navva on Mon, 21 Nov 2011 19:38:19 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> Debt Campaign Launch

at last some sanity on this.

[To Mark Stahlman: When I went to Brooklyn College it was entirely free; now fees are about 10k a year. That's because the state had realized the need for a professional class beofre but esp after the war. When the attendees at public educational institutions became working class kids of color in high numbers, the interest of the state and the population at large in supporting public ed of any kind, including k-12 in NY, evaporated.]

The invention of Pell grants to help lower middle class students and working class students attend college was a Dem initiative essentially canceled out by the advent of neoliberalism in the US in the 80s. Loans were routed through banks instead of the government, and the terms were not in the least favorable to students. This was not accidental, as part of the prescriptions of Huntington et al to neutralize student activism and return the democracies to 'governability" was to increase the costs of all sorts of attending college and to turn it into a jobs-credentialing industry.

The corporatization of higher ed has led to a grotesque hypertrophy in the administrative/management layer, and they draw absurdly high salaries, costs borne by tuition-paying students. Since the 1980s the cost of tuition has far outstripped inflation.

Blaming students for incurring debt, like blaming householders for incurring incomprehensibly encumbered mortgages is blaming the victims as though they were 'complicit." They were gulled, not complicit.

I am suspecting we should all read David Graeber's book on debt.

Graeber, btw, had a foundational influence on OWS, not even primarily through his aritcle in the notorious cool kids A AdBusters.

I confess to being shocked to read on nettime the previous reactions to the incurring of debt.

martha rosler

On Nov 21, 2011, at 6:08 PM, elise t wrote:

Sascha's comments represent a vast and very problematic
oversimplification of things. The oversimplification is itself,
offensive, seeing as it steamrollers over the actually existing
conditions of student loan  debt today.  So let's go through some of
those conditions and issues, shall we?  For the sake of clarity and

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