Letters: Presidential power, college costs

Kai Ryssdal Mar 9, 2012

Kai Ryssdal: As he and I discussed the Freakonomics of presidential elections this week, Stephen Dubner said that when you look at the evidence, there’s only so much presidents can do that actually changes the economy.

Stuart Rojstaczer from Palo Alto, Calif., sees it differently.

Stuart Rojstaczer: After 9/11, then-President Bush elected to go to war in two countries. The trillions of dollars spent certainly did affect our economy. That same president followed the home ownership society policies of Clinton, making it easier and easier for citizens to buy homes. The Great Recession ensued, the bubble collapsed.

Commentator Robert Reich addressed the cost of college on Wednesday and said, among other things, that maybe students from higher-income families should pay more to subsidize students on the lower end.

Sarah Forde wrote from Worcester, Mass., with this.

Sarah Forde: College should just be less expensive for everyone, so that more people can attend. Just because someone was born into a wealthy family, they shouldn’t have to pay more than someone who was not. That would only create resentment, I would think.

Finally, our college roundtable in Atlanta Monday. Four graduating seniors at Emory University, talking about life after college in this economy. I asked, mostly seriously, whether anybody takes a year off after graduating anymore to go backpacking through Europe or something.

Yeah, not really an option, they told me. But Lars Guy in Ketchum, Idaho, says it oughta be.

Lars Guy: Now would be the perfect time to run away from this mess, if only for a while. The chance may never again present itself. Jumping right into the fire after finishing an 18-or-more-year education will probably never allow them the feeling of pure freedom from responsibility or obligation. This is especially depressing with the economy such that it is.

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