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  1. #41
    Quick Draw's Avatar
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    Discontinue federally guaranteed students loans, and instead provide funding for merit based scholarships with a cap on them. Watch the tuition prices fall in a heartbeat.

    I would have never gotten into college this way, much less graduated... but so be it.

    Then, subsidize college programs that demonstrate an employment rate of recent graduates at 80% or better. Watch the bullshit courses disappear.
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  2. #42
    The problem with education is that it has become a business. With many of those "colleges" selling student financing, not an education.

  3. #43
    Well, Bob, I think you addressed that the 3rd party payer issue is part of the problem and not part of the solution (after all there's no incentive to cut costs when someone else is paying the bill), but I do want to address two of your other points here:

    Quote Originally Posted by Trango View Post
    5. Much of the world already has free or heavily-subsidized education. I googled - of the G8 (if we are counting that high), here is the breakdown:
    France = Free
    Germany = Free
    Italy = 1500Euro / year
    United Kingdom = Currently the maximum 3145 per year, although there is pressure to raise the cap as high as 7,000 or even remove it completely. (as of 2002)
    Japan = average 30% of GDP per capita
    the United States = on par with Japan, maybe a bit less
    Canada = 12%ish of GDP per capita
    Russia = free

    6. Who on earth who cares about their country would be against a more skilled, trained, and globally-competitive workforce?
    OK, as to no. 5, if they offer "free" (or limited) tuition, do they do anything to limit or channel who can benefit? Can any swingin' Richard, or Joachim, or Pierre, go? I'm guessing not - I'm guessing that as I said above, those who are college-bound get "tracked" early on in their careers and for the those who don't get put on the college track, college is not an option for them. So whether the opportunity for college is limited by their ability to pass a stiff entrance exam or limited by how much money their parents have, it's limited either way. For US students, money seems to be the primary limiting factor. I'm not saying that's a good thing or a bad thing, it's just a thing. As with any resource, if demand is going to outpace supply you need some way of curtailing demand.

    As for no. 6, The proof is in the pudding: Have these countries, in fact, benefited by having "a more skilled, trained and globally competitive workforce?" Serious question, I don't know. Depending on who you ask and what their political bent is, Europe is either an economic powerhouse or mere days away from Mad-Max style anarchy.

    Another serious question: Have there been large industries -foreign or domestic - that have said "we wanted to build a plant in the US but we decided not to because we can't find enough skilled workers?" Again, I don't know, but from what I can see if a company decides not to build here it usually has more to do with the cost of doing business (prevailing wages, environmental regulations, taxes, etc) than it does with the "lack of skilled workers."

    (I would also point out that there are other ways to get "skilled, trained and globally competitive" workers than by sending them to college.)

    But merely saying "country X does Y" doesn't mean we should unless you can also show that country X benefited from doing Y.
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  4. #44
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    ....and my point in referencing the G8 countries was not to try to make the impossible argument that free education is to their clear benefit as nations (because it's insane to try to deconvolve all of the factors for national wealth, la Jared Diamond), but rather just to show that it's hardly groundbreaking. That said, I think the real question is: does student debt make a slave of their people for (in many cases) decades after their education is over?

    Quick anecdote: I talked to a lady literally this afternoon who is in her last year of schooling and who will graduate school $200k in debt. $200k! I couldn't imagine trying to pay off and service that debt ... for what, 10 years? 15 years? That's a lot of scrilla.
    Last edited by Trango; January 25th, 2016 at 09:15 PM.
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  5. #45
    Trango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave McDonald View Post
    Well ain't you just little fawkin bundle of sunshine.
    I figured that type of post highlighting the type of transaction that is most impacted by this proposed tax would work better than saying "nuh uh you're not going to pay for it." Looks like it struck a nerve. Good!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave McDonald View Post
    I should probably read more about his plans before I say I don't like them, but history has shown that in general, anyone that calls themself a socialist runs counter to most of my lines of thinking.
    If you are still thinking that, say, this college proposal will hurt more than benefit your middle class family, I would absolutely do more reading, and maybe count up the trades your retirement portfolio has. Or, you could get scared off by a label. After all, that old coot Sanders is scary!



