Somebody pulled a pin…

I’ve just read a bunch of whiny, ranty posts on Facebook about Elizabeth Warren’s plan to forgive the loans of a bunch of people who are massively in debt, unable to declare bankruptcy (thanks to bullshit GOP policies that wiped out the rules for those who needed the assistance the most). These people were sold a bill of goods when they took out those loans from predatory lenders for fake colleges that peddled lies wrapped up in a promise of a better future. 
These posts are all similar in feel: Complaining about the cost of education and how we should be willing to screw our kids because we had to pay our loans. And these kids are all lazy, good for nothing basket weavers anyway, so why bother to educate them?
 
I invite you to the local grocery store. Go. Take all the time you need to make your way to the orange juice section.
 
See that carton right there? The one that used to say 64 oz.? You remember what that was, right? What’s it say today? 64? 59.5?
No.
52 oz. Same shape? Sure. Just MIGHTY anemic.
Now check the price. Is it the same as the container that used to hold a half gallon of OJ? More? That’s the equivalent of a can of soda missing from that container. Two morning glasses of OJ for most folks.
 
Head to the bathroom next. Notice the toilet paper roll? See that inch of paper that’s missing off the rolls? I mean, the holders haven’t changed, but there’s all that space next to the roll that wasn’t there before.
And there’s half an inch of soap that isn’t on the Ivory bar anymore, too. Nothing is as big as it used to be. Not cereal boxes, not tuna cans. But the prices have gone up. Paying more for less.
 
How about that gallon of gas? No, it’s not back up to $4 a gallon…yet. Summer’s still a month off. And don’t go shopping for cars because you’ll find pretty quickly that the cheapest thing on the market is still twice what I paid for my first car, and it runs just about as well.
 
Now you tell me how you think kids today ought to be able to pay for everything with the same paycheck YOU got when you were a kid.
 
I am 55. I got my first college degree in 1985, when computers were available only if you had an extra grand or more just lying around.
 
Gas was less than half of what it is today. A half gallon of ice cream was a half gallon. Electricity didn’t cost as much as it does now. My dad’s house was $28k when he bought it. Mine was $100k more, for less than half the space NOT COUNTING the full basement, two-car garage, eat-in kitchen, and almost an acre of land he had that I don’t.
 
What good does it do to make things harder for the next generation?
Life in prison as part of the new slave trade isn’t a life. Living paycheck to paycheck every day will kill you early. Worrying about where the next meal will come from is something people do every day and yet with our youth in a possible place to find ways to make things better, we’d rather consign a generation to gas pumps, fast food restaurants, and WalMart cash registers.
 
I’m not likely to back Elizabeth Warren in the primary for a variety of reasons, but this, friends, isn’t one of them.
 
We have to stop punishing our children for our own failures.
 
Disagree with me all you want. I know I still owe almost $5k on the $15k it took me to get out of my last dead end job, but I’m working again, full time, doing the same thing I once did without a degree because nobody would hire me without one to do what I do today. And if I was in the same position today I would do it all over again.
 
Why? Because as fucked up as it sounds, I still have something resembling hope for the future. And that future isn’t mine. It belongs to my kids. Your arguments against quality, affordable education are taking that future away from THEM.
 
I don’t give a damn about team sports. Every college football team could evaporate tomorrow and I’d be fine with it, except when it becomes an entry for someone to get an education who wouldn’t otherwise have the chance.
 
And all those art students? All the musicians? History majors? Guess what? WE know what’s going on today because we’ve learned from the past. We can see where this is heading and we know what it looks like.
Maybe think about LISTENING to US for a change.
 
Peace, out.

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