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"Forty years ago, a waitress could afford college."

True enough as attractive loan programs like NDSL were available. Such programs need to be resurrected and made more available, along with various flexible payment programs (NOT "free college").

More significantly, when I attended UCLA, my tuition per quarter was $80.00. That's right. $80.00 for a three-month quarter. I could buy used books at the university bookstore, and pay my share of the $75.00/month rent in our Westwood apartment while working part-time in a Brentwood law office as a file clerk.

I never had to borrow a dime, and carried 21 units per quarter, and earning my bachelor's degree easily one full quarter less than the traditional four years.

This system -- not merely the costs of college -- but the entire economic system has become so unbalanced that the nation's wealth has been largely funneled to a few extremely rich, extremely powerful families, and the vast majority are clinging to survival by their fingernails. It's not that we need better loan programs. It's that we -- the entire country, and probably the entire world -- need an economic system which is balanced between the value produced by capital and the value produced by labor, so that the whole notion of "choice" -- so hypocritically valued by the right -- exists for everyone, not merely those with large hoards of capital.

Health care. Education. Decent housing. Transportation. Easy access to healthy foods. These are things which all human beings need and to which all human beings, in any moral system, would be entitled simply by virtue of being human beings. Anyone who works 40 hours a week should be guaranteed these things at least. If you want a freaking yacht -- then you either have to work harder or you have to have been born lucky. But for the basic necessities of life -- these are rights in any system purporting to be "moral."

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