Sunday, June 24, 2012

A step in the wrong direction

On Friday (June 22) we got this email from the university president:
Yesterday, the Florida Board of Governors approved at [sic] 13 percent tuition increase for UNF. We appreciate the work of the Board of Governors and are satisfied with its decision. As a sign of respect to the BOG and the Governor, we are not appealing the decision. This tuition increase will allow us to continue to provide a quality education to our students. 
The university had asked for a 15% increase, but that was turned down; 13% was the compromise.

This is a step in the wrong direction.  College student debt in the United States is already higher than credit card debt.  The right direction would be to make all education, kindergarten through university, free, i.e. tax-supported.  We could easily afford to do this, and add universal health care, if we didn't have to police the entire planet and at the same time coddle our millionaires.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Our inability to get these kinds of things done is a function, or rather dysfunction, of our hyper-independence training.  For those who missed it, independence training is a cultural value that stresses individualism at the expense of the social good.  It has multiple ramifications throughout our culture, from the rejection of co-sleeping with infants and the emphasis on early weaning (to the point where images of women breastfeeding are seen as "dirty") through the Lone Ranger Syndrome in popular culture, all the way to our ambivalence toward the United Nations and our too-frequent willingness to "go it alone" in international adventures of dubious legality.


  1. I think we'd have to break off a state somewhere and found a new country to achieve this kind of reasonable and equitable approach to education and healthcare.

  2. Down goes higher education (say it out loud as Howard Cosell said when Ali knocked Frazier down).


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