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Know Jack #409 The Cost of Education

Public education is not free and those paying for it don’t get a fair return on their investment.

I am a longstanding opponent of compulsory, government-funded education. It generally ignores objective results in favor of social theories. Public schooling is more a matter of serving time than obtaining skills and knowledge. Moreover, it is “given” by force of law based solely on chronological age.

The truth is that not all children are ready to learn at the same age, at the same pace, and in the same way. The solution is not to promote those who have not gained mastery of a legislated curriculum but to impart foundational skills upon which an independent life can be built. If education is to be compulsory, then so too must be results.

A student eager to learn diesel engine repair, welding, or ditch digging is no less a success than the one seeking entrance to Harvard. I would dare to say that the vocational student is more a success than the graduate with a degree that is useless outside academia.

On August 14, 2023, the U.S. Department of Education announced that “automatic discharges (of student debt) will begin for 804,000 borrowers who qualify for $39 billion… In total, the Biden-Harris Administration has approved more than $116 billion in student loan forgiveness for more than 3.4 million borrowers.”

No one with the authority to change this outlandish waste of our resources has dared ask the question, “Why are these degreed students unable to find work?”

It is not that there are no jobs to be had. The trouble is that the people with degrees believe that the jobs available are beneath them. The opposite may be true. Far too often they don’t have the skills to do those jobs. To get those skills means to start at the bottom—and having attended an institute of higher learning they are entitled to more than that.

I believe an education is not given to anyone. It is taken by force of will by those who hunger for it. Those people will not be denied an education even if they must seek it, pay for it, and conduct it themselves.

As a closing note, the loan forgiveness mentioned above is not for the rich. It is for individuals earning less than $125,000 a year—couples earning less than $250,000. Form your own opinion about that and what their education is costing us all.


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