catallaxy files

catallaxy in technical exile

Left maternalism

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The Left used to argue against student loan schemes on the grounds that prospective students were debt averse. But now they seem to be arguing against the increase in the FEE-HELP cap on the grounds that students will be too prepared to put themselves into debt. “The increase in Fee-HELP means Australian students who do a full-fee degree will have a debt of up to $100,000, before they even get a chance to buy a house”, complained Shadow Minister Macklin. “”This budget ushers in a period of astronomical student debt as a higher proportion of students leave university with six figure debts”, lamented the Greens’ Kerry Nettle. “The Government has resigned students to massive levels of debt with its cap increases”, grumbled Natasha Stott Despoja.

If the Right is sometimes accused of paternalism, on the daddy party/mummy party thesis, left-wing parties engage in maternalism, keeping citizens away from things that might hurt, such as debt. But while university students might act like little children sometimes, technically most of them are legally adult. Shouldn’t they be able to make their own decisions about which courses to study and how much to pay? And even if we concede (as I think we should) that they won’t always pick the right option, what possible argument could end with the conclusion that Jenny Macklin, Kerry Nettle and Natasha Stott Despoja would make better choices? At least students know about their own aspirations in life, their own financial circumstances, and if they put in a little effort can find out about the courses on offer. They’ll have more knowledge than the mummy state, and a much greater incentive to make the right choices.


Written by Admin

May 13, 2006 at 8:41 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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