I’m going to try out a new feature on my blog. On Casual Fridays, I may post something a little less polished, share a few thoughts, or throw something out for discussion. Here is something that’s been hanging around in my drafts.
We would do well to take another look at It’s a Wonderful Life now that the holiday happy haze is passing. It might be useful to take some social-political lessons from this film.
Remember the bank run? Remember how everyone wanted their money from the B&L because the bank was going to close for a week? George Bailey had to explain to them all that, although Mr Potter’s offer to pay 50 cents for each dollar deposited at the bank looked like benevolence in a turbulent time, Mr Potter might have other motives. Mr Potter wasn’t selling; he was buying. He was picking up bargains.
Each person had worked hard for the money in their B&L account. Mr Potter was taking advantage of their panic (which as it turns out, he created), and returning to them half the value of their money. He was stealing the rest. He was buying these people. He would have no competition for control over their lives.
Now we are having free college for everyone dangled before our eyes. Sounds great and about time, right? First you orchestrate the need: college under federal funds has become unaffordable. For everyone. So we want free college.
Do we forget, or do we just not care, that federal funding means federal control—over content, among other things. The gov’t is not offering you a bargain; it is monopolizing the educational content over your lives and will tolerate no competition in the marketplace of ideas. The fed gov is buying all influence over your minds.
Public school extended through grad degrees. But public school was such a great deal, right?
As for low-cost college: don’t give me that anymore. It was a great idea to spend the first two years in community college, saving thousands of dollars while getting your required basic courses out of the way. But as the cost bar is raised, it’s raised for everyone. Community college is no longer the place to go for technical training while you’re working; it’s become grades 13 and 14 for public school grads looking for direction.
My kids (and we) are having a great deal of trouble paying for community college. Not only has the cost gone up, because the industry can smell the money just as well as all the other college entities. They know they have a huge captive audience for their services. The abstruse financial aid maze is really incomprehensible. You pay up front, and late in the semester, you may or may not receive reimbursement for some of it. Only the Magic 8 Ball knows. If we had the money up front, we wouldn’t be applying for finaid.
Also, when the fed gov has everyone occupied at community college, including people who otherwise would be pursuing other things, delaying adulthood for two more years, they won’t be noticing that they can’t get jobs. Which says to me that the gov knows there still won’t be any. Just get them all gov dependent. That is the goal.