One thought on “Treasonable noticing of seditious facts

  1. My first reflex reading this is that it’s a sign of the fall of the traditional college food service. It used to be that before you arrived on campus — before you were permitted to arrive on campus — you had already paid for the semester’s meals in advance. You always knew where your next meal was coming from.

    I attribute this to the fact that food services are large enough that they generally have to follow the employment laws, and they’ve been out-competed on price by smaller food vendors who can avoid checking for proper work authorization.

    My second reflex is that the reported fraction of students with food problems is remarkably high, given that students are generally more affluent than the rest of the population. And it seems that an awful lot of these students haven’t done proper financial planning — Why would you walk into a semester of college without having plotted out how you were going to survive through it?

    I think that with that observation I’m starting to approach reality. If you’re a single mother of a small child (as was showcased in the article), you’d better have your life quite well organized if you’re going to take on college as well. Especially given that traditionally college is well-known as a severe financial stress.

    This is probably amplified by the article focusing on the NYC area, which has the second-highest housing costs in the country. (See the “nyregion” in the URL.)

    But down under this, I wonder, What is the article advocating for? It’s easy enough to write at length about Things I Don’t Like. It’s a lot harder to provide a proposal to fix things that a substantial part of the public will support.

    The only obvious possibility is drastically enlarged government financing of higher education, which is an idea with a number of problems. In a number of European countries, university tuitions are effectively paid for by the national governments, but reports are that even then, a substantial fraction of students have financial problems covering their living expenses. Perhaps the goal would be government-provided financial aid to cover all of students’ expenses. If this was carefully tailored to people from poor backgrounds with demonstrated academic talents, it looks like an unalloyed good. This probably amounts to “serious expansion of Pell grants”.

    But if it’s not filtered based on academic skills (and some of the cases mentioned in the article sound like people with marginal academic skills), it would easily become a boondoggle — Zonker Harris avoiding graduating so he can keep living on financial aid.

    And if it’s not filtered based on family income, it becomes a boondoggle for the affluent, who are (or whose children are) the bulk of people who go to college. This is a particularly cynical aspect of Elizabeth Warren’s “free college” plan — It would be a huge transfer of income to the well-educated professional workers, the upper half of the income distribution, who feel they must send their children to college and who are Warren’s power base. Even better for her supporters, the money would be extracted from “the one percent”, the class just above the well-educated professional workers.

    This gets weirder when I consider the word “seditious” in the article title. Wiktionary says “sedition” means “organized incitement of rebellion or civil disorder against authority or the state”, whereas the article seems to be pushing for the state to provide more money to favored people. It reminds me of a bit from LiveJournal, “I am on welfare and have been since I was pregnant and he split for a few days after an argument. anyway, glad to be here… I’m Marigold and I’m an anarchist.”

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