UVA commits to a 'living wage' of $15/hour

The University of Virginia (UVA), formally the hallowed intellectual child of Thomas Jefferson and now one of the leading cultural Marxist institutions in America, recently announced that it will begin paying its full-time benefits–eligible staff $15/hour, starting on January 1, 2020.  The decision is expected to affect about 1,400 employees.

New university president Jim Ryan, sworn in on October 22, 2018, also announced that he is working on plans to pay contract employees the same $15/hour wage.  Apparently, this will be a raise from the current rate of $11.76/hour.

Every time you hear an announcement that some business or institution is raising wages to $15/hour, you absolutely can be certain of two things: 1) the money has to come from somewhere, and 2) next week, next month, or next year, it won't be enough, and the aggrieved parties will be back, asking for more.

Well, as Gomer Pyle use to say, "surprise, surprise, surprise!"  It took not even a week.  In the same news release reporting the new $15/hour wage, a student group promoting higher wages is quoted as saying it's not enough.

Campaign for A Living Wage, a student group, says it is happy about the increase in wages, but says $15 is no longer enough.  The group hopes to see all employees paid at least $16.84 per hour, which it says is the living wage for the Charlottesville area.

Why are we not surprised?

It's always interesting to see how the Left co-opts language to achieve its goals.  Who could be against a "living" wage?  Maybe opponents need to begin calling it a "taxing wage," or a "firing wage," or a "hate wage."  Call it a "tax and hate your neighbor wage."

Whether or not UVA's new wage is good or bad, or justified or not, should be a matter of market forces, and whether or not the customers — students and parents and taxpayers — are willing to pay for a product that will cost more.

The money for the UVA pay hike will have to come from somewhere, and there are only two possibilities.  The university will have to raise new money for the budget (through state taxes, tuition increases, donations, or other ideas...Bueller? Bueller?...anyone? anyone?), or it will have to live within its current budget and shift money around internally (fire some employees?).

For an in-state student, a full year's ride at UVA costs $31,506, or $126,024 for a four-year degree.  For the unfortunate out-of-state student, the numbers are $62,335 per year and $249,340 for a four year degree.  Imagine that — a quarter of a million bucks for a four-year degree at a state university!  And 30% of UVA students are out-of-state.  Who knows — maybe the university can foist the bill on them.

Any way you slice it, your kids will get a top-notch "studies" education at UVA.  Perhaps they'll buy a degree in UVA's new global studies major, where they can choose from concentrations in Security & Justice, Middle East & South Asia, Environments & Sustainability, Global Public Health, and Global Development Studies. 

Actually, the "studies" area doesn't even matter.  Parents and students and taxpayers (the people funding student loans at a loss) are buying a brand.  Is the UVA brand worth it?  Can you pay the bill out of pocket?  Will you need loans?  For a "studies" graduate, good luck finding a job to pay off that debt.  For a STEM degree, maybe it's worth it if you can land a real job.

But remember, the average bachelor's degree–holder takes 21 years to pay off his loans.  Considering that, is it worth it?  For students thinking about UVA, remember that the fees and the loans you take out will go to pay a hate wage to UVA employees, and it's you they hate.  You're the chump.

As I previously documented, former UVA president Theresa Sullivan laid out UVA's globalist, cultural Marxist agenda in a June 2016 speech to UVA alumni.  The university is fully committed to "global citizenship in action."  And you will pay for it.

New president Jim Ryan now holds the cultural Marxist reins, and things are going well for the cultural Marxists.  Global studies are at a premium.  Salaries are up.  What could be better?  It's just going to cost a little more...so cough it up, "stakeholders"!

Do you think they'll ever run out of other people's money?

James G. Robertson is a University of Virginia alumnus and occasional blogger.

Image: Phil Roeder via Flickr.

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