A friend writes:
I am trying to step back and care less about everything. But this is so hard to ignore. Germany is now entirely free of college fees, which is wonderful news. But sitting here in the desperate gulag called the US, one can only feel like weeping.
Here, where a college education is the most obscenely expensive necessary "luxury" in the world, the costs inflated far beyond the means of most people anywhere on the planet, Americans are told that they are worthless without a college degree, so they are forced to borrow fortunes which then ruins their futures, ironically. Some parents mortgage or sell their house, practically kill themselves with overwork and go into enormous debt to procure for their children what should be a free and basic human right. And after all that sacrifice and suffering and work and worry, there are few jobs for graduates, of course. People with huge college loans often must take the kinds of jobs that cannot possibly pay enough to repay those loans. And for people who aren't into going to college and/or like to work with their hands, the "blue-collar" jobs which used to provide a fairly secure middle-class life for millions have been stolen by fascists, shipped away to China, Pakistan, the entire third world where people are treated like slaves and paid like them too.
Then people in the NY Times sneer that those "blue-collar" types don't belong in college anyway. They sneer at community colleges. Then they sneer at anyone who took out college loans they can't repay. Then they sneer at people who didn't bother to go to college. The best jobs and most interesting opportunities are reserved for children of the privileged and hyper-connected. There is no way to live in this society any longer, unless you have an exceedingly charmed life and and/or were born into riches. Everyone else is considered to be a waste of space, and ordinary people now must fight for the small morsels of moldy crumbs eked out to them by fascist America, and after all that scrabbling for advantage, can be fired at will with no explanation required and no recourse.
But oh how this dreadful scenario enriches the lenders of college loans; probably debtor's prisons will become legal ... every single goddam thing in this vile "society" is a fucking scam, with college education at the top of the list. But what choice do people have now? To demand a free education as they have in Germany would be laughable to most Americans who feel that you must pay for everything you have. They simply aren't educated enough to understand that they ARE paying -- but instead of their taxes being used to enrich their own lives and of their fellow citizens, it's all being diverted into endless war. Part of the problem is the "their fellow citizens" part -- they don't want anyone they don't absolutely know to be "deserving" to get the same benefits they might get, so they'd rather go without. The real problem with Americans is a knee-jerk penchant for Puritanical intolerance and a love of abject cruelty; this has poisoned the entire nation.