Before I start, I want to say that this blog is not political. I am not endorsing or vilifying any presidential candidate in particular. This blog is simply social and economic commentary. If it appears I’m denigrating a candidate’s policy proposal, so be it. But it’s only one policy and one policy only. See my head? No red cap here.
So here’s the rundown: Bernie Sanders wants to make college tuition-free. Room and board will have to be covered by either your parents or your part-time working ass. If you live off-campus, congratulations, you’ll get to listen to a series of lectures over the course of 4 months FOR FREE. Honestly, it looks like THIS is the main reason all the 20-somethings are voting for this guy: Because they want to go to Free College Land where everything’s just perfect.
If you want to go to college, go to college. Who or what is stopping you? If you’re not in college right now, could it mean you lack the necessary discipline and/or motivation? Hey, I’m not judging. As someone who’s attention-deficit, I’m the farthest thing from disciplined. I hate the idea of sitting in a room for 2 days a week and listening to someone give scripted lectures about something I can learn about elsewhere: like…the library, I don’t know.
I went to college on and off from 2010-2017. Those 7 years were the most soul-crushing 7 years since Biblical times. Granted, I wasn’t a full-time college student for 7 years straight, but it was the thought that I had to finish it. It was the belief that my life wouldn’t start until I got my Bachelor’s degree. It kept me back a great deal, I’m not even kidding. College isn’t for everyone, and more people need to understand this. More people need to understand that it’s perfectly okay if you think college is a slog. Because it is.
So here comes Mr. Sanders with a helping of free college. His intention is to make overall attendance skyrocket. This, naturally, will lead to more college degrees being issued since the anvil of tuition costs will be lifted. Good thing? I don’t think so! Think of monetary inflation. General prices go up overtime because the Federal Reserve is constantly printing money out of thin air. This devalues the currency in the long run. One dollar 50 years ago could buy you a steak dinner. Now, it only scores you a can of Coke if it’s on markdown.
My point is, increasing the supply of something will individually devalue it. Over a hundred years ago, college degrees were like Lamborghinis: only rich guys had them and they were hardcore prestige. I’ll submit that the progress made in the following decades was positive. Education has finally been accessible to the common man. However, how much access is too much access? If you make college available to everyone, what good is it anymore? It doesn’t become much of an accomplishment nor would it warrant bragging rights.
Look, if you graduated college, great. It’s a remarkable thing to be proud of. Thing is, if you push for free college, eventually people will turn their nose up at your achievement. Just trying to save your ego here, buddy.
Free college will naturally push more parents to goad their kids into seeking post-secondary education. It will become socially-mandated to attend at some point. Do kids really need to go there? Do we really need more college degrees in the population? Or do we need more people with creativity and the courage to realize said creativity? Zuckerberg and Gates both dropped out of Harvard. Colleges cannot foster creativity and innovation, they can only observe and study them. And to all the artists, entertainers, writers, and painters in college right now…all I can ask is; “why”? Isn’t art self-taught?
This country does not need a college-educated populace. Not everybody can get by on the straight and narrow, they have the inherent need to stray from the conventional and innovate. That’s how nations soar and economies boom. The USSR tried that free college idea decades ago. While their whole population was virtually literate (by their own subjective standards), there was no innovative spirit that was present in the West. So to Senator Sanders and his “free college” clusterf**k: Thanks, but we don’t need it, pal.