Posted by: J.V. | May 23, 2012

Retroactive payments to pay one’s fair share?

Throughout the last few months of the student strikes, I’ve argued with a lot of people who are in favour of the tuition hike that is being imposed by Quebec’s liberal government. They agree that students should pay their fair share. But here’s the thing: the hike would be making up for many, many years of tuition freeze. Many of the people I’ve argued with completed their university studies during this period of tuition freeze and therefore did not, according to the logic they borrowed from the government, pay their fair share. So they label striking students as lazy and whiney for “expecting current tax payers to cover their education” while, in reality, students over the next 5 or 7 years would be covering what would have been paid by current tax payers HAD THERE NOT BEEN A TUITION FREEZE. (Of course, they also conveniently forget that current students will be tomorrow’s tax payers – and in many cases, already are tax payers – who will be covering current tax payers’ pensions. But that is another blog post.) So let me ask you this: if you benefited from accessible education due to a tax freeze, would you be willing to retroactively contribute to the current hike? Or would be be up in arms and taking over the streets if the government wanted to make YOU pay your fair share?


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