The New New Deal, Part 2: Free Higher Education

Part 1 of the New New Deal dealt with Free Health Care. Now, it’s on to the next step towards building the Socialist paradise, with a free-market incentivized twist. If you’ve agree to take the free health care deal, I think you will like the free school deal.

Free Higher Education – Deal or No Deal?

The same type of deal will of course apply to free education. Secondary school education is still, at least theoretically, free, but the curriculum is prescribed. Those families who opt out of the public education system must pay for a private school or home schooling, unless they are lucky enough to live where school choice and vouchers are available.

When it comes to higher education, there is a case to be made for a free education. This includes both college and trade schools for those who do not want to go to college or do not have the aptitude. But what about the cost? Who will pay for it and what will they get for their investment? When it comes to education, the entire society does receive a benefit in the form of higher productivity and, theoretically, an increase in the overall standard of living and the reduction of poverty. But there are inefficiencies in the system.

When a student chooses a course of study, it often has no direct relation to the market for jobs. When a student, or his parent, is solely responsible for paying for school, that is of course their choice. But if the society as a whole is paying for it, we should expect that course of study to be of benefit to the rest of us. In other words, if there is a shortage of plumbers or engineers or health care workers, we would expect to have enough students to fill that demand. Why should we pay for courses of study that yield no economic benefit? An excess of history, English, or other “soft” majors comes to mind.

So, here is the deal. A free education would be available as long as the student is willing to pursue one of those that provides an economic or social benefit and meets the entrance requirements (academic performance for college and aptitude for various trades). Other courses of study will still be available, but in more limited quantities, so only the most qualified applicants will be accepted. Testing will be offered for those who seek to enter a particular course of study. 

College Majors by Salary

The Federal government already offers loan forgiveness after 10 years for those who pursue public service jobs. This is just another step in that direction, but will also include in-demand private sector jobs.

10 Fastest Growing Jobs

The reason we have so many immigrants coming to the US on H1B visas is the shortage of American workers with the needed skills, so this is another step that will help to make Americans more qualified for good jobs. 

H1B Visa Skills Needed

What that means is that not everyone will qualify for college, or may only qualify for a 2-year program. Others may only want to pursue or qualify for a trade school. For those who do not qualify for either, well we’ll have to figure that out. There isn’t always a clear path for everyone, and a free education is not a guarantee of success. If society is to benefit from this new “right” to a higher education, there have to be some limits and the benefits have to be clear.

Coming up in part 3, Free Money for Everyone!

2 thoughts on “The New New Deal, Part 2: Free Higher Education

  1. Pingback: The New New Deal, Part 1: Free Health Care | Earth People are Crazy

  2. Pingback: The New New Deal, Part 3: Free Money for Everyone! | Earth People are Crazy

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