“What this means is that fewer college employees, and fewer of their children, are going to have the opportunity to attend college because the life-changing benefit of a tuition waiver will become too expensive for them to afford,” Brunson and Austin write. “Of course, just as it does with graduate students, this limitation applies only to those without personal or family resources. Those with such resources will be fine.”
But that's not the great quote. This is:
“And this is why it matters: access to higher education remains the only thing standing between the current United States and a society of hereditary privilege and permanent class divisions,” they add. “The proper term for such a society is an ‘aristocracy,’ and it is precisely what our country was founded not to be.”
My emphasis. Issues based on "meritocracy", even if that's what we want, are fraught with all the baggage of privilege and hidden discrimination. I remember one of the metaphors, dating back to the 70s, most likely: What if there was a race, say 400M. And one of the contestants had chains on their legs. Or a 50lb bag of sand strapped to their back. That's not fair, and immediately you stop the race mid-stride and remove the impediment. But, the race is 10 seconds gone, and the contestant with the impediment is so far behind, that they can't catch up at all. What does one do to make the race fair at this point?
But we are moving backwards from that point, from even just the societal removal of chains. We don't seem to give a damn that the race isn't fair. That children, children, are burdened. [But of course, the moment we decided that Sandy Hook didn't matter, we decided that children are expendable.]
It used to be education was the first step: let everyone run as fast, regardless of race, religion, etc. But, now, we seem to be content to say: oh yeah, if you really don't like those chains, take them off yourself. That is not what this country is about.