    By the way, isn't it funny that the source of all of your concern, your retirement, was privatized? I think it's a hoot when I'm encouraged to speculate in the market using the only money I'll have when I stop working, because Social Security in this country is a starvation amount at best. It's even funnier when I get my statement for last year and that nest egg just dropped 10%! Hoo boy, what a knee slapper.
    Last edited by Trango; January 25th, 2016 at 09:14 PM.

  6. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by Trango View Post
    Quick anecdote: I talked to a lady literally this afternoon who is in her last year of schooling and who will graduate school $200k in debt. $200k! I couldn't imagine trying to pay off and service that debt ... for what, 10 years? 15 years? That's a lot of scrilla.
    What kind of degree, from where, and level of degree? There is a huge difference in ability to shoulder that kind of debt depending on your anticipated field of work. And was that debt solely from tuition, or was housing and "other" expenses involved? Part of the problem is being able to borrow money for "living expenses" while in school. Side note: that much debt can be spread over a much larger time frame than 10 or 15 years, yes that is a lot of money to repay but she agreed to repay it when she signed for the loan. If she thought it was too much, she never should have accepted it or sought it out.

  7. #47
    Captain Radon Steve's Avatar
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    I'll pass on Bernie take-from-the-rich-and-give-to-the-poor Sanders brand of Socialism, thanks.

    If you voluntarily go $200k in debt for a college degree you better make absolutely certain it's in a discipline that pays real well or you're not very smart.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trango View Post


    Stealing... thank you

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigChev View Post
    If she thought it was too much, she never should have accepted it or sought it out.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    If you voluntarily go $200k in debt for a college degree you better make absolutely certain it's in a discipline that pays real well or you're not very smart.
    Both of these.
    From the only state in the USA where O'dumbass failed to carry a single county. :hail:

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    If you voluntarily go $200k in debt for a college degree you better make absolutely certain it's in a discipline that pays real well or you're not very smart.
    Yarn history. Can you believe it? She got published in Textiles Quarterly, though, so things are really coming together for her.

  11. #51
    I have long thought that college was an institution to keep the rich, rich and the poor, poor. A pure pay to play that grants access to the upper management white collar jobs. For a select few professions it is absolutely necessary. Cost is a major factor for smart kids coming from the lower end of the socioeconomic spectrum. I can relate to the kid who is smart enough but lacks the cabbage, sometimes it feels like the deck is stacked against you. "free" education is not the answer, to solve the problem you need to get employers to change the thinking that requires a college degree. The only things I learned in college that I couldnt pick up a book and learn on my own had to do with the fairer sex and the vector of a quarter bounced into a shot glass.
    "The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them" George Orwell

  12. #52
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    a little more information about the european free tuition (got a daughter who's exploring options and about to start):
    Germany, free tuition for all college, and they accept foreigners the same. Most of Scandinavia the same.
    France: Undergrad just as expensive as here, advanced degrees all free.
    I don't remember the other countries details, but:

    This is tuition only. The cost of living is extremely high and you have to arrange lodging years in advance. I was excited to let Kate go to college in Germany, but we hadn't started planning that her sophomore year, so she's going to Concordia, in Canada... at least so far. I joke about FRCC but I fear that may be where she ends up.
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  13. #53
    I'm not sure how we do it, but we need to educate our citizens. I've been hiring college and college aged students for 20 years now. Our education system is getting worse and even the college students lack some very basic skills.

    1. We need to educate everyone that we can.

    2. We need to improve on education or we're going to fall way behind other well educated countries and there's a trail that's far too long for me to list here of the bad things that can and likely will happen if we don't.

