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California: where those who do not pay what things actually cost mooch off those who pay more than what things are actually worth.

Take the U. of C. at Berkeley, for example. That’s the school that shows off its coolness on its web site’s home page with a photo of students doing high-level math on a blackboard while wearing t-shirts (at least that’s what it displayed when I visited it). But it seems that a facility for higher math doesn’t automatically lead to an appreciation for how numbers work in the real world.

Berkeley students, apparently mindful of their publicly-funded school’s place in the ’60s Free Speech Movement, decided to speak out-loudly and violently-against the latest social injustice being perpetrated against them by our “evil capitalist culture”: i.e., the fact that they now have to pay a whole 30 percent (~$10,320) of what students at the private Stanford University, about an hour and twenty minute drive south across the San Francisco Bay, have to pay (~$34,340) for a year of college.

What an outrage!

Actually, I’m thinking here of the California taxpayers who are stuck footing the bill for upwardly-mobile, opportunistic entitlement snobs who actually believe their attitude has surplus value in the tangible world outside their own little intellectual Disneyland. They should be outraged that their toil and effort is being wasted on such an ungrateful demographic.

A still-dirt-cheap Berkeley degree is often considered an education equal in worth to what one receives at Stanford (not to mention Harvard and Yale). But what is this attitude that “the world owes me” worth to the average employer nowadays? I’m not sure, but I have a pretty good idea of what it typically costs.

Yes, this new jump in student fees is a big one for the typical Berkeley student to swallow. The new annual cost is a 32 percent increase from the ~$7,800 – $8,300 per year they had been paying up to now. I understand the students’ dismay. I sympathize with those who will no longer be able to afford a Berkeley education. But if you are in such a situation, I suggest that it is not the end of the world. I understand that California has a decent community college system. Perhaps you should check into it.

Just how long did these entitlement snobs think this gravy train was going to last? If these students are as smart as they themselves seem to believe, have they not been keeping up with their home state’s current budget crisis? Did they think they were the only ones who realized that the average starting salary of a Berkeley grad these days is $59,900, while the median family income in California is $61,154? Don’t they realize that an education that ranks with Ivy League schools and yet will only cost a total of a bit over $41,000 in student fees over four years is still an incredible bargain? One might think that the students’ response to such realities would be one of immense gratitude. One would be incredibly mistaken.

Down with the system! Nationalize all universities! Invade and occupy the banks! Stick it to the man!

If there was ever a State of Entitlement, it is California. Their students are an ominous warning that society suffers when its adults do not grasp a couple of basic truths well enough to pass them on to the next generation:

  1. things are worth less to those who do not have to pay the costs, and
  2. things end up costing more when those who consume them will not pay what they are worth.

By providing publicly-funded education, the state is extending a benefit to individuals with the understanding that it will also benefit the public as a whole. It is not all about the individual any more than it is all about the people as a whole. To even have to say such a thing seems absurd in light of the fact that, in the case of publicly-funded education, the people are the benefactors and the individual is the beneficiary. How dare the individual in this case assume an attitude entitlement rather than one of deep gratitude? You think you are entitled to an average starting salary of $59,900?

The Berkeley student protests are not about need. They are about greed.

HT: George Will: Liberalism is What is Killing California | RealClearPolitics.

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