We all want our higher education to be less expensive and with good reason too. A college education is incredibly expensive and drives most students into debt for the rest of their lives, so why on Earth would we ever not want college to be free?
By focusing on the plan put forward by Senator Bernie Sanders, since he is most well known for his views on free higher education, anyone may objectively view his plan as logical at it’s core, though as I will explain, it is far from perfect. Before we get into the nasty, negative remarks regarding such a plan, let’s lay out the pros of this theoretical plan.
Significantly more individuals would be able to go to a public college or university. One of the most cited reasons why high school graduates won’t pursue a college degree is due to cost. America would have more people receiving higher education, which should lead to a more intelligent workforce and population. In an era in which robotics and other upcoming technologies are rapidly increasing, more people are needed to do jobs that require either creativity or intelligence to do tasks that tech cannot do (yet), like maintenance or design on technology.
The biggest question that this type of legislature will always bring up is this: If not from the students, where is this money coming from? Such a proposal like the one Sen. Sanders put forward is incredibly expensive, and while it is easy to simply think the government could just cover the cost, the solution is never that simple. The government’s money is the public’s money, in the sense that every tax dollar is intended to go toward something that improves the lives of the general populous. But does free college just mean a sharp rise in tax rates? Well not as Sanders proposes.
His plan makes a lot of sense in theory: Place a speculation tax on Wall Street. This means people will be charged for selling stocks, bonds and derivatives, nicknamed the “Robin Hood tax.” Take a fraction of a percentage off profits from white collar stock brokers at the top and use it to fund education for all. The problem is that those white collared stock brokers want that fraction of a percent for themselves, and they have the means and influence to keep it.
Money is power. Everybody knows it. Ideally, politicians are supposed to truly listen to the will of the people, but sadly most just listen to either the will of their party or the will of the 1 percent. Free college is a great benefit worth fighting for, but for great change like that to take place in America, the most anyone can hope for are small steps in the right direction.
Education funding has been a major issue in the U.S. these past couple months, from teacher protests, petitions, and schools closing down. The best the public can hope for is to focus more on education, including higher education. Under an administration with like-minded individuals agreeing with Sen. Sanders, who agrees with the Tennessee Promise Program, education funding could increase for public schools and public colleges/universities. College tuition could decrease, and more students could enroll.
We are in a position to make change. All of us are destined to be the future of this nation, so it is our duty to try and improve it as best we can. Midterm elections are approaching quickly, and it’s up to the people to decide how best they want to see the change in our country.