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06/09/2015

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elisa freschi

Marcus, thanks for this thought-proviking post. As an outsider, allow me a naïve question: You seem to assume that the only way to make university education accessible to all were student loans. Given that it seems to be a good thing that more people could go to university, student loans seem unavoilable. But why should this system be the only possible one? Are you presupposing the idea that in a capitalist system it will never be possible to have state-funded universities?

Marcus Arvan

Hi Elisa: Thanks for your comment!

I didn't mean to suppose that student loans are the only solution. On the contrary, I am a fan of the option you mention: entirely state-funded higher education (where students pay no tuition)--something that some societies do very well (though there are costs there too). The problem is that this solution was historically--and still is--unavailable for all intents and purposes in the United States, given social and political facts. Historically and in the present, Americans have a distinct tendency to keep things privatized and capitalistic. This may (or may not) be a bad thing, all things considered, but as someone who works in nonideal theory, I tend to think we must consider "feasible" options those that societies are likely to implement given their social history and character.

Simon Bett

subsidizing university education, in addition to providing student loans is the way forward. Sometimes, the economy cannot afford a fully free education system, which also can lead to poor quality education, where privately owned academic institutions excel because of better resources and better management.

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