Updated: Sep 5, 2022
The student debt handout is so unAmerican. It does not treat all people equally. It is not even equitable - until now a big political policy of the Democratic Party. It does nothing to cure the lack of educational value that caused the debt burden in the first place. It will only inflate the price of a worthless education even more. It already is our most highly inflated expense. Free money is a very poor lazy policy. Boo Biden.
Dom Fou on
Government Action in a Free Market College Eduction
The absolute improper thing for our government to do is pay for an individuals tuition with tax payer's money in the flawed college tuition free market. If you have any trouble seeing the problem please read these two Wall Street articles: USC Pushed a $115,000 Online Degree. Graduates Got Low Salaries, Huge Debts and ‘Financially Hobbled for Life’: The Elite Master’s Degrees That Don’t Pay Off.
Constitutional Support for Public Education
Section 8 of our Constitution, "The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States", is what allows the federal government to levy a tax to support the military and support the general Welfare of the United States. These few words established the Mixed Economy. Thus the United States is to be a country dominated by dominated by Freedom, Capitalism, a free market, equal, fair and just, of the people, by the people and for the people with just enough socialism, allowed by Section 8, to get over the rough spots. It is this section that allows the public sector to support education. However, any and all support for education must be equally, fairly, and justly made available to all citizens, the people. Every Citizen is entitled to the same education, no student can be denied a quality education. The American tradition is for Public Sector education to end at the age of 18 when the student enters the Private Sector. Public Schools in the US started as Comprehensive Schools, thus a secondary school for students from 11-18 years-of-age. Students are not selected on the basis of selection criteria such as academic performance and/or aptitude; no student can be denied admission. Comprehensive schools contrast to a Selective School, a College or University, which admits students on the basis of all sorts of selection criteria, usually academic but free to add conditions in a free market. Not only does the College select the student, the student selects the college. As we have seen, in the Wall Street Articles above, there is marketing and sales deployed on both sides. There is no doubt this is a Private Sector not a Public Sector transaction. This is by far the first, biggest and most important free market purchase of a young person's life. To have the government step in at this delicate life transition moment is the worst of political Socialism and a damaging blow to the Capitalistic Free Market that the entire world depends on including now-non-Communist China and now-non-Communist Russia.
Communism, Capitalism and Socialism -> Mixed Economy
Pure Communism and Capitalism do not exist. Communism supports no private ownership, means 100% central control of markets, "to each according to their need" and produces products and services for the basic needs of the people . Capitalism supports 100% private ownership, means 100% free market controlled 100% by the people and produces products and services for profit determined by the market demand of the people. Socialism supports controlled private ownership, means heavy central control of the market, "to each according to their productivity for the state" and produces products and services that the central government feels the people need.
In today's world there are only mixed economies that are partly capitalistic and partly socialistic. In countries where the central government is in control there is no vigorous free market. Capitalism is heavily manipulated to achieve the goals of the central government. In countries where the people control their government there is a thriving free market.
Let us give thanks to world competition where capitalism is required to be competitive. Over recent years capitalism has proven to be the best economic system for the following reasons:
Capitalism encourages much greater innovation
Creates a society that services the demands of people in the society
Capitalism promotes freedom and equality
Production is by and for the people - self regulating (free market)
Citizens are educated and involved in the economy and the government
A world trade capitalism finds and rewards the skilled poor of the world
The communist and socialist countries, Russia, China & others, have adopted capitalism under control of their central governments allowing only cooperating oligarch businessmen to participate in their capitalistic economy, an unfree market.
Government Support of Monopolistic Free Market Education
As we see in USC Pushed a $115,000 Online Degree. Graduates Got Low Salaries, Huge Debts and ‘Financially Hobbled for Life’: The Elite Master’s Degrees That Don’t Pay . Most universities and colleges are competing hard in the free market offering career education. The existence of government loans has allowed monopolistic behavior by American educational institutions. Since 1980 tuition costs have been rising faster than inflation. The average cost of tuition increased 144% from 2001 to 2022 after accounting for inflation. This is the free market behavior of a monopoly. Our government has been feeding a scary monster monopoly for years. American colleges seem more interested in making money than helping our young students get an education that has enough value in the marketplace to pay for their first major free market purchase.
The High School Movement in USA and Today's College
The high school movement describes the era from 1910 to 1940 during which high schools were established across the United States. Prior to this period, the beginning of the industrial revolution, students went from grade school to learn a skill "for life", vocational training, and went on to work. During this period, 1910, only 18% of 15- to 18-year-olds were enrolled in high school and only 9% of all American 18-year-olds graduated, half of those attending. Jump forward to 1940 and 73% of American students were enrolled in high school and more than 50% graduated. In the early 20th century the high school was a place to acquire skills for a successful life, a career. The Royal High School was used as a model for the first public high school in the United States, Boston Latin School, founded in Boston, Massachusetts in 1635. In 1821, Boston started the first public high school in the United States. By 1955, 80% of United States youth had graduated from an academic high school.
