Let us look at some obvious truths. The worldwide economy blows, with more people needing to share in smaller returns. Skilled, educated workers are needed to keep in competition for this slice of pie. More pie equals more power, influence, perks, and prestige. Therefore, in a time of recession (and near-collapse of some countries' economic foundations), it would seem to be in this country's best interest to have a ready supply of skilled and educated workers to support itself and remain standing as a world leader.

"College tuition and fees, adjusted for inflation, rose 439 percent from 1982 to 2007."

Here is an obvious response: DEHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

FOUR HUNDRED THIRTY-NINE PERCENT?????? Oh, do please explain to me how that in any way, shape, or form that can be justified. College is essentially one person who knows more about something yabbering to a bunch of other people who want to listen enough to pay to listen. That does not seem to be a commodity that needs to stratospherically rise, far past the already-insane inflation rates of medical, housing, and food costs. So what is it? You've got people, buildings, books, technology, and pretty much professional sports teams. Other than the need to keep up with computer crap, what makes colleges keep pushing the tuition rates past what people are ever going to be able to afford? What good does this do? Is there some agenda? What am I missing here?

We are not just talking about the ridiculously expensive Harvards and Yales here. Getting a bachelor's degree from a modest state school can easily put a graduate in debt for tens of thousands of dollars past any grants and scholarships and family contributions. How should a person feel about attending college these days when the only sure outcome seems to be crushing debt and the very serious worry of being able to find a job no matter what? What on earth kind of message are we sending to anyone, young or old, who wants to better themselves through education? Oh, yes, yes, please do, your country needs a educated population now more than ever, but SORRY CHARLIE if you can't afford it. GOOD LUCK TO YOU.

I will say that college is not for everyone, and never was. Some people are not intellectually suited, or it simply isn't their thing, or the opportunity was just not there. That is fine. Many people do extremely well in life with a basic education. Just because you didn't go to college doesn't mean you aren't smart or able to learn things and be an important contributor, not at all. But, dammit, it is harder and harder and harder to get a job, any job, without a college degree; that is just a fact. The worst is when you have someone who wants so badly to go to school, wants to have the experience of learning new things, broadening their world, and simply cannot make the money come together to do it, and spends a lifetime wondering, "what if?" This will happen more and more as college costs seem to have no cap, and people have to tighten their belts to get by.

Information as luxury. I find that obscene, and obscenely short-sighted.