Bernie Sanders promises Free Education For All. Few in the media have bothered to explain what that means, how it would be funded, and most importantly, who is eligible.
To understand how this works in other countries, Germany is likely the closest model. Free university education for all! Meaning, those who qualify to go to university subject to how many slots are available. It is an academic vs liberal arts environment.
Germany now has the meritorious position of having the 2nd oldest population in the world due to plunging birth rates. A severe shortage of tradesmen and college graduates has translated into a near crisis. Encouraging international students helped somewhat, but when these students returned to their home country having reaped the rewards of a free education, Germany began charging international students.
University life in Germany is completely different than the lifestyle enjoyed by entitled American students. There are no clubs, no student sororities, no student newspapers, no student activities whatsoever. Class sizes are huge, and having access to a professor for advice is nonexistent. A student is expected to perform on their own merit – period. If you fail, you are removed and the slot is filled with someone capable of being an asset to the economy.
Qualification is based on merit; test scores, grades, area of study, and academic achievements. There are no degrees in frilly liberal arts, communication, construction, real estate, etc… University is for the intellectuals not the party goers.
So what happens to those who don’t qualify?
Trade school – based on merit. Essentially, it is quite similar to the methodology employed by communist countries wherein the ‘state’ determines your livelihood. The 72% who don’t qualify for university or a trade – make a living on their high school diploma.
During a student’s ninth grade year, the state determines your vocational talent. And your life is thus funneled into that tunnel vision therein.
Of course, just as with healthcare options, there are private universities that operate for profit and charge tuition. But admission rates can be as low as less than 10%, their areas of study are typically concentrated in academia, economics, and business and they are typically rather small enrolling roughly 2000-3500. Tuition rates in US$ range between $12,000 and $20,000 annually.
While some private campuses offer housing, they are quite limited, and a severe apartment shortage is currently disrupting the balance of availability. As such, most students live at home.
Research programs at universities has only recently been instituted. In the US research accounts for 12-16% of the total expenditures of universities. Under Sander’s proposal all research would be privately funded and as a result, the US could easily slide into a nonperformance global achievement.
Sanders proposes to initiate a Wall Street tax, which has been dubbed the Robin Hood Tax, to ‘fund’ his free for all proposal. According to Sanders, this robbing from the wealthy would produce an excess of $300 billion per year of which $47 billion would be allocated toward state funding of free tuition. The $47 billion would fund 2/3’s of the cost and the states would be required to find the balance – $23 billion.
In a study conducted by Wharton in conjunction with Brookings, the effect of the Robin Hood Tax on the market economy would be a reduction of assets held by 62% and reduction of the value of stocks by 14.6%. These reductions would lower GDP by 1.76% in the short term, but the rippling effect would lower sales tax revenue and income spiraling the economy ever downward. In essence job reductions. Thus, a person might have a degree in Economics – but there would be few openings and the ultimate welfare state bubble would ensue.
The second half of Sander’s far reaching education Free For All is the cancellation of all outstanding student debt which is estimated to cost the government $2.2 trillion. Using his conflated number of $300 billion per year in Robin Hood Tax, after giving states $50 billion, the remaining $250 billion would be applied over a ten year period to wipe out the debt.
While Sanders claims to have graduated with a degree in political science, he stated that he was not a good student finding his studies boring and beneath him. Obviously his economic and math skills prove this point.
Without taking into account the immediate downward spiral that the Robin Hood Tax would effectuate, the ultimate faltering GDP, to presume that the $300 billion per year windfall would be sustained is simply – well, stupid.
The resulting shortage would translate into not just increased income taxes to finance the debt, but increased taxes to fund welfare programs as unemployment skyrockets.
This doesn’t even begin to address the Medicare For All costs!
In the end a 90% tax rate would likely still not cover these costs and the US would be forced into third world communism.
Either Bernie Sanders is aware of these consequences and his intention is to destroy the US, or he is ignorant of these consequences in which case his ignorance should be addressed and revealed. In either case, Bernie Sanders ideology is a mortal wound.