Thursday, January 14, 2016

No Such Thing as a Free Lunch

Thumbing through Twitter this morning I came across an article from Vogue magazine in a tweet that I couldn't help but read because the title was so astounding...

Here's How To Solve the Student Debt Crisis: Make College Free

I read the entire article, trying to keep an open mind, but I can't believe my head didn't explode at many points throughout.  I don't have any student loans myself, but my wife does, so I know what this writer was discussing.  They aren't fun to pay back...but we still are paying them back and the reasons for doing so (besides the obvious legal one) are easy to understand.

When she agreed to accept the loans and take on the debt in exchange for a great education, she knew what she was doing.  She wasn't duped or hornswoggled.  All of the information was laid out before her and she still chose to accept the responsibility because she knew that having that education would give her a better chance at a better career for a better paycheck.  When I married her, that meant that I agreed to share in her debt as much as I would share in her profit.  There are many my age and younger that don't understand that, which is where this article came from, in my opinion.  Our country has developed a culture of entitlement to where some expect that they are entitled to anything and everything...all except the invoice when it comes to paying for it.  It's easy for someone to say that college should be free, but anyone with a mind knows that for something like a college to operate it requires funds.  Those funds have to come from somewhere.

Astra Taylor, the author of the article, predictably points out that Republicans have not made this a campaign issue, but I'd say that's with good reason:  that's because it shouldn't be a campaign issue.  The only reason the Democrats make this an issue is that they want to intervene so the government has yet another way the American people can be dependent.  Every time Bernie Sanders tries to do his best performance as Larry David portraying Ebenezer Scrooge just after his visit with the Ghost of Christmas Future, he is deliberately trying to deceive the American people.  You cannot provide education for free to someone and not expect the money to come from someone else or to just write off the amount.

Basically, it boils down to responsibility.  If you went into a restaurant and ate a meal, you wouldn't expect to walk out of the restaurant, letting the bill for the booth next to you.  Same thing goes with college.  If you're going to get an education, you need to pay for that education.  You shouldn't expect your fellow Americans to pay that for you, nor should you expect the American government to bail you out and just make the debt vanish.  If it's how much a college charges for the education that has you upset, there's a way to fix that.  Again, it's not up to the government to make that adjustment.  Instead, shop around.  Find a college with courses that are affordable.  Once other colleges start seeing enrollment drop due to their high costs, they'll soon get the hint.  If they don't get the hint, they'll eventually find themselves in financial trouble and be forced out of business.  It's the free market system at work.

I'm hoping that one day our society wakes up to realize that we can't get anywhere by expecting someone else to get us there.  WE have to do it ourselves.  I applaud anyone who works multiple jobs to support their families or to pay for an education in order to seek a better life.  It's those people who will appreciate that education even more because they earned it.  Rejecting the drugged air of entitlement and the enablers in Washington to breathe in the air of freedom and self-reliance is what we should all strive to do.

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