Students want college to be free! And they want to have their debt forgiven! And they want a $15 minimum wage for campus workers! Um … what?
That contradictory final demand was part of the so-called Million Student March. The march, despite having the veneer of being about education costs, was actually put together by labor interests pushing their minimum wage goals and using college students as some sort of bridge. Beth Huang, coordinator for the Student Labor Action Project (SLAP), told the Washington Post, "The problems of skyrocketing college costs and low wages are linked together and result in poor economic mobility for people who graduate with the burden of student debt."
Well, no, but thanks for the buzzword salad. The problems of skyrocketing college costs are linked, actually, to the high wages and numbers of non-educational college staff—the bloat in administrators and non-educational services being provided by colleges these days. And increasing the minimum wage for low-level staff will drive the price of college up even further.
Amid the Yale Protests about minority treatment and disenfranchisement, there's plenty of signs that students just absolutely don't get it. They do not understand why college prices are so high and are loudly demanding Yale provide more stuff that will make the college even more expensive and even harder for some students to access. A group of Yale students called Next Yale marched up to President Peter Salovey's home last night with a list of demands. They require Yale to spend more money and hire more people to implement. Among them:
- "Mental health professionals" permanently established at the college's four cultural centers
- Budget increases ($2 million each) for each cultural center
- Stipends for food and access to residential college kitchens during breaks
- Dental and optometry insurance as part of the college's basic health plan
- Eight additional financial aid consultants for international and undocumented students
But the economics of "free" are simply beyond the grasp of many of these college students. Neil Cavuto of Fox Business Network found out first hand trying to interview one of the Million Student March organizers. When asked how to pay for all this stuff, the answer always comes down to "Make the one percent pay!" When Cavuto points out that people want the one percent to pay for everything, but even the one percent have a limited amount of money (and not enough for this), her actual response is that there's always going to be a one percent. It's unclear whether she realizes that she's saying that once she's milked the "one percent," they'll just move down to the next group of citizens and start milking them, too. Watch Cavuto's interview below. He's a lot nicer than I am. I would have asked her if she understood that the part of the "one percent" that is responsible for skyrocketing college costs (administration) would be the ones who would profit from this plan: