Friday, March 30, 2012

Just a Broken System

I kind of agree with the headline: "There is no student loan 'crisis'" but we do have a broken [higher] education system. A good system would send people to college for something close to free, and then extract a return on that investment by having higher taxes on their higher resulting salaries (i.e. a more progressive tax scheme). This means the successful grads pay back the gubment (many times over in the case of, say, surgeons), and those that have a harder time of it (like many today) are not saddled with an oppressive--and virtually impossible to get rid of--debt burden.

My student loans were pretty high, though not approaching the $100k level. But I got a very good job as a result of my education (I'm pretty middle of the road among my peers, maybe a bit low of middle compared to other non-academics, but very happy). As such I can certainly afford to pay off my student loans. If my education had been free, however, and my federal income taxes about 6% higher, then the government would have made a sizable profit on my college and grad school attendance.

I know that I've no chance of convincing conservatives of this (facts and logic are evidence of bias to them) but if we wanted to be really fiscally conservative, and run the government--at least in part--like a business then the intelligent behavior would entail free school and higher taxes. Of course it would also entail more infrastructure spending (i.e. investment) and higher taxes, but, again, they aren't actually fiscally conservative, and they don't want a well run government, they only want low taxes for rich people.

Note: Obama is pretty much in the same place as (non-crazy) conservatives on these issues.

No comments: