The Case for Tuition-Free Higher Education

President Obama got the ball rolling by suggesting tuition-free public community colleges and technical/vocational schools.  Sen. Sanders has taken it one step further by promoting the idea of tuition-free public college.

There are at least three compelling arguments for these proposals:

  1. Filling jobs that need an educated workforce.  There was a time when a high school education was sufficient for most of the occupations in the U.S.  Not any more.  Many blue collar jobs require post high school education.  The December 2015 jobs report stated there were 5.6 million unfilled jobs because of the lack of qualified applicants.  5.6 million!
  2. We need to be able to compete with countries that do provide tuition-free college.  Many European countries offer tuition-free education and at least seven offer it to foreigners, much as we give free K-12 education to foreigners who live here.  America is the hot-bed of innovation.  It’d be a shame to lose that status and economic benefit to others.
  3. It would invigorate and maintain a healthy economy.  An  educated workforce creates new products and new consumers.

How are we going to pay for it?  Same way the countries that offer it do: tax revenue. Stronger economies result in increased tax revenues.

This is an idea whose time has come.

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81 Comments

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81 responses to “The Case for Tuition-Free Higher Education

  1. I’m all for free community college and expanded vocational training.

  2. tempebev

    I think Brian’s idea re: community colleges is great as long as the teacher’s salaries aren’t affected. Did Bernie ever refer to community college for free tuition? There is no way that university degrees could become free. Study hard and get scholarships. Yeah, free med school would be great with the stipulation that the new docs are required to spend X years practicing in the US and not fleeing to better paying jobs abroad.(if there are any).

    • dnd

      Bev,
      There are no better paying jobs for docs abroad. They all have universal health care. What this would do is get people into medicine who want to care for patients, not make money. What would make sense is to give special preference to those who commit to practicing in areas that have limited medical facilities.

      Of course common sense would have to prevail, e.g. cosmetic surgery that’s elective or necessary from injury.

      If our competition can do it so can we!

  3. I certainly would be ok with state college tuition being means tested, but there is another issue here, we need our community colleges to be adult learning centers, with real word job skills being taught to people who need new skill sets to keep up with the ever changing job market.

  4. tempebev

    Oh boy, the Pope is saying Trump is “not Christian.’ Can’t wait to see the response to that.

  5. tempebev

    Donald, you really should have someone read your tweets/press releases before they are sent to the public.

  6. Good morning, all.

    I love the idea of expanded education at low cost. Bring it on.

    This election is the most appalling real world example of what low information peeps can do and fall for in recent memory.

    Plus, we are going to have a hard time creating jobs for all Americans, what with technology and global competition. Time to be thinking up a sustainable future, and growing/educating actual citizens, rather than just fodder for the no hope jobs sector.

  7. D, They don’t have the weather channel out there? Just admit you watch Morning Joe.

    • dnd

      Sorry Brian, I watch the local news or Squawk Box on CNBC. Squawk has their version of Scarborough, Joe Kernan. He tries to politicize everything financial, but the others are pretty interesting. Morning Joe is schtick.

  8. Has the feel of the Obama bio video at the 2008 convention, very clever of the Hillary folks.

  9. Trump wins SC, the upside of a Trump win is you get to see Cruz lose. Every cloud has a silver lining.

    • dnd

      Record high turnout for Republicans. Lows for Democrats. Too early to read anything into this, but I hope it’s not a trend.

      Speaking of too early, the pundits are saying that Hillary’s win in Nevada is HUGE. Lets see, in October Sanders was polling at 4%, this month they were tied, Hillary won by a decisive 5%. She won 72% of the Black vote in Nevada, but lost the Latino vote. So the only thing we can conclude is that the pundits are in the business of making a big deal out of everything.

      • I don’t see the low dem turnout as an issue, Dems unlike the repugs don’t think we are heading in the wrong direction. The repugs have manufactured a faux crisis to stir up their base, hence the higher turnout. D, Bush is out of money, so is his PAC.

        The calendar now totally favors Hillary, I project Bernie will get out after Super Tuesday.

