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Post Reply Can free college educations and basic living stipends ever truly be justified?
Posted 6/10/17 , edited 6/10/17
Maybe i come from a different time my parents told us early work hard make a good living
a few examples: like my very first car my dad said, before you get a car understand the maintenance of the
car basic stuff. so i listened and took some auto courses then saved for my first car!

Another example: college keep in mind i came from a family where most of them are teachers most anyhow--hahaa
when college rolled around it was my mom this time she said: nothing is really free we may be in a free world
but hard work is going to get you further. I was young when i enter college just 17 at the time i worked days thats right worked
then went to night school for class. What i'm getting at is at least in my family hard work was taught the whole free stuff
was frowned upon! I can't speak for others but from what i can see things out there don't look so good?
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Posted 9/23/17 , edited 8/26/18
Well a lot of college courses are becoming obsolete in their current form. At least 50% of the classes could be easily moved to online with video presentations that would need minimal interaction with an actual "teacher." Costs could easily be cut. Despite how easy it is to get information these days however the costs just keep going up instead.

I do believe there will be a time most developed countries move to a paid living stipend although there is going to be a rough period where we are both too advance and yet not advance enough to want to justify the switch. Through technology we are going to loose a lot of the menial jobs. I don't see the reason to force people to do mindless tasks just so they can "earn" their bread and butter when we will have means to do it cheaper without people. Even people that choose not to produce things can be valuable to society as consumers for those that want to produce stuff.
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Posted 9/23/17 , edited 9/23/17
No, free college is a horrible idea imo. What happens when everyone has the same degree applying to the same job? And it's not "free" when tax payers money funds it.
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Posted 9/23/17 , edited 9/23/17

MonoDreams wrote:
No, free college is a horrible idea imo. What happens when everyone has the same degree applying to the same job? And it's not "free" when tax payers money funds it.


The....company screens the candidates for the best one that fits the company? Just like they do already when they get multiple applicants that meet their qualifications?

Your argument makes no sense.
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Posted 9/23/17 , edited 9/23/17
I want to know more about the context of such free college education and basic living stipends? If they are "free" in a sense that people do not need to pay money but need to demostrate some effort or merit in some form, then it would be justify. In Canada, an institution will cover some of the cost of post-secondary education but their clients need to be in a good academic standing. The mental health service of post-secondary students will be fully covered but those students need to show high academic achievement (this is a good thing since some people who suffer from child abuse need to graduate from university to get their abuse case on court).

The "free" service can be justified from externalities, where a the success and failure of a person is affected by the actions of other people, and the inability of the market economy to determine a person`s wealth according to their merit (or worth) to the society as a whole. In Capitalism, the success of a person is determined by their connection to the rich unless everyone has equal market power. Everyone can have equal market power when their total wealth for investment is equal but this is not possible as the wealth gap naturally increase in Capitalism. The worker unions and other form of anti-plutocratic organizations could naturally arise to prevent the rich from causing market failure with their disproportional market power. However, the Capitalists would then oppose this resistance and claim that this resistance is an act of jealousy.

An interesting fact is that the Japanese people are hard working even when the Japanese firm do not offer inequal reward to their employees according to their merit. The meritocracy may actually be enforced with non-monetary incentives which is often overlooked by the Capitalists. The Capitalists often criticize Socialism for not offering incentive in a specific context but the Socialists may actually provide incentive for work in another contexts. The Socialist ecomony had fared more better than the expectation of the Capitalists, especially when the local social condition are controlled, but the Capitalists would dismiss Socialist success by attributing the success to the situation.
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Posted 9/23/17 , edited 9/23/17
If you have college age kids you find out that there is a fair chance that if everything is totally paid for, they won't be motivated to work hard enough to graduate. That happened to my sister and daughter. Long about turning 30 my sister got fed up with the jobs she was able to get and went and got a teaching certificate on her own nickle. She stayed with that until she retired.
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Posted 9/23/17 , edited 9/23/17
In my state, junior college is free to anyone who remains in good academic standing, makes progress towards their degree, and has less than a certain number of units completed. With conditions like this, it eliminates the risk of “perpetual students” taking advantage of the system. There might be something similar for state universities, too. And while being able to work to support yourself during college is ideal, it’s often not realistic. When you consider the time for homework and studying, full time college can take up more time than a full time job. Many students would see their grades drop if they were forced to set aside another 40+ hours a week just to support themselves. And since most colleges don’t give full student status to part time students, they can only go full time.
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Posted 9/23/17 , edited 9/23/17
No, I like the model of putting people in debt for years for an college education and no free heathcare either. I like my society sick and dumb.
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Posted 9/23/17 , edited 9/24/17

Potaku wrote:

No, I like the model of putting people in debt for years for an college education and no free heathcare either. I like my society sick and dumb.


> they have already done that task well most college kids do not know history
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Posted 9/23/17 , edited 9/24/17
Yes, when humanity transcends money.
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Posted 9/23/17 , edited 9/26/17
I don't think I have enough background to argue for free college, but at the very least college should be made much much more affordable than it is now.

Why should college be a luxury for the rich, or a heavy burden for the poor? Why do you want to live in a world where those who are born with advantages get more advantages, and everyone else is doomed to work menial, life-stealing jobs? Why do you want to live in a world where the only people who are allowed to have fulfilling, high earning jobs like actor, engineer and doctor are those who were already rich, and everyone else gets to sell their souls to fast food for money that doesn't even cover living expenses?

