Fallacies about a 'free' education
"If you get everything from government, you owe government everything." —David Azmin
The twenty-first century is rapidly becoming the century of entitlement, selfie celebrity-ism, and the massive denial of historical reality and its lessons. One of the entitlement themes extolled by many liberal politicians is "free" college education. Here are the psycho-social fallacies of such an idea:
1. "Free" is not free because taxpayers would pay for such education. Both public and private colleges and universities certainly do need to reduce the exorbitant costs of the education they provide. They also need to demonstrate the practical benefit of the education provided in terms of jobs acquired by their graduates. They also are in critical need of providing a forum for their students to experience the free range of ideas — free of political correctness, wokeness, and political bias. Professors as key role models and often mentors must maintain an openness to a range of differing ideas including conservative political ideas.
2. To work part-time to finance one's education or full time to save for one's upcoming education has inherent psychological value. Because one pays hard-earned money for them, courses will be taken with careful selection for their practical or enriching qualities. Often, as students, we learn important lessons about people, social skills, empathy, and teamwork at the job site. Such on-the-job learning is an important addition to learning from lectures, textbooks, and especially beer parties or football games. If the jobs are chosen carefully, practical experiences as background for future careers can be obtained. Examples could be work at a veterinarian's practice office for a future veterinarian, nurse's aide at a hospital, or nursing home for a future nurse or doctor.
3. Students who pay for their education themselves take the burden off their parents, while scholarship monies can be used to pay for disabled or very underprivileged but qualified students. The process of paying one's own way helps in the young adult phase of separation-individuation from parents and dependency on the family of origin. A medical school classmate of mine dropped out of med school because he did not want to join his father's medical practice group. He chose instead to sorely disappoint his father to take a loan to finance his Ph.D. in anthropology and archaeology. He has thoroughly enjoyed his career and has been successful.
4. Frankly, many students are not ready for a full academic commitment, which becomes a means to dodge or delay a full establishment of their encounter with adult reality. University or college life can be a self-absorbed hiding place from the real world of hard work, saving money, and community and social life. In these days of political correctness and indoctrination masquerading as learning, genuine liberal education is absent from many campuses. Too many students become narrow activists for political and social causes rather than the experience of lively debate and a community of ideas. There is no such thing as a free lunch or a free college education.
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