This policy statment by the Democratic Leadership Committee exemplifies why I can't stand Democrats.
The DLC's stated goal is to make "college as universal as high school," which is a completely bogus goal. Why do people flipping hamburgers at McDonald's need college degrees? If students can't learn basic reading and math skills by the time the graduate from high school, what in the world does the DLC think that college is going to do for them?
The DLC proposal talks about how college graduates earn a lot more money than non-graduates. Of course I agree with this fact, and when examining the data in the General Social Survey I have not found any other demographic factor that's even as close to being as determinant of earnings as a bachelor's degree or a graduate degree.
But the DLC proposal also mentions that "[s]tudents who don't finish college don't earn much more than their counterparts who never entered." which seems like proof to me that that primary benefit of college is the credential and not the actual knowledge capital which college may, or may not, impart on its attendees.
The credential is just a zero-sum transfer of wealth, and college as a whole seems like a negative-sum game, because it's likely that the actual value of the knowledge is less than the cost of tuition plus lost earnings from not working. This means that the more people who attend college, the worse our economy becomes.
The best way to make society more fair is to work towards ending the reliance on credentials. Credentialism will always favor the children of the rich whose parents can afford to buy them better credentials.