Monday, September 08, 2003


Tonight I had my first class. Introduction day. Hand out the syllabi. Introductions. Outline for the class. Class paper. Participation. Show up to every class or Die. Blah. Blah. Send them home early. Mario Andretti bus driver got me home in record time, so I have plenty of time to worry about the middle class.

There's a good discussion on The Invisible Adjunct about why tuition prices are so high. The comments section points to some key variables -- over reaching missions, high overhead costs, financial aid. I added my two cents (well, a cent and a half).

Tuition costs don't keep me at night yet. It's a vague worry for the future, like how I'm going to afford Lipitor or the toenail fungus medicine when I'm old. (I learn so much from the commericals on the evening news.) The topic only gets me all mad when I wonder why I'm not getting any of the student's tuition money.

But it's a huge problem for the middle class. Tuition and housing prices have out stripped salary increases over the past 30 years. A car costs about the same relative to income as it did back in the 1970s. Maybe it's even relatively cheaper. But tuition and housing is much more expensive. That's why my dad could buy a house with his meager college salary, and we can't. The yellow bilevel he bought in 1970 for $20,000 is now worth $400,000.

We were supposed to look at houses in NJ this weekend. Joanne the real estate agent previewed a couple of dumps for us, but within three days on the market, they were scooped up. Bidding wars had driven the price up beyond our means.

We might be in this apartment for a while longer. Jonah will be attending PS 187 and getting his butt kicked every morning. Well, at least I won't have to change the name of the blog.

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