Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Joel Fleming on a tuition protest

Joel Fleming who has a very witty and entertaining blog reports on the tenured and masters students representing the academic proletariat and raging against the "Rae Report". Apparantly even former NDP premier can repent and actually say "maybe we should charge people a little bit more in tuition". The former NDP premier is then savaged and the left blames the federal liberal government. I'm okay with that outcome, even if the leaps of logic there are a bit baffling. He mentions one of our inkstained malcontents offering up a little speach that went as follows.

A prof, who has run unsuccessfully as an NDP candidate, then gave a little speech:

"The Canadian public keeps electing a Liberal government. Wake up and smell the herbal tea friends."

Uhh, two points - one, as much I'm amused by the federal Libs getting attacked from the left, how exactly are they relevant to the Rae Review? Second, why do I have to smell the herbal tea? Is coffee suddenly an unsocialist beverage? I sure as hell hope so - the only thing that could make my daily (ok, twice-daily) double-double any sweeter, would be knowing that drinking it was pissing off socialists.

My reply to Joel is yes! Apparantly coffee is now too "exploitative" for the left unless its "fair trade coffe". I've considered going to one of the university coffee establishments here at the U of A which have their "Fair trade" coffee and asking for some "free trade coffee", why? I don't want any "hippy coffee, give me capitalist joe!" In fact I want "slave trade coffee" if possible. Preferably that which used enslaved children to harvest it with some oversear cracking a whip across their backs and exorting them to 'work faster for the great satan'. Well, I want that if its cheaper than free trade coffee anyhow. Now considering I don't even drink coffee, this is obviously a joke, mostly because I'd love to see the look on the face of the coffee vendors with their dreadlocked hair, and multiple piercings, all of whom look as if they haven't bathed recently, when I asked for coffee made for THE MAN not coffee to "share the wealth".

I personally drink Earl Grey Tea, why? Firstly, it tastes good. Secondly, its British, imperial, and has an aristocratic title, if some part of those three characteristics doesn't annoy all the right people then I'm not sure what will (aside from a request for slave trade coffee).

In Alberta the current push is "no tuition" apparantly because we have a bit of a surplus here students are entitled to most of it, or so the thinking goes considering our money just comes up from the ground. *sigh* The stupidity of the left is somewhat disheartening. They don't seem to realize that a prosperous economy is a precipitous thing. For example, Venezula has a great deal of oil but rampant corruption and mispending has resulted in it being abjectly poor. Furthermore, BC right next door is a case study in how to destroy a perfectly fine economy with stupid socialist policies in one easy decade.

Morally, middle class and upper middle class children really don't have a right to the income of the taxpayers as a whole. I'm willing to agree that universities do provide enough positive externalities that some subsidization is in order. But tuition freezes and making the system "free" put the burden on the back of the average working taxpayer rather than the person whose going to benifet from it. And tuition fees result in stagnant resources for students and limited spaces being available. If you mean to benifet from higher education by increased levels of income it really you whom should shoulder most of the burden for the costs of your education. Obviously there need to be assurances that education remains accessible with grants, bursuaries and no to low interest loans being made available to those whom otherwise could not afford to persue it.


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