Ralph Nader on Student Loans
I’ve talked a little bit about Obama and McCain’s views on funding higher education (see here and here), but I’ve neglected the third party candidates. As it turns out, Ralph Nader has some excellent views on the crisis in education funding and what should be done about it – too bad I didn’t discover this before I voted! From Georgetown’s student newspaper, The Hoya:
Public universities should be tuition-free, as they have been for decades in Western Europe, including some countries like Finland. … If they can do it, we can do it. It should be like high school. If you want to go to Harvard or Brown, you pay whatever — although they’re going toward tuition-free because of their endowment interests, you know, they’re moving in that direction, but it should be that way. It takes about $55 billion a year, and we spend $80 billion in up-front and back-up costs keeping soldiers in Western Europe and East Asia, 60 years after World War II — doing what? Who are they defending? Japan? South Korea, Germany, England, France — against who? Inner Mongolia? Moldova? So if you bring them back, and then a lot of the soldiers can get an education, too.
So that’s it. Now, absent that, you’ve got to expand your student loans. They should be completely done by the Department of Education. There should be no Sallie Mae, no commercial student loan companies that gouge you, rip you off and do it, you know, do it after you’ve signed on …And by the way, you know, these student loans companies wine and dine …, a lot of your loan officials — student loan officials, like Duke and Columbia. They had to resign. They take them to junkets, wine and dine, so that they can get an exclusive — actually put their people on campus