World Movement of High Schools
The USA surpassed Europe and the USSR in the implementation of public high schools. The USA expanded their embrace of socialist public schools ahead of more socialistic countries, a credit to capitalism. World high schools were inaccessible and costly. In 1930, America lead the world in the establishment of high schools that were free and accessible. At the same time in Europe only 10% - 20% graduate from academically credited high schools. Most Europeans, 40% - 50% were still in the prepare for a career mode attending full-to-part-time vocational training. Today European high schools are funded by central government as free and equal to all regardless of race. This solution is one a social democracy may consider. The challenge to our democratic republic is how to keep our Constitutional promise of equality to all.
Race and High School Movement
While high schools became free and accessible after 1940; however, accessibility was limited mostly to white students. For the last more than 50 years we have tried the persistent attack of desegregation in the public schools and affirmative action in higher education and employment. The results have been disappointing. For a description of the results followed by next step recommendations see The Brookings Article: Unequal Opportunity: Race and Education.
A Constitutional Libertarian's Solution
Here I am going to recommend the Federal Government not go through with the Student Loan Debt Handout. The up to a $1,000,000,000,000 would just make the monopolistic behavior of American colleges worse; not to mention the damage to the economy by stimulating a higher level of inflation. All this money must not be given to the college monopoly in return for worthless education. Government should maximize value of every tax dollar they spend of the peoples hard earned money. The people never promised a College education; I see no difference in the loss of a college education and the loss of value in a stock market investment.
The Constitution put all power in the hands of the people. Facing the nation the least powerful person is the President of the United States. Facing other countries the most powerful person is our President as he has the full support of the people of the USA. Any power he has is as a spokesperson for the will of the people. The parents of the dependent children have 100% power and control over the family subject only to the virtue, values and Rule of Law given in the Constitution. All power in a Community belongs to the individuals in the Community same as parents in a home. Power is thus passed upward to county, state and federal governments. This is what has made the USA the most powerful country in the world. Let us not loose this blessing.
What the Government Should Do
The Federal Government's role should be focused on exposing the true expected value of a given education to the 18 year olds considering their options. The Tuition free market will determine who will loan money and under what terms. A college education is an important investment for life that an individual has a fair and equal opportunity to transact under the law. There are as many ways to prepare for a career as there are fingerprints. The cost of options vary widely and benefits depend on the determination of the individual to finish, a partial education means a partial career; this is ideal for a free market; Uncle Sam is not your parent.
Equal Opportunity for High School Education
Biden's proposal to forgive college student loan debt does nothing for the real problem affecting the most needy Americans. Needy Americans need the knowledge to create opportunities in the free job market. There is no question that a high school education should be as equal an opportunity as possible. America has spent 50+ years, 2 generations, trying to create equal opportunity for the most needy Americans. If we have failed, and it is evident we have failed, we must think outside the box and try from the bottom up not the top down like the Biden bail out.
What We Know About Unequal Opportunity Education
The failure of affirmative action has led some to an opinion that Equity should be taken from the successful and given to the needy who did not receive an equal opportunity education. This is of course not Constitutional, legal, moral and doomed to failure in the end.
The US educational system is the most unequal in the industrialized world; we do not fund and staff our public schools equally as other industrialized countries do. Research has found that the following factors are requires for a quality education:
Teacher Quality. Expertise and Curriculum (go together)
Smaller Classes - more 1 on 1
Our goal is to entitle and to all American students a quality and equal education experience through high school that prepares them for college or job training. Our federal government is trying to pass legislation modifications to the Higher Education Act that would insure that highly qualified teachers are recruited and prepared for students in all schools. However, all the best school solutions come from the grass roots, bottom up, from the community and the PTA, Parent Teachers Association.
Technology Driven Team Teaching
The federal government does have a role. Equal access to technology hardware/software as well as internet access is required to provide equal opportunity education. The determination of teacher quality selecting the top teacher for each curriculum based on best student knowledge acquisition results is made by the local elected school board. Each curriculum is taught to multiple small classrooms at a time streamed over the internet by the top ranked curriculum teacher. Each classroom has at least 1 curriculum team teacher to handle the 1 on 1. All curriculum teachers are ranked and can fill-in for the lead instructor when necessary. This education village has several advantages:
Teaching Skills can be mentored from high ranked teachers to those on their way up
Curriculum quality is standardized and improved through collaboration of teachers
Exceptional educational moments can be shared with all students and teachers
Classes can be held across geographic and social boundaries - the reach of the internet.
More effort can be focused on responsible planning for life to and through college to career that makes any college loan repayment a no brainer.
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