Broad Oak: your emotional support animal

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

College education and the 1944 GI Bill

One of the first things I learned from reading Donleavy's "The Ginger Man" was that WW2 veterans were entitled (among other benefits) to a free college education and living expenses.

What a far-sighted investment that was! Wikipedia comments:

Historians and economists judge the G.I. Bill a major political and economic success—especially in contrast to the treatments of World War I veterans—and a major contribution to America's stock of human capital that sped long-term economic growth.

Even now, there are European countries where university education is free.

But it seems that in the USA and UK it's just another way for the financial system to load people up with debt - at an age when they should be starting to buy a house and form a family.

What went wrong?


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4 comments:

Paddington said...

They 'monetized' education. It has the added benefit that those great jobs of the 50's had medical benefits and pensions. None of that pesky stuff now.

A K Haart said...

"Teach those who are ignorant as many things as possible; society is culpable, in that it does not afford instruction gratis; it is responsible for the night which it produces. This soul is full of shadow; sin is therein committed. The guilty one is not the person who has committed the sin, but the person who has created the shadow."

Victor Hugo - Les Misérables

Wildgoose said...

I was only commenting yesterday that we had boosted our economy (or at least certain parts such as pubs, dining, portable electronics, accomodation, tuition, etc.) by loading up our young folk with debt.

Think Keynes, but instead of using general taxation they have encouraged a voluntary debt bondage on English kids. And it is specifically English kids who are paying - not the Scots (whose truition is free), nor the Welsh and Irish (whose tuition is subsidised), but the English who as usual have to carry the bulk of the burden whilst also suffering the bulk of opprobrium simply for the nationality they were born with.

The latest scare story is that leaving the EU will lead to the breakup of the UK. Bring it on I say. We'll never have a government that cares for England whilst we remain part of the UK. There's no guarantee after we leave either, but at least there would be a chance of change.

Sackerson said...

I think you are right, Wildgoose: leaving the EU is merely the start - if we get it at all.