditional" jobs by harassment and discrimination[/url]

[url=http://rabble.ca/babble/anti-racism-news-and-initiatives/responding-ques... ranting in 2008[/url]

It did sound sketchy, though...

 

Slumberjack

Catchfire wrote:
This mulberry bush again! First, the proposition that humanities degrees will only help you quote Chaucer while you work on the fry line is a) demonstrably not true; b) an extremely vulgar and narrow way to evaluate the value of an education that teaches qualitative, problem solving, holistic ways of viewing the world and how we live inside it; and c) is a one-sided assertion that seeks to blame humanities students for an economic and social catastrophe not of their making. When a liberal arts graduate can't get a job that uses their skills, why don't we ever blame the system that wastes their talents and abilities so? No, instead we blame Shakespeare because he would build a shitty smartphone.

It's demonstrably true where I live that a lot of BA grads are working in Alberta's oil patch alongside high school grads for the same money.  You have to consider regional challenges and facts before going on about the vulgar, and the narrow in particular.  My son is enrolled in a BA program at Dal, and so I'm looking forward to being proven wrong.  The rest of what you have there is quite an innovation from what is actually being discussed.

Unionist

Slumberjack wrote:

 

It's demonstrably true where I live that a lot of BA grads are working in Alberta's oil patch alongside high school grads for the same money.  You have to consider regional challenges and facts before going on about the vulgar, and the narrow in particular.

I tried to read Catchfire's eloquent comments very carefully - and nowhere did I see him deny that university graduates are being forced to work at jobs for which they are overqualified. What he characterized as vulgar and narrow, I think, is the proposition that university education provides no important life skills, in circumstances where the economic crisis prevents graduates from getting some great job directly in their field. I don't think you're disagreeing with him on that count, though of course I may be mistaken.

Slumberjack

No not on that account, but his response was matched with a heaping spade full of his own rhetoric and assumption.  I'll try and break it down into its respective elements, being mindful of the third person...

Quote:
This mulberry bush again!

Setting the tone for what followed, but begging his pardon anyway....

Quote:
First, the proposition that humanities degrees will only help you quote Chaucer while you work on the fry line is a) demonstrably not true;

Well, in terms of employment prospects, the opposite can be demonstrated as well.  Maybe Chaucer or something else, Durante degli Alighieri perhaps.

Quote:
b) an extremely vulgar and narrow way to evaluate the value of an education that teaches qualitative, problem solving, holistic ways of viewing the world and how we live inside it;

What nerve are we hopping on anyway with this.  If both sides of the employment prospect argument can be demonstrated, why is one side considered vulgar and narrow?  Toward that answer we're provided with this clue:

Quote:
and c) is a one-sided assertion that seeks to blame humanities students for an economic and social catastrophe not of their making. When a liberal arts graduate can't get a job that uses their skills, why don't we ever blame the system that wastes their talents and abilities so? No, instead we blame Shakespeare because he would build a shitty smartphone.

Yes, I suppose it is an opinion from one side of a much wider range of debate on the problems with the education system.  The other two parts of the statement appear as a presumptive transference of malicious intent from out of nowhere.

Slumberjack

I'd like to note that in terms of eloquence, Timebandit's succinct response was no less than CFs.

Slumberjack

Timebandit wrote:
Right, so why spout nonsense, SJ?  I don't know that many BAs who are "lucky" to be getting shifts at the drive thru.  None of my acquaintance, actually, and other than media constructions for and by the Wente-style columnists of the world, it doesn't seem to be a reality, or if it is, it's nothing more than the period of underemployment most of us went through during the recession of the '90s. 

Both of our statements suggest that if opinions on the matter are subjective, it stands to reason that definitive truth is elusive.  In effect, wouldn't the both of us be spouting nonsense then?  In any case I wouldn't go as far as to say in total.

Slumberjack

BillBC wrote:
If there are no tuition fees, working people will be paying through their taxes so that lawyers and accountants can get their degrees for free.  Is this socially just?

What people become should normally be considered secondary to the question of equitable access, but you do raise an interesting point.

