Monday, February 16, 2009

"I'm fine with a tuition increase...."

My son Kevin, on the tuition hike at UNC-Chapel Hill:

"I'm fine with a tuition increase. I'm surprised it wasn't more."
(Link to the video) (Kevin's voice, and then picture, starts at about 1:25 on the video).

It is interesting that UNC, where taxpayers pay at least $3 for every dollar paid in tuition, for each student, gets depicted as screwing over the students, rather than the taxpayers.

There is a big difference between artificially low tuition, where taxpayers subsidize college education for an elite few with the grades and SATs to get in, and financial aid, which ensures that lack of wealth is no barrier to entry.

Still, to my son Kevin, who is "fine with a tuition increase": Your mother and I are "fine with you getting a job this summer."

UPDATE: In comments, an anonymous commenter bravely confronts my hypocrisy in sending my son to a public school. Dude! Suppose bandits broke into my house while I was away, and stole everything in it. If they offered me my television back, would I take it? YES! That doesn't mean I approve the original theft. But you takes back what youse can gets.


Anonymous said...

Shouldn't your son be going to a more, um, private school? What kind of a libertarian are you?

Anonymous said...

Until he can opt out of paying taxes, I think patronizing a public school is fair enough.

Anonymous said...

He'd be expected to work anyway, right?

Angus said...

Great video. I like how UNC apparently only has one african american male student so they just keep going back to him for reapeated comments.

Also, Erskine Bowles, are you kidding me? He is a stone cold freak. I would LOVE to party with that guy.

Anonymous said...

$160!!! Bwaaahaha! How does it not go up that much every year? I guess taxpayers typically cover inflation too???

Dirty Davey said...

Well, there is the question of how this is compatible with Article IX, Section 9 of the NC State Constitution:

"The General Assembly shall provide that the benefits of The University of North Carolina and other public institutions of higher education, as far as practicable, be extended to the people of the State free of expense."

I would personally advocate a ballot measure giving the citizens a choice: either repeal IX.9 or cause it to be enforced as written, without considering political pressure against spending to be a legitimate limit on what is considered "practicable".

Steve_0 said...

This argument about hypocracy infuriates me. This discussion is currently ongoing with people saying "If you oppose the bailout, your state should refuse any bailout money".

This simply means that every time you lose legislatively, you should also voluntarily cede more ground and further marginalize yourself.

Anonymous said...

In the long run we're all dead, so let's say their martyrizing themselves, not marginalizing themselves

Real Libertarian said...

Props to Dirty Davey.

Now, I personally think that UNC should charge MUCH higher tuition, so that rich folks like me aren't subsidized by childless middle class folks (like....Dirty Davey! Thanks, man!)

But, I also often jabber about how I think that the words in the Constitution matter.

And, if I think that, I can't be selective. Fact is, the Constitution says just what DD claims it says.

So, how can I reconcile my belief that we should charge high tuition with my belief that we must obey the clear meaning of the Constitution (it is NOT ambiguous, btw....)?

I think we should change the Constitution of NC. And then raise tuition.

Mike Munger

Anonymous said...

Given that the goal is "free", what costs are students subsidizing with their tuition?

If the cost of providing a college education is mostly variable, then UNC could accept fewer applicants to save money - in which case the $160 hike subsidizes the least qualified students.

But, if the cost of providing education is mostly to cover overhead, then the hike subsidizes critical UNC programs like The Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies.

John Thacker said...

"If you oppose the bailout, your state should refuse any bailout money."

Only so long as anyone who votes for higher taxes or supports candidates who favor them has to pay them even if not enacted by law.

David said...

The rising cost of education is a challenge that our society has to come to terms with. I believe that universities like UNC are doing their best to keep a lid on spending and keep tight budgets, but their costs, including salaries and supplies, are rising and as a result, the price they must pass on to consumers is also rising. Their sources of funds are being cut and it’s hard for them to deal with that.

In the economy we face, it is difficult to attract increasing donations and so many students rely on student aid. I am fearful for the burden that we are placing on the next generation to try to marry, raise families, and purchase homes when a monthly loan repayment is a part of the financial picture. Our young people have mortgaged their futures without a guarantee that they will get a job at the other end of the journey.

I do hope your son was able to work a little more to offset the expense.