October 12 2011
You try to stick up for these kids, and then they go and do this...
Courtesy of Charles C.W. Cooke at NRO, here's a video that will make you weep for future generations:
As Mr. Cooke describes, this protester "wants his college tuition paid for because, well... that's what he wants." I've got three thoughts on this:
- Imagine the nerve of this guy, demanding he get something for free because greedy corporate executives are exploiting... somebody else? According to his rationale, if the working class and the poor get hosed, then he should get a free university ride? (when I ran this logic through the computer, it said DOES NOT COMPUTE before exploding). Look, if you are in college, then you are almost certainly not working class. Your parents might be poor. You may be broke with mountains of student debt (welcome to the fold, pal), but you're not automatically relegated to working manual labor jobs or low-paying service jobs for the rest of your life. You have built up some human capital. I'm sympathetic to the young people who are unfortunate enough to be graduating in the middle of what's likely to be a lost decade in America - our lifetime earnings are likely to be lower than the graduates of the previous decade. But to say you know all about being poor because you're a broke 20-something with a liberal arts degree and no kids to support is not only disingenuous, its myopic and insulting.
- Speaking of higher ed: Is this the value of a college education these days? This man not only can't form a coherent argument, he can't even articulate standard progressive talking points very well. If you feel passionately enough about an issue to scribble something on a protest sign, falling back to a position of "Well, that's just my opinion" is not the best way to advance your cause. If this is the value of a degree these days, no wonder there's so much talk of a higher ed bubble.
- Like I said, I feel for these folks. I really do. I even took to facebook last week and chastised my fellow Friedman/Hayek-oriented friends, encouraging them to lay off the invective, and work on bridge-building instead. But when the spokespeople offered up to the press are less articulate than a Jersey Shore castmember and more ridiculous than the tri-corner hat contingency of the Tea Party, that means there's some serious organizational issues that need to be addressed if these people want to be taken seriously as a political movement.