Student loans are crippling Americans. Education in the US is expensive because education is privatized, not that community colleges with cheaper education don’t exist. But the better jobs and opportunities go to students from more expensive universities because the perception is that these universities are somehow better.
Students will do almost anything to get into an ‘Ivy League’ or equivalent school. But this is only possible if either you are extremely brainy or extremely rich, therefore this creates a very nice balance where the extremely rich students subsidize the extremely brainy. It’s a free rider problem, but here both sides seem to be profiting. However Newton has laws, and there is no free lunch, so who loses? All we have to do to figure that one out is to follow the money.
The losers are the students who are not exactly brilliant but not exactly stupid. They are not exactly rich but not exactly poor. They are the horde, the majority, the bourgeoisie, destined to always be spectators, playing second fiddle. They are the people on the bench, the water boys and girls, always waiting for their big break.
Never is this divide more apparent that when an economy is suffering. A rise in unemployment always sees the underprivileged suffer more. Even at the best of times the elite get the best jobs and the rest get what is left. The difference is that ‘what is left’ is usually enough to keep people happy, because a superpower like the US inevitably feeds off the rest of the world and therefore even its less fortunate are more fortunate than most of the fortunate elsewhere.
But in a recession the skeletal body of the economy is not fleshy enough to feed them all, and this is when the, wait for it, seedy underbelly of the education system exposes itself. The brainy and rich always have a way out, more or less. The rest however, gather at Zuccotti Park, ‘Occupying Wall Street’.
Modern capitalism, like a column by David Kristjanson-Gural put so nicely, is simply a system where wealth perpetuates wealth. It was George Bernard Shaw who said “all professions are a conspiracy against the laity” and this is just as true today as it was then.
The Corporatocracy own the universities and ultimately use them as breeding grounds for employable people, and the next generation of greedy elites. The system shuts out all thought that is hostile to it and reduces all dissenters to bar room intellectuals or doomsday prophets, devoid of money and success and therefore effectively devoid of influence.
And so students are hell bent on acquiring the best education (read university) possible. The vast majority who isn’t super smart or super rich proceed to take massive loans. They are then stuck with these loans for years and years after they start working and consequently can’t afford independent thought. Disillusionment with the system is effectively controlled because they all need to keep working for the corporates in order to keep the loan sharks from their door.
They refinance their debt and gradually graduate to bigger loans as they buy houses and cars. All the while slaving away in a materialistic haze that helps perpetuate their illusion of success, shutting out all metaphysical, spiritual and introspective thought, digging themselves deeper into a meaningless life, supporting war efforts and giving their implicit approval for their forces to kill thousands of unarmed civilians worldwide. This state of affairs is also loosely known as the American dream.
The Occupy Wall Street protests were a brief uprising of the laity. It was entertained as grownups entertain the tantrums of toddlers. Now the harsh winters and pepper spraying police have driven the toddlers back inside, and will hopefully turn them into good little robots again as the Corporatocracy, Israel and America prepare for yet another war, starting by antagonizing Iran, and there is nothing like a war to keep the internal peace.