Matt Dean's a civilian these days, and thank your lucky stars for that, because hoo boy is the former Minnesota lawmaker bad at empathy and knowing what the hell he's talking about.
The conservative and villainous (but we repeat ourselves) ex-legislator lives in Dellwood, a suburb of St. Paul situated in Washington County, ranked as Minnesota's richest, with a median family income north of $92,000, not too far outside the top 10 richest counties in America. Dellwood itself ranks top 10 in incomes among Minnesota cities; its $61,000-plus per-person median income is doing more than its part to bring Washington County's status up.
It gets worse. As an architect, Matt's only dealing with the kind of people who have 1) money to spare, 2) a construction project in mind and 3) the desire to pay some guy who will come over with blueprints, a pencil behind his ear, and who can repeatedly say "your vision" with a straight face.
It gets even worse. Matt's a total asshole.
This week, Dean's been engaging with Erin Maye Quade, another former legislator who represented Apple Valley -- not to mention women in general and, one could argue, the post-internet generation -- for a single term. The subject of Maye Quade's Twitter chat with Dean is college affordability and student loans.
If you haven't been following their back-and-forth, please brace yourself for how spectacularly clueless this well-off white man is about to be.
How did you knock out a four year degree in state/state and rack up 90K in debt? Did you contribute anything in savings or work toward that? What was your major that you will NEVER pay that off? Who was your guidance?? https://t.co/ol5fMe6OV0— Matt Dean (@repmattdean) June 24, 2019
There's plenty one to unpack here, including the indecipherable (and nonexistant?) "state/state" phrase, Matt's doubt about their being meaningful majors and jobs that don't pay a ton (because he forgot we value drawing pretty mansions more than, say, teaching children to read), Matt's idea that "guidance" would be a "who," rather than a "what"... but really we could've shown you that Matt inexplicably ended his tweet with two question marks and you'd know it was bad.
Erin Maye Quade recognized its inarguable badness and quote-retweeted it, the 2019 equivalent of asking someone to meet you at high noon and take 10 paces.
So, let's talk about how a student could end up with 90K in student debt and never be able to pay it off. The in-state tuition at UofM TC is about 30K. 30K x 4 years = 120K. Student works full-time at $12/hour, has some scholarships and...yep that's about 90K. https://t.co/M1c9opFU1h— Erin Maye Quade (@ErinMayeQuade) June 24, 2019
Maye Quade was probably engaging her own people here. She's rallying lefties to get on board with some form of debt relief and higher education subsidy for the youth of today, rather than trying to actually convince Matt Dean, who for some reason decided he should reply.
That example assumes no savings, no aid and no help from parents. You know that’s not realistic. Plus, it assumes it’s not rare to get into the U for MN kids.— Matt Dean (@repmattdean) June 26, 2019
Go here to read all the stinging replies to Matt's remarkably oblivious (even for him!) line of thinking, but this thread from someone who is, unlike our antagonist Matt, ACTUALLY IN COLLEGE HERE RIGHT NOW, should do the trick:
Hi! Current MN college student here. I turned down admission at the U because: a. minimal savings before age 18, b. no aid, c. no help from parents. Why? Well, to get into get schools you need a strong extracurricular and volunteer resume so work time was limited, but I— Fiona Donnelly (@fifi_D13) June 27, 2019
still worked 15 hrs/week @ 11.25/hr from the moment I was old enough to get hired. No aid because EFCs as determined by FAFSA are not at all reasonable. No parent help because it was predetermined that that they would help me get to college and pay for my education up until— Fiona Donnelly (@fifi_D13) June 27, 2019
then because I would value college more if I paid my way through it. I was offered $27K in loans for one year at an in-state school. This scenario is not an anomaly, and the U wasn’t the only place this happened in my case. I turned down admission for the same reasons at St.— Fiona Donnelly (@fifi_D13) June 27, 2019
Thomas. I had a $25,000 scholarship renewable for 4 years. Fantastic! Until I realized cost of attendance was increasing around $4,000 per year. By my senior year, that scholarship would have been worth less than $10,000. So what did I do? I went to a community college for 2— Fiona Donnelly (@fifi_D13) June 27, 2019
years and am now taking a two year gap to work and save. I’ll hopefully be fortunate enough to actually get the rest of my degree for free because my mom now works for a local univeristy. Now look at that whole scenario again. A kid with a 3.8 GPA and 29 ACT score from a— Fiona Donnelly (@fifi_D13) June 27, 2019
privileged family and good school can’t go to a local university, public or private, for less than $100,000. So community college and gap years for work was the route to go. I would absolutely love to see the student of tomorrow not have to go through a nightmare like this— Fiona Donnelly (@fifi_D13) June 27, 2019
just to receive a simple degree that doesn’t even guarantee a job that can pay back any sort of loans.— Fiona Donnelly (@fifi_D13) June 27, 2019
Does Matt care about people in Fiona's situation? Does he care about the dozens of replies and retweets to Erin Maye Quade's quote-retweet --
-- each of them smarter and more empathetic than Matt Dean? When Matt Dean reads something, does he understand it?
Or does he just picture himself telling some doctor or financial adviser and his unhappy trophy wife that he's got "some fun ideas" about that archway they've been planning for the mezzanine?
Listen, reader, he probably does. Wish that couple well if you want.
But you'll feel a lot better about Minnesota as a whole when you learn Matt's replacement in the legislature is Ami Wazlawik, a DFLer and child-care assistant who's worked in public schools, with nonprofits, and with the Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault.
As someone who's worked in schools, Ami has undoubtedly she's seen kids do risky stuff that only gets them hurt. Maybe Ami can help Matt Dean find something to put on all these burns he just got.
CORRECTION: Ami Wazliwak does not have kids, as stated in an earlier version of this post. -- maybe we just wished she was? -- and her work is not technically as a psychologist, though she could probably refer Matt Dean to one. City Pages regrets Matt Dean was ever House Majority Leader.