Adele: Free College education is a good solution for the morass that is America’s educational system.
Rick: No, it is not. Do you realize Britain just switched, not too many years ago, from free College education to a tuition model for College education, and they say it is working better?
Adele: You dare compare the Great American Dream to that small Island Nation?
Rick: You are aware, Adele, that the country you refer to as ‘that small Island Nation’ was’ several hundred years ago, America’s colonial master?
Adele: Whatever!!! Just because they currently spend less than us per student, meaning we will spend even much more once we switch to free College education, does not imply they are right.
In presence of demand for new policy directions, and disagreements as to best paths forward, absent benchmarks that facilitate discussions, no one is right, and no one is wrong, all ideas merely are different.
In absence of scientifically established benchmarks, all possible ideas are nothing but opinions, are nothing but politics.
With respect to
America’s educational system,
the right question is not,
“Is free College education a good educational policy?”
Rather, the right question is,
“Relative to what is best for America, does free education take the country closer to, or further away from what is best?”
In respect of what is best for America, do any of Mainstream Economists, Political Economists, or Financial Economists have any formal theoretical models exploring not only the financial consequences of Free College Education, but also it’s effect on INCENTIVES that currently subsist within the American economy?
Are there models that attempt to predict the effect of free College education on student’s willingness to graduate? On students’ willingness to exert effort towards mastering the subject matter of their disciplines? On students’ willingness to gamble on glamorous disciplines for which they themselves do not believe they have commensurate ability?
The reasoning is simple. If you are weak in Mathematics, but Finance is glamorous, you study for four years, obtain the degree at no real cost. If after one or two years you do not obtain a job, you go back to school free of charge, major in English Literature. All at the expense of the great ol’ U.S. Government.
If the United States of America will end up tearing up it’s educational structure for arrival at funding of free College education, there perhaps is merit to attempts at ascertaining what exactly is the best educational model for College Education in America.