BillBC

Most of the policies designed to increase access to post-secondary education--registered education funds, tax rebates for tuition fees, etc--benefit the wealthy and the middle classes.  There's no point in having free tuition if you don't have any money for books, board, etc.  What is needed is a wide program of bursaries and other support for students who need it.  Besides, the main barrier to higher education is family circumstances; children of the wealthy are far more likely to attend college than the children of the poor, for all sorts of reasons.  It's a complicated question, but free tuition is not the answer

Slumberjack

Well, I don't know about that.  Bursaries don't normally cover a full program and other necessary expenses.

NorthReport

Education is now just another big business like the banks, supermarkets, etc. Government services are not free as they are paid with through taxation. Tuition fees need to be paid for through general taxation revenues, and every Canadian should go to school if he/she wants. Education should be universal, just like our health care system.

The text book industry is just another massive rip-off, and should be run by the government as well.

But students do have some responsibilities. Study for 2 semesters, and then work for one semester, etc.

 

 

 

BillBC

"Well, I don't know about that.  Bursaries don't normally cover a full program and other necessary expenses."

 

You are right, they don't.  But they could, and should.

Caissa

"That's My Girl Bill". Wink

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Slumberjack wrote:

Catchfire wrote:
This mulberry bush again! First, the proposition that humanities degrees will only help you quote Chaucer while you work on the fry line is a) demonstrably not true; b) an extremely vulgar and narrow way to evaluate the value of an education that teaches qualitative, problem solving, holistic ways of viewing the world and how we live inside it; and c) is a one-sided assertion that seeks to blame humanities students for an economic and social catastrophe not of their making. When a liberal arts graduate can't get a job that uses their skills, why don't we ever blame the system that wastes their talents and abilities so? No, instead we blame Shakespeare because he would build a shitty smartphone.

It's demonstrably true where I live that a lot of BA grads are working in Alberta's oil patch alongside high school grads for the same money.  You have to consider regional challenges and facts before going on about the vulgar, and the narrow in particular.  My son is enrolled in a BA program at Dal, and so I'm looking forward to being proven wrong.  The rest of what you have there is quite an innovation from what is actually being discussed.

When you're looking at the smaller picture and the shorter term, sure uni grads are working alongside high school grads.  But will this be the case in 10, 15 or 20 years?  As I pointed out, a lot of us Gen Xers wound up underemployed for a period of years after graduating from liberal arts (or in my case, fine arts) degree programs.  Maybe some didn't ever get out of underemployment - but the majority did manage to find other work and generally are making better money than people without post-secondary education.

So much of the handwringing comes to mean "Well, they don't get a worthwhile job as soon as they graduate!"  Um, yeah.  I got to work in shitty customer service jobs for a few years, too.  Doesn't mean I stayed there, and it was the "soft skills" that I learned in university that meant I didn't have to.  The gals I went to school with who went straight into the work force are still doing more or less what they were doing shortly after high school.  I know that's purely anecdotal, but there are a number of studies that have been done that show, over the long haul, the degree pays off. 

I hope your son does really well at Dal, and most importantly, that he grows as a person and enjoys the experience.  :)

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

I'm definitely in favour of abolishing tuition fees. Education ought to be affordable to everyone. Of course we need to make sure that the number of available spaces in various programs is in proportion to the projected demand in the economy, and this includes the trades.

Regarding BA degrees, a BA degree on its own is basically not really worth anything anymore. By that I don't mean that a BA is insufficient education, as there are many career paths open to workers with BA degrees; rather that a BA degree needs to be combined with suffficient relevant experience to get jobs that require degrees. Generally speaking, the more work experience someone has when they complete a BA, the more likely they are to get a job requiring either their degree, or a degree in general.

Most jobs these days require a level of work experience that is well out of proportion to the ammount of experience required to be able to prove the ability to perform the job. I suspect many employers are using the experience requirement as a substitute for placing a minimum age requiremnt on the job, as emplyers are not allowed by law to place minimum age requirements on job ads. So if a job requires four years of education, and the emplyer wants successful job applicants to be 30, they'll put a requirement of 8-10 years of experience on the position.

