You might want to pour something strong today, this one isn’t very happy.
There is a crisis coming that will destroy the future of my fellow millennials. It will hurt the economy and keep many of us chained. It is student loan debt, and free college won’t fix it.
As a college student, I am a victim of this coming crisis. I’ve had to take out thousands of dollars of student loans, all of which, as of now, have to be paid back some day. I am not asking for Bernie to give me free college and forgive my debt. What I am asking for might surprise you.
I’m asking the government to stop giving us money to afford school.
Why would we expect tuition to lower or stay the same when kids are still attending? Prices obviously aren’t high enough…my very own UK just set a record for the highest enrollment class in school history.
It’s simple economics, when the demand for something goes up, prices must also go up so long as supply cannot keep up. We have a college demand problem. Too many people are going to college. And the government is making it worse by offering financial aid and loans to them so that just about anybody can get in.
But isn’t it good for everybody to have higher education? Isn’t it good for society as a whole when everybody has access to college?
Well, to me, that is the roundabout way of admitting that free-for-all primary education (k-12) has completely failed us.
Keep in mind, we’ve done this before. Right now, every child in America has access to “free”primary education. What is the result?
Student performance is horrible relative to the rest of the world.
There is a major gap between the best and the worst schools.
Schools are overcrowded.
They are running out of funding, having to cut art programs and sports.
There is a teacher shortage.
Teachers are underpaid.
A high school diploma has become so watered down and worthless, that now those of you who wanted free primary education are now saying we need free college because the current “free” public school education isn’t enough to get a competitive job.
Private schools out-perform public schools, and are comparatively cheaper when tuition is compared to tax dollars.
Now, primary education is a helluva lot less expensive to fund than a university. If they’re running out of funding, imagine the government trying to fund colleges.
It is simple, when the government gets involved and makes everybody pay for something mandatory, the cost goes up, and the quality goes down. There is endless evidence for that.
Many of my friends, who I will leave nameless, use financial aid for college. I am one of them. But what I have just recently come to realize is that, while they complain about the student debt they will have to pay back later, they go out and drink every weekend. They buy lunch or dinner from a restaurant whenever they want. They go on weekend trips and attend concerts and travel. Some of them have actually gotten enough financial aid that they use it to completely pay for tuition, housing, groceries, and have some left over. Then they use their earnings from whatever part-time job they have to pay for luxuries.
Where are all the “broke” college students who are crippled by student debt? I don’t see very many of them. Not even myself.
The fact is, my generation is the entitlement generation. The rise of Bernie Sanders is the best evidence for that claim.
In our eyes, none of us deserve to be poor. We deserve to Tweet and post from our new iPhones and laptops about how none of us deserve to work at McDonalds or work a trade. We deserve fame, wealth, college degrees in our “dream jobs” and six-figure salaries to boot. We deserve for the wealthy, greedy rich to pay for our education because we just “aren’t as fortunate”. We all have “worked hard”, cruising through high school effortlessly.
The truth is, we aren’t working hard. Those that truly work hard do get free college. It’s called scholarships. They save their money to be able to pay back any loans they have, not blow it on booze and Starbucks.
For those of you who did work hard, went to college on scholarship, went into a field that requires more hard work and will actually benefit society, you have the real right to complain. Not about the work you’ve had to do, but complain about those who don’t work hard and think they don’t deserve to be poor.
I believe in personal responsibility. Everybody is gifted and talented in different ways, but there are certain things that do not require talent or brains that have a direct effect on your personal outcome. Being on time, being responsible, being truthful, working hard and having a good attitude.
Until my generation realizes that you deserve what you work for, not what you ask for, this crisis will burden us. And it will only get worse if we give in to the fairytale that is free college.
So what do we do about it? Well, I’m not in favor of loan debt forgiveness, but we’re in such horrible shape financially, it may be our only option. If that is the case, I would expect two things:
-We cut funding from some other form of government waste (which is very easy to find) to make sure the taxpayers who have funded these loans don’t lose their money.
-We stop offering money to people who can’t afford to pay it back and shouldn’t be getting into college.
After this is done, I think we should propose legislation to privatize all education, primary to college.
In the private market, things that begin as luxury always turn into regularity. The private market has given even the poorest of Americans access to television, internet, cell phones and personal transportation. In other countries these things are still considered luxuries. Every single time something is privatized, without monopoly, quality goes up while cost goes down.
The entire problem with the housing collapse of 2008 was that bankers were giving loans to those who didn’t qualify for them. The left has called for the arrest of those bankers, saying they were criminals and traitors. Well what does that make the government that gives $30,000+ to an 18-year-old and hopes they not only complete their education, but are able to become a productive citizen afterward and pay that money back? That’s brainless.
So if you’re one of my peers chanting Bernie’s name, begging for somebody to pay your college tab, I hope you: work a full time job, made the grades to get a full ride to school, budget yourself so tightly that not even a penny is wasted on alcohol or fast food and are pursuing a degree in something that is guaranteed to make you productive citizen in the market.
Otherwise, shut up, throw it back and work your way out of your situation.