    3. I don't have a solution but "free" eduction doesn't seem like such bad thing. Don't know how to pay for it though.

    If I come up for a revolutionary way to do this, I WON'T post it here. I'll run for POTUS with it as my platform. Should get me elected.

  14. #54
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    I believe education quality is getting worse. 'Free college' won't solve anything, it'll just become even more an extension of the first 12 years because those taking their education seriously will continue to do so and those not caring will also continue to do so.

    People are all worked up about the expense of college but focusing on college is way too late to be worrying about an education and [i]especially[\I] the basics that Colo.TJ identifies as lacking.

    Simply throwing money at an issue is what one does to stall for time while they look for actual solutions - or blame and excuses as seems more the case.

  15. #55
    Nothing is free.

    The government doesn't have money.

    Imposing a tax on any sector of the population will be recovered by that sector one way or another. Do it to the very wealthy and they will recover it.
    Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.
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  16. #56
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    I'm with ya Curt. Some of us use the term "free" so proponents know we're staying on topic to their idea.
    Last edited by ASCTLC; January 26th, 2016 at 08:58 AM. Reason: restated to remove offensive tone

  17. #57
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    What I remember from college? Those that worked and payed their way through college rarely partied. Older people returning to school to learn a new career, usually were responsible for their own education costs, never partied and often had the best grades. The frats and sororities were packed with boozers who bounced from major to major, just barely above the washout grade threshold, all generally funded by parents and had no personal investment in their tour of party-versity.

    I wonder how that may translate to this discussion? Hmmmm......

  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colo.TJ View Post
    I'm not sure how we do it, but we need to educate our citizens.
    There was a time when a basic high school education turned out a reasonably educated person. These days, holy hell the minimum requirements turn out some dumb asses.

    My oldest son had a friend who graduated high school, decided he wanted to join the Marines. He took the asvab test and scored a 9.
    I tutored the dolt for about 5 weeks, we had to start with the extreme basics, stuff I learned in late elementary school was foreign to him, yet he was graced with a high school diploma.
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  19. #59
    Quote Originally Posted by Barf Bag View Post
    There was a time when a basic high school education turned out a reasonably educated person.
    Interestingly enough, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has been pushing for a minimum of a Masters degree to get your professional engineering license. Currently, the minimum standard is an undergrad degree from an accredited university and at least 4 years of progressive experience under the direct supervision of a registered PE. ASCE is trying to increase the minimum education requirement to be a masters degree, citing that current undergrad degrees do not educate the person the same way they did "back in the day".

  20. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigChev View Post
    Interestingly enough, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has been pushing for a minimum of a Masters degree to get your professional engineering license.
    If that flies, I hope they grandfather me in, otherwise its back to school to finish that pesky masters.

  21. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by Barf Bag View Post
    My oldest son had a friend who graduated high school, decided he wanted to join the Marines. He took the asvab test and scored a 9.
    Last time I took it, I scored a 99.

    I never was below a 90 and started taking it as a freshman in HS. The National Guard would come out for recruiting purposes and offer to give you the test. I, and nearly everyone else taking it, just wanted to see how well we could do. Bragging rights or something for the geeks I guess. Although most of those "geeks" were also jocks and preps including myself. At least two of them went on to the Air Force Academy.

  22. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigChev View Post
    Interestingly enough, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has been pushing for a minimum of a Masters degree to get your professional engineering license. Currently, the minimum standard is an undergrad degree from an accredited university and at least 4 years of progressive experience under the direct supervision of a registered PE. ASCE is trying to increase the minimum education requirement to be a masters degree, citing that current undergrad degrees do not educate the person the same way they did "back in the day".
    I am a proponent of the idea. There is quite a vast difference between the average MS level engineer and the BS level ones. The main reason has to do with the wide range of subject matter the PE authorizes you to stamp. Too many engineers stamping things they shouldn't be, even though holding the license requires you to stick to your area of expertise. Again, just my experience, but the MS level engineers tend to go research and continue to self-teach to expand abilities with new subjects. The BS engineers tend to stand around waiting to be told how to handle a complex or new situation. [obligatory PC statement] Sure this is a super generalization, and there are those BS engineers that are top notch and produce better work than the MS ones, but they are not common. [/obligatory PC statement]

