A quick rant on “Free College”

1. Don’t call it “free.” Educating millions of students each year requires maintaining plenty of scarce resources, each of which must be paid for somehow. I therefore reject the premise of the popular question: “Should college be free?” I recommend asking, instead: “Who should pay College X for rendering educational services upon Student Y?”

2. “Education is a right.” But then how do you define “education”? I’ve educated myself by reading Thomas Sowell and Frederic Bastiat in my own time, but I wouldn’t dare suggest that I have a right to take money by force from somebody else (top X percent included) to fund my own enjoyment of reading! That being said, it is an “educational” pursuit, and if this rationale justifies a college to expropriate money from private citizens, then who is to deny my “right” to educational products from Amazon?

3. “Education is a right.” But then how do you define a “right”? Is it anything beneficial to an individual? to society? That reasoning can surely be reduced to absurdity. Good health, for example, is an individual’s building-block to success, and therefore critical to society. So where’s the movement for subsidized gym memberships and free salad bars? Studies also constantly confirm the value to society of strong property rights, meaning my right to my income would trump your right to taxpayer funded college.

4. “I like to pay taxes for schools because I don’t want to live with a bunch of idiots.” Well, do you call upon the state to bake your bread or to build you an automobile? No, and yet Americans aren’t starving (quite the opposite) nor are they still travelling by foot (just five percent of American households don’t own a car). The Lesson: Free minds will always find creative ways to improve living conditions, even without herds of politicians.

 

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Million Student March at WMU gets Cancelled

Folks, I wandered by the site of the Million Student March here at Western Michigan University today only to see a suspiciously empty part of campus. I came into the computer lab, logged onto Facebook, and found this announcement on the event’s page:

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I have “Liked” their page so that I will be notified for all of their future events. A friend and I will attend, with video equipment to film some interviews.

Later today I’ll post some of the questions I was planning on asking. I’ve also reached out via email to the event’s coordinator with a list of these questions. If I get a reply it’ll be posted here at The Dismal Review.

Do you have some spare time to help me out?

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Hey all, at my college (Western Michigan University) next Wednesday, November 18th, students are going to be protesting for free college coercing taxpayers to fund tuition. More details below. I’ll be there to cover the event just out of curiosity. I disagree with all of their proposed solutions but I am still interested in asking them deeper philosophical questions than they may be used to. I’d love some input if you have any questions you’d want to ask, or any points that I should bring up. Hopefully I’ll film it and post it here on The Dismal Review for ya’ll to see. Thanks!

[Below is the description on the event’s Facebook page, titled Million Student March Kalamazoo]

Congratulations, If you graduated from college this past spring, you’re part of the most indebted graduating class ever! According to a government data analysis by financial aid experts at Edvisors, the class of 2014 graduated with an average student loan debt of $33,000.

The United States is one of the richest countries in the world, yet students have to take on crippling debt in order to get a college education. We need change, and change starts in the streets when the people demand it.

Over 40 million Americans share a total of $1.2 trillion in student debt and over half of that is held by the poorest 25 percent of Americans. While top administrators take home six
and seven figure salaries, campus workers are paid poverty wages.

We will no longer sit idly by. With students, college graduates, and workers united we can build a movement capable of winning debt-free college for all and a $15/hr minimum wage for all campus workers!

Join the movement for:
1 – Tuition-free public college
2 – Cancellation of all student debt
3 – $15/hr campus-wide minimum wage at every college in the country

Email KalamazooMillionStudentMarch@gmail.com for more info!

#MillionStudentMarch #MSM #ScrapTheDebt #TuitionFree#CancelTheDebt #15Now #fightfor15 #studentmovement

An initiative of students across the country and various organizations including but not limited to: College Students for Bernie, Occupy Wall St., Socialist Alternative, 15 Now, The People For Bernie Sanders 2016, and more!

[This originally appeared on the Facebook Page titled Million Student March Kalamazoo]