Champagne Marxists

One wonders whether it is only the US in which highly educated white liberal college students from the upper reaches of the socio-economic strata support the extremely regressive Bernie Sanders-style policy of spending a trillion dollars on free education for all^* (* = all people like themselves), but I was pleased to note during my recent visit to King’s College London that even more extreme positions exist. Here is the following sign located on what appeared to be a graduate student working room in the school of social science & public policy at King’s College London. (I promise that, given the other political statements posted, that this is meant in all seriousness.)


This entry was posted in Politics and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Champagne Marxists

  1. David Loeffler says:

    You seem surprised to learn that the idea of free university tuition has supporters outside the US. In case you weren’t aware, university education is free in most continental European countries. (In fact many of Bernie Sanders’ “extremely regressive” policies would be regarded as centrist or even somewhat right-wing in much of Europe).

    • I’m not sure you understood the point of my post (to the extent that there was a real point). In case you weren’t aware, I’m not from the US myself. And since regressive tax policies are generally considered “somewhat right-wing,” your parenthetical remark doesn’t seem to make any sense at all.

    • (Some confusion arose here about the use of the word “regressive;” it was intended here in its economic sense rather than political sense, which led to some mutual misunderstanding…)

  2. Good onya says:

    At my Australian university campus, Australians for Bernie was by far the biggest political group attached to the US elections this year.

    Personally, I’d rather cut the “grants and free education”, and instead give “welfare and free entertainment”, which might be the same thing, simply relabelled.

  3. asd says:

    Tuition surely didn’t used to be this expensive, even say 50 years ago. I’m curious how well you think trimming the fat (i.e. firing all of the Vice Provost Counselors to the Regional Academic Student Affair Committee Chair) would help make college more affordable for more people.

    • I would rather say, roughly speaking, that the increasing cost of (public) universities is directly related to the decreased spending by governments at all levels. And I expect that to continue indefinitely into the future.

  4. valuevar says:

    (a) Tuition-free, or practically tuition-free, education is popular there where it is still the case (France, Germany, Scandinavia, and quite a few other places). Of course, that doesn’t quite answer your question: tuition-free education is most popular among those who couldn’t have gone to college otherwise, and that would not be those who are “from the upper reaches of the
    socio-economic strata”. In Latin America (which is not otherwise a good example, given that most of its universities are unfortunately not terribly good), supporters of tuition-free education tend to be neither wealthy nor, for that matter, white. If you are from an economic elite (regardless of your precise hue), why would you support it? (Idealism, I suppose, but surely that’s a good thing?)

    (b) “Regressive expenditure” is not necessarily politically regressive. Compared to medicaid, say, a universal health system is regressive. It also ensures a higher standard of care to all than policies that cover only the poor tend to, and it is arguably far less precarious politically – the middle classes (all else remaining equal0 will be more willing to be taxed for policies from which they, too, benefit, and policies geared towards “the poor” often end up being resented (sometimes reasonably so) by a lower-middle or working class that earns a bit too much to benefit from them.

    • “tuition-free education is most popular among those who couldn’t have gone to college otherwise.”

      You assert this, but I have no way of knowing if this is true or not (and my supposition is that it is not…)

      • valuevar says:

        Anecdotal evidence, from just about any country (wealthy, poor or in between) which has tuition-free education (and where I have spent any significant time).

        • I think am implicitly arguing here that your sample is biased, or rather, more in favor of the slightly different claim: “tuition-free education is most popular among those who couldn’t have gone to college otherwise but did go to college.”

        • valuevar says:

          Well, isn’t that a pretty excellent group, especially if you consider the cream on the top?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s