Saturday, May 20, 2017

It’s Time To Make College Tuition Free And Debt Free

"In a highly competitive global economy, we need the best-educated workforce in the world. It is insane and counter-productive to the best interests of our country and our future, that hundreds of thousands of bright young people cannot afford to go to college, and that millions of others leave school with a mountain of debt that burdens them for decades. That shortsighted path to the future must end,”-Senator Bernie Sanders.

Sanders introduced on April 3, “The College for All Act” The act aims to eliminate tuition and fees at public four-year colleges and universities for students from families that make up to $125,000 per year. The bill would make community college tuition-free for all income levels.

Just like healthcare, education is plagued with the burden of money and the need to make a profit. The need to make a profit supersedes all other considerations. It therefore is the greatest hurdle to overcome in building a better future. We must remove the profit incentive if we really want to change the direction of education in our country.

That can only be done by making the nation’s colleges tuition free. By doing so, it will remove the hurdle of the need to profit from education. Under capitalism money will always be an obstacle. But overcoming this hurdle will, in the end, provide long-term economic benefits that will make it worthwhile.

As it stands right now, most Americans are priced out of higher education. Our current system discriminates against the poor and makes education increasingly unaffordable for most Americans except those with high incomes. Profit and money are an impediment to building a better future, in all that that implies.

In the United States, in order to work and the workforce to compete internationally, we cannot continue to require more and more education but at the same time restrict access to higher education.

We were making headway at one time. But with the election of Ronald Reagan came Reaganomics, a supply-side/trickle-down economic theory that brought tax cuts for the wealthy but left most Americans to carry the remaining tax burden. Reaganomics, in part, claimed that massive social spending programs, including education aid, hampered growth.

So we stopped investing in our young people. We widened economic inequality in America that continues to this day. And todays students have even higher cost associated with acquiring student loans.

College in the 70s was almost free.

“President Donald Trump doesn’t appear willing nor interested in addressing astronomical student-debt levels, which long since crested above $1 trillion. In fact, his administration has made it easier for for-profit colleges to rip off students, and recently scrapped Obama-era regulations that limited rates loan-guarantee agencies can charge people who defaulted on student loans. His budget also proposed cutting $5 billion in higher-education funding for low-income Americans. Perhaps that’s not surprising from a president who just finalized a $25 million settlement stemming from his scam for-profit university,” - The Nation

Bernie Sanders Just Introduced His Free College Tuition Plan

Joining with Elizabeth Warren, Sanders wants students to organize around the legislation. 

By George Zornick