Along with healthcare I feel a higher education should be free to all Americans. I do not believe parents and students should dig themselves a lifetime of debt just to be handed a piece of paper. The costs of a higher education in this country is ridicules and unfair. This is a form of class discrimination, because the rich are able to provide their children with the best education. I understand there are programs for smart or athletic unprivileged youth to gain scholarships’, but the scholarships available for the smart children only pays for a portion of their education. Athletes are a bit different, they can receive full scholarships, but they also make the universities billions of dollars. This system which denies everyone an equal opportunity to become educated is simply unfair.

I went to school for a philosophy degree, as a result of this I am now in debt around $70k. I have taken out loans through so many different financial institutions; I am now swimming in debt from every angle. I cannot afford to pay multiple minimum payment to everyone. My only option out of this is to consolidate my debt into one payment. Years ago there were many banks which would offer such a consolidation, today there is only one; the government. They have created a monopoly in loan consolidations; the only way to solve my problem is to sell my soul to the devil. It is going to cost me $250k or more when you add in interest. This is not including the loans I will need to take out to provide my children a proper education. This is not an isolated example; it is happening all over our great country, and is an unfair tradeoff.

Years ago you were able to get a good job without a piece of paper showing you went to college. Companies would look at your work history first and educations second, because of our current economy company’s are requiring a degree to even consider you for employment. This is true for all levels of employment ranging from CEO’s all the way down to the servers at restaurants’. This is another way of keeping people in the same economic class. I understand there are people who are an exception to this rule.

Here are my solutions to this problem:

  1. Universities receive billions upon billions of dollars in television revenues as well as in endorsements and ticket sales from their sports programs. They receive an unknown number of dollars from boosters. The universities could funnel in this money to financially support their institutions as well as turning a profit. This would afford every American an education and an equal chance at a brighter future for themselves as well as their children.    
  2. If this would not generate enough money, we could add the above and charge the students $20.00 a credit. This would come to an average of $80.00 a class, add in a semester worth of credits and the university would make $320.00 per student. If you multiply by an average 5,000 students and you get $1.6 million. This should cover a hefty portion of the staff’s salary.
  3.  If this is still not enough add a small tax out of paychecks, and sales tax. This along with the two examples above should solve this problem. I am hard pressed to think people would be against these taxes to ensure everyone is granted a better education.

It is sad there are many countries out there who provide free educations, and those who offer it on the cheap. It is sad that our k-12 public schools continue to lose funding, enforce the no child left behind, and deliver a sub-par education compared to other countries. This is another thing we could get done, if there was not the greed and me first type of thinking. This along with my post yesterday is what I would do if I was in power.

What do you think?

  1. dana says:

    you have my vote

    • Tim Lundmark says:

      we are now two strong! Lets go “Timism.!) Vote for me in 2011 or 2012. I cant remember when the election is. I think my running song will be “Take The Power Back” By Rage Against The Machine. 🙂

  2. For starters, only the major schools pull in big bucks for athletics and, even then, most of that goes to pay for the athletics themselves. Small schools are lucky to break even. So, that portion of the equation is a lot less than you think.

    Your per credit fee would not cover the amount needed to maintain most schools. While it might cover salaries, it probably wouldn’t cover anything else like buildings, supplies, equipment and scholarships.

    The problems our society faces are too complex to offer 1-2-3 step fixes.

    • Tim Lundmark says:

      I know my notions for a better society are far fetched. I believe if you can think it then it is capable of getting done. The simplistic steps of a 1-2-3 is the way we should look at things. We complicate things way to much. I agree my version of a 1-2-3 may not work but something would. Do you disagree with me that higher education should be free?

      • Have you ever run for public office? I’ve run for Congress and Governor in Oregon on the Socialist Party ticket — I don’t suppose I would have gotten Johanna’s vote!! 😀

        I can tell you from experience that, if you ran for office and floated some of these ideas, you’d be a laughing stock. Why? Because it would clearly illustrate that you have no idea how our system actually works. Few voters would take you seriously.

        Besides, a “better society” can’t be legislated. Better societies come from better individuals and the job of being a better individual is up to each of us.

        Free education is a good goal, but it would take a complete restructuring of our political system to accomplish it. As long as we spend trillions of dollars on imperialistic (and selfish) wars, we won’t have the necessary funds to provide basic needs for our own citizens.

  3. Traci says:

    I know one thing and that is I will still be paying off my student loans well after my oldest boy starts college and begins to take out loans of his own. I try to pay a little extra every month to get the actual balance down rather than just paying interest but that seems like a fruitless effort begins the interest just keeps growing and growing and the actual loan balance barely gets knocked down. It is ridiculous!

    • Tim Lundmark says:

      It is evil. I will never payoff all my students loans, and I am sure my kids will not be eligible for loans which means we will have to take loans out on our own. It is a shitty system.

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