Higher education is a bubble, run by the same kind of people who control our banks, our homes, our health. My mother came to this country believing it was the only place where one’s hard work and education could allow you to transcend the bonds of race, gender, socioeconomic class.
I am about to receive my Ph.D. in a technical science from an Ivy League school. I earned scholarships and worked two full-time jobs in college to get here. I have worked on research and taught classes for six years on a stipend that would qualify me for welfare. There are NO jobs waiting for me when I get my doctoral degree. Despite working for the past six years, my university files graduate labor under a tax code that prevents me from applying for unemployment and that saves the university unforetold in tax breaks. Because the school is a private institution, we graduate students are unable to unionize, despite the fact that we provide a significant amount of the teaching and research labor that makes this school $$.
EDUCATION IS NOT A PRIVILEGE but in this country it is held captive as such.
I went to graduate school believing that there might be some financial security afforded by a higher degree, and that with that security I could finally buy my mom her own house and take care of her. Instead, I have wasted six years of my life and am about to enter a job market that will tell me that I am overeducated and overqualified. I will no longer be able to help my mom pay for health insurance, and I will no longer have my own. I pray for our good health because that’s pretty much all we will have left.
i am the 99%