I was at a Broad Ripple bar last week, seating at the table with three uber liberals, when the topic of the high cost of college education came up. The liberals insisted that the solution to the high cost of higher education was to make it "free."
I pushed back. I said I did not, under any circumstances, want my tax dollars to pay for some multi-millionaire to send his kid to college when that person could easily afford the cost of college education. I was told in no uncertain terms that I was wrong. That, yes, there was nothing wrong with the less affluent in society paying higher taxes so the affluent won't have to shell out money to send their kids to college.
I was dumbfounded. The opportunity to gain a college degree tends to favor people who are better off, whether by accumulated wealth or accumulated intelligence, not people who work blue collar jobs for which college degrees are not particularly helpful. Of course, when I have in the past mentioned having taxpayers pay for vocational education or trade school for those pursuing blue collar jobs, my liberal friends weren't interested.
Let's, for now, set aside the snobby attitude liberals seem to have for those who work with their hands and have no interest (or need) for a college degree. There is a way that taxpayers can pay for college tuition and still have it geared toward lower and middle class parents who actually need the help - means test the free college program so that the wealthy are not enriched by taxpayers who are living paycheck to paycheck.
My liberal friends are not interested in that.
During the course of our conversation, I also brought up the high cost of tuition and that annual increases in tuition have exceeded the inflation rate for decades. I talked about the need to control costs. The response? One of my liberal friends said that if we made college free we wouldn't have to worry about the cost. Wow.
Then it suddenly occurred to me. These liberals did not hold their position on free college because of their concern about the poor and downtrodden in society. Rather their positions seemed based entirely on elitism, their belief those who have to work in factories and warehouses, or even in skilled trades like electricians and plumbers, are not as valuable members of society as those who have the opportunity to earn college degrees. Liberals actually look down on the people they claim they're trying to help.
And that is why I'm not a liberal.