Tom Blumer almost likes the idea.
I almost like it, too. Not only will it have a greater impact on those with a history of favoring taxes, it will have an impact on a bloated educational system that subsidies rotten high schools and wastes years of the lives of students who really won’t benefit from college.
I suppose I had better explain both points.
First point: Subsidizing rotten high schools. I don’t mean financially. I mean that colleges without selective admissions policies teach most of their students things they ought to have been capable of learning in a decent high school. The students in [i]really[/i] rotten high schools aren’t likely to be attending any college, of course, and the best high schools really are pretty good even today. It’s the mediocre high schools that get away with being mediocre because their graduates can get a remedial high school education in a mediocre college.
Second point: Wasting years in the lives of students who really don’t benefit from a college education. You know who I’m talking about: These are the students who helped us get As by filling in the lower part of the grading curve. They no more enjoy the mental exercise involved in education than I enjoy a brisk pick-up game of basketball. They go to college to get certified, not to get educated, in the mistaken belief that this is the ticket to prosperty. Many would be wealthier, and probably happier, too, using those years to learn an honest, respectable trade. And the rest of us would be better off.
It doesn’t take a college education to be a successful businessman. A decent high school education will do. It doesn’t take a college education to be a plumber, mechanic, or (frankly) computer technician, and these are are respectable trades with decent if not outstanding pay. For that matter, most classes up to high school level could be taught by a high school graduate from a decent high school. Think of the years we’re wasting from these people’s lives by making them take four or five years to prove they can stick out four or five years of what, for most of them, is tedium interspersed with drinking binges.
Palpatine says the best education is hands-on anyway. Though mine was probably better described as hands-off. Also legs.