Which means that BA grads without sufficient experience to get relevant or semi-relevant jobs, wind up working in lower level work until they get sufficient work experience to get the more relevant jobs.

Also keep in mind that workers as a whole are significantly overeducated relative to the requirements of the available jobs, and therefore most workers are by default going to be overqualified in the education department.

TiradeFaction

I must say I'm fairly amused by the fact there's even an argument about whether university tuition should be scrapped on a left wing board. But that aside...

A lot of people in this thread seem to generalize a university education as a Liberal Arts "BA" producing nothing but accountants and lawyers. Ignoring the silly degridation of both of those careers, what about physicians, scientists, teachers, psychologists, pharmacists, engineers, and etc? All of which require a university education and many of which aren't even under Liberal Arts. Should those professions be closed off to the lower classes? Would we be better off with less physicians and scientists? Oh also, many of these professions pay more than the "trades". It should also be noted that while trade education is cheaper, it's often conducted at public institutions who are not immune to the divestment trend that is hitting public universities and causing them to raise tuition. You can already see this in the United States where in some states a community college (where most people get a trade education there, well outside the scam for profit institutions that end up costing even more than a public university education) education is now comparable to a university education in the cheaper provinces in Canada.

As for Germany and higher standards of admittance. This point is often brought up when comparing European public unviersites to North American public unviersities and it's frankly a very exaggerated factor. True Germany does have higher admittance standards but it isn't *that* much of a difference and from what I understand it's been lowered in recent years. It's true they do have less people on average going to university but that has a lot more to do with the fact there's less demand to go to university because of their robust trade education, apprenticeships, and the fact some jobs that require a degree here don't require one in Germany. It probably also helps a lot of these "blue collar" jobs are unionized and thus have higher wage standards. But at the end of the day much of the professions still pay more, and are still highly sought there. And this isn't even touching on the issue of education beyond just narrow vocational goals, something which Catchfire touched on earlier.

NorthReport

Bingo!

TiradeFaction wrote:

I must say I'm fairly amused by the fact there's even an argument about whether university tuition should be scrapped on a left wing board. But that aside...

 

Unionist

TiradeFaction wrote:

I must say I'm fairly amused by the fact there's even an argument about whether university tuition should be scrapped on a left wing board. 

There's no "argument". Just one individual. Go back and check carefully. This often happens on this board. A contrarian view gets a lot of responses - looks like an argument.

Quote:
A lot of people in this thread seem to generalize a university education as a Liberal Arts "BA" producing nothing but accountants and lawyers.

Same comment. Look back. One poster created the "lawyers and accountants" meme, others (like yours truly) ridiculing it. Not an argument. Unfortunately, sometimes, the reaction to a single opinion like that takes up too much space. I'm as guilty as others in that respect. Sometimes I and others say, "please ignore this, and let's get back to a constructive progressive conversation", but that tends to get misunderstood, or itself ignored.

As for the rest of your post - yes, I strongly agree.

 

Unionist

Left Turn wrote:
So if a job requires four years of education, and the emplyer wants successful job applicants to be 30, they'll put a requirement of 8-10 years of experience on the position.

Great post, LT. Agreed. Just wanted more info on the above point. I've been out of the job-seeking mode for many years. I know employers filter mountains of applications by requiring experience, etc. But this is the first I've heard of "8-10 years", or even of looking for minimum age of candidates. Maybe it should be obvious why they're doing this, but humour me please and explain. Are they afraid younger applicants won't stick around? Or are they really honestly looking for experienced people, given that they can pick and choose so freely?

 

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

Anthony Bourdain went to Shanghai, and his trip there was summarized in a recent documentary on CNN.

On the show it was mentioned that we are just not going to need as many people to work to provide all the goods and services that the world will need and want. This has been predicted for many years in science fiction novels, etc.

Promoting education as being 'necessary for employment', like the hydrocarbon industry, is a business model destined for failure.

