Interesting article by Thomas Frank (who is always interesting) on the rising cost of a college education , due to a combination of factors: administrative bloat, replacement of federal grants with federal loans, failure of the media, and mainly the abandonment of once great public institutions to the forces of the market.
I witnessed Minnesota’s public higher ed divestment as a member of the community college faculty union in the 1990s, as the state Legislature gave higher ed an ever shrinking piece of the budget pie. Simple math: lower taxes, higher tuition.
One thing Frank didn’t mention, that I thought he would: As students are forced to think more about the cost of college, they increasingly see college as career training, contributing to the demise of the liberal arts education. As a result, more market-oriented citizens, fewer big-picture thinkers, more individualists, fewer communitarians, more corporatists, fewer cooperative-ists.
I generally don’t believe in conspiracy theories, but this sure was a happy coincidence for the prevailing forces in American culture who want to reduce human life to a contest for greenbacks.