Education & Knowledge or Tools for Violent Death? Part 1: In California: College Student Debt. vs Stealth Bombers

By Joe White

Just this last week we learned – Cal State University tuition hikes urged. Tuition hikes of 2% per year on-going, averaging about $100.00 per year per student at the outset. Present tuition is $5,472.00, which reflects the 22% tuition hike in 2011. Also proposed in addition to the tuition hike is a system-wide student facilities fee, rate yet to be determined, along with possible student success fees ranging from $200.00 to $800.00 per student. Seems there are also not enough classrooms, faculty and facility/technology updates to keep up with student demand at the 23-campus CSU system. The CSU system has asked the California State Government for $216.6 million to help but CSU will still need to consider these other fee increases.

On the same day as tuition and dire university finances were reported, it was also announced that Northrop Grumman won a Pentagon contract for at least $80 billion dollars to build the next generation of stealth bombers in Palmdale, California. That $80 billion is coming from the Pentagon’s Black Budget, which hardly anyone knows its size, use etc. Northrup will receive its money in two phases. First Phase, $20 billion to put all planning, design in place for Second Phase to build the bombers at $550 million per plane. Between 80 and 100 planes are planned presently. Northrop Grumman also received a $500 million tax credit to build the planes in California. Score Northrup Grumman. Approximately 1,440 new jobs may be created.

Average college student debt is now around $24,803 per student upon graduation. Over 38 million students are carrying nearly $1 trillion in debt. So more tuition, new fee hikes, but if only Northrup Grumman could design the new bomber for $18 billion instead of $20 billion, the nearly half million CSU students would not be facing rising debt. 58% of all student debt is also carried by the economic bottom 25% of our population, who are apparently trying to improve their financial lot through education. Ironic? But the CEO of Northrup Grumman need not worry about tuition, fee hikes as he makes approximately $26 million a year in salary and benefits. The Chief Executives of the top five U.S. military contractors were paid an approximate total of $107 million last year. With that $2 billion in design savings from Northrup, CSU is taken care of for a few years. But if planning for the bomber is that expensive, then perhaps one or two fewer bombers could be ordered and again, nearly a half-million students would be carrying much less debt. Let us not forget that in the 1980’s, when Northrup built the B2 bomber at a projected, approximate cost of $300 million per plane, the B2 was finally delivered at $2 billion per plane.

Students of the world unite! We need just a year without war to recalculate, reconsider our values, study our budgets. The new Northrup Gumman stealth bomber is also being designed to carry nuclear weapons and possibly work as a drone. A pilotless drone with nuclear weapons? Do you find that alone disturbing? We need your help from around the world students. Send us your nation’s military/education comparison analysis. JOIN, RECRUIT and please EDUCATE for 2020 A Year Without War. WE must tip history.