Here we go again, the Democrats are promising more ‘free stuff’ in order to buy votes. Free is in quotes because everyone knows that while they might say free, they really mean that someone else is going to pay for it. That someone is you by the way, your taxes will go up in order to pay for the ‘free stuff’ the government wants to hand out.
This time the statists are diving deeper into public education and Obama has laid out a plan to provide free community college educations. Like all other times the government gets involved in subsidizing, this will only diminish value, raise prices, and lower quality. Here’s three reasons why Obama’s free community college plan won’t work.
1. If everyone has a college degree, it will become just as worthless as a high school degree
In the first half of the 20th century, a high school degree was worth more in the job market than it is today. Now, why is that? Scarcity. That’s how the market determines value. When fewer people had high school degrees they were worth more, because they were less common. In 1940, only 50% of young adults had high school degrees, and it was a valuable achievement.
The government saw that initial value, and decided that it was going to mandate a high school education. Unfortunately, when something is mandated and everyone is forced to attain it, it loses it’s scarcity, and therefore, it’s value. Today, nearly 90% of young adults have a high school degree, and it’s no longer considered nearly as valuable as it once was.
The same thing will happen if everyone is heavily incentivized, through Obama’s ‘free’ plan, to get a college degree. The more people that get college degrees, the less valuable each one becomes. This has already happened due to the government’s current policies that push higher education on the public.
2. Subsidies always raise prices
There are mountains of evidence to support this premise. In every industry the government becomes heavily involved in, whether it’s regulation or subsidy, prices are raised substantially. This can already be seen in the education market due to the loans the government is already giving out to college students. College costs have soared while unregulated marketplaces like technology have seen prices fall significantly.
Worse, the amount of student loans the government has guaranteed has created an enormous $1 trillion bubble. It’s the same thing that happened with the housing market. The government decided that it would give loans to whoever wanted them, regardless of their future ability to pay them back. This lead to a bubble filled with people who are dangerously close to default. The student loan bubble will pop, and will pop a lot faster if Obama’s economically illiterate plan passes.
3. The government has already had 12 years to educate us, 2 more won’t do any good
Without knowing it, Obama’s free community college plan admits all of the government’s previous failures in education. The government already mandates up to twelve years of schooling for individuals. Those twelve years are supposed to prepare us for the job market already. But they aren’t, and Obama has admitted that by saying we need two more years of extra education.
Now, because a high school degree is common, and doesn’t teach us the right skills, the government says they need two more years to educate us. Doesn’t that sound ridiculous? They’ve already had twelve and have failed, will two more years really make the difference? If anything the quality and value of community college education will suffer the same as a high school education did.
Putting aside those three obvious flaws with Obama’s education plan, this bill will never pass the House, or the Senate. Both are now controlled by Republicans, who won the election by telling people they were going to stop spending money and growing government. If they go back on that now, they can say goodbye to those majorities in 2016.
However, Obama isn’t proposing this ‘free’ community college plan now because he thinks it will pass. If he wanted to pass it, he could have done so when the Democrats had majorities in both Houses in his first term. No, the motives behind Obama’s education plan are much more political. Obama thinks that free education is what young voters care about. He also knows that Republicans will have to be against it, as they should be. Therefore he’s setting up Republicans to be against this issue, so Democrats can use that opposition against them in 2016.
We’ll see how that will work out. Fortunately, what young voters really care about most are their freedoms. When government grows, and spends more money diluting the value of their degrees, they won’t reward that party with their votes.
Obama’s free community college plan won’t work, because it was never supposed to work. It wasn’t designed to pass, and it wasn’t designed to make economic sense. It’s a failure from inception, and something that everyone should ridicule.