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Education is an investment, not an expense

Crikey readers have their say on class and the benefits of "free" education.

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On Geoff Shaw and Victoria’s parliamentary crisis

John Roskam, Executive Director of the Institute of Public Affairs writes: Re. “Crikey says: defend democracy, including Geoff Shaw” (yesterday). I don’t know who wrote your editorial today on expelling Geoff Shaw from the Victorian parliament (was it Bernard?), but can you please pass on to them that what’s in the editorial is spot on. What’s being proposed is incredibly dangerous. Of course I’ll still fight with Crikey and I’ll not agree with you 80% of the time, but if you say something like this — which needs to be said — you should be congratulated.

Christopher Pyne’s HECS bill

Paul Hampton-Smith writes: Re. “Dear Christopher Pyne, here is your HECS bill” (yesterday). Christopher Pyne thinks that all university graduates should send flowers to taxpayers for funding their education.  The reverse is true! He based this idea on the Graduate Skills and National Productivity report which stated that university students go on to earn 75% more in their lifetime.  Let’s crunch some more numbers from the report. Average weekly earnings for a university graduate is roughly $1200, compared to $700 for a non-graduate, so university graduates therefore earn an additional $1 million over 40 years. Tax that at the marginal rate of 32.5% and we find that they each pay an additional $325,000 to the government on top of their fees. As a hard numbers man, you’ll agree that it’s a not a bad return on investment in the university sector, Mr. Pyne. If you wouldn’t mind, could I have a bottle of Chivas Regal instead?  Oh, and while you’re about it, could you make it half a dozen to cover the mining industry, defence, farmers etc please?

Bogans for PM

Les Heimann writes: Re. “Razer’s Class Warfare: stop loving Malcolm Turnbull” (yesterday). Helen Razer for leader. Onya comrade. I’m in my 70s and I was once (a long time ago) a Sydney “westie” and proud of it! Bogans we were not; salt of the earth and fair dinkum we were — even though some of us (me included) did get a tertiary education and even mixed (occasionally) with North Sydney snobs. Life was simple then, divided into South (Shire), West, North and East and mostly never mixing. But the whole thing was largely an urban myth, ’cause we were all looking after each other if needed. None of us would take bullshit and most would use the same verbal expressions mentioned by Helen. Today, it is another story. Sydney really is different — the west is west and it is a strong difference. Melbourne is still more or less holistic. Brisbane has become rich and poor and the home of the “intentionally uncoupled”. Adelaide is, well, Adelaide. Hobart is also like that and Perth is really “totalled”. All-in-all, Australia is a class ridden and unwholesome place. Of course that’s when you scratch the surface, like asking for an honest opinion on our treatment of refugees. That’s when you get “no way, get fucked fuck off”. We need a political group to embarrass us into being human and caring once again. Not the upper class white haired cigars, but yes, the genuine proud and caring “bogans” with a heart of gold worn on their sleeve.

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