    • dnd

      I’m really surprised Bush quit. He’s got tons of money. Either his internal polling indicated he had no chance or his donors told him forget it. Or maybe his mom advised him that we’ve had enough Bushes.

  10. Bush’s super PAC reported spending more than $86 million through late this week, according to a tally by the non-partisan Campaign Finance Institute. But virtually none of that money targeted Trump, who emerged as the national front-runner in the GOP race not long after the real-estate mogul announced his candidacy last June.

    Instead, the group trained more of its firepower on Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, with whom Bush competed for establishment support.

    New campaign-finance reports filed Saturday night as South Carolina results were coming in showed the super PAC’s fundraising had slowed to a trickle. Right to Rise collected just $378,821 in January, much of it provided by a single donor — NBA’s Orlando Magic owner Dick DeVos, Sr., who gave $250,000.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/02/20/jeb-bush-republican-presidential-race/80033408/

  11. tempebev

    A lady running for the AZ legislature came to the house for petition signatures. I asked her about the ratio of Hispanics in AZ for Hillary. Her opinion was they’re split as in Nevada. Maybe Hillary isn’t a shoo-in.

  12. Bev, If the current polls hold true, http://www.realclearpolitics.com/elections/election_dates/

    The only state Bernie will carry on Super Tuesday is Vermont, if that proves true he should quit the race after Super Tuesday.

  13. tempebev

    I don’t think Bernie will quit after Nevada. Heard any rumors about Elizabeth Warren as his VP?

  14. That goes for people born in April too! 🙂

  15. tempebev

    I pretty much officially got tired of Donald Trump when I realized he might go all the way to the top. I’m sure lots of other people more superior intellectually and extraordinarily charming than me have hit the panic button. Now the newsy item is how Trump and Paul Ryan will clash. Of course they will. Paul basically f**ked up by becoming Speaker of the House. How are those weekends with the family, Paul? At last some grunge matches that will be interesting to watch.

  16. Remind me to find my DVD of “Idiocracy.”

  17. tempebev

    A new Margaret and Helen. They really sum it up just right.

  18. proving the old point, water seeks it’s own level.

  19. tempebev

    Jan Brewer endorses Donald Trump – Sheriff Joe will be right behind.

  20. Surprising how big Clinton’s win in SC was, I really thought Sanders was making inroads with young African Americans.

  21. D, you know anything about Bernie’s ground game in CO? That’s a state he can win, I’m wondering if they are working hard on getting their vote out.

    • dnd

      Yeah, he was in Boulder in September, Denver a couple of weeks ago and Ft. Collins today. I don’t know anything about the organization. The weather’s is suppose to be nice so that may favor a high turnout.
      The only thing to throw into the mix is that it’s a caucus, which supposedly favors Sanders.

      • dnd

        I saw that some using colored chalk had penned “Bernie! Caucus Tuesday” on a local bike path. When you live in a town with lots of Socialists and feminists, it’s a touch call.
        Saw on the news that people started lining up for his rally in Ft. Collins at 11am. He’s speaking at 7pm. Also saw that Hillary’s people are canvasing neighborhoods.

  22. Good morning all. Glad to see Leo get his little gold man last night, although he probably deserved it more for previous roles. Have not seen “The Revenant”, looks kind of ultraviolent without the Tarantino humor. And a bear.

  23. tempebev

    How’s the weather in your places of residence?

  24. Nice weather her in Atlanta, should be good for turnout tomorrow.

  25. Super Tuesday, my vote has been cast!

  26. tempebev

    Are you referring to Donald Frumph?

  27. The state that Bernie needs to win tonight is Mass.

  28. I was surprised by the results from Mass last night, I really thought Bernie was going to get it.

    • dnd

      Latest CNN/ORC poll shows Clinton beating Trump, margin of error against Cruz or Rubio. Sanders beats all three by wide margins.

      • dnd

        I heard a local political analyst say that he thought Tulsi Gabbard would run for president in 2020 or 2024. Got me to thinking. If Bernie taps her for the VP slot, it’s game over.

  29. tempebev

    Will Mitt’s scathing description of Donald have any affect on the thousands of voters who love him? I kinda doubt it.

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