Thomas Frank on the collapse of the American economy, university system, and why the Class of 2014 is totally “screwed”:
“Yes, you are a screwed generation, Class of 2014, with a helping of debt that will take you many years to digest. But consider this other generation that has also been screwed, and screwed by the very same people who secured that millstone to your neck. You borrowed and forked over enormous sums in exchange for the privilege of hearing lectures . . . lectures that were then delivered by people who earned barely enough to stay alive. It is a double disaster of the kind that only we Americans are capable of pulling off.
Actually, it’s worse than that. This is a disaster not only for individual adjuncts but for the production of knowledge itself. What do we really expect college classes to be like when they are taught by people in such dire situations? Is our new precarious professoriate able to research or write at the same pace as its predecessor? How many of them feel secure enough in their position to defy the prevailing conventions of their disciplines?”
I agree with every word. Education is the great equalizer in a healthy democracy. Punishing students with staggering debt is pretty much the opposite. And it’s worth being very, very angry about it.