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Saturday, April 11, 2015

Free community college...?

In theory, I like Joe Biden's proposal to make community college free for the first two years.
Biden argued that Americans insisting on free high school had produced a competitive U.S. workforce in years past. With other countries catching up, he added, the time was ripe for reaching new heights on educational access.

“Folks, the source of our economic power and middle-class strength in the 20th century was the fact that we were among the first major nations in the world to provide twelve years of free education to our citizens,” Biden claimed.

“But in the 21st century, other countries have already caught up and 12 years is simply no longer enough,” he added. “A minimum of 14 years is necessary for families to have a surer path to the middle class and for the United States to be able to out-compete the rest of the world.”
My quibble here is that young adults, being young, are idiots. They may not understand the value of the gift Biden proposes to give. Instead, they will view those two years of college the way we all learned to view high school: As a stultifying annoyance, not as a chance to get ahead.

In high school, the dumb kids and the jerks bring things down for everyone. I would not want something like that to happen in higher education.

That said, the fees for community college have become outrageously high. Part of the problem here, as for all colleges and universities, has to do with the high cost of administration. I'd like to see the government do something about that.

Still, nice to see someone in this administration talking like a Democrat...
I wouldn't trust Biden on anything.

How does this concept fit with the assault on public education which has been a signature of the two Obama terms? While there may be some correlation between education and economic brackets, there was far more of a causal link between pressure from Labor and increased living standards. The economy right now has no jobs to offer, and ones that do exist are at reduced pay scales. A work force with college degrees does not change that fact. Another facet of the Obama terms has been continued diminishment of what is left of the trade unions.

I think it is Democrat strategy to find toothless programs which make people feel the system is there to help them, so as to continue the fruitless two-party mendacity.
"Part of the problem here, as for all colleges and universities, has to do with the high cost of administration."

Suppliers always increase their prices to soak up government subsidies. Always.
Thanks for a fresh perspective, Joseph, and challenging the assumptions of those of us who start with an opinion that more free education has got to be a good thing.

I don't know what they do in Germany today, but 50 years ago they had an examination for high schoolers called the Abitur. If you tested high, you'd go to college. If you test low, you go to vocational school.

You should always recognize that whether you believe it or not, you are probably important enough that many of your subjective experiences may be street theater propaganda.
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