Friday, December 05, 2008

Prisons defeat Higher Ed

The media has been filled with reports (see the Journal Sentinel, for example) about the decreasing affordability of a university education.  I have been meaning to post a few observations about this, but instead, I came upon this blog entry by Juan Cole.

He points out that legislatures across the country have decided that imprisonment is more important than education.  As he notes, prison populations have skyrocketed since 1980.  By and large, the money to pay for this has come from support for universities.  Now, Cole argues that the solution is to decriminalize marijuana and use the tax revenue for education.  This, of course, is not very likely.  

However, his post reminds us of the choices we have made as a society.  Education has lost and continues to lose to punishment.

What politician will stand up and say that non-violent offenders should spend less time in jail so students can get a college degree?  Being "soft on crime" is a death sentence for a politician in this age of nasty, negative campaigning. . .

1 comment:

Working To Make A Living said...

I think "higher ed" needs to change a few things. After all aren't college educated people running this whole mess. I posted a link to an article that has some good insights into "higher ed".