What is the real debt?

Who needs Plato, Socrates, or Descartes?  Are people like Picaso, Georgia O’Keeffe, or Andy Warhol really necessary?


We all know that philosophy and art rarely lead to lives of material wealth.  However, ideas and work from these disciplines can bring such richness to the world.  We need people who want to study art and philosophy.


Unfortunately our unaffordable collegiate system makes it difficult for people to study areas they are passionate about knowing that the end result is going to be a low paying job partnered with a mortgage size student loan debt.


I’ve heard a lot of noise in this discussion and after listening to the yelling there are a few things I’ve pulled out.


1- People are not asking for free college, they are asking for affordable college.  There is a difference and I would argue people deserve the opportunity to attend college without having to pay for it for the next 30 years of their life.


2- I’ve seen some arguments that people who want to attend college for free need to join the military.  That is just silly.  Let’s dissect this, a) not everyone meets the requirements to join the military b) if everyone joined the military for free college, the benefits might change c) it would elevate the requirements for joining the military to such a level that it would cause a heightened standard possibly eliminating some of the people who are in now and then those people might want affordable education.


3- People going to college should work while taking classes so they can be debt free when they graduate.  College does not fit the one-size fits all model and not all degrees or colleges are created equal so in some cases it is probably not realistic to work and study.


4- You should only get a degree in something that will ensure a high paying job.  Not only does that eliminate our arts and philosophy majors, but that would mean we would lose teachers, social workers, nurses, special needs educators, rehab counselors, and so many other professions where the salary does not match the societal need.


We really need to engage in this discussion because a great society has diversity.  If we continue on our current path not only will we have another generation of debt-burdened adults but we run the risk of losing a great artist or philosopher who may offer great ideas to help benefit the world.



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