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Aristocracy and the Student Loan Bubble

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Maritn and Lehren’s story on the crushing burden of student debt is very much worth reading in its entirety. But one point that shouldn’t be forgotten is that this is in large measure part of Republican initiatives to slash public services and redistribute wealth upwards. On one hand:

Ohio’s flagship university, Ohio State, now receives 7 percent of its budget from the state, down from 15 percent a decade ago and 25 percent in 1990. The price of tuition and fees since 2002 increased about 60 percent in today’s dollars.

The consequence? Three out of five undergraduates at Ohio State take out loans, and the average debt is $24,840.

Well, maybe this is because the Ohio government is focused relentlessly on insuring that programs for the most vulnerable remain funded? Oh, wait, this is a Republican-governed state, so:

There is an ideological and political tug of war as well. State Representative John Patrick Carney, a Democrat, said if legislators were serious about financing higher education they could find a way, like eliminating tax breaks for corporations. He noted that even as funds for higher education were being reduced, Mr. Kasich and the Republican-controlled Legislature eliminated the state’s estate tax, which will cost the state an estimated $72 million a year.

Republican governance in a nutshell — do everything to ensure the perpetuation of an aristocracy from generation to generation, and then do what you can to ensure that children who aren’t part of this aristocracy don’t have a chance.

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