Education for its own sake should be the primary reason for it. Educated people do not always need to grasp for material things. A textbook with all of its demonstrations and exercises can provide hours of challenges and joy, which do not cost a further penny except perhaps some scrap paper to work out some things.

A society full of educated people will have less crime, less pollution, and less abuse. It will be less wasteful and consumptive, which Canadians should consider, living in a country which is more wasteful and consumptive than its neighbor to the south per capita. These are collective values that rank individualists like to ignore, but the quality of life is a very important consideration.

While there are criminals in the business world (such as the ex-politicians and lawyers who promote phoney mining deals), we will need good auditors to find out where the stolen money went, and we will need Crown attorneys to put them in jail for the long prison sentences they deserve. We will also need legal resources to deal with murderers and sexual assaulters, who also need to be locked up for some time. While in there, they must be educated and reformed.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

Unionist wrote:

Left Turn wrote:
So if a job requires four years of education, and the emplyer wants successful job applicants to be 30, they'll put a requirement of 8-10 years of experience on the position.

Great post, LT. Agreed. Just wanted more info on the above point. I've been out of the job-seeking mode for many years. I know employers filter mountains of applications by requiring experience, etc. But this is the first I've heard of "8-10 years", or even of looking for minimum age of candidates. Maybe it should be obvious why they're doing this, but humour me please and explain. Are they afraid younger applicants won't stick around? Or are they really honestly looking for experienced people, given that they can pick and choose so freely?

I think there's two things going on in this regard. One is that if a job involves managing the work of lower level employees, empoyers will want to make sure that the person looks old enough to be taken seriouly as a "boss".

The other is straight up ageism, the belief by older workers that in this day and age, young people in their early to mid 20s are not responsible enough to handle jobs with higher levels of responsibility. Of course most young workers don't fit the steryotype, but the ageist thinking persists based on anecdotal evidence.

Now, 8-10 years experience is typically only required for more senior positions. It's more common for less senior positions to require  anywhere from 2-5 years experience. Requiring 5 years experience probably relates to the above reasons. Requiring 2 or 3 is more about hiring someone who's proven they can last that long in the type of position being offered. Employers don't want to hire someone only to have to rehire in 6 months to a year when the person turns out not to be a good fit for the position.

Sean in Ottawa

Universality is often misunderstood as more expensive. It is not. It just means that everyone pays for the same thing through the same way. Those with more money pay more in taxes but everyone pays through the taxes they pay. The universality buying power often makes the cost less expensive. The value purchased is the same if we buy it separately or together but there are savings of having it purchased collectively. Taxes can provide the leveling more efficiently than user fees.

The savings of avoiding universality has always been a fraud. The only savings is through denial of service to those who need it. That denial runs a cost to the community greater than providing the service. This is true of any essential service: healthcare including dental care and long term care, education including university, and public transportation (which should also be without user fees).

The idea that education be paid for does not make sense from a productivity point of view any more than a social one. That we have students doing minimum wage jobs when they should be studying or experiencing the community of university is mismanaged resources. If we cannot tax back enough from a person who graduates and becomes a doctor or lawyer then we need another look at our tax system. Tuition does not pay the full shot anyway as higher education is already subsidized. Since it is subsidized tuition serves to limit that subsidy to people with enough money to pay the tuition -- or a subsidy for the wealthier. Now that makes no sense.

Part of the education that lawyers and doctors and others could receive is the value of collective good and collective value of education. I prefer lawyers who understand they owe the public for their education and good fortune over those who think they owe nothing in spite of the many advantages and subsidies they have received in life. I am happy to pay to educate lawyers through our taxes. I hope too that more of those lawyers will come from more backgrounds than they otherwise might.

It is also true about universality that if you provide a benefit to those with the resources to defend it, that program has a higher chance of surviving and retain popular support over the long term.

Some say that free university education can be abused. If so there is an approach we could consider and that is user fees for any classes missed beyond a basic sick leave where there is not a medical reason to be absent. If you attend w will pay for you to be there. If you skip the class without a good reason then you must pay for the empty chair (we can provide a loan if you need one).

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