Sunday, June 21, 2015

A Modest Proposal for A New Legislation to Support Students in Colleges and Universities

The Economist has an article this week on the rising burden of college debt in the USA:
NEARLY three-quarters of the graduates now leaving America’s colleges are saddled with debt. On average, they owe $35,051. By comparison, roughly half of all graduates carried debt in 1995 and it averaged less than a third as much, says Edvisors, which tracks student aid (see chart).
We need a U.S. Defense-During-Globalization Education Act that subsidizes the higher education needed for this country to remain competitive in an increasingly global economy, as well as to help those who have been displaced from their previous jobs by competition from abroad to qualify for new jobs in sectors emerging in the USA.

Not only should people not be discouraged from getting the education and training that they need by high costs (incurring debts that will hang on the former students for years), but much of the benefit from such education will accrue to the general society in the form of increased GDP (not to mention, increased tax income for federal, state and local governments).

Of course, there are families that don't need or want help from the government to pay for higher educational services; don't provide it to them, and I wish them the best! Nor should the government subsidize students to attend inefficient schools or schools with sub-standard educational offerings. Students who wish to study fields that have little benefit to society beyond the edification and delight of the individual student should not benefit from subsidies from the legislation I propose, but best of luck to them.

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