Welcome back to school – and debt


Lately there’s been a picture of an old college tuition receipt circulating which shows how cheap a semester’s worth of tuition was in 1975 – for $152 (adjusted for inflation, something like $700) you could get a whole semester’s worth of school, including fees.

Obviously this shows the exorbitant price of education in the country, but that’s obvious. Less obvious: why is this so?  The knee jerk answer is easy: blame the boomers!

Ah, yes: all of the boomers (every single one of them, amazing!) get together bi-weekly in a mahogany country club room and try to figure out how to screw the kids.  This might actually occur, I’m not a boomer and haven’t got an invitation.  Can a boomer please advise?

Ask any boomer about this though, and they’ll agree that tuition is out of control.  After all, they’re the ones that are paying for their children’s college, so why would they want it to be expensive?

We can of course say that the boomers allowed it to happen.  They didn’t do anything to stop it but really, exorbitant tuition is an unintended consequence of political policies and cultural norms:  the same political policies and cultural norms which are now being perpetuated by my generation, to a further degree.  

Simply put: socialism, and a culture that doesn’t mind debt and also places too high of an importance on college education.

Colleges are businesses.  Similarly to things like designer clothing, a lot of people want it and will pay any price to have it; so colleges can inch up the price because ultimately, the student will take a loan or the State will cover it.  In this case, you can pretty much charge anything.  Who’s gonna question you?

Until we get together and say okay, guys, we aren’t going to go to college until you lower tuition nothing is going to change.  There’s no competition mechanism with education like there are in other free markets and ultimately, we’re the ones that are allowing this by giving in.

What are we gonna do, not go to college?  They’re in control and they can do whatever because we all have this thing about going to college.

I don’t mean to defend the boomers too much.  Ever work retail?