Young voters should be very cautious in accepting Bernie Sanders’ idea that college should be free. Anybody who thinks this socialist-spun fantasy is a responsible plan should look at the rising student loan debt. It is now at $1.3 trillion and is stifling the finances of young people who want to get married, buy a house, buy a car, or pursue any other financial goals.
Socialism is a millstone around the necks of America’s middle class and poor. Anyone who disagrees with this should look at how the cost of a college education has risen much faster than wages. This was only possible because student loans became a substitute for incomes. They seemed to make college more affordable but that was not only an illusion: it was a hurtful, intentional fraud.
Democrats intentionally misrepresented the long-term costs of readily available student loans. Easy student loan credit increased the cost of college the same way easy mortgage loan credit, also created by the government, skyrocketed the cost of homes. But there is a huge difference: while the cost of homes has dropped in most parts of the country, college tuition has not dropped, it has continued to rise dramatically.
This is because student loans were given to almost anyone who applied for them. It seemed like free government money, but anyone who has a large student loan knows the money wasn’t free; they have to pay it back over twenty years. And if Bernie Sanders gives free tuition to all who request it, it also will not be free. There is something missing here, the money has to be financed by somebody. And like the student loan debacle of the past thirty years the student tuition debt will end up being paid for by the students themselves, as well as those who never went to college. The only free thing in this whole tragedy is the empty rhetoric of the progressive/socialist politicians. It costs Democrats nothing to make empty promises.
And by making student loans so cheap and readily accessible they created high student loan debt. This is because colleges, both public and private, took advantage of the student loans and raised their tuition to cover their increases in spending.
Students who consider voting for Bernie Sanders should consider what the student loan money goes to pay for. Today there are teachers at the UCLA Medical School who earn up to $2.4 million a year. There are 40 who earn between one million a year and this $2.4 million. In California it’s easy to find the incomes of these college administrators and teachers. Douglas Houstin, Chancellor at Yuba County community college earns $273,000 a year. This used to be the salary earned by presidents of the most expensive and prestigious Ivy League universities. Now it’s not unusual. And in the future when these public college administrators retire, the students will have to pay their one-percenter retirement packages. That’s another cost of free tuition.
These high salaries and tuition costs are the direct result of easy to get student loan debt. That this still goes on proves that colleges are loathe to stop it. Tuition costs are not broken down into line items. While there are separate fees for books, room and board, and food cards, the names of the professors teaching the classes should be listed, and what they earn for teaching that one course. Colleges are not motivated to list these costs, since the last thing they want students to know is how these educators are getting wealthy on the debt they impose on the middle class.
They are essentially indenturing students to pay their pensions. And in many places these retired professors and lecturers receive annual pay raises even when the cost of living doesn’t rise. In effect, this increases the cost of living for the students, whose incomes don’t rise.
What socialism does is transfer wealth from hard-working middle class and poor people to government. And while there will alway be naive people who think Bernie Sanders can create money with his rhetoric, the hard lesson they need to grow up and learn is that socialism is a scam to seize political power so socialist politicians can get rich and seize the wealth of the masses. Stalin preached against the inherited wealth of the Czars, the Romanov family. Yet as soon as he rose to power he moved right into the Czar’s palaces.
Barack Obama preached about helping the poor and redistributing wealth and has spent over $70 million on vacations, golf outings, and fund raisers for his political party. He pays nothing for his golf outings. Air Force One, a full size 747, is a fuel guzzler that pumps tons of carbon into the atmosphere every hour yet he preaches that everyone else should have to pay more to control carbon emissions.
These progressive Democrats and Socialists like Sanders are not hypocrites, they are far worse. They are con artists who intentionally deceive the public, then make the public suffer over the long run. Every promise they make is paid for by the taxpayers. Students are already suffering historic high college tuition costs and they are now being, once again, abused by Democrats and Bernie Sanders into believing that the public sector will rescue them. There is not one major social problem, or issue of education, that has been successfully cured by socialism. In fact, if they cured problems they would put themselves out of business.
At some point voters, particularly young college age students, have to realize that Democrats never get enough of their money, that they will never stop making promises, and that the ones who suffer the most as these promises grow into Federal programs are the middle class and poor. Their standard of living will decline, as it already has.
Today, thanks to progressive policies, there are more poor than ever. More people on food stamps than ever, more people out of the labor force than ever, and teenage employment is lower than at any time since WW II. And this, while Hillary Clinton used her private server to set up $100 million of speaking engagements for her progressive husband, and Obama spends $70 million on vacations. To be honest, Democrats are correct when they say that when elected they redistribute income. But they are only half right: they redistribute the incomes of the middle class and poor to themselves and their millions of public sector union members in education and government who support only Democrats. It’s the world’s greatest quid pro quo racket. It was set up with socialist/progressive rhetoric, and only serves to hurt the working people.