Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey has suggested collecting university HECS fees from the dead.

From the dead.

Is this honestly reality? Did a high-ranking government official genuinely suggest this? Even Tony Abbott opposed it, meaning I agree with him on something, which just makes the situation even more unreal if anything.

This is incidentally the same Joe Hockey who opposed any student fees, back when he was, y’know, a student. I don’t think I’ve ever linked to a meme as way of a citation before, and yet here we are. (This one is my favourite.)

The problem with collecting university fees from the dead is that attending university is supposed to provide you with the means by which to later earn enough money to pay the fees back. If you never earned that much money before ceasing to live, then your education is assumed to have not done its job properly, so they stop hounding you for it. I don’t know if that’s written down anywhere, but it’s certainly the general understanding, at least according to the lawyers I’m friends with. It’s not like buying a house. My children can’t inherit my knowledge and training after I die.

(You could argue they inherit the boons and benefits that my education may deliver, and thus need to cover its costs – but the point is that if I died before being able to pay it back, we didn’t receive that many boons or benefits. Should they still have to pay it back anyway, in that case? By that logic, you might as well ask the children of billionaires to turn over the spoils of their parents’ fortunes. Good thing we don’t have any of those in Australia!)