Students Protest University Cutbacks, Reality

As someone who was known to attend a protest or two herself during college, I have been struggling mightily to find some sensible arguments in the movement of students protesting budget cuts at their campuses.  But while I'm sympathetic to students finding it harder to attend college, I'm not sure what they think is supposed to happen.  There's no money.  This is not some question of reallocating resources from bad uses to good--everything is being cut because their institutions are under serious financial duress.  When administrators point this out, the students reiterate how hard it all is, as if doing so will spur the administration to shake the money tree harder until extra cash falls from the skies.


I mean, they might protest the core business model, in which so many employees are effectively unfireable, meaning that everyone else has to take a disproportionate share of the cuts.  But other than that, what is all this protesting going to accomplish?  Telling the administration they're unhappy?  Trust me, the administration is pretty unhappy too.
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Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

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