    A piece of this has to do with how much the engineering arenas have expanded in the last 20 years with technological advances. There is much more to be competent with compared to times past. At the time I was in college, the way it was handled was simply to reduce the number of credits per engineering course to force engineers to take more classes. Later they pushed to 5 years for an engineering degree. The only other way I can see is to drop out some, or all, the humanities requirements. Talking to my engineering elders who attended school "back in the day" there was less gen-ed crap that they were required to take for an engineering degree. Can't know for sure, but that is what I was told.

    Another concept as to the difference in graduates then vs now.... at one time it was harder to get into college as there were fewer slots and only the stellar students got in, and therefore graduated. Even the BS level engineers were higher caliber types. With the cattle call of college education combined with the graduation goals that tend to lower expectations to meet those goals, the slim few of star performers are either lost in the crowd or push on to MS degrees.

    Some will predictably respond that elevating the PE requirements will cause elitism and excessive fees. Maybe, for awhile. At one time, an engineering degree wasn't required to get a PE, just proven capability. The requirement of a BS degree at that time didn't cripple the system.

  23. #63
    Clod Hopper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barf Bag View Post
    If that flies, I hope they grandfather me in, otherwise its back to school to finish that pesky masters.
    You would be grandfathered. Same way a couple of the older engineers I used to work with had a PE but never went to college.

  24. #64
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    I took the asvab in ROTC, or a test very much like it anyway. I don't remember my score, but I clearly remember my flight commander forbidding to re-take it under any circumstances for fear of getting a lower score. Great right? Even got a full boat scholarship. Then washed out on a medical. Go figure.

  25. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by Clod Hopper View Post
    You would be grandfathered. Same way a couple of the older engineers I used to work with had a PE but never went to college.
    You can still get your PE license without attending college, but I believe the requirement is 15 years experience (min). I think implementing continuing education requirements would be a better idea than increasing the minimum education requirements.

    Not trying to derail the free college thread, sorry...

  26. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigChev View Post
    You can still get your PE license without attending college, but I believe the requirement is 15 years experience (min). I think implementing continuing education requirements would be a better idea than increasing the minimum education requirements.

    Not trying to derail the free college thread, sorry...

    Most states require continuing education already. Colorado is an oddball on that one. Having been required to fulfill cont-ed for many years now, I can say the majority of it is useless or actually provides little good information. Not an acceptable alternative.

  27. #67
    Quote Originally Posted by Trango View Post
    Ok, big step back here.

    1. The government is already heavily involved in funding higher education. Don't believe me? If not, who do you owe your student loans to? This government guarantee of student loans is already a heavy subsidy.

    2. Governmental backing and guarantee of loans is a contributory driver of costs of higher education almost 4 fold, and college text books something like 800%, in the past 20 years. If you haven't graduated school in, say, the past 5 years, you have no idea what this pain feels like. Ok, I googled - 12fold rise in total costs since 1978 *no idea if that is adjusted for inflation. CDP in that same time period rose about 3x. So, you have a cost that outpaced inflation somewhere between 4 and 12 times.

    3. As I feel, the proposal of "tuition free college" changes the subsidy from subsidizing colleges to subsidizing students. If you are going to spend that money anywhere, why not rein in the costs of college and then subsidize the students themselves? If moral hazard is a concern, do you really think that's a divergence from what happens today?

    4. Sanders is promising to pay this (as I recall, I am not certain on all the details) via a fractional tax on financial instrument trading. Is this designed to be a 1-2 punch to pull in money from big banks and redistribute it to the families who can't afford Ivy League educations? Is the genius of this one in the details? I honestly don't know, but that's one of my thoughts.

