Sunday, April 27, 2014
The First Time as Tragedy...
Indentured servitude collapsed for some good reasons. I’d like to see it crawl back under the historical rock from which it crawled, to be replaced instead by funding mechanisms that reflect both the reality of labor-intensive industries and the necessity of paying attention to the social good. Let’s not replace a flawed system with a dead one.
I'm sorry, but you're wrong. It never collapsed; now, it's known as compulsory taxation.
Where this model is used for student loans (as in Becca's partner's case, it works. It's both predictable, and usually much less of a burden, and probably a more manageable one, than our current system. In fact, for most people, this is probably a better deal. And pay it forward is not a bad approach.
I'd rather think of it as a reverse insurance: sure, there are people who would pay back more than their education cost. But there are years when you pay more for your auto insurance than you have in claims.
Why is it more acceptable to charge 3% of income for 20 years than to charge 0.5% sales tax on everyone? Or to increase income tax? Have we completely lost sight of the fact that people getting an education is beneficial to all and therefore worth subsidizing? I would very much resent as an engineer subsidizing my lower wage counterparts for two decades. A tax that I could pretend was paying for police and parks would be infinitely more palatable. I'm sure the wealthy love this as it leaves them totally off the hook in paying for the education that allows them to make their billions. Sorry but this doesn't pass the stink test for me.
Once the powers that be realize that STEM majors are avoiding such a program like the plague, they'll adjust the tuition to bring it in line with the actual cost of the corresponding education. Thus, STEM majors will be charged twice the tuition of liberal arts/social science/education majors.
STEM majors will thus be required to remit 5% of their salary for 20 years instead of 3% because their degree is "worth more."
And then the powers that be will declare that the new system is more "fair."
This system will, of course, lead to a paucity of STEM majors, which will lead corporations, in turn, to lobby Congress to raise the cap on H1B visas.
And then you'll realize who was behind this idea in the first place.
Capital and the rich are free to move around — the rest of us are increasingly tied in place.