Free education up to high school or college?

The argument that new-age liberals make regarding education is that all public higher education should be paid for by the government (aka you & I). They say it’s an investment that we as a country need to make for our future and that it is a right.

Traditionally, education is free up until you graduate high school. While I consider myself to have libertarian views, a true Libertarian will argue that education should not be free at any level and that more focus is to be put onto home schooling and private (parents’ choice) education. My view is that public schools are a great place not only to develop knowledge, but to develop social skills and see things in the “outside world”. The reasons why the end of high school is a great cutoff are age, cost, and the diminishing returns factor. After high school, most of us are done growing physically and are considered able-bodied and expected to be able to generate a living. No job that I can think of actually requires further “general education” and that’s where I think age ties in with diminishing returns. If you want to be an electrical engineer, takes courses only dedicated to electrical engineering. If you want to be a doctor, take specialized courses in medicine. By going through the existing public school system, you are given 12+ years to learn how to learn. I believe that is the most important skill that one can take with them onto college or the real world. Being able to learn and adapt is what life is all about. In hindsight, and if given the chance, I would have dropped out of high school after 10th grade and gotten my GED. I would’ve had an additional two years to get myself ahead.

Regarding cost, we can simply look at Germany’s middle class income tax rate of 42% (based off earnings of $60k/yr) and compare it to America’s which is just under 18%. I used Germany as an example because “higher education” is free in that country. As we all know, there is no such thing as a free lunch. So, while you attend college full time from the age of 18-21, you may save yourself about $50-100k in tuition cost, but you will be paying $15k/yr in tax differences for the rest of your life. If you look at it in that light, it no longer appears to be a worthwhile investment, especially when human nature leads us to be quite self centered. Not long after you receive your college degree will you feel the burden of having to pay for the now entitlements of your fellow citizens.

College should be seen as an investment in oneself. We could do well with removing the government’s hang in providing student loans and then the cost of college wouldn’t be so astronomical.

*For those who aren’t aware, the cost of college is so high because the federal government provides student loans with high interest rates. It is the same as the health care and auto insurance industries. If the business (in this case, any given College) knows you are not immediately paying out of pocket, they feel entitled to charge more. Similarly, a hospital (business) knows your insurance company is probably paying for your knee surgery so they feel it’s okay to slap you with a $200,000 bill. Student loans, unlike auto or home loans do not carry collateral (your $100,000 bachelor’s degree in music is worthless) so interest rates are naturally higher. The best option? Have a free market economy and let banks compete with each other to offer the best loan rate. Not only will you pay much less in tuition, due to competition and necessity, but you’ll also save on interest. It’s a win/win for everyone

Do not interfere with the American Dream

I just wanted to share a little snippet of a post I read today and offer my thoughts.

The fact that there are people who are actually poor advocating for policies that only benefit the rich is absolutely astonishing, and a real testament to the effectiveness of propaganda and the very real dangers of a lack of education in critical thinking.

This person is questioning why anyone would be in support of a path towards a free market economy and less government intervention. It is a fair question to ask, but I am going to respond because I feel that it refers to someone like me.

While the original statement needn’t be so loaded, I want to make a few points here. The American Dream is the symbol of opportunity in our country and it’s what immigrants go through great barriers to seek. For some, the American Dream is going from a working class employee to employer. For most, like my parents who emigrated from China, it is being able to achieve an appreciable living in a field they love (animation) and providing that same opportunity for their kids.

I run my own business and it has been my sole occupation for the past 4.5 years. I’ve gone through financially troubling times and have put in my fair share of 80 hour work weeks. The company is far from being called a financial success. Oftentimes I wonder whether it is worth it, but it is that inexpressible Dream that keeps me motivated. I don’t want the government to take money from my fellow Americans to pay for my health care just the same as I don’t want to be paying for somebody else’s college tuition. There is a certain satisfaction of doing something myself that I cannot allow my government to take from me. When I eat a delicious meal, I want to enjoy it because either I cooked it myself, or I worked hard enough to be able to employ a professional chef to cook it for me. I do not need or want the government to put food on my table “because it is a human right”.

So in other words, I would rather keep working towards said Dream than give in to a system that, while offering mild comforts, does not allow such a thing to exist as a commonplace. To accept socialistic ideas is to accept that you did not and will not achieve The Dream.

If you give up on your dreams, then what’s left?

Return of the blog

Hello all, I have decided that I will restart my blogging entries. I may have lost track of the numerous times that I’ve said that, but it’s simply because there was no need for it. You see, I opened this website back in 2005 when MySpace was the only voice in social media and it wasn’t exactly a healthy platform to express your thoughts. Over the years, we’ve been given Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and many other options. The need for a personal blog became nought. Why bother when Facebook would present your thoughts to an audience that was a hundred-fold bigger? Well, I feel that thing have now gone full circle. For at least the past couple of years, I have been sharing increasingly less and less on my personal Facebook account. You see, I’ve got my own business and customers / “fans” want to see what I get to see and experience daily. They don’t want to know what I think of the latest hot topics in politics, or what I thought of last night’s democratic debate. The harsh reality is that people don’t know (or even care to understand) politics. They let the “seasoned veterans” pander to each other and when it comes time to vote, they either don’t bother, or they leech onto one irrelevant social issue that they remember a candidate talking about and pen them in.

So now that I have good subject matter, I would like to make it a point to share my thoughts on philosophical discussion, politics, and over the next year or so, figure out whether I have the desire to entire politics at some point in my life. Personally I think the whole government system is complete and total disorganized chaos. It is simply incompatible to have two opposite schools of thought, spearheading both main branches of our federal government. Nothing of substance ever gets done and bad compromises are only agreed upon at the eleventh hour. Did you know that our Congress has had only a 10-15% approval rating in the past 5 years? Did you know that the majority of them either don’t vote or don’t even read the entirety of the bills they pass? That is absurd beyond comprehension to me.