Understandably, there have been some volatile reactions to the government’s idea of a tax on graduates. It seems rather strange that, in a country where there is a steady flow of highly-qualified people to other countries, the powers that be should contemplate such a daft suggestion. My immediate reaction was simple: Precisely how many members of the Cabinet, Parliament, and the provincial governments (and all their departments) would be affected by such a proposal? So they’ll be smiling.
Hot on the heels of that mind-blowing suggestion came the news that the government plans to build two new universities. They will be producing yet more graduates for the country, all of whom will have to fork out for the proposed tax. It’s a sneaky scheme, a sort of perpetual motion idea. Stress the crucial importance of tertiary education for the welfare of the nation, then tax the graduates into emigration! I mean, exactly how harebrained can the whole plan be?
Of course, it crossed my mind that the building of the two new universities will offer magnificent opportunities for corruption: my cousin will be the architect; my nephew will establish a construction company as quickly as possible (although he has absolutely no experience in that field – that’s a perfect qualification and exempt from graduate tax!) while his brother-in-law acts as the quantity surveyor. Then we get to the staffing of these institutions – but about that matter, the less said, I believe, the better. The main criteria for employment would be that you have to have the skills (but no taxable qualifications) to contribute to education’s slide into pervasive ignorance. Inevitably, no one on the staff would be able to afford more than one degree because they simply wouldn’t be able to pay the tax!
So I want to propose the implementation of a stupidity tax on idiotic government ideas. Everyone contributing in any way whatsoever to the generation, formulation, or implementation of a catastrophically stupid idea about education would be compelled to register at a tertiary institution and be taxed brutally on every test and subject they failed. Viva intelligence!