    5. Much of the world already has free or heavily-subsidized education. I googled - of the G8 (if we are counting that high), here is the breakdown:
    France = Free
    Germany = Free
    Italy = 1500Euro / year
    United Kingdom = Currently the maximum 3145 per year, although there is pressure to raise the cap as high as 7,000 or even remove it completely. (as of 2002)
    Japan = average 30% of GDP per capita
    the United States = on par with Japan, maybe a bit less
    Canada = 12%ish of GDP per capita
    Russia = free

    6. Who on earth who cares about their country would be against a more skilled, trained, and globally-competitive workforce?


    7. I thought of one more thing: Sallie Mae is the quasi-govt corp that guarantees student loans. You can, as a speculator, buy shares of SLM to make money on. That means that, as an element of the US Economy, those who have the most amount of money (that is, folks who can invest) can make money off the youngest and least wealthy adults (that is, students). Does it strike anyone else as weird that the Department of Education provides an opportunity to profiteer off students?

    Just some food for thought. You can get back to your regularly-scheduled moralizing, armchair sociology, and self-validation about your own personal life choices.
    Another entitlement program. Yay. Someone remind again how much the national debt is and how much we pay in interest per year. I'm sure there's a good graph out there.

    WRT to a more globally-competitive workforce, e.g. return on investment, would the Bernie types be willing to compromise with only paying for STEM level degrees (think H-1b) with a 3.5 or better GPA coming out of high school? Rhetorical question.

    On a serious note: How exactly does "freebies for all" Bernie say he is going to get his bill through the Republican House and Senate?

  28. #68
    Trango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avenger View Post
    Another entitlement program. Yay.
    1. The government is already heavily involved in funding higher education. Don't believe me? If not, who do you owe your student loans to? This government guarantee of student loans is already a heavy subsidy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Avenger View Post
    would the Bernie types be willing to compromise with only paying for STEM level degrees ...
    No, because just as manufacturing jobs have a 2-3x labor multiplier effect in their local economies, a nation needs more than STEM degrees to function. Also, nor is everyone who can contribute at high levels in a society suited to STEM-oriented thinking.

    I mean, unless we're simply trying to sweep the next decade's International Math Olympiad. That's not the goal, is it?

  29. #69
    Quote Originally Posted by Trango View Post
    1. The government is already heavily involved in funding higher education. Don't believe me? If not, who do you owe your student loans to? This government guarantee of student loans is already a heavy subsidy.
    We do get the difference between free and loan....don't we?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trango View Post
    1. The government is already heavily involved in funding higher education. Don't believe me? If not, who do you owe your student loans to? This government guarantee of student loans is already a heavy subsidy.

    No, because just as manufacturing jobs have a 2-3x labor multiplier effect in their local economies, a nation needs more than STEM degrees to function. Also, nor is everyone who can contribute at high levels in a society suited to STEM-oriented thinking.

    I mean, unless we're simply trying to sweep the next decade's International Math Olympiad. That's not the goal, is it?
    There's a shortage of highly educated STEM workers. Is there a dire need for more Drama, Art History, and MJ basket weavers?

  30. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avenger View Post
    We do get the difference between free and loan....don't we?
    Uh, yeah. Follow my post and you'll see that the students don't receive the subsidy, and actually are harmed by this subsidization. #thatsthepoint

    Quote Originally Posted by Avenger View Post
    There's a shortage of highly educated STEM workers.
    Oh, is that why so many tech companies are lobbying to raise the limits on H1B's? I always thought it was because of the labor rates that you can pay guest workers, which is what the current H1B abuse intrigue alleges. I assume your argument is cognizant of that debate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Avenger View Post
    Is there a dire need for more Drama, Art History, and MJ basket weavers?
    Right. Because if it's not STEM, it's all flowers, right?
    Last edited by Trango; January 26th, 2016 at 03:56 PM.

