"For the most part, the Republican Party is the only outlet where conservatives have a voice, so we have to use it. But it functions like a rusty knife we use only because we can't cut our steaks with a spoon."- Matthew Rathel

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Obama: Education at a Price

I recently came by Barack Obama's web page and was reading over his education section, and I came across a few promises that he is making to these young voters who have remained clearly in his camp throughout the election. Principally among these promises is his intent to make public college free. Obama even goes as far as to imply that college educations are a birthright of every American citizen.

Birthright? Education is not a birthright. We have public schools in this country because parents can not be trusted to take care of their children's well being. But where did it become the obligation of the state to provide anyone with a higher education for adults who are able to practice their own free will? It is one thing to talk about policy, and how it would be in line with US policy to continue funding education for America's youth. But what I reject is the idea that every American deserves to go to college, and that it is the duty of the taxpayer to fund the education of others. What about the serviceman who joins the Navy and fights for his country with no aspirations of going to college? Should he be forced to pay taxes to flip the bill for his college-bound counterpart? Likewise, is it the responsibility of the state to fund the actions of graduate students into their late 20's and early 30's? No. The larger issue at play here is the government stepping into higher education and removing the personal responsibility associated with it. If you listen just right, his promise sounds more like:

"If you elect me, I will take the money that we give other people and give it to you. That's right. How dare they make you pay for your education as if it were some commodity that you will cash in for the rest of your lives to make more money than those who don't go to college? Unalienable is your right to take a piece of others' hard-earned money and use it to study whatever you wish, regardless of how you intend to use that degree. You may have done nothing in your lifetime to deserve it, but it is yours."

Obama may claim that he is above the old style of politics, but promising free continued education to every American is classic vote purchasing, especially when it is offering hundreds of billions of dollars a year to his second-biggest demographic.

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