Wednesday, March 14, 2012

More on higher ed & taxes

Reich associates disengagement with public universities with the decline of the middle class.  The problem:
The US is already making it harder for young people of modest means to attend college. Public higher education is being starved and the middle class will shrink even more as a result. 
...The children of middle- and lower-income families are hardest hit. Remember: The median wage has been dropping since 2000, adjusted for inflation.
... public higher education isn't just a private investment. It's a public good. Our young people - their capacities to think, understand, investigate and innovate - are the US' future.  
...Public higher education has been the gateway to the middle class, but that gate is shutting - just when income and wealth are more concentrated at the top than they've been since the 1920s, and when the US needs the brainpower of its young people more than ever.
A solution:

A big part of the answer has to be more government support for public education at all levels. This requires more tax revenues - especially from Americans who are best able to pay. 
Most Americans still believe in the ideal of equal opportunity. And most harbour the patriotic notion that we have responsibilities to one another as members of the same society.

And here is a discussion of the growing problem of student debt, with this scary looking chart:

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