For years, students and soldiers, different though most aspects of their lives are, have shared one thing in common: their bedrooms. Barracks and dorms both evolved as low-cost ways to house large groups of young people while they studied and worked. They may not be the most comfortable accommodations—few people would prefer to split their bedroom with a platonic friend or worse, an enemy—but comfort isn’t the point. Economy is. And when you’re dealing with two populations of limited means—most students either live off stipends from their parents or loans and most lower-ranking members of the military earn modest salaries—economy is not only an important point, but an essential one.
Which is what makes the privatization of student and military housing so worrisome. Read More