Um... because you could?
Because you don't mind taking something and not paying for it?
Because working because you need to to fulfill obligation is for suckers?
I began reading the opinion piece thinking it would be by an apologist for the way education is set up now, the endlessly rising costs, that make those who work less and less richer and richer, while actual teaching is left to a subordinate class that lives in poverty.
Or someone to whom life had been cruel, who had to leave without a degree because of family tragedy.
Or someone who simply couldn't cut higher education but had been lured into taking usurious loans out for the equivalent of a trade school with the promise of jobs that weren't there.
Or he got his degree in philosophy before the bottom dropped out of the philosophy market.
This was a guy back in the old days when costs and benefits were pretty clear cut.
Who, although there was trouble at home, did not have to leave school.
Who apparently liked the setup of higher education, since he then went on to get advanced degrees. (He tries to kind of slough over that, by telling us, My mother could no longer afford the tuition that the student loans
weren’t covering. I transferred to a state college in New Jersey, closer
to home, I guess things worked out for him, since his degree AND HIS GRAD WORK, which I imagine he undertook of his own free will? were at an Ivy league school. In New York)
And who, to hear him tell it, could have done work that would have brought in enough money to pay his debt.
But (cue violins to underscore the whining,) rich people have it easy! and I'm more useful to society in other ways!
At least that's the gist of his argument, (not sure if he actually asked society......)
He and his family, ( wonder if his kids will change their names before they apply for college/scholarships/student loans...) live in a lovely town, I know because I grew up a few towns away.
(If you suspect the writer might be unprincipled in other ways as well, google "Siegel" and "sockpuppet.")
Himself asked, which I had not thought to, why did the NYTimes print that? What was their take? If they wanted to call attention to the genuine plight of many people, this guy was a pretty sorry excuse for the sympathetic face of the problem you'd like to present.)