Friday, 14 October 2011

What do we want? Free education!

A young activist lays out the case for free college tuition.

Well, he convinced me.

Where do I send the cheque?


Stagflationary Mark said...

I heard this on the radio today. Amazing.

He's risking single-handedly bringing down the entire Occupy Wall Street movement with his greed.

Go figure.

Joel said...

I liked the analogy with the car.

Stevie b. said...

So Alice - it's 1 person - what have you proved?

Mark - what a crass comment - it's your prerogative of course (and before you say it, it's mine too)

droog said...

That lad is not the brightest of the bunch. Maybe more education will help him. That way he can spot where the interviewer throws statements that are, in the context of the conversation, untrue.

1. When the student says the little guys pay more in taxes the interviewer counters with the "1% pay 40% of taxes" cliche. Of course this factoid addresses only income taxes, so the interviewer is misleading at best, lying at worst by trying to prove the young man wrong.

2. When the interviewer quotes the high US corporate tax rate he avoids the reality of decreasing corporate tax revenue in the US thanks to loopholes and tax havens. The highest rate on paper isn't dissuading corporations from setting shop in the US and then exploiting the system. See GE's most recent tax payment of $0.00.

Here's Felix Salmon at Reuters.

In the end the young man can't argue his point to the save his life but the demand isn't that far fetched. Free higher education is not new. Both orderly working nations and basket case nations have been known to have it. It's not outrageous for a country to have that debate.

droog said...

Sorry, I should have made myself clear. The claim that the little guy pays more taxes is true when seen as a percentage of total of the individual's income. Basically, the lad is claiming on camera the same thing Buffet claimed on the pages of the NYT. Nothing crazy about it:

Stevie b. said...

Electro-Kevin said...

Free education where it benefits the country.

One of the reasons we now have to pay for university education here is that they tried to give it to everybody.

Also - as well as keeping unemployment figures down - unsuitable people in university creates a whole generation enslaved and indebted to the state.

Alice Cook said...

Steve B.

Admittedly, he was an easy target. Personally, I would be happy to have free university education, if we could afford it. However, the demographic realities are such that modern welfare states are no longer affordable.

However, the thing that really struck me about this guy is that he really doesn't get the modern world of massive fiscal deficits, rising debt levels and a general wariness about higher taxes.


Stevie b. said...

Hi Alice and thanks for your reply.

As i understand OWS, apart from railing against the banksters, there is no specific agenda as such - people are there for all sorts of diverse reasons, misguided or otherwise. Yes, the West is in relative decline and yes, we can't afford what we once could, but maybe if we stopped supporting the elites & restructured the now-corrupt system, we could still afford some sort of stuff, not excluding e.g. less costly education