Cause hot damn, that giant paywall could be keeping out your best artists, scientists, and innovators. What if the guy who advances treatments for cancer never works on that because med school is so expensive, he decides he'll be better off as an repairman?
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Posted 9/24/17 , edited 9/24/17

gornotck wrote:

When you think about free college educations, you think of a permanent student underclass who may or may not ever use any of the things that they are assumed to be learning.
When you think of a basic living stipend, you think of people who go from birth to grave never producing anything, only ever sucking on the pubic teat.
If you combine them, you have useless parasites who stay in school their whole lives and never become of use, only existing as a potential use.
Can this be justified? Does the possibility that some fraction of these people actually becoming purposeful excuse the portion who never do?


There is no such thing as "free college education" or any type of good or service for that matter. Even if the students themselves have little to no out of pocket cost, publicly provided postsecondary education would cost taxpayers a lot of money. And using the United States economy as an example it's currently a horrible idea. Humans and the universe at large have a fundamental problem that drives economic activity and that problem is scarcity: there is a limited quantity of everything. Food, shelter, water and air and even goods we take for granted. There is a limit to how many or much of these things human beings can obtain for themselves. Depending on how much people want them, their abundance and ease to obtain this can create a market to provide them.

College education is no different, and the good that colleges produce are diplomas (a certification that a student is knowledgeable about a certain area). Herein lies an additional problem with college education: not every job requires a college diploma or postsecondary education to perform, so what do you think happens in the job market when when you increase the number of applicants possessing a degree? The price of labor goes down of course because the supply of qualified labor has risen relative to the number of positions available. Then degree holders must seek jobs which they are over-qualified for and further displace less qualified candidates.

The same thing can be seen in the unskilled labor market in the US, although the problem there is compounded. The capital flight of manufacturing in the last third of the 20th Century, in conjunction with the large size of the baby boom generation and increases in chain migration has resulted in a flood of workers in the unskilled labor market. This trend has been exasperated by the increase in the number of women participating in the labor force by 80% or more since 1950 (not that there is anything wrong with women working, the trend merely further distorts the labor market). As a consequence wages have declined or stagnated since the 1970s and lower middle class working people have had to work more and harder to maintain the same quality of life or standard of living, and it has been made worse by inflation. Americans are less prosperous than they once were as a result of these and other reasons and that's a big problem. Without getting into the other financial and practical problems (including the ones that OP mentioned that might be more one of appearances than anything else) of providing publicly funded college education, I worry that further increasing the number of college educated people would destroy what's left of the middle class in the United States by destabilizing the labor markets they enter afterward.

I'm happy to further discuss other problems with it (deciding who gets to go, why for what and what sensible limitations would be) but I'd like to address OPs other topic for the moment.

Basic living stipend, also known as a universal guaranteed income is not a new idea. It has taken various forms depending on the proposer, including, surprisingly, Milton Friedman. Dr. Friedman's proposal is simple but longwinded to fully explain. In summary every man woman and child would be guaranteed a minimum standard of living through universal income benefit or by working. When filing taxes, people would declare income and receive a supplement from the government for any shortfall from the determined amount or be taxed on all earnings in excess of the amount (which was proposed around 1970 by Friedman to be around $3,000 but would be much higher today due to inflation). Thus every person would have an income and this had several advantages. In the first place, the administrative burden of the welfare state would be eliminated because the new system would simply be an intrinsic function of the IRS and Treasury Department keeping an annual budget. Additionally, benefit recipients would no longer have to spend onerous amounts of time and effort proving to the government that they qualified for benefits. Instead they would simply receive money that they could spend as they choose. While certainly this would create idle people, Friedman thought that society would benefit from increasing the time available for minimum income people to improve themselves through education or other means and escape from poverty. The result of this would likely be at least as good as what is available today, if and only if it replaced most of the existing supplementary income programs. At a minimum it would be more efficient by eliminating the need for means testing and administration.

Anyone have thoughts?
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Posted 9/25/17 , edited 9/25/17
forget education-- the reason why most of us are going to school is because of better wages/career but since we are on the trend of giving out free handouts.. why not just join the band wagon and demand free stuff like a 3 year old ? parents should be taking care of their children until they are in their 40's ?

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/nyc-hedge-fund-founder-killed-son-allowance-source-article-1.2066224

maybe foods should be FREE!!

It's one of our most fundamental needs/rights. Someone should be paying for what i want to eat.

want to go out and get that $15/lb steaks right now!!! someone should pay for it!!!! dang you privileged rich people !!

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Posted 9/25/17 , edited 9/25/17
Free college sounds good and all... but probably isn't. It would turn them into public schools. Teachers would be spread thin and the education would suffer. Then would be the people that didn't really want to go... forced to by parents or just because they could kind of things... being disruptive and the education would suffer. Then you have an abundance of people applying for what were once skilled positions... the wages drop. A few fields need a hand with their education costs... teachers for example. Costs way too much for them considering how low it actually pays and how the profession they chose can benefit society. Catch a ball? Free "education"! Teach our kids? Go f*** yourself! Even after schooling... seems pretty off to me. We NEED 3 Charlie Browns to kick that ball! That one teacher can handle 50 kids! Priorities I guess...

They already give some people a stipend to live on... it's called welfare.
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Posted 9/25/17 , edited 9/26/17
There is no such thing as free. People who supposedly aspire to give you free college or free food are trying to sell you something.
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