Wednesday, April 04, 2007
A comment from Billy Bob in the last post set off a chain of thought, which led to this post.
Cost of the Iraq War so far:
$414,000,000,000 (yes, that's billions)
Average cost of an education at an American public university in 2006-7:
+/- $24,000 (yes, that's thousands)
Number of Americans we could have given a FREE college education (full ride) at an average 4-year institution of higher learning using that money:
1,725,500 students (yes, nearly 2 million people)
Incidentally, had we started a college grant program, rather than a war, the first of those students would graduate in May.
Now, what do you think, could one of those people have had the solution to Peace in the Middle East? Okay, probably not. How about solutions to our independence on foreign oil? Maybe. What if we made all those students study science or medicine or teaching? Would that have been more productive than a land war in Asia-minor?*
"Experts" will tell you that regardless of skyrocketing tuition rates, a college education is still a good investment. If this is so (and I dont doubt that it is if you are in the right field), then why stop thinking in terms of income (which is all those making this argument ever cite). Education is not only good for the one receiving the education, but also for the society in which that individual lives. Prosperous societies do not create educated citizens, rather, educated citizens create prosperous societies. So why has the rate of tuition at state-run universities all over the nation been rising since the Reagan era? Could it be that Republicans would rather horde their wealth than invest it in their communities? That they have no faith in the return of that investment? Or maybe they're just short-sighted, greedy, selfish bastards with no sense of community spirit or national pride?
Here's a question for you: If you're like most people, you'll sped as much money as you can to buy the best stuff you can afford, right? Car, TV, computer, house, clothes, whatever. So why is it so hard for this nation to spend the money to have the best country we can possibly have? Education, health care, infrastructure, whatever.
Think about it. Have we gotten a good deal on this Country we've bought into? Or did we spend a little too much on those useless "features", like that unnecessary War and undercoating, and not enough on some safety or "smart" systems?
* Trick question: buying every man, woman and child in America a case of rubber chickens would've been more productive than our near-classic blunder, which has so far cost us about $1400 per person.