  31. #71
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    So Bob, in your plan who decides which majors are worth taxpayers picking up the tab and which aren't? Look through any catalog and you'll find some truly bizarre and useless degree programs - useless as in having no hope of getting a job with it let alone a career. Should we all pay for those? If I want to get a degree after I retire just for something to occupy my time should taxpayers foot the bill? If it's not anything for anybody who decides and on what basis?

  32. #72
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    Perhaps it should be less about institutions of higher learning and more about vocational and technical schools that get to feed of the .gov teat?
    This is my boom stick.

  33. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    So Bob, in your plan who decides which majors are worth taxpayers picking up the tab and which aren't? Look through any catalog and you'll find some truly bizarre and useless degree programs - useless as in having no hope of getting a job with it let alone a career. Should we all pay for those? If I want to get a degree after I retire just for something to occupy my time should taxpayers foot the bill? If it's not anything for anybody who decides and on what basis?
    a. It's not my plan.

    b. This plan is not paid by taxpayers.

    Care to start over with an actual conversation starter? Your call.

  34. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trango View Post
    Uh, yeah. Follow my post and you'll see that the students don't receive the subsidy, and actually are harmed by this subsidization. #thatsthepoint
    Soooo....... rich guys, who happen to have money available to loan out, do so to soon to be educated college students, with no collateral, at fixed ultralow interest rates, guaranteed through the govt, to allow "poor" people, who otherwise couldn't afford it, go to college, and because some amount of interest is expected, the evil rich overlords are fleecing the innocent snowflakes? Okaaaay.....

    #convertingeveryopportunitytooppression

  35. #75
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    a. You seem to be an advocate of "free" higher education in your posts on the subject.

    b. Bernie Sanders' plan - you know, the subject of this thread - is "free" to students paid by taxpayers.

    Next?

  36. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trango View Post
    b. This plan is not paid by taxpayers.
    everything the .gov provides is paid by the taxpayers. Whatever pocket you pick it out of, it is ultimately funded by taxpayers.

  37. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    a. You seem to be an advocate of "free" higher education in your posts on the subject.
    I'm an advocate of anything that disrupts a non functioning model. I am intrigued by this model and I think it deserves more discussion than a bunch of potshots or over wrought personal anecdotes about perceived value by spoiled young adults.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    b. Bernie Sanders' plan - you know, the subject of this thread - is "free" to students paid by taxpayers.

    Next?
    Incorrect. It's paid by a tax on actions on financial transactions having some presumable tie to domestic markets or instruments, participation in which is not a condition of citizenship and is also open (and happily undertaken) by a large portion of international actors.

    Hey, with no disrespect: I'm super busy, and this type of nitpicking ain't my bag anyway. You guys should get back to bitching about how collegiates are ingrates and the overappreciated merit of higher education, if that's going to make you happier. I'm about trying to find solutions to a system that is clearly broken to the extent that it's like a case study for moral hazard, with shitty degrees clearly part of the problem (that's a "no shit, Sherlock" point).

    Toodles!

  38. #78
    Trango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clod Hopper View Post
    everything the .gov provides is paid by the taxpayers. Whatever pocket you pick it out of, it is ultimately funded by taxpayers.
    Oh, brother. I see I've strayed into a John Birch society meeting.

    You do realize that you could substitute the word "corporations" for "the .gov" and it would make as much semantic sense, right? I mean, if you are going to say that "tariffs" against imports are being "picked from the pocket of taxpayers", I am bereft of a reasonable reply.

  39. #79
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    Wow, some people don't understand something as simple as a taxes on people or institutions who "can afford it" still end up getting paid buy the general population? No wonder idiots like Obama keep getting elected.

    As far as this whole free college thing goes, how about improving the countries piss poor K-12 school systems first? I would also submit that the way to improve them is to get government out of them, not get the government more involved in them.

  40. #80
    Captain Radon Steve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trango View Post
    I am bereft of a reasonable reply.
    Possibly so, based on a couple of your previous condescending replies.

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