That salty scent you can smell in the air this morning? That’s the smell of millions of hippie tears, wafting over from the Left Coast, where the students of UC Berkeley demonstrate that Economics isn’t much in demand at their institution.
Look, kids: your home state is broke as shit. It’s broke because you folks voted yourself free everything with crunchy gratis glaze and no-cost sprinkles on top, and even the super-sized tax rates your state collects aren’t enough to pay for everything. The money to run stuff has to come from somewhere, and when your state cuts education budgets (see “broke as shit” above), then the only way to keep the lights on is by raising user fees. But you go ahead and throw your hissy fits because you’re asked to pay for the services you’re receiving, and see how far the sympathy-o-meter gets pegged. To me, it’s just another conclusive demonstration that your idea of taxation is “Free Means Free To Me”, and “Don’t tax you, don’t tax me, tax that fellow behind the tree.”
(On a side note: even after the rate hike, the bill for a semester at UC Berkeley is $10k per semester. Compared to other universities in its weight class, that’s a screaming bargain. Get a scholarship, get a side job, put some elbow grease into it…but stop whining about having to contribute to your world-class education what are basically slightly inflated community college fees in other parts of the country.)