After the Fact
As with many Harvard students not from New York or overseas, one of my first impressions of Harvard Square was its walkability. With all its shops, cafes, and restaurants, so close together, with relatively narrow (and often one-way) streets and bike lanes galore, the Square felt like a page from a post-Jane Jacobs urban design textbook had come to life.
I fear that framing the decision this way — reducing the dizzying variety of post-graduation pursuits to “selling out” versus “not selling out” — we obscure the real ethical distinctions.
Indeed, as a Democrat-voting libertarian — a label I accept hesitatingly, given its baggage, but an accurate one for my pro-immigration, anti-police-violence, and regulation-skeptical views — I’ve watched DSA’s ascendance ambivalently.
If Bacow is now higher education’s champion, his nemesis—excluding the increasingly hostile Republican Party—might be Bryan Caplan. An economics professor at George Mason, Caplan recently published a book—“The Case Against Education”—that raises strong empirical challenges to the conventional wisdom that appears in the refrains of Bacow, Dean of the College Rakesh Khurana, and university administrators everywhere.
Despite the dehumanizing rhetoric about immigrant criminals with which Donald Trump has tried to justify this unjustifiable policy, the change that created it entirely dealt with non-criminals: Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s “zero tolerance” policy, combined with a narrowing definition of asylum, meant that even families fleeing gang and domestic violence would be criminally prosecuted, and all, in a major change from the prior policy, would be incarcerated. A stunning 91 percent of parents separated from their children are only charged with misdemeanors—and some have not even been charged. To further discourage some of the world’s most vulnerable people from seeking freedom and prosperity in America, the Trump administration turned to taking children out of their parents’ arms—sometimes literally—